Carma Chan


Creative. That's the word that comes to mind when people who know Carma are asked to describe her in one word.

Carma is the name given to her by her mother and she has had an unusual life that shapes a broad perspective and fresh take on the experience of being human.

She adopted her Chinese stepdad's family name to honor his legacy, and is currently working on a book about how he came to America, his childhood as a war orphan, and the joy he brought into her life.

Her education in the ancient art of storytelling came from advanced screenwriting classes at UCLA, and she hired Professor Richard Walter to work with her as a consultant on her first screenplay. Here is what he wrote about her in a letter of recommendation:

To Whom It May Concern:

I've known Carma for five years, first as my student in an off-campus screenwriting seminar, and then in my UCLA Summer Session course in advanced screenwriting. She started working on her remarkable SAARDU quite some years ago, and surely would have finished it sooner if she had not put the care and nurturing of a special-needs child ahead of her ambitions as a writer.

Carma demonstrates politeness and humility, and an exceptional dedication and passion for mastering her art and craft. I found her first draft of SAARDU to be original, fresh, and highly marketable. I gave her notes on the script; she accepted constructive analysis with an open heart and mind.

Working with Carma is a joy. She strives always to do her best, yet with a lightheartedness that is contagious. She is gracious and patient and honorable in every way. She has a deep love for storytelling. With her vivid imagination and love for life, she is capable of writing anything she puts her mind and heart to. She has written several screenplays, all of them worthy. SAARDU is, however, in my view the most special among her stories.

SAARDU represents one piece of a vast new myth. It involved challenging choices regarding structure and other screenwriting issues. Through perseverance and diligence she solved all of them. This script is no small achievement. It is worthy of consideration at the highest levels of the industry.

It has been an honor and enchantment to have come to know Carma and to have been able to support her in the creation of SAARDU.

SAARDU is a story of relationships and identity. These are very same themes that lie at the heart of worthwhile dramatic narratives going all the way back to the ancient Greek masters.

SAARDU is another world, in another time, but it is also a reflection of us, here and now. Ruby, the unlikely hero, is endearing and I found myself cheering for her at the turn of every page. Carma has created several strong characters to challenge and guide Ruby.

I promise you'll agree that Carma is a writer worth reading.


Prof. Richard Walter
UCLA Screenwriting Chairman
October 2009

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Los Angeles, but grew up mostly in Utah. That had a profound effect on my writing because I was a minority in that crowd even though I was white. My mother had a Chinese last name and my last name was different than hers. The majority of kids in school were white and their parents were married in the Mormon Temple. I was part of a non-traditional family, not by my choice, but because my father abandoned his wife for another woman and left her with six children to feed, and she had not finished high school. So when she married a Chinese chef in 1966, it became obvious to everyone that my parents were divorced and there was a lot of stigma surrounding that. So, I've always felt like a misfit, and it's given me tremendous empathy and respect for underdogs.
When did you first start writing?
At age 12. It began with a love of poetry, especially freestyle poems like those written by Cummings. When I was 14 and in typing class, instead of typing what was in the textbook, I wrote a short story about sexual curiosity. My teacher found out I was typing something creative and told my English teacher, and she begged me to let her read it. I was pretty introverted--I had written 103 poems in 2 years, and had only let one person read my innermost thoughts. Eventually I gave in, because she seemed safe, and she became the second teacher who told me I should never stop writing. For many years it felt like a curse. Since meeting Professor Richard Walter at UCLA, I've grown to love this gift and feel honored to be part of the ancient art of storytelling!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Carma Chan online

Where to buy in print


Polydimensional Honeymooners
By Carma Chan
Series: Higher Natures, Book 5. You set the price! Words: 40,290. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2011. Category: Fiction
Follow Ruby and Dylan as they embark on a romantic getaway for young lovers who are capable of "polydimensional" consciousness. Rated PG13 by the author. The newlyweds meet a Master Muse famous for creating eternal works of art and he attempts to give the young bride a destiny worthy of her adventurous spirit.
Cerebus Film: An Epic Journey
By Carma Chan
Price: Free! Words: 2,580. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2011. Category: Nonfiction
Lucas and Dreamworks contacted the creator of this legendary graphic novel series, Dave Sim, to inquire about purchasing the movie rights, but Sim would not sell the creative rights to his work. Instead, he gave his blessing to a fresh, loyal, unknown face to write, produce, and direct the first movie. This personal Mount Everest story will inspire you.
Ruby Becomes a Soul Mate
By Carma Chan
Series: Higher Natures, Book 4. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 35,150. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2011. Category: Fiction
Everybody is looking for a soul mate, while true love is the art of becoming one. Higher Natures #15, Ruby Becomes a Soul Mate, is the story of Ruby’s wedding day.
Deja vu: What Happens on Earth
By Carma Chan
Series: Higher Natures, Book 3. Price: Free! Words: 27,220. Language: English. Published: March 1, 2011. Category: Fiction
Higher Natures #14 - Gramma Carmels is trapped in her remote cabin by an ice storm. Her grandson Yancy is on his way to a prestigious academy when a scientific experiment isolates him from his grandmother and cuts off communication from his uncle, the commander of a distant space station. The two resort to desperate measures to rescue her and the connection between Earth and Saardu is revealed.
10 Most Annoying Things People Say to NICU Parents
By Carma Chan
Price: $1.29 USD. Words: 1,930. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
(4.00 from 1 review)
On May 4th, 1992, Carma finally got to take her baby home after 73 days on an emotional roller coaster in a place that felt like science fiction. Surrounded by a sea of babies, most of them weighing under 2 pounds (1 kilogram), kept alive through surgeries, daily being needled, tubed, taped and treated in ways no parent wants their baby to experience.
Cerebus ~ Under the Aardvarkian Spell
By Carma Chan
You set the price! Words: 1,070. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2010. Category: Nonfiction
The victorious muse that spawned an entire industry of self-published comic books now blazes a trail for independent comic book movies.
New Game, New Rule (Favorite Fallen Angel)
By Carma Chan
Series: Higher Natures, Book 2. Price: Free! Words: 26,320. Language: English. Published: August 1, 2010. Category: Fiction
Ruby discovers the supernatural consequences of bending the rules and going back on her word when Rascal dives into the role of villain with a vengeance! Rascal was supposed to be It next hero, but now she is learning to have a little sympathy for the devils of the 5th dimension.
The Ills of Saardu (25th Anniversary Special Ebook Edition)
By Carma Chan
You set the price! Words: 65,560. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2010. Category: Fiction
For curious readers, the author has made available the original rough draft novel about Saardu, Copyright 1985, first published in 2010 by Smashwords.A young girl runs away from the crazy, fearful people who control life in an exciting alien landscape full of intelligent, friendly animals. Saardu is dying and only the animals understand the symbiotic relationship that keeps it alive.
Saardu: A Little Black Girl Shall Lead Them
By Carma Chan
Series: Higher Natures, Book 1. You set the price! Words: 48,760. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2009. Category: Fiction
Ruby is designed to be the sole ambassador representing Ancient Egypt in a future spaceship society run by superstitious genetic engineers who put her parents down for being incurable daydreamers. She escapes on Saardu with the help of the legendary 100-year-old Iroquois woman, who believes she has a special calling. Her adventures as a young heroine are unlike any in previous earthly literature.

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Carma Chan's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Carma Chan

  • Captain Zap meets the disenchanted robot. on Nov. 13, 2011
    star star star star star
    Existentialism and minimalistic genius. I love the contrast of profound angst conveyed with meager illustration. This is a gutsy move by an artist who grew up in the punk/grunge/metal era. I see why so many famous comic book artists have applauded this indie comic.