A perfect Sunday with... A.Y. Chao

French toast, Calvin and Hobbes and vampires with a soft side!

A perfect Sunday with... A.Y. Chao

Every week, a top writer, artist or creator reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great.

Today, it’s the turn of author of Shanghai Immortal, A.Y. Chao.

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… brunch

One of my fave breakfast places ever is The Boathouse at Balmoral Beach in Sydney. It’s built on the docks over the beach and has an incredible decadent caramelised croissant French Toast, among many other delicious dishes. A beautiful and delicious way to start the day.

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… read

Currently reading The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri —blown away by the incredible world-building and characters who have stolen my heart!

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… comic

Calvin and Hobbes, always.

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… movie

My Neighbour Totoro.

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… TV binge

What We Do in the Shadows TV show. I adore Nandor—the warrior who grapples with his soft side as an immortal vampire. Creepy paper!

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… podcast

My good friends Emily Varga and Sarah Mughal have a wonderful podcast called On the Write Track. I always enjoy listening to their interviews and guests on publishing. Those ladies are so full of vivacious energy it’s such a lift to listen to them chat and laugh.

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… album

I have a playlist of fave songs—Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, Ed Sheeran’s Bad Habits, and Jade Everett’s Bad Things are on high rotation. Seems I like songs with Bad in the title?

A.Y.’s perfect Sunday… treat

I love to knit so having a project on the needles and binge-watching K or C dramas is a very indulgent Sunday treat. A long walk with family that ends in a cozy pub is also a wonderful Sunday treat.

Shanghai Immortal by A.Y. Chao is out now from Hodderscape.

This richly told adult fantasy debut teems with Chinese deities and demons cavorting in jazz age Shanghai, and addresses complex issues of heritage, identity, belonging, and intersectional feminism in a multicultural migrant context. SHANGHAI IMMORTAL is a love letter to the author’s Chinese diaspora heritage with a twist of Canadian sensibilities… and a huge amount of sass.

Pawned by her mother to the King of Hell as a child, Lady Jing is half-vampire, half-hulijing fox-spirit and all sasshole. As the King's ward, she has spent the past ninety years running errands, dodging the taunts of the spiteful hulijing courtiers, and trying to control her explosive temper - with varying levels of success. So when Jing overhears the courtiers plotting to steal a priceless dragon pearl from the King, she seizes her chance to expose them, once and for all. With the help of a gentle mortal tasked with setting up the Central Bank of Hell, Jing embarks on a wild chase for intel, first through Hell and then mortal Shanghai. But when her hijinks put the mortal in danger, she must decide which is more important: avenging her loss of face, or letting go of her half-empty approach to life for a chance to experience tenderness - and maybe even love.

Alice Chao is a Chinese Canadian author of fantasy. She’s fascinated by the interplay between self-perceived versus imposed identity and how this intersects with belonging and enjoys exploring these spaces in her stories. A recovering lawyer and xiaolongbao enthusiast, she knits to soothe anxiety and has a deep abiding love for Hobonichi planners and kawaii planner stickers. Find her online at aychao.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @ay_chao.