Monday, November 15, 2010

Jeannie Lin Brings Ancient China to Life

When I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in all its beautiful, fantastical glory, I fell in love with tales of ancient China and the types of films that I would later find out are part of the wuxia genre. I've seen several of these films now, and my favorite is House of Flying Daggers. So when I heard about Jeannie Lin's book, Butterfly Swords, more than a year ago when she won the Golden Heart, I started a mental countdown to when I could read this debut novel. I recently finished it and really enjoyed the characters and the look into a fascinating time in China's history.

I'm thrilled to have Jeannie here in the Lair today.

Your debut novel,
Butterfly Swords, is set in Tang Dynasty China. In a romance fiction market full of historicals set in England, Scotland and the United States, how difficult was it to get this story published?

Of course I have a bit of tunnel vision because it's hard to compare my experience to others--
But I don't really think Butterfly Swords was much harder to sell than a historical debut set in England or Scotland. I think it's all a hard sell right now. For me, I couldn't sell any other story. This was the one I had my heart behind.

Did you write any other books, as yet unpublished, before Butterfly Swords? If so, were they set in China too or some other locale?

I had one other manuscript completed before Butterfly Swords and then one after it. They were all set in the same Tang Dynasty setting. Butterfly Swords is technically Book #2 in a three-book series.

Butterfly Swords won the Golden Heart award in 2009. How did you react and what did you think when it was announced as the winner?

When they were announcing the category, my hubby was holding my hand. Did I expect to win? I don't know. I was really, really hoping and when my name was announced, I kissed my husband and then went on auto-pilot. I had practiced my speech every morning that week in my bathroom and cried every single time. I think I held it together pretty well on stage considering!

Accuracy of setting is so important to making novels three-dimensional and real. You've traveled in Asia -- have you been to the areas you mention in Butterfly Swords?

I haven't. I really want to take a Silk Road tour since they tend to start in Xian (formerly Changan) and go out west to Gansu and the Jade Gate fortress. Instead I spend a lot of time on Google Earth and travel sites.

What was the easiest and hardest parts of writing this book?

Can I say that none of it felt easy? The hardest part of writing the book was not knowing what would work or not. I did so much second guessing and working. I'd overwork something and then have to go back and relax the prose. My gosh, I'm breaking out in hives just remembering. There's so much that you think is important that doesn't turn out to be...and vice versa too.

In Butterfly Swords, your heroine, Ai Li, falls in love with a "barbarian" named Ryam. (I love Ryam, by the way.) You make references to him being from the west but it's never spelled out in black and white. Where is Ryam from? And are there any true stories from history that you came across in your research that inspired this pairing?

Yeah, that's probably the only part of the book that I consider a true "miss". I'm glad you liked him. Ryam is from an imaginary western kingdom near the Franks. I don't even know if the name of the kingdom made the final cut. *grins* The Franks actually traveled quite far East in the 8th century and had a strong presence in the Middle East. Groups of merchants, most notably the Radhanites, actually traveled all the way from Europe through to the Middle East, India, and China. The Chinese recorded visits from Roman emissaries and merchants from the Han Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty, though there's debate as to how far West these visitors actually came from.

Ryam and Ai Li's pairing is entirely fictional. I wanted to put two warriors together from different cultures. However, the pairing in the yet unreleased first manuscript was inspired by the story of Atilla the Hun and the Roman princess Honoria. I wondered what would happen if the situation happened in reverse. What if the barbarians came from the West and the princess who needed help was from the Chinese empire?

As a reader, are there other historical settings you'd like to see represented in the romance market? Are there other historical settings you'd like to use as settings in your own books, or will you stick with China for now?

I can't even say what I'd like to see. I do like the ancient and medieval world. I love reading about Greece and Egypt and Rome. Overall, I like stories that have a global feel. That's one of the reasons I've always loved Marjorie Liu's Dirk and Steel series. It's inspiring to find stories that connect the corners of the world together in unexpected ways.

Ai Li is skilled at using butterfly swords. Have you ever trained with them?

I am not quite as skilled. I've only taken two workshops on butterfly swords. I did take Wing Chun Kung Fu for two years before that, and the butterfly sword techniques are extensions of the hand-to-hand techniques.

I've seen where you've said you're a fan of wuxia films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonHouse of Flying Daggers. I love these types of films as well. They are filled with action and are visually stunning. Can you explain a bit about what wuxia is and what drew you to it?
(FYI, the photo is of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung in Hero.)

Wuxia is the Asian genre of chivalric literature, analogous to knights' tales in the West. The central concepts involve the xia (hero) code, martial arts traditions, and also a special society or world based around these rules. I grew up watching these movies that came out of Hong Kong, translated into Vietnamese. My parents knew these stories. My grandparents knew these stories. If I could identify one genre that unified all three generations, it was wuxia and Jin Yong.

When the cousins used to run around and play in Grandmother's yard, half the time we pretended we were wuxia heroes. We also pretended we were vampire killers the other half, I kid you not. Yeah, I should have gone with the vampire hunting games instead of the wuxia if I wanted to feed myself off of writing. *grins*

What are some of your favorite wuxia films?

Heaven Sword & Dragon Sabre, Legend of the Condor Heroes, Adventures of Chor Lau Heung. More recently, Hero with Jet Li.

If Butterfly Swords were to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play Ai Li and Ryam?

I did a post on this a little while back. I like Ewan Macgregor for Ryam and Crystal Liu for Ai Li.

I really like several Asian actors -- Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Daniel Dae Kim, Will Yun Lee. Do you have favorites?

I do! I'm a big fan of Tony Leung who just gets better and better. Of course Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Daniel Dae Kim has such a nice jawline. I think the model on the cover of The Taming of Mei Lin looks like a dead ringer. :)

He is rather nice looking. :) I'm reading The Taming of Mei Lin (on Nov. 2, when I'm preparing this post, which is Ai Li's grandmother's love story with Ai Li's grandfather, back when they were both young.

What's up next for you? Do you have any other release dates? What are you working on?

The sequel for Butterfly Swords, and a linked Undone short story is waiting in the wings. No release dates yet. I'm finishing a short story revolving around the imperial exam student culture in the capital and then after that, I have my kung-fu demon fighting epic to finish.

Do you have questions for our readers?

A lot of what goes into my stories now are the games I used to play. What sort of make-believe did you play when younger? Did any of it translate into what you do now, writing or otherwise?

Jeannie is giving away a copy of Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix, a wonderful young adult novel that is set in ancient China as well and is filled with adventure, fantasy and love, to someone who makes a comment today.


Fedora said...

Hi, Jeannie! I've been hearing SUCH good things about Butterfly Swords--it's on my TBB! I'm excited to learn about your stories--I've always wanted more romances set in Ancient China! There's such a world to explore right there!

Book Chatter Cath said...

I was always the princess running away from/escaping from/hiding from (you get the gist)the evil witch/wizard/dragon/queen (again a running theme)and hoping for a prince or awesome warrior to save me!!!!!
lots of luck with your books they sound great...

Fedora said...

Thanks for your terrific interview, Jeannie and Trish! Jeannie, you mentioned that Butterfly Swords is actually book 2 (or what you'd written as book 2)--do you think we readers may eventually get to read book 1 as well?

I'll have to check out your list of wuxia movies, too--I've seen Hero and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; they were beautifully done. Thank you for showing us readers some of the beauty of China!

Donna MacMeans said...

Welcome to the lair Jeannie and thank you so much for the fab interview, Trish. You both mentioned butterfly swords - but I have no idea what exactly they are - can you explain?

Games as children...we played Greek Dodge in the alley behind my house, swinging statues and hide & seek on the front lawns, and lots of board games & school (as the youngest, I was always the student. I think the others just enjoyed assigning me homework). Can't say that those found a place in my stories. However, I think the fairy tales that I read - and watched on Rocky & Bullwinkel (grin) have.

You did fabulously with your acceptance speech, Jeannie. And if I recall - didn't they flash your cover as part of the 2010 ceremony? I'm so pleased that the publishers reached out to historical settings other than England & Scotland. Thank you for breaking down barriers.

Helen said...

Fedora he really does love being at your place have fun with him

Jeannie I too have heard lots of fantastic things about this book and I love the sound of the setting Whoo Hoo I always love travelling through authors thank you so much I must get this book.

I must have had a very poor imagination when I was a child we used to play shops a lot with pretend money and yes I work with money now LOl although i always dream't of a Knight in shinning armour rescuing me .

Thanks Trish for inviting Jeannie along today

Jeannie huge congrats on The Golden Heart

Have Fun

Deanna said...

Jeannie, you know I'm a fan, so thanks for stopping by. I love you work. It brings back so many wonderful memories of my childhood for me.

