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INTERVIEW – ‘Love in Taipei’ Executive Producer and Author Abigail Hing Wen

Love in Taipei Interview min

It took author Abigail Hing Wen over 10 years to get her book, Loveboat, Taipei, published. Based on her own personal experience about a cultural immersion program in Taiwan, Wen went through 26 drafts before finally getting her book done. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of success for the former attorney and federal judicial clerk, publishing a sequel book, with a third on the way, and having her first adapted into a film; all within three years.

Wen served as an executive producer on Love in Taipei, the film adaptation of her first book. She had the opportunity to travel back to Taiwan, where they filmed on location, and serve as a vital resource for the filmmakers and cast members.

I had the opportunity to speak with Wen about her journey. She talked about how passionate she was about telling this story, and the difficult process that followed in order to get her book published, including getting rejected by numerous agents. Wen left a highly successful law practice where she had to give up financial stability and prestige in order to pursue her dreams, and it took her over a decade to realize that dream. “I feel like we have to make the best choice with the decisions that are in front of us, and go from there,” Wen said about her journey.

Reminiscing about her own experience as a teen traveling to Taiwan as part of the cultural exchange program that the story is based on, Wen shared that she thinks back fondly about that time. “I loved meeting so many Asian Americans who were excited about their culture and I think that’s what stood out to me the most and that’s what I tried to capture with the book and the film,” Wen said. “Like, ‘Wow! Asians are cool!’ and I had no idea because I was growing up in Ohio and I just didn’t have exposure to that.”

Wen was involved with adapting her book into a film from the beginning to the end, which isn’t typical for most authors. She explained that she had the chance to comment on the first rounds of scripts, as well as being on set to provide support during filming, and even providing input during editing. “I had an unusual amount of involvement as an author, and after my experience, I actually say, especially in light of the current strikes, that authors should always be involved in the making of their films, because I saved so much money for the production. It’s so easy for me to see what needs to happen or how do we course correct or how can we add that extra character beat that’s missing from that scene,” Wen said.

Watch our full conversation below. Love in Taipei is available now on Paramount+.

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist. To support the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, donate to the Entertainment Community Fund.

POC Culture Interview with Author and Executive Producer of Love in Taipei, Abigail Hing Wen

LOVE IN TAIPEI follows a young woman’s cultural immersion program in Taiwan, which turns out to be a liberating free-for-all known as “Loveboat” where unexpected romance leads her to question her future. Based on the best-selling book “Loveboat, Taipei” by Abigail Hing Wen. The film, shot on location in Taipei, stars Ashley Liao (Physical, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes),  Ross Butler (Shazam! Fury of the Gods, To All The Boys Franchise), Nico Hiraga (Booksmart, Moxie), Chelsea Zhang (Daybreak, Titans) and Cindy Cheung (The Sinner, 13 Reasons Why).

LOVE IN TAIPEI is directed by Arvin Chen (Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?), with a screenplay by Charlie Oh and Mackenzie Dohr, and produced by Matt Kaplan for Ace Entertainment (To All The Boys Franchise). The film is executive produced by Abigail Hing Wen, Christopher Foss, Matthew Janzen, Max Siemers, Aubrey Bendix, Cheng-Chung Chang, and Ross Butler.


Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture.  He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.

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