I am excited to be back with my second author spotlight for The Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour. Today I am spotlighting Cindy Pon. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see my interview with Cindy.
And also check out my other author spotlight on E. Katherine Kottaras for OTBF.
The Ontario Teen Book Fest is on Saturday March 25th from 9 am to 5 pm at Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761. The Fest is UNTICKETED and is completely FREE. For more information visit The Ontario Teen Book Fest website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/
The event is sponsored by Once Upon A Time. They will have books available for purchase at the event. There will also be t-shirts and posters available for purchase as well. Visit their website: http://www.shoponceuponatime.com/
Be sure to check out the rest of the Ontario Teen Book Fest Blog Tour:
Blog Tour Schedule
- You have co-founded Diversity In YA and are part of the We Need Diverse Books advisory board? How did you get involved and why do you believe it is important to we have more diversity in YA books?I didn’t realize until AFTER I had written Silver Phoenix that it was the story I wish I could have read as a voracious teen reader. For as much as I read as a kid and young adult, I had never ever seen a character who looked like myself in any of the books I read. Books are meant to broaden worlds, make you see and feel and experience through another character’s eyes. I saw no reason, given how diverse our country is, for the lack of representation in the books that are published. Malinda Lo and I started Diversity in YA to promote awareness of inclusive books and authors from marginalized backgrounds. WNDB really came at a time when the dialogue was going strong, and they have created so many great programs like internship grants and The Walter award to help effect change in publishing.
- Your book Serpentine was inspired by Chinese mythology. How did you get into Chinese mythology and what about it inspired you to write Serpentine?It really started with my debut Silver Phoenix. I had just started to take classes in Chinese brush painting, and wanted to try and write my first novel. Fantasy was my favorite genre, and I realized I had never read a fantasy that wasn’t based in the west. Why shouldn’t there be a Chinese inspired fantasy? As for Serpentine, my focus in that was more personal and interpersonal relationships, with a strong focus on sister friendship.
- What was it about Young Adult that made you want to write in that genre?I actually fell into young adult quite by accident. I thought my debut Silver Phoenix was adult. But since then, I’ve come to realize that I love to focus on coming of age as well as sexual awakenings in my stories, which are upper YA, and exactly when much of both happens!
- When you’re first starting a book what comes first: character or plot?I wish I could answer this. It’s like a salad and can happen all at once, messy and mixed.
- What were some of your favorite authors growing up?Noel Streatfeild was one for certain and also Madeleine L’Engle.
- What are you working on now?Just wrapped up the final page proofs and edits for my first near-future thriller set in Taipei titled WANT. It’s out with Simon Pulse in June!