Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teen Interview with Yahong Chi

 Today I'm bringing you an interview with the fabulous Yahong Chi.  Yahong is a teen writer from Canada, and you may have seen her around on Twitter or her blog.    Thanks so much, Yahong, for agreeing to be interviewed! 
Can you tell us about your school? What are the demographics? Are there any noticeable cliques?
Since I go to a Canadian school hosting the International Baccalaureate program (which I’m a part of), Asian students figure in largely; Oriental students are a major portion of those Asians. As for cliques, it’s mostly the IB students vs. the non-IB students, as well as the usual grade differences.

What is it about a book that makes you pick it up when you're browsing the shelves of the library or book store?
A great title and a reasonably well-known publisher. I’ve found that the better books are published by the bigger publishers. It makes sense, right?

What's the best book you've read in the last 6 months?
Most definitely Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. It’s just go read it. I’m not even going to try and explain its awesomeness.

If