My make believe as a child was pretty much the same as yours. I think we grew up on the same shows though I watched them in the original Cantonese.

Sarah said...

Hello Jeannie! I can't wait to dive into Butterfly Sword since I heard so many praises about it. It is so wonderful that historical romance is set somewhere different!

I, too have spent my childhood watching films like this, especially my dad who still can't get enough of it.

Hmmm.. From what I can remember, I spent my childhood with my numerous cousins, we played games like hide and seek at night where we were dived into 2 teams, one being human and the other zombies, from what i can recall, I always had the urge to go pee since hiding in dark corners of houses at night waiting until a zombie appears (i.e cousins) scares the hell out of me.

Also when i was a child, thanks to my dad's movies and his dvds series on medieval china that translate to Vietnamese I imagine myself being one of the beautiful princess who wears kimonos and gorgeous hairs who knew how to kick butt and saving a handsome warrior instead of the other way around. -sigh- It was good times.

Btw Congrats on winning the Golden Heart award! =)

Kim in Baltimore said...

Aloha, Jeannie! I have another Chinese poem for you from Ch’iu Chin (1879-1907):

How many wise men and heroes

Have survived the dust and dirt of the world?

How many beautiful women have been heroines?

There were the noble and famous women generals

Ch’in Liang-yu and Shen Yun-yin.

Through tears stained their dresses

Their hearts were full of blood.

The wild strokes of their swords

Whistled like dragons and sobbed with pain.

The perfume of freedom burns my mind

With grief for my country.

When will we ever be cleansed?

Comrades, I say to you,

Spare no effort, struggle unceasingly,

That at last peace may come to our people.

And jeweled dresses and deformed feet

Will be abandoned.

And one day, all under heaven

Will see beautiful free women,

Blooming like fields of flowers,

And bearing brilliant and noble human beings.

Maureen said...

Hi Jeannie,
Your book sounds fascinating and I am looking forward to reading it. When I was a kid my friends and I were pretty traditional I think since I remember us playing house.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Jeannie!! Nice to see you here. I really enjoyed meeting you and sitting next to you at the NJ conference.

I can't wait to read your book. It's up next on the TBR pile and currently sitting on my desk. Hopefully, I'll start it in the next week or so.

As far as make-believe, I certainly did play it but I don't think it impacted my writing life. I think my reading choices did that.

Jeannie Lin said...

Hi everyone! I didn't think there would be so many visitors this early on a Monday morning.

@flchen1 - Thanks. Everyone was so supportive about Butterfly Swords. I'm overwhelmed. I love exploring ancient China. It continues to surprise me. Book 1 has been contracted by Harlequin...sort of. It all hinges on how Butterfly Swords is received since the first book also features an interracial couple. *fingers crossed*

@Cath - You too? :)

@Donna - Butterfly Swords are twin short swords. They originated in the Shaolin temple (yes, those monks do fight) and are very popular in kung-fu movies. There are some great videos on Youtube. The most instructive one I've found was done by Grandmaster William Cheung.

Thanks so much about the speech. I saw the first couple Ruby Sisters go up with notes and thought...oh, crap, I should have done that. They did show a bunch of GH winners that got published at the 2011 ceremony. The Butterfly Swords cover came out just in time to be squeezed in!

Jeannie Lin said...

@Helen - I just loved hearing about the Golden Rooster! I considered staying up late to try to get him, but didn't know if it was poor form to nab the rooster on your own guest post. I didn't want to break etiquette on my first post.

Oh my gosh, remember those little fake money kits they sold in the toy section? With paper bills and plastic coins? I loved playing with money.

Jeannie Lin said...

@Daz - Hi there! Did you ever fight with plastic swords? We all had plastic swords at one point and would run at each other, yelling and hacking away. When I look at Butterfly Swords, I sometimes can't believe that this books exists. That they actually published it. It's such a childhood dream.

Jeannie Lin said...

@Sarah - You know, the gorgeous hair is important isn't it? LOL. Thanks for the congrats and I loved reading your comment. It brought back so many memories of all the cousins running around.

@Kim - That's such a beautiful, grandiose image. I'm stealing that one too. Thank you for that.

@Maureen - I think I should have tried to play house more often. I'm really bad at keeping my house in shape. My dear hubby has to put up with my den of chaos downstairs.

@Christie - Hi there! It was fun meeting you at the signing. I have your book waiting on my TBR as well. My CP has already read it so once I finish it, we can chitter-chatter.

