This week in The Loft: Asian-Australian Author Birdie Song!

Joining me today in The Loft is author Birdie Song. An Asian-Australian writer from Perth, Western Australia on Whadjuk-Noongar country, Birdie pens sweet contemporary romance featuring hopeful characters and optimistic endings. She believes love is more important than labels, integrity is a person’s most attractive quality, and that no one should be judged for putting pineapple on a pizza. When not writing, she tends to a veggie garden and reads a variety of books, hoping to one day understand the meaning of life.

Avatar for Birdie Song

S:  Welcome to The Loft, Birdie! I’m so happy you could stop by.

Do you believe in love at first sight? 

B:  Yes! I’ve experienced the Instant Love trope first hand, and know other long-term couples whose romances began with love at first sight. Sometimes, this makes me feel like I’ve been let in on a little secret, especially when I hear naysayers call it unrealistic. It’s important to know that this is just one way a relationship can begin, and nothing’s guaranteed. Every relationship, regardless of how it starts, takes commitment from everyone involved to make it work.

S:  Every love story is different, from beginning to end. I’ve experienced love at first sight as well as other trope-like beginnings, but how we met never predicted the outcome. 

Critics say romance novels mislead readers about the reality of romance and in fact, give readers false expectations. Do you agree?

B:  That doesn’t make sense to me. Like, it doesn’t seem like a rational or logical claim. Consider that there’s no one-size-fits-all template for how relationships should be, at least not in my experience. So it’s hard to point to something and say, this is a universal reality for everyone. That said, I do think romance fiction can help a reader set standards for what they’re willing to accept in a relationship. It’s not wrong to want a supportive partner who shows up and makes an effort for you. What would it say about the state of human society if we’re fine with calling something like this a false expectation?

S:  Do you think romance books have become “too spicy?”

B:  No, not at all! I think it’s far too easy to pick up something too spicy for what you were in the mood for, but that’s more a problem of inadequate book labelling or poorly thought-out marketing. In that vein, I really appreciate it when books come with clear labeling of contents, whether they’re spicy or not.

S:  You are definitely right about the labeling. I get pretty disgusted when I think I’m getting a tame romantic suspense story and instead, get a big dose of erotica with little suspense. 

How do you get in the mood for writing?

B:  For a long time, I tried to approach writing with discipline and time management, but ended up burnt out and hating myself and my work, and not getting that much writing done in the process. These days, I use a system that prioritizes deliberate self-care and self-maintenance. It’s still a work in progress, because I’m learning to fight some unhealthy workaholic habits. But when my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies are all topped up, I’m much happier and healthier, and the words just seem to flow.

S:  I am like you. I don’t do well with strict schedules. I need to write when inspired. I can’t force it.

Do you write in other genres?

B:  One day, I’d love to try writing mysteries or urban fantasy, but for now, I’ve got my heart set on finishing the sweet contemporary romances in the Somerville Downs and Somerville Stories collections.

S:  What inspired “The Guy from the Park?”

B:  You often hear that first impressions last, but I don’t think that’s true. I wanted to explore how two strangers might develop a mutual attraction when their first impressions are less than stellar. This short novelette kicks off with a meet ugly, then follows up with the two main characters getting to know each other through brief encounters. It’s more about fleeting glimpses than forced proximity, and what exchanges can compel people to overcome their prejudices and differences.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about “The Guy from the Park?”

B:  Like the rest of the Somerville books, “The Guy from the Park” is set in my beautiful home city of Perth or, rather, in a lovely unnamed municipality inspired by where I grew up. We’re lucky to be surrounded by nature here, even in urban environments. I worry every day about climate change taking this away from us, and wanted to preserve a little of it in this book.

Here’s the blurb–

Summer days and new beginnings.

Off the back of a bad breakup, Sabrina Chen is getting her act together. But reinventing yourself isn’t easy at twenty-four, especially when you don’t know who you are.

For starters, does she want to be the kind of person who fancies that grumpy random guy from the park? Daniel Ryce certainly doesn’t seem like vision board material, but since when does life go according to plan?

The Guy from the Park is a short and sweet “meet ugly” story, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

S:  That sounds like a delightful story. Where can readers buy your book?

B:  It’s available at–

S:  Birdie, thanks for joining me today. If you’d like to learn more about Birdie and her books, please visit–