Monday, May 4, 2009

Interview with Cindy Pon + Bookmark GIVEAWAY!

Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia which was released April 28, 2009. The sequel and a picture book with her Chinese brush art will follow.


Is there a story behind the title of your novel?

originally, my title for my novel was SPIRIT BOUND. but i think
it was too vague and wasn't as evocative. my editor and i had
many brain storming sessions to come up with a better title.
and SILVER PHOENIX was one of the last that i offered.
i really like it, and i think it's fitting.

Why did you pick young adults to write for as opposed to other age groups?

it sort of picked me! my first genre love will always be fantasy.
and when i wrote SILVER PHOENIX, i wrote it as a straight adult
fantasy. it wasn't until i began querying that i got some comments,
isn't this YA? i wasn't opposed to my book being young adult at all.
my crit group friend, amber, had told me all along, but i wasn't familiar
with the genre that it is today.

so when i began querying YA agents and no one said, this isn't YA--
i found my novel a new home. in retrospect, the themes of finding
yourself, first love--they are all intrinsic to many young adult books.

What is the best book you've ever read and what was it that made it so great?

wow. that's a hard question. i can't tell you what is the BEST
book i've ever read--but two of my favorite books of all time
are island of the blue dolphins by scott o'dell and a little princess
by frances h burnett. both feature young heroine's who presevere
despite the difficulties they face in life. with dignity and a quiet
determintion. writing this, i think that they have definitely influenced
my own heroine in some ways.

How long did it take you to write Silver Phoenix?

to write the rough draft, maybe 4 or 5 months. to revise
it, one year.

If your novel was made into a movie, who would play the characters?

ooh. very tough one. and a game all authors love to play.
since mine would require asian-american actors, i'm a bit
more limited. but i always thought that golden sparrow from the
forbidden kingdom reminded me a lot of my own heroine!

If you could have any other career besides being an author, what would you choose?

food critic!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

i love to travel--tho that's limited now that we have two little ones.
i love to eat! i'm not an adventurous eater, per se, but i love trying
new restaurants and new foods from diff cultures. i love to read,
of course. and i also enjoy chinese brush painting.

Is there anything else you want your readers to know about you?

i'm basically a big old goof and stubborn to boot. =)
i'm very cynical but also quite optimistic. if that's possible.
you can nearly always find me online. i don't carry a cell phone
but i'd die if i didn't have my wifi connection. i use a macbook pro--
it's one of the first things i bought with my advance, and i LOVE it.

Any advice for aspiring writers and/or the YA blogging community?

to keep writing and believe and chase the dream.
for what are we without our dreams? it's a tough tough
business to get into, takes loads of determination and
a thick skin--but it's worth it.


Now for the giveaway part!
Some commenters will be lucky winners of a lotus bookmark! The more people that comment, the more bookmarks will be given away.
So what are you waiting for? Get commenting! And don't forget to spread the word!


  1. Great interview! I only know of A Little Princess when I read the Princess Diaries series.

  2. Such a great interview! Thank you!

    I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins too. That's definitely on my list of all-time loves.

  3. liyana--you're never too old to read a little princess! and i need to read princess diaries!!

    i heart monster, yay for IOTBD! =D

  4. I love A Little Princess!! I own two copies of, lol, it's one of my favourite books. :)

  5. I collect bookmarks!!! so pretty, and great interview..

  6. Count me in :-)
    KawaiiNeko2008 at aol dot com

  7. Loved Island of the Blue Dolphins! Bookmarks are wonderful, especially from Cindy! :D

  8. everyone who commented please email me your addy and i'll send you freebies! =D

  9. I didn't know Cindy could paint like that! That's awesome. It's neat how she sort of stumbled into YA. Thank for the interview Katie!