Jeannie Lin said...

I wanted to say thanks once again to Trish for the fun interview. I also have to give a shout out to Cindy Pon. The copy I'm giving away is the original gorgeous hardcover with Ai Ling (total coincidence about the name) in a fabulous silk dress. They've since changed the cover to look like every other YA paranormal, but I'll never forget how the original cover made me feel when I saw it. It's powerful and triumphant. The story has the same spirit. If you like heroic Asian fantasy, you'll love Silver Phoenix.

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent interview and to Jeannie Lin for sharing here.
I have BUTTERFLY SWORDS on my ToBeRead list.
Has Jeannie read any Clavell books?
Love & Best Wishes to you & yours,

Jeannie Lin said...

Hi RK! I actually haven't read Clavell, though the mini-series Shogun was a huge influence on me. As a child, it was my first memory of seeing Asian actors on mainstrem television.

Anna Sugden said...

Welcome Jeannie - I remember you winning your Golden Heart and being moved by your speech! I think it's wonderful when an author who is passionate about her work is recognised and gets the chance to see it in print.

Your book sounds fascinating - another one to add to the next 'must buy' list. There is something fascinating about those ancient Asian cultures - perhaps it's my own background with a Persian mother *g*.

My hubby is a huge fan of The Water Margin. The Boxed set of DVDs was one of his retirement presents!

Jeannie Lin said...

@Anna - I'm so touched to hear people remember that speech. It's all a blur for me. *blushes* I've been reading the English translation of the Water Margin (aka Outlaws of the Marsh) bit by bit. I love how fantastic the stories are, with the bandits and warriors.

A bit of trivia (cause I love trivia): there's conjecture that the Yakuza tattoo tradition came from the Water Margin where the outlaws have tattoos. Particularly Nine Dragons Shi Jin. Cool huh?

Victoria Dixon said...

Hi, Jeannie. Thanks for the wuxia movie list. I haven't seen most of them and we're always on the look out for more. ;D You know I love Butterfly Swords and Mei Lin.

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, Jeannie! Thanks so much for being here again today. I enjoyed your book and Cindy Pon's. I even bought a couple of pieces of Cindy's Chinese brush art.

When I was a kid, I played a lot of pretend. And this will come as no shock to those who know I'm a big TV fan -- I used to pretend I was interacting with my favorite characters and made up episodes of the shows.

I just saw the preview for the upcoming movie, The Warrior's Way. Can't wait!

Trish Milburn said...

Your GH speech was wonderful, Jeannie. And I hear you about not remembering much about it. That's the way it was for me too. I was just concentrating on not passing out and falling off the stage. :)

Hellie Sinclair said...

I absolutely loved Butterfly Swords! I loved the imagery and description (I swear I wanted to fix rice with ginger and scallions after I read about it in the book), and I loved the love story between Ai Li and Ryam. *sighs* I can't wait to read more of your books.

I played house and school when I was younger; I built forts out of sheets; and I used one of the furniture pieces in the house as a "horse" and would go galloping off after bad guys or cattle. So I guess I was always acting out stories in my head. Now I act them out on paper. :)

Trish Milburn said...

MsHellion, I think those of us who are writers have been "writing" from an early age, even before we knew how to write anything.

jo robertson said...

What an interesting interview. Thanks, Trish, for bringing our guest today, and welcome Jeannie!

I love these stories of ancient cultures so different from western ones.

We always played cowboys and indians as children, but occasionally played war characters. Boy, did we ever kick the Nazis butts!

Tawny said...

Hi Jeannie, welcome to the Lair :-)

Your book sounds fascinating and the cover is OMG gorgeous!!! So stunning.

I played a lot of Barbie falling in love with Ken games when I was little :-) So those obviously translated into my writing (although I don't act out the stories with dolls any longer, much to my daughters' relief)

Cassondra said...

Hi Jeannie, Hi Trish!
What a wonderful interview, and Jeanne, welcome to the lair.

I thought Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was absolutely beautiful. Heartbreaking, but so stunningly filmed. These books sound wonderful. I had a vague notion of wuxia before this blog, but didn't understand it nearly so well.

Jeannie, I'm sure you're right about it being easier to feed yourself with a genre that's hot at the moment, but thank you for taking the road less traveled, and most often it's innovators who end up taking the world by storm, so I predict that will be your result, and that history will remember you for doing something awesome and different, and opening the door to more authors doing unusual settings and periods.

