Saturday, April 16, 2011
I recently had the privilege to read an advance copy of Song of The Silk Road by Mingmei Yip, which is a wonderful book, full of adventure & romance along the famous Silk Road. (Catch my review next Saturday, April 23rd) Mingmei Yip is the author of two other wonderful books that also bring the flavor of the orient wafting through your reading room, Peach Blossom Pavillion and Petals From the Sky.
Today I'd like to welcome Mingmei Yip to Chick with Books, as she shares a little bit of herself with us...
Where do you do most of your writing?
At home. I can’t write at cafes, since most have loud music which is a distraction for me. However if they play classical music, then I stop writing and listen.
Can you tell us something about yourself that not a lot of your readers don’t know?
Besides my hectic writing schedule, that I still manage to take time to perform the Chinese zither (guqin) professionally – last year I was invited by Carnegie Hall to play at its Chinese Music Festival -- and teach calligraphy workshops.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
After I labor through getting down the first draft, as I polish up my writing, I begin to enjoy my characters and their trials and struggles as they work towards a happy ending. In my writing, I meet people like the Chinese herbalist and blind fortune teller in Song of the Silk Road, whom I might never meet in real life.
What is your daily routine as a writer?
I don’t have a chance to write every day, but when I do, I write eight or nine hours non-stop, then I eat Chinese take-out and fall asleep.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to bring to back to life the strong women of an earlier era in China when almost the only choices for women were being a wife (actually, one of several wives sharing the same husband), a Buddhist nun -- or a prostitute. Despite this some women overcame the barriers to become independent and creative artists. Some mingji, prestigious prostitutes, also called geishas, left behind poems and paintings providing windows into fascinating but often tragic lives. I decided to give these talented, powerful women -- silent for centuries -- a voice. The result is my first novel Peach Blossom Pavilion, which I’m happy to say, is now in its fifth printing.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I work on each until it is as good as I know how to make it. Then I move on to the next one.
Thank you Mingmei for stopping by Chick with Books! It was nice to chat with you and learn a little more about you as an author and artist. Readers can learn more about the author at Mingmei Yip's website. And don't forget, Song of the Silk Road is available at your local bookstore right now! Plus, you can read my review next week! (**Hint... I really loved it!)