Richard C Lin


About The Author

After thirty years as a corporate executive, Richard Lin recently retired when Covid-19 decisively taught him that there is much more to life than grappling with Zoom at 2 am. He now focuses on writing, philanthropy, and his family of one glamorous wife, three lively kids, and nine boisterous hamsters.

Richard is currently querying agents for his coming-of-age, second-gen immigrant romcom, ARIZONA AWAKENING, the first in a series of four centered on themes of interracial relationships, immigrant intergenerational conflict, and cultural identity. Richard is also crafting SUNSHINE RAIN, an anthology of short stories regarding the Chinese young adult orphans that he and his wife, Cindy, have come to love and support. Lastly, he is working on HEARTS AND WINGS, a reimagining of the classic Chinese fairy tale love story, BUTTERFLY LOVERS, with parallel narratives that intersect in the present.

Richard’s stories have appeared or are slated to appear in Sonora Review, The Dillydoun ReviewThe Write LaunchPotato Soup JournalPrometheus Dreaming, The Adelaide Literary Magazine, and other print and online literary journals. While he lived in Taipei, he wrote business and tech news columns along with Sunday morning lifestyle feature articles for The China Post, Taiwan’s most widely-circulated English-language daily. Richard has also starred in and directed community musical theater productions, including The Jungle Book, Smokey Joe’s Café, Pardon My Fish, and His Disciples (for which he wrote the book and lyrics).

Never Tear Us Apart


"Never Tear Us Apart" is a story about how a love-torn teen and his Wai-Gong (maternal grandfather) are banished from the ones they love for starkly different reasons.

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To Where We Came From


"To Where We Came From" details the exploits of a young scamp in 1973 Taipei.

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Dancing in the Dark


"Dancing in the Dark" captures a teen boy's fumbling attempts to catch the eye, stir the mind, and capture the heart of the beautiful new girl in town.

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The Other is Gold


"The Other is Gold" highlights a teenager's "volunteer" work at an elderly care center, where he grows close to three of the residents and learns the value of Chinese filial piety.

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Fade to Grey


"Fade to Grey" focuses on a young adult's reminisces of his parents' early days just the two of them and then with him, and chronicles their struggles as an immigrant family in the tumultuous America of the late 60s and early 70s.

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Game Point


"Game Point" tells the story of a boy trying to win back the young love of his life through an intense, winner-takes-all racquetball match with the girl's handsome new beau.

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Drive/Open Arms


In "Drive," a young teen and his high school buddies spend one last night cruising through the desert in a souped-up Pontiac Firebird with some special guests that tempt his thoughts away from the one he loves. "Open Arms" features a young teen pursuing the girl of his dreams via the waltz.

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In a Big Country


"In a Big Country" documents a tense encounter in Arizona between an urban cowboy and a Native American teen, along with the disparate reactions of his Asian-American and Mexican-American co-workers.

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The Life Imagined


"The Life Imagined" chronicles a high school boy's last night with his passel as they drink the night away to the tune of Thoreau and Jack Daniels."

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Painted Over


"Painted Over" centers on two Asian-American students' auditions to win the leading roles in Brophy's musical production of THE KING AND I. However their attempt to demonstrate to the world the charisma and grace of the Asian male meets with unexpected (or perhaps expected) results...

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NOTE: These are advanced reviews of the UNPUBLISHED manuscript ARIZONA AWAKENING from organizations that provide unbiased, objective editorial reviews for published books AND unpublished manuscripts

Robert Buccellato:San Francisco Book Review

This is a brave book, told candidly...his first-person accounts are so universally relatable that it fills the mind with detailed nostalgic impulses. Everything is presented in an engaging narrative that allows events to slowly unfold and gives the reader room to breathe as his recollections blossom... Lin's culture, dreams, and humor are all outlined with such entertaining openness that it frequently borders on the courageous... Simply put, Arizona Awakening is a brilliant and engaging book, told by a skilled craftsman.

Robert Buccellato

Kirkus Reviews:

An often compelling account of love and family… The tone of these tales will remind readers of Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel High Fidelity… However, the Chinese American author comes at his story from a different context…and he goes on to draw readers into his family life, peppering his memoir with engaging anecdotes from his upbringing and details of Chinese traditions. He also offers firsthand stories of encountering bigotry, which many readers will find relatable, and he shows how racism seeps into many aspects of American life… It’s the quietest moments of his story—as when he tells the story of his immigrant father leaving Taiwan in 1967—that have the greatest depth and feeling of authenticity.

Kirkus Reviews

A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review:

Insightful, often even eye-opening, this skillfully written memoir will stay with you for a long time… Written in a lively and often amusing style, readers will find a lot to enjoy here… In fact, reading this, I was often reminded of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle – and that book won the Booker Prize in 1993! A touching memoir, candidly written, often thought-provoking, and always stimulating.

A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review

K.C. Finn:Readers' Favorites Review

Richard C. Lin has crafted a tender work of non-fiction that showcases the journey of love, with all of the sharp edges that real life brings us along the way... Richard’s culture, his hopes, dreams, and clashes all develop with natural storytelling and raw, honest emotion...that feels personal, but also cinematic and immersive...

K.C. Finn

Maileen Hamto:Portland Book Review

The most memorable memoirs have a healthy mix of nostalgia and humble reflection. Lin’s story has both... and draws from a treasure trove of pop culture references, the music, and movies of the era. Arizona Awakening is engaging because there is a visceral quality to Lin’s writing that is honest and heartfelt.

Maileen Hamto


ARIZONA AWAKENING's ability to move from youthful roots and infatuations to become a sweeping, epic story of change and romance is one of its many strengths and surprises. It is a powerful narrative of a young man's attempt to live up to his potential and his parents' expectations against the backdrop of social prejudice. It's a compelling memoir that will reach beyond young adult audiences to touch those interested in stories of love and transformation.

Diane Donovan

The Prairies Book Review:

Eloquent, adroitly written, and candid personal story of love and this hard-to-put-down memoir, Lin delivers a revealing account of his experiences as an American born to Chinese immigrant parents... the book’s greatest strength is the nuanced, poignant portrayal of Lin’s relationship with Lesley and deeply realized secondary characters. A seamless blend of sharp insights and skillful prose, the book paints an extraordinarily vivid picture of a teenager’s coming-of-age journey. Lovers of literary fiction will find much to admire in this intimate, immersive personal narrative.

The Prairies Book Review

BookView Review:

Richard Lin unfurls an exquisite story of life and love in this gripping memoir…with extraordinary candor and wit…his remarkable storytelling keeps the reader thoroughly invested. A thoughtful personal reflection, this un-put-downable, satisfying story about young love, racism, and social prejudices is easy to fall for.

BookView Review

Jon Michael Miller, Author of MURDER & MAYHEM IN TROPIC GARDEN:Readers' Favorite Reviews

In ARIZONA AWAKENING, Richard C. Lin, an “ABC” (American Born Chinese), shares his high school years in Phoenix in the 1980s in brisk, flawless prose... For me, it was like being transported in a time machine back to the ’80s. ARIZONA AWAKENING is an exuberant and tender look back… As a coming-of-age novel for adults looking back and for teens looking forward, this one can’t be beat.

Jon Michael Miller, Author of MURDER & MAYHEM IN TROPIC GARDEN

Grace Masso:Readers' Favorite Reviews

Arizona Awakening by Richard C. Lin is a compelling memoir…a beautifully narrated story, told in a gripping first-person narrative voice… It is told with humor and a voice that kept me turning the pages.

Grace Masso

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards:

The bittersweet story of first love and battling racism in America. A RED RIBBON WINNER and highly recommended.

The  Wishing Shelf Book Awards

 ARIZONA AWAKENING is a delightful, big-hearted coming of age story set against the backdrop of 1980s America. Grappling with both the pressures of upholding the values of his immigrant family and the intense feelings of adolescence, Richard Lin tells a timeless story of fortitude, inheritance, and learning how to love. Sincere and revealing, Arizona Awakening is an impressive contribution to the literature of American identity."

John KnightFormer Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux

 In ARIZONA AWAKENING, debut author Richard Lin depicts his coming of age in the American southwest of the '80s, deftly recreating that time of life when everything in the world seems alive with possibility and fraught with peril – adolescence. It’s impossible not to care about the characters who populate Richard’s life. Each person is discernibly unique – from Richard’s exacting and often hilarious father, to his various co-workers and friends, to the spirited and charming object of his affections, Lesley – all feel animated with their own concerns and ambitions, a rare quality in the memoir genre, where “supporting” characters often serve only to guide the journey of the protagonist. Richard’s experience of first love, of negotiating the demands and expectations of his immigrant Chinese family with his own emerging identity, and of navigating the hierarchical world of teenage boys, are all rendered skillfully with poignant humor, tenderness, candor, and generosity."

Elizabeth WakefordFormer Senior Editor at Amazon Crossing

 What a gorgeous piece of writing this is. Perceptive, funny, poignant, it really has everything one could want from a memoir. Richard's individual voice shines through but the book also offers a wider perspective on the immigrant experience in America, which I am sure will resonate with readers. It’s a great achievement – a book that kept me amused, entertained and, by the very end, genuinely moved."

Dominic WakefordFormer Senior Commissioning Editor at HarperCollins