The first book in the deal, Rich People Problems, is the final installment in Kwan’s Crazy Rich trilogy, and Kwan promises it will continue in the tradition of the earlier books, with all the luxury and drama our hearts desire. Rich People Problems is tentatively scheduled for publication in summer 2017. The second book is a new, stand-alone novel, and we can’t wait to see what new characters and scenarios Kwan will create.
Below, the author teases the plot of Rich People Problems and gives us an update on the highly-anticipated Crazy Rich Asians movie.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about the plot of Rich People Problems? Did you have this book mapped out when you started Crazy Rich Asians, too, or did the idea come later?
KEVIN KWAN: I always knew the story of Crazy Rich Asians would unfold as a trilogy, and in many ways this final book was actually the first story that I had mapped out. Rich People Problems continues the story of Nick, Rachel, and Astrid. It’s 2015 now, and all three of them are being confronted with profound changes that will affect the rest of their lives. Not to give away too much, but there will also be a whole new crowd of characters, unbelievably fabulous locations, and heart-stopping drama. Things come full circle, and the long-buried secrets of these privileged families may just come back to haunt them.
As the series has moved along, the wealth has gotten even more over-the-top — how are you going to keep the momentum going? Are we going to meet people who are even richer than we’ve seen?
Absolutely! You will encounter places, cultures, and fortunes that are even more secretive and ancient, so you’ll be meeting characters that are even richer and more over-the-top! I think fans who follow my travels on Instagram may already have a clue about what I’m talking about.
What are you most excited for readers to see in this final book?
I’m so excited to introduce readers to the new characters and for them to get a deeper sense of these families and how they are all interconnected. Rich People Problems will definitely be the most Downton Abbey-esque of the books — you’ll see more of the inner workings and intrigues of Tyersall Park and experience a scale of imperial opulence that barely exists anymore.
Are you going to miss these characters or are you ready to let them go?
I’m definitely going to miss them — they’ve been part of my life for so many years now, but I’m ready to explore new characters and completely new territories.
Can you tell us anything about the second book in this new deal (the stand-alone novel)?
I hope it’s really going to surprise everyone. It will retain some of the DNA from the Crazy Rich series, of course, but I’m excited to try something totally different in voice and style, and it’s going to delve into a whole other (fascinating, exquisite, snobby) world.
What’s the most ridiculously lavish real-life purchase you’ve ever heard about?
Well there was the Hong Kong tycoon who set two world records for jewelry purchases when he bought a pink diamond for $30 million one day and the very next day bought a rare blue diamond for $48.8 million—all for his seven-year-old daughter! I feel sorry for the guy that might eventually have to buy her an engagement ring!
How is the Crazy Rich Asians movie coming along? Given the recent conversations about needing more diversity in film, it feels like this movie can’t happen soon enough!
The screenplay is finished, and I’m overjoyed by how they adapted the book. It was making me laugh so much I almost spat out my tea several times. So, things are moving along beautifully. There definitely needs to be far more diversity in film and TV, and my readers from all over the world — not just Asians — have been clamoring for me to help make this happen.