Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Camy Tang & Who I Want to Be

Posted April 21, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Camy Tang, Christian, giveaway, nonfiction / 87 Comments

I am delighted to welcome Camy Tang to the blog today to chat about the recently re-released devotional Who I Want to Be: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew. Compiled by Camy, the book features 31 well-known authors who have written devotionals from the book of Matthew. Proceeds go toward the Japanese translation & printing of this book for Japanese women, something close to my own heart.

Camy writes Christian Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense as Camy Tang and Christian Regency Romantic Suspense under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, and for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided her path in a completely different direction and now she’s writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels. She was a staff worker for her church youth group for over 20 years and she currently plays on one of the Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is learning Japanese. Visit her websites at and to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

Authors of the devotionals

Audrey Appenzeller, Victoria Bylin, Lyn Cote, Judy DeVries, Danica Favorite, Janet W. Ferguson, Deborah Hale, Eva Maria Hamilton, Sharon Hinck, Kristin Holt, Carole Lehr Johnson, Jill Kemerer, Wendy Lawton, Jackie Layton, Catherine Lynn, Autumn Macarthur, Kathy McKinsey, Dineen Miller, Robin Patchen, James L. Rubart, Renee Ryan, Regina Scott, Morgan Tarpley Smith, Anna Spencer, Jennifer Spinola, Camy Tang/Camille Elliot, Janet Tronstad, MaryLu Tyndall, Lenora Worth, Cheryl Wyatt, Kathleen Y’Barbo

WHO I WANT TO BE: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew
GENRE: Christian Devotional
PUBLISHER: Camy Tang Books
RELEASE DATE: December 2018 (original release date)
PAGES: 128

Want the perfect Mother’s Day gift AND help spread the Gospel to Japanese women too?

Get your copy of the multi-author devotional, “Who I Want to Be: A Devotional Journey Through the Book of Matthew,” which now has a lovely new cover!

Proceeds go toward funding the devotional book’s translation into Japanese and copies to distribute to Japanese women.

For women struggling with all aspects of their lives, 31 authors have written heartfelt devotional readings through the Biblical book of Matthew. We pray that from this devotional book, you will realize that Jesus loves you deeply. You are not alone. There is no place you have gone that is too far away from God, and He can help you to be the person who you want to be.


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Hi Camy! Welcome to the blog!

Camy: Alas, while I used to love apples, now I can only eat oranges because of my IBS. 🙁

Carrie: that’s so sad! I can’t imagine not being able to eat apples again 🙁

Camy: Mountains, probably because I grew up in Hawaii, so I’m used to the ocean, whereas mountains are cool and interesting since I have only seen them a few times in my life! They’re majestic and beautiful!

Carrie: they really are!

Camy: I would say soup, because I absolutely LOVE ramen. Actually, now that I think about it, I love any type of noodle soup!

Carrie: yum!

Camy: Ebook because I don’t have enough shelf space for all my books! Plus I love having lots of books on my phone or ereader, especially if I travel anywhere. I hate not being without a book to read!

Carrie: i feel your pain about not enough shelf space… lol

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Camy:I knit and write. 🙂 When I’m stuck, I’ll pick up a knitting project and knit, knit, knit while I think, then suddenly drop my knitting to type furiously. My writing friends who’s observed this say it’s sometimes startling how I’ll be calmly knitting and then suddenly pounding away on the keyboard.

Carrie: hahaha!

Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?

Camy: Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey, because aside from the fact it’s wonderfully entertaining, it was the book that first inspired me to write my own stories. Persuasion by Jane Austen, my favorite book of all time because I absolutely love how a plain background sort of personality (much like me!) can attract the hero. Watership Down by Richard Adams, a book I re-read almost every year because, well, rabbits! and I love how they overcame adversity to establish a home. The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill, my favorite of all her books, because of how the family stuck together and with ingenuity and creativity, they found a home in an unexpected place. And lastly, while there are many Regency romances I love, the one with the special place in my heart is Regency Miss by Alix Melbourne, because it was the very first Regency romance I ever read, and it got me hooked on the genre.

Carrie: HOW have I only read Persuasion from this great list?!? I need to correct that asap…

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Camy: I have a Japanese coffee table called a kotatsu, which is a table with a heater installed on the underside of the table frame. The tabletop is removable and you insert a padded cotton blanket under the tabletop and draping it over the coffee table frame. When you turn the heater on, it traps the heat under the blanket and you can stick your legs inside and it’s heavenly! I have my computer monitor on the kotatsu tabletop and I sit on the floor on top of a large padded cushion called a zabuton, with my back propped up against a backrest. My keyboard and trackball sit on a bamboo laptop tray. It is super comfortable and cozy!

