Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Five Questions With ... Ovidia Yu, author of Aunty Lee's Delights: A Singaporean Mystery

I'm so delighted to host author Ovidia Yu today! 

She is the brains behind the delightful novel, "Aunty Lee's Delights: A Singaporean Mystery."  She has graciously taken time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her writing and projects.

So, without further ado - Here's Ovidia!

1.  At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eight or nine years old. I used to write illustrated stories that went on through whole exercise books. But I thought that was a phase everyone went through, like playing with doll houses.

2.  What is one unusual, fun thing you'd like your readers to know about you? Favorite hobbies, favorite song, etc.
I still love playing with doll houses and miniatures. And creating Lego playgrounds for my miniature animals. My two latest are a pair of camels from Tel Aviv. I also have a pair of cats from Paris, three wooden frogs from Borneo and a painted cow from Switzerland and others... I use them to enact plots when I get stuck. Empress, the biggest wooden frog, tends to play Aunty Lee while Jewel and Veronica, the two plastic snakes, take turns playing 'what if I do this' scenarios with her.

3. Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?
Agatha Christie is a long time favorite, from my childhood up. I still go back to her regularly. The latest book I was inspired by was Neil Gaiman's 'The Ocean At The End Of The Lane' it made me feel like charging out and saving the world or at least this dimension and opened up so many thoughts. And I just finished reading Louise Penny's 'How The Light Gets In' and I love it so much! Without giving too much away, this book fixed all the situations I was upset by in the previous books and made me see now why all those things were necessary (yes, I do get attached to characters in a series), even or Especially the duck.

 4. What do you have coming up in the future?
The most exciting thing right now is going to America for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention! And I've passed a draft of the sequel to Aunty Lee to my agent (Priya of Lotus Lane Literary) and that's exciting too, more in a stomach churning, will-she-hate-it way but still exciting. 
5. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into the writing biz?
Write the best you can and collect rejections. I set myself the goal of collecting 50 rejections a year (no response after three months counts as a rejection) but after getting rejected by 4 publishers and 3 agents I had the fantastic good luck to be taken on by Priya and then William Morrow and now I'm so happy, if it's a dream I don't want to wake up!

My thanks to Ovidia for taking time to share her thoughts!  And to Joanne Minutillo at Harper Collins for helping to coordinate this interview!

To see my review of "Aunty Lee's Delights" - click here:  http://www.garden-of-books.com/2013/09/book-review-aunty-lees-delights.html

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