Writing what she knows: LA resident secures major deal for debut novel

Photo Courtesy of Kathy Wang
Those who know Kathy Wang only through a glossy photo on a book jacket won’t glimpse baby Vivienne and toddler Daniel, who co-sponsored her novel through naps and, in the case of the baby, not arriving too early as Wang wrote and queried agents at high speed.

Here’s a love story to the harried naptimes and uncertain bedtimes of early parenthood: Los Altos resident Kathy Wang managed to use those moments over the past year to write a novel, pick up an agent and snag a significant deal with William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers.

Anyone who remembers the chaos of early parenthood could be forgiven some gently envious chagrin at Wang’s story of determination and a son who’s an amazing napper. But the business behind her success is almost as interesting – she learned the publishers’ market using skills built as a Harvard MBA and product manager.

Afficient Academy puts twist on tutoring for local students

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Afficient Academy teacher Janet Larwood works with Lucas Wang, 7, in the Los Altos location that opened in December.

The idea for Jiayuan Fang’s learning center business, Afficient Academy, was born when the electrical engineer realized that his children’s progress wasn’t effectively being measured at their after-school tutoring program.

“(When) they gave you the next week’s worksheets, they do not know how well you did in the previous week,” Fang said of a nationally known after-school program. “The feedback is very slow. So when they figure out how you do, they give you additional worksheets to repeat it several weeks later.”

Are individual bonds better than mutual funds when rates rise?

With the U.S. Federal Reserve poised to start raising interest rates more aggressively this year, many people – including some investment advisers – have expressed concerns about investing in fixed-income mutual funds.

For those unfamiliar with bonds, the dilemma is that when rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa. The fear is that bond funds, which hold numerous bonds, risk losing value whenever the Fed increases rates.

Writing a love letter to clinch the house deal

It’s Valentine’s Day, so don’t forget to write a love note to your spouse, your children, your significant other – and the owner of the house you’ve fallen in love with.

Playing hard to get isn’t going to work in the current housing market. Potential buyers are pulling out all the creative stops to make an impression and win over the hearts of sellers, and I’m here to tell you that it works.

Morseys Farmhouse Kitchen brings water buffalo to Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow / Los Altos Town Crier
Yulia Morsey, standing, talks with customers at her and husband Kal’s water buffalo-inspired eatery, Morsey’s Farmhouse Kitchen in downtown Los Altos.

Kal Morsey’s taste buds never forgot the water buffalo milk he was raised on in Egypt. So when he drank the sweet and savory milk while on a business trip to Pakistan, he knew what he had to do.

“There (was) a breeder in Texas that had water buffalo and I went to see the breeder and I tried the milk,” the Los Altos Hills resident said. “It took me back. I (thought), ‘I will do this, whatever it takes. I have to bring this to the United States.’”

Saving money in the new year

As the adage goes, it is never too early or too late to save.

While the Bay Area may seem to be the cradle of riches and instant millionaires and billionaires, the country in general has a savings problem. Recent statistics indicate that 50 percent of the baby-boomer population has saved less than $100,000 for retirement, and 37 percent less than $50,000.

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos