A MacDowell Colony and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, Leland Cheuk is the author of three books, most recently, NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN, forthcoming from C&R Press in September 2019. His novel THE MISADVENTURES OF SULLIVER PONG (2015) was also published in translation in China (2018). He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books, lives in Brooklyn, and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute. You can follow him on Twitter @lcheuk and at lelandcheuk.com.
Kristina Marie Darling: How did you come to editing as a career path?
Leland Cheuk: Five years ago, I was a largely unpublished writer who’d just quit my day job to do a residency. Then I was diagnosed with cancer, eventually had a stem cell transplant, and on the day the transplant engrafted, July 13, a small press took my first novel, which had been roundly rejected by New York publishers. Two years later, I was sending my story collection around, and a small press took it on July 13. After a stranger saved my life and strangers working at small presses saved my books, I felt like starting 7.13 Books, which only publishes first books of fiction, was the absolute least I could do. Today, my third book is coming out in September, also on a small press, and 7.13 Books has published nine books. I’ve been extremely lucky on many fronts, and I never want to forget that getting any book published is a minor miracle.