Podcast Episode 88: Jesse Q. Sutanto (Author of Dial A for Aunties)

Jesse Q Sutanto


In Episode 88, Jesse Q. Sutanto (author of Dial A for Aunties) shares her family background, how she integrated it into her novel, and her family’s reaction to the book.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link), through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!).


  • Jesse’s inspiration for Dial A for Aunties.
  • How Jesse managed to keep such an over-the-top plot out of eye-roll territory.
  • What a typical Indonesian-Chinese wedding is like (and some things Jesse did at her own wedding).
  • Why she included a letter to the reader explaining her personal background at the beginning of the book.
  • Her family’s reaction to the book (given it’s partially inspired by them).
  • If any of the real people characters in the book are based on have realized they’re “in the book.”
  • How Jesse has 4 new books coming out next year (including a sequel to Dial A for Aunties).
  • If Gillian Flynn has retired from writing books and how she feels about the term “domestic thriller.”

Jesse’s Book Recommendations [24:12]

Two OLD Books She Loves

Two NEW Books She Loves

One Book She DIDN’T LOVE

One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About

Last 5 Star Book(s) Jesse Read [44:35]

Other Books Mentioned

About Jesse

Jesse Q SutantoWebsite | Instagram

Jesse grew up going back and forth between Jakarta and Singapore and consider both places my homes. She was fortunate enough to do my Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford, which is surely one of the most gorgeous places in the world.

She’s passionate about women’s rights and diversity in publishing. She regularly does giveaways where she critiques queries or the first few pages, and she’s especially interested in helping writers from marginalized communities. 

Next Episode

In 2 weeks, Elizabeth Barnhill, book buyer for Fabled Bookshop in Waco, TX is joining me (airing July 21).

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Jesse Q Sutanto


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