Interesting that you sold the second book first, but apparently were able to go back and (I assume) do the grandmother's story as a prequel. Did you have to do a lot of reworking to make that work?

Jeannie Lin said...

@Trish - Cindy's work is so elegant, isn't it? She does the artwork for the chapter headings in her books too.

I agree that many writers have been creativing, i.e. playing make-believe long before we were writing. I wonder if kids still use that term? Make-believe.

@MsHellion - I'm glad you enjoyed the book! That always makes me feel warm inside to hear. Your games sounded fascinating. I remember a lot of running around and "fort building" -- I mean how else are you going to survive while lost in the woods with vampires attacking you? I wonder what sort of games kids play today with less space to run around.

catslady said...

I too have been hearing great things about Butterfly Swords. I think the last book that I read about China was Tai Pan and that was many years ago but I really enjoy stories set in different and to me exotic countries. I love learning about new places.

Jeannie Lin said...

@Victoria - I'm glad you liked Mei Lin and Butterfly. :) I don't know if Mandarin translations exist for all those movies, but I'm sure some of them have been translated. They were filmed for Hong Kong so they're in Cantonese.

@Jo - Thank you for ridding the world of the Nazi menace. :)

@Tawny - The cover *sigh*. I was very lucky. The art department pulled out all the stops. The only complaint I've heard about it is that Ai Li isn't holding two swords. I think it's still a win.

And about the Barbies, I know of a couple authors who do use them for blocking purposes...I'll leave it there.

Nancy said...

Jeannie, welcome and congratulations on your debut! I'm ready for some different settings in historicals.

I'm always interested in sword-related matters, so I'll be checking out those YouTube videos.

Trish, a fun interview!

Fedora, congrats on the bird.

Jeannie Lin said...

@Cassondra - One of my inspirations was to try to take the beauty of movies like "Crouching Tiger" and LET THE HERO AND HEROINE LIVE HAPPY FOR ONCE!!!

Not only did Crouching Tiger stab you in the heart once (Chow Yun-Fat), it stabbed you again just to make sure you were dead. Now wouldn't the arc have been wonderfully complete if the first tragedy of the older couple teaches the younger couple to find happiness? I thought so...sorry, small rant there. :)

The "trilogy" is sort of all jumbled now. Book #1 is Adrian and Miya (for anyone who's read Butterfly) Book #2 is Butterfly Swords. The prequel, Taming of Mei Lin, was a short story that takes place about 40 years earlier with Ai Li's grandmother.

The short story just fell into place. While I was eagerly waiting on revisions, the editorial director at Mills and Boon suggested I might write a story for Undone. She suggested Adrian & Miya's story which in no way could be condensed to 10K. But I had another story in mind--one that supplemented Butterfly Swords perfectly. I hope that people who read the short and the novel find that each story is enhanced by reading the other, though they both stand alone.

I was happy that Mills and Boon was eager to take the chance at more stories set in China before seeing whether they would sell or not.

Jeannie Lin said...

@catslady - Tai Pan, another Clavell. I really should read his books!

@Nancy - Swords seem like the perfect symbol of chivalry, romance, and danger to me. I'm always partial to books with swords.

Here's the youtube if anyone's interested:

Barbara E. said...

I think I was the typical little girl, using my dolls to play mommy and so forth. I can't remember playing much else, I was too busy reading about writer's make-believe.

traveler said...

Hi, Jeannie. Congratulations on your release. WOnderful post today. Games of travel to other realms and being grownups.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Jeannie! (From another Jeanne!) Great to have you with us today. Welcome to the Lair!

This books sounds tremendous. I love the premise.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Fedora! Congrats on grabbing the Chook!

Nancy said...

Jeannie wrote: Swords seem like the perfect symbol of chivalry, romance, and danger . . .

Couldn't have said it better! My son is big into all forms of Asian history and culture. It's too bad I'm unlikely to get him to read a romance.

Joan said...

Hi Jeannie!

Welcome to the lair!

I can't wait to read your book. As an author of non-traditional time setting (Rome)I whooped and clapped good and loud when you won the GH!!!! I love that your publisher recognized the romance in such an interesting time period.

Deanna said...

Jeannie, before we got so advanced as to have plastic swords (which we eventually did) we used to make our own wooden swords from bits and pieces of wood we've scavenge and those things hurt like the dickens when you get whacked by the evil villain on your knuckles. :-)

Cassondra said...

Jeannie said:

Not only did Crouching Tiger stab you in the heart once (Chow Yun-Fat), it stabbed you again just to make sure you were dead. Now wouldn't the arc have been wonderfully complete if the first tragedy of the older couple teaches the younger couple to find happiness? I thought so...sorry, small rant there. :)

Oh, I'm with you on the rant. It's been a few years since I saw it, and every now and then I think of it and I STILL get melancholy about it. Just a, what's the point of even considering love'll never actually work out.

My husband loves Samurai stories--anything from that time period--and so I've seen several of those. And like those Japanese stories, I tend to think of the Chinese warrior stories as always ending sadly. That may not be so--I'm not that versed in the genre--but it's wonderful to have somebody writing about warriors and the rich world of martial arts (My husband is a gifted martial artist)and give us HAPPY ENDINGS!!! Not sure what the cultural reasons are for always ending on a melancholy note--maybe the whole honor of dying a hero in glory thing-- but THANK YOU for going your own direction with these.

Can't wait to read your stories!

Louisa Cornell said...

Hello, Jeannie, my Ruby Sister! I loved Butterfly Swords !! Can't wait to read the next one!

(Congrats AGAIN, Fedora, on nabbing our own little golden god - don't tell him I said that. His head is big enough as it is!)

I grew up with brothers so I played a lot of storming the castle, rounding up the rustlers and kung fu fighting.

We were lucky enough to be able to ride horses in our imaginary games for the three years we lived in England and I must admit it added a dimension to our play that has carried over into my Regency writing. When I look back on it now it is a wonder we didn't break out necks, but it was perhaps the happiest time of our lives and we had a ball!

Cassondra said...

Louisa said:
When I look back on it now it is a wonder we didn't break out necks, but it was perhaps the happiest time of our lives and we had a ball!

Louisa, I dread the day when children are actually safe. When that day comes, it will mean they'll do nothing from birth until adulthood but sit in a soft chair in front of video games. That's safe, after all. And it's the only thing that IS safe, far as I can tell.

And we'll have a really screwed up world at that point, but hey...they'll be safe!

Some of the best times in my life were doing things that would cause the "experts" to faint dead in their tracks.

Those days made you who you are, and we're so glad you had that time on those horses, and that your neck did NOT get broken. :0)

Louisa Cornell said...

Thank you, Cassondra! You're a doll!

And I have to agree with you. We had a great discussion on the imagination over on WordWenches and we talked about the video games doing the imagining for the kids. Soon they won't be able to imagine because that sense of wonder will be sucked out of them.

We thought nothing of re enacting The Charge of the Light Brigade at top speed. If our mothers had seen us THEY would have fainted dead in their tracks.

When my brothers and I talk about it now in the presence of my niece and two nephews they are AMAZED that we did those crazy things, but they are also envious and best of all, curious enough to ask "What was it like?" Curiosity is the beginning of imagination. And imagination is the beginning of EVERYTHING!

Trish Milburn said...

One train ride later, I'm back online. Jeannie, I have to say that the killing off of either the hero or heroine or both is the only beef I have with my favorite wuxia films. I love how you've put the positive twist on them. BTW, I finished reading The Taming of Mei Lin on the trip up to NYC last week.

Llehn said...

Am looking forward to reading Butterfly Swords. Cindy Pon is awesome :D


Jeannie Lin said...

Oh, came back from my (early) birthday dinner to so many posts! Sorry I can't answer them all as I need to get ready for my own trip, but I must give a bit thanks to all the words of support.(Just missed you in NYC Trish!)

@Joan - I love ancient settings. I think there's a real surge in them lately, especially Egypt. Have you noticed any?

@Daz - I recall some plastic sword injuries that weren't so pretty either...

@Louisa - I'm so jealous about the horses! As you know, I always need to consult people about the use of horses in my books because I'm hopeless with them. You had some awesome games growing up from the sound of it.

@Cassondra - Nope, you're right about the tragedy in Chinese and Japanese stories. I think it was meant to show us that individual lives are inconsequential and nothing is permanent. I don't know, but it's nice to finish a movie and actually feel good about it once in a while.

@Trish - You've given me an idea...advertising for books in trains! With everyone touting Kindles, don't you think it might work? I hope "Taming" provided a pleasant diversion.

@Llehn - thanks for stopping by. Cindy IS pretty awesome.

Trish Milburn said...

Jeannie, thanks for hanging with us today. And I'll see you this Saturday.