Turned Out To Be Pretty Amazing

Kaylon Tran Author Interview

Time Intertwined follows a mother and daughter separated during the Vietnam War who have reunited decades later thanks to a DNA test. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

In 2019, my family had our DNA tested and we unexpectedly found a relative–his story turned out to be pretty amazing and I thought it should be written down. My relative didn’t have any interest in writing it, but gave me permission to write a novel that used elements of what happened to him.

Why did you choose this place and time for the setting of the story?

The relative we found unexpectedly learned he was part Vietnamese. He found us because my ex-husband is Vietnamese. The two are first cousins and both were born during the war in Vietnam. Thus, much of my novel is set during the war, but intertwined with events occurring in the present.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Initially, the plan was to focus on the civilians and how the war impacted them. I just wanted to tell a simple story of a child who had been adopted after Operation Babylift as well as the story of the woman who lost her. I wanted the history to be accurate as much as possible and did quite a bit of online research. However, as I read more and began to write the story of a lost child, I realized I had an opportunity to showcase some of the positive, non-military acts of many of the Western soldiers (eg, providing food and medical assistance to the orphanages). Too many negative stories have been written about our soldiers and I wasn’t going to contribute to that. Lastly, I couldn’t write a book about the war and not weave in the story of Agent Orange. Agent Orange was an herbicide used extensively in South Vietnam to destroy enemy food crops and the dense jungle which gave them cover for ambushes. It was supposed to be harmless to humans, but it wasn’t. The effects of this chemical combination can still be seen today.

Can you tell us a little about where the story goes in book two and when the novel will be available?

The original plan was to write one book, not a trilogy. But after the first book was published, I felt I hadn’t said enough about Agent Orange–so that is when the tirlogy was born.  Lives Intertwined (Book 2) was published late in 2021 while Darkness and Light Intertwined (Book 3) was published late in 2022. Although both books keep the underlying theme of the long-term effects of Agent Orange, it is a bit more prominent in Lives Intertwined. The second book also takes a completely differnet look at the war compared to the first. In it, we follow two soldiers, one American and one Vietnamese, through the war. They become friends and conduct many missions together. Interwoven with their story is a modern day who-done-it murder mystery. There’s also a love story. 

Book 3 tells the story of an orphan who grew up in Vietnam during the war and the struggles she faced just trying to survive. One of my favorite aspects of the third book is how it tells the same love story as in book 2, but from the woman’s perspective instead of her soldier/lover. Like book 1, books 2 and 3 are genealogical mysteries that reveal how our DNA connects us to our genetic family. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

War doesn’t end just because the fighting stops.

Anh was only ten when American Green Berets first set foot in Vietnam. Within two years, she would be orphaned and sickened by the deadly herbicide known as Agent Orange. After nearly two decades of war, Anh and her newborn daughter were desperate to escape. But in the chaos and confusion of the fall of Saigon, mother and child were separated. Would she ever see her baby again?

Anh’s daughter Mikayla grew up in the U.S. with no memory of her mother. When a DNA test unexpectedly reveals that she was adopted, Mikayla is left angry and confused—and she is determined to discover her true identity.

As Anh struggles to rebuild her life, Mikayla uncovers long-kept secrets that threaten to rip her family apart. Can either woman find happiness again?

Just as Anh and Mikayla begin to adjust to the changes forced upon them, the toxic legacy of Agent Orange begins to be revealed. The war may be over, but another battle rages on. Is it possible to defeat an invisible enemy capable of harming generations yet to come?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 22, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


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