1. In what ways do you relate to your main character, Ai Ling?
I enjoy to eat like Ai Ling does. And I'm also stubborn like she is.Another trait that we share is that we are both students of brushpainting--in this way, we see the world very similarly, both drawn tocolors and nature and flowers. She is loyal and loves her friends and family, as do I.
2. Did you have to do any research on ancient China before writing?
Yes. I haven't been lucky enough to visit China yet! So I bought manygiant coffee books featuring gorgeous scenery of China, the ImperialPalace, and books on clothing and architecture. I also read up on veryancient folklore and myths as well as a fantasy sociology book detailing a woman's life and expectations of her centuries ago inChina.
3. I see on your website that you are a talented artist. What exactly is "Chinese brush art"?
Chinese brush painting uses rice paper, which is a very unforgivingmedium because it is so thin. If you make a mistake on your painting,it's unlikely you can fix it, so you would have to start over and tryagain. It is very similar to western watercolor, with the exception ofworking on rice paper. We use calligraphy and other brushes to paintclassical subjects such as peony, plum blossom, bambbo, lotus, etc.You can see my brush art on my website:cindypon.com
4. Your covers are both gorgeous and seem well suited to the books. What was your reaction when you first saw them? Did you have any influence in their design?
As with most authors, I didn't have much influence on the coverdesigns. I loved how well my first original hardcover for SilverPhoenix represented my story. But I also really like the cover forFury of the Phoenix. The Asian details my publisher added to thejacket are gorgeous. And both novels contain chapter decorations byme--calligraphy for Silver Phoenix and small studies of plum blossomsin Fury of the Phoenix.
5. What's next for you writing wise?
I've been working on a dystopian short story set in Taipei which Ihope will be published. And I have an idea for another YA Xia fantasywith a shapeshifter as the heroine!
Thanks so much for having me, Kelsey!
Thank you, Cindy, for answering my questions! Be sure to stop by soon for my review of Silver Phoenix! In the mean time, be sure to visit Cindy's website for more great info on her, her books, and her fantastic brush art!
Also, the trailer for Fury of the Phoenix is fantastic! Check it out below:
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