Carrie: that sounds absolutely delightful!!

Q: How does the book of Matthew speak to women who are struggling?

Camy: My church has a large ministry that reaches out to the Japanese women in our community. For many of them, they have moved from Japan to the US and their husbands are working for the US branches of Japanese companies. They typically stay for 3-4 years and then move back to Japan. Most of them have never heard about Jesus Christ at all because they grow in a polytheistic society (typically Buddhism and Shintoism), and less than 1% (it’s closer to 0.5%) of all Japanese are Christian. My church has lots of programs to not only provide friends for these women (who are mostly stay-at-home moms) but to also expose them to Christianity.

I wanted to put together a devotional book that I could have translated into Japanese, so that it could be given to the Japanese women I’ve come to know through my church. I noticed from reading a lot of Japanese fiction that has been translated into English that a very predominant theme is being able to be forgiven for failure, or picking yourself up after a mistake. I think the Japanese culture can sometimes be very unforgiving when someone has failed–the mindset is that it’s “game over” and there’s no chance of redemption. But Christ is all about redemption, and I want to help Japanese women understand that.

So I picked the gospel of Matthew, a book of the Bible that’s good for people who are looking into Christianity to find out what it’s about, and I asked Christian authors to write devotions based on passages in Matthew. The devotions are written for Christians by Christians, but the book is also appropriate to give to someone who’s a non-Christian or a new Christian. The overall theme of the devotional book is for women to discover the person they really want to be, a transformational theme that I wanted to convey to the non-Christian Japanese women I’ve come to know.

Carrie: this answer brought tears to my eyes because I’ve worked with those same women. Oh, probably not the exact same women but I taught English for years to students of all nationalities, and a large number of those students were dear Japanese women whose husbands worked in the area for those 3-4 years you mentioned. That’s why this devotional translation project is something I support so wholeheartedly.

Q: Tell me more about where the proceeds for this devotional will be going & why it was important to this group of authors.

Camy: The devotional book has already been translated into Japanese, and it has gone through a proofreader and been processed into a Japanese paperback and ebook (which was a painfully difficult process for me to do as a self-publisher). All proceeds will go toward the cost of the translation, proofing, and self-publishing costs (which is roughly the amount of a used car). The book is already available on Amazon Japan and Apple Books Japan, and I have reduced the price of the Japanese version so that it will be accessible to as many Japanese women as possible. I have also sent copies of the Japanese ebook to the missionaries my church supports who are in Japan (there are about 20 in all), and they have given the ebook to the Japanese women they interact with in their ministries. If by God’s grace there are any additional proceeds, that will go toward providing paperback copies to those missionaries to give away.

I am incredibly grateful to all the authors who generously gave their time and writing to this devotional. They all agreed to write their devotions out of friendship to me and/or their fervent support of this ministry targeted at non-Christian Japanese women. All of them have been very encouraging to me through the entire process of having the book translated and then finding a way to publish a Japanese language book in the US. I can’t thank them enough.

Carrie: i love that so much! Thank you for doing this ♥

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Who I Want to Be?

Camy: If a non-Christian Japanese woman reads this book, I want them to know that God is with them and their lives can be made new. They can become the person they want to be rather than how society strictly defines them. They can find true freedom in Christ.

Carrie: Yes. Amen.

The authors of Who I Want to Be are offering 9 novels, 1 eBook, an inspirational coloring book and a gratitude & prayer journal to one of my readers! (Continental US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics)

One winner will receive:

– print copy of Firefly Summer by Kathleen Y’Barbo Turner
– print copy of You Are Loved coloring book by Dineen A. Miller
– print copy of Hers for the Summer by Jill Kemerer
– signed print copy of Permelia Cottage by Carole Lehr Johnson
– print copy of Amish Country Secret by Lenora Worth
– print copy of All My Tears by Kathy McKinsey
– print copy of Frontier Want Ad Bride by Lyn Cote
– print copy of Suddenly a Frontier Father by Lyn Cote
– print copy of Be Blessed Bible-based gratitude & prayer journal by Autumn Macarthur
– print copy of A Distance Too Grand by Regina Scott
– print copy of Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall
– ebook copy of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer by Camille Elliot

This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Who I Want to Be – compiled by Camy Tang?

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87 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Camy Tang & Who I Want to Be

  1. aaron r

    I think any of the first 4 gospels would be great to learn more about and I would probably say Matthew as well.

