Today I have the pleasure of having Cindy Pon, author of Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix, stopping by the blog to answer a few questions as part of her blog tour. So without further adieu, here is what she had to say.
How much did your background influence the story you chose to write in Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix?
I've always been a reader and fantasy is my first genre love. I also happen to be a student of Chinese brush painting for ten years now. And when I decided to write my first novel, I wanted to combine these two loves, fantasy and China--so I wrote Silver Phoenix, a fantasy inspired by ancient China. I always say that my stories are Asian-American influenced, because that is my experience and point of view.
How was the writing process for Fury of the Phoenix different from the one for Silver Phoenix?
Writing Fury of the Phoenix was honestly the hardest thing I've ever done. I had all the time in the world to write Silver Phoenix, and took a year to revise it at least six times. I didn't have that leisure with the contracted sequel. It was an entirely different process. The draft of Fury I sent to my editor was very rough. I barely knew how I wanted to tell the story yet. My editor worked with me and we did three major revisions to bring Fury to the level it needed to be for the reading public. She is a genius. And I'm very proud of Fury of the Phoenix.
Are any of the characters in your books based on yourself or other people you know?
The only person I draw traits from is myself. Ai Ling is like me in that she enjoys to eat (there is a lot of food in my novels--I think it's essential to fantasy world building!) and she is also a student of brush art. In this way, I could describe how she views the world very similarly to how I view it. I'm drawn to color and nature and flowers, just as she is.
I've written creatively since around age twelve. Like so many readers, I began writing because I loved reading so much. As for inspiration, it comes from all over, from a visual scene, from a sentence or sometimes even a word, from a dream or an emotion.
How would you describe your books in one sentence to encourage people to read them?
A classical heroine's journey inspired by ancient china filled with food, adventure, immortals, demons and cute boys. =)
Thank you Cindy for stopping by and be sure to check out the rest of the tour on The Teen Book Scene's website. You can also find out more about Cindy and her books on cindypon.com. Below you can also check out the book trailer for Silver Phoenix. And be sure to come back on Wednesday to see my review of Silver Phoenix!