Kevin Kwan, best-selling author of the “Crazy Rich Asians” series, will be back in the country for a book tour beginning Aug. 18.
Kwan released in May “Rich People Problems,” the third and final installment to his humorous, satirical novel about Asia’s über-rich.
“Crazy Rich Asians,” which has been translated into several languages, has been adapted into a highly anticipated full-length feature film. Two Filipinos have been cast: Filipino-American comic Nico Santos (of NBC’s “Superstore”) as the character Oliver T’sien, and Kris Aquino in a cameo role.
The author, a Singapore-born New Yorker, is an executive producer of the upcoming film based on his debut novel.
“I was extremely involved in the casting process,” he said in a recent interview with Lifestyle. “I can’t begin to tell you how surreal and amazing it is to help cast a film based on characters you’ve created. I feel so lucky to have been part of that—it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever been part of! I also worked with the producers on selecting the writers who would adapt my book into a screenplay, and was there to help them if they needed.”
Kwan last visited the Philippines in 2015, also for a book tour, where he made many friends who are referenced in his third book. He also enjoyed some R&R in Palawan, the setting of a subplot in the latest novel.
“When I began writing the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ series, it was always my intention for the books to be a showcase of Asia—to feature many countries and cultures throughout the region.
“I’ve always been fascinated by Filipino society, ever since my first visit in 1997, and I had such a fantastic time during my trip in 2015. I became friends with so many wonderful people, and being in Palawan was so inspiring that I knew I had found that special place that I needed for an essential plotline in ‘Rich People Problems.’”
Of his 2015 book tour here, he said, it “was one of the first times I truly realized how many people were actually reading my books. In the United States these days, bookstores so rarely organize book signings and it’s so rare to actually get a chance to meet one’s readers. But coming to the Philippines, seeing how passionate the readers were—how they would stand in line for hours to attend my events and how some would bring me gifts or create drawings of my characters—it really moved me.”