  2. Roxanne C.

    So many wonderful authors are included in this devotional, and being based on Mark’s Gospel, the messages will be pertinent to everyone. May God abundantly bless Camy Tang’s wonderful ministry.

  3. Megan

    That’s so amazing, good for you! I hope your devotional reaches the people God wants it to, and draws them to Him. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I’m a Christian woman and the book of Matthew is so interesting and everytime I read this book in the Bible I find more interesting things I didn’t know. Matthew is a great book to read, study and learn from and it is inspiring too.
    Hope I Win

  5. Donna Irvin

    Wow! This has to be one of the best Q&A I have read on …….it just about made me cry. Wanting to bring this devotional to women that have not been exposed to Christianity or the greatness of a relationship with Christ is a beautiful gift to give! The group of contributor’s is amazing!

  6. Linda Stringer

    I’m not sure I’m totally who I want to be and it sounds like this book could help me with that

  7. Teisha

    I really like that the devotional is put together by a number of writers because I feel that brings a better variety of experience and backgrounds together for a fuller exploration of the book of Matthew.

  8. Tina

    I just finished an online women’s study of Matthew, and would love to dig into it even more. There is SO MUCH to learn from Jesus in the Book of Matthew!

  9. Sharon Sparks

    I always enjoy discovering new authors and their works, and Camy is a new-to-me author. Her Christian devotional, Who I Want To Be, sounds lovely. And I’ve always thought Matthew is so interesting. Who would have thought Jesus would pick a wealthy tax collector! I’m looking forward to reading the authors’ devotionals based on Matthew’s passages.

  10. Sharon Timmer

    I would love to read this because I have always enjoyed reading Camy’s Sushi books, & I would like to read her perspective on the book of Matthew.

  11. Stephanie H.

    I would love to delve deeper into the book of Matthew and reading through this journal book would be very insightful for me.

  12. RACHEL Schichtl

    I really do want to be the best version of myself and enjoy reading and studying about that topic.

  13. Judy

    I want to always be growing in my walk with Christ. This book soumds like a great way to continue the journey.

  14. Christina Sparks

    I would love to win this, I need a good devotional to read in the morning before I go to work.

  15. There are so many good books in this group that I’d like to win print copies of, especially a devotional, that I’d be very blessed to win. Thank you for this opportunity!

  16. Connie Scruggs

    Can’t seems to have an interesting story. This devotional has some great authors involved. And I love that it will be translated for the Japanese readers.

  17. Matthew is an interesting book. I usually gravitate more toward John, so I would like to see how Matthew can apply to my life, too.

  18. First of all I would like to thank Cami for writing good Christian mysteries that I have enjoyed reading. Then I would like to say that I would love to win her treatise on Matthew. I love all the apostles and respect them for their faithfulness after the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. What an awesome and terrifying time they must have had. I picture it in my mind but I know I cannot even really imagine it. Our Christian walk is nowhere near as dangerous as was theirs. I also have read after most of the other authors, in fact I just finished reading MaryLu Tyndale’s Timeless Treasures and would love to own a copy. Other favorites are Lynn Cote, Regina Scott, Lenora Worth, Kathleen Y’arbo. I didn’t know that Cami wrote as Camille Elliot – I loved Prelude for a Lord btw and look forward to reading more of her regencies which is my favorite genre of historicals. Being a reader of Steeple Hill fiction before I was disabled, I have also read many of the devotional author’s books. Sorry for the long post but thank you for the opportunity to enter the giveaway.

  19. Missy Tippens

    A great interview with Camy! And a wonderful ministry. Camy, I’ll be praying that your book makes it into the hands of those who need it!

  20. Hannah

    That was a very nice interview. Wonderful ministry for Japanese women, that can be a blessing to all.

  21. Phyllis

    Would love to read this book! I love devotionals because they allow us a view of scripture that we can carry with us throughout our day.

  22. Loraine Ertelt

    The book of Matthew is one of my favorites from the New Testament, and Camy Tang’s writing is always spot on.

  23. Sonia Minkel

    I taught English as a second language in Japan 30+ years ago, and this devotional is something that the Japanese people will relate to.
    I will be praying that this devotional will touch the heart and soul of everyone who reads it! God works miracles when we least expect it.
    Thank you Camy!

  24. Linda A Horin

    First of all, I really love the book of Matthew. There are so many gems of wisdom in there! More importantly, I want to make this available to Japanese women. We are so fortunate here that we are free to worship with little restriction. Other countries are not the same.

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