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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Blogger: Mingmei Yip

Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's a multi-talented individual. Among her accomplishments: she's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and is an illustrator, calligrapher, song writer, playwright, and qin musician, as well a children's book author. 
She immigrated to the United States in 1992 and now lives in New York City.

Q: Tell us how you came to write and illustrate children's books.

Many years ago, when I was in a book store with a friend, she asked if I’d be interested in doing a  children’s book. During that era I was teaching Chinese music at a University in Hong Kong. I’d never thought of doing this but over time I found myself liking the idea. I’d been writing and painting since I was fourteen, so doing a children’s book seemed like it would come naturally to me, even though my writing up until that point had been academic books and novels.
Finally, ten years later, I had my opportunity. Charles Tuttle, one of the best known publishers of English language books about Asia asked me to do Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories. This became quite popular and so they asked me to do another book, which became Grandma Panda’s China Storybook, just now published.  

Q: Who is the audience for your books? And tell us a little about how you reach out to your audience.
For my Chinese storybooks,  the main audience is children, from as young as three up to about twelve. The little ones are read to by their parents and the older ones read by themselves to learn about Chinese culture.
Because I am also a novelist, many adults who have enjoyed my novels bought my children’s books for their children. Then some parents who knew my children’s books, read my novels and became fans. So some families read both my chidren’s and adult books. My two most recent adult novels are Skeleton Women and Silk Road.
I also do storytelling events at schools and museums. My story, “Fish Jumping Over the Dragon Gate” in Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories, has been made into a children’s play and performed twice in New York City.

You can visit my blog here or find me on Facebook.


  1. Thanks for sharing part of your journey, Mingmei. Sometimes we underestimate the crossover appeal of authors whose fans enjoy one book and seek out other books by that author, no matter the genre or audience. It sounds like you're building a strong fan base because they love your writing no matter what age group you're writing for!


    1. Thanks Kitty for the interview and Dawn for your kind comment! I do have many adult readers who bought my children's books for their children and vice versa. This makes me feel wonderful as a writer. Happy reading!

      Today NY is still hot, so the electric bill will not be kind...


  2. This very nice you share the interview of Mingmei Yip with us. I like her painting and stories. Everyone have some hobby but only someone make their hobby into career.

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