GC: I loved reading your Chinese Fantasy/Adventure, set in a land of
elusive gods and mysterious evils, what first inspired you to write Ai
Lings story? What do you think influenced the plot and your writing?
CP: I wrote Silver Phoenix because fantasy was always my first genre love
and I had just
begun to study Chinese brush painting. I decided to meld these two
loves and interests
and write a Chinese inspired fantasy. It was the first novel I wrote
so I had no idea what
I was doing. I tend to be a pretty intuitive writer, even into my third novel.
GC: Did you always plan to base the story in a fantasy world that was
influenced by Chinese culture, or did the Kingdom of Xia evolve as you
CP: Yes, it was always my intention to have Silver Phoenix be inspired by
the Chinese culture!
I knew very little at the beginning other than that, and that it would
be a heroine's journey,
and it would be about unrequited love.
nothing about Chinese names, their structure, if meaning is important,
ect. Think you can enlighten me?
CP: I'm no expert myself. But the surname or family name comes first. And
the name is usually composed of one or
two characters. Ai Ling's full name would be Wen Ai Ling and Chen Yong
is Li Chen Yong. Usually, names do
carry meaning, or you can be named after someone like a relative with
an exact character in your name or one
that sounds the same.
GC: Did you feel any major differences in yourself sitting down to write
the sequel, than you did when you began Ai Ling's story in Silver
CP: Yes. Writing Fury of the Phoneix was very different than Silver
Phoenix. I had all the time in the world
with Silver Phoenix. Fury was tough as it was on deadline and I gave
my editor such a rough draft. That
was scary. But in the end, after at least three major revisions, I
think that Fury is the stronger novel. I'm
very proud of it.
GC: Do you have any peculiar writing habits?
Silver Phoenix at Starbucks and Fury at my local boba shop that has great
GC: What is next for you as an author?
CP: I'm working on another unsold Xia fantasy. it's in the baby baby stage
so I won't
say much more than that.
GC: Cindy, thank you so much for coming on the blog. I can't wait to see
where Silver Phoenix and Ai Ling's story will go next!
CP: Thanks so much for having me Gabrielle! I hope you all enjoy Fury even
more than Silver Phoenix. =)
Want More Cindy?
Silver Phoenix : Beyond the Kingdom of Xia
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, April 28 '09
Fury of the Phoenix
Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, March 29, '11