Monday, March 15, 2010
Interview with Silver Phoenix Author: Cindy Pon
Recently, Cindy Pon agreed to answer a few questions about her debut novel, SILVER PHOENIX, which was released in 2009 and her thoughts on writing, books, and things that have influenced her. If you haven't had a chance to read SILVER PHOENIX, please move it to the top of your "to be read" pile. It is a wonderfully rich, fantasy tale set in an amazing setting with incredibly complex characters. The sequel to SILVER PHOENIX will be released in the fall of 2010.
How did the idea for SILVER PHOENIX come to you?
Fantasy was always my first genre love, and at the time I started writing SILVER PHOENIX, I was a new student to Chinese brush painting. It helped me become more interested in the cultures and traditions of my ancestry, and I thought, why not combine my two loves? Silver Phoenix was the result!
The setting for SILVER PHOENIX seemed so real and rich/vibrant – was there a place or a time period that inspired your setting?
No. SILVER PHOENIX is a fantasy inspired by ancient China, but Xia is not actually China. I wish I had visited China, but I hadn't, so I had to do all my research online or viewing fantastically gorgeous books featuring Chinese scenery as well as watching Wu Xia films.
Your characters had wonderful depth and complexity to them. I loved Ai Ling’s inner strength and Chen Yong and Li Rong balanced each other wonderful. Were they based on anyone you know?
Both Ai Ling and Li Rong share some of my own characteristics. Ai Ling is stubborn and loves to eat. Li Rong has my sense of humor. =)
Chen Yong is a mystery to me. He is not based on anyone i know!
What three words would best describe SILVER PHOENIX?
rich, fantastic, epic
Is there anything you can reveal to us about the sequel to SILVER PHOENIX?
The sequel is two stories, a prequel and a sequel which I've dubbed a "pre-sequel". It'll follow the stories of Zhong Ye and Silver Phoenix, as well as, Chen Yong and Ai Ling. It's a much more personal journey than the first, which was fantastic and perhaps a bit more removed.
Do you have any routines or rituals for when you write?
I usually like to be near food and drink. =) If there is the low hum of a cafe, that's great! Sometimes I listen to classical music--never any songs with words. I like to sing along too much.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
You are allowed to write utter poo!
When you begin querying for an agent, query widely and be thick skinned.
Always remain professional and positive.
Can you remember the book that got you hooked on reading?
I really loved DANCING SHOES and BALLET SHOES by Noel Streatfield.
Who can you credit with your love of words?
Iris Murdoch, Emily Dickinson, and Ursula Le Guin.
If there was a book about you, what would it be called?
Who Said Life Was Fair?
What is the one book you wished you had written?
ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell
If you were stranded on a deserted island, which fictional character would you want to be stranded with and why?
Chen Yong, because he's hot. =)
If you were to have lunch with one of your characters who would it be and why?
Zhong Ye, because he's hot too. haha!
What would be one fact about you that would surprise people?
I'm not a HUGE fan of chocolate!
Find Out More About Cindy Pon at:
Website : http://cindypon.com
Thanks Cindy for taking time out of a busy scheduling and answering some questions. We certainly look forward to the next installment from the Kingdom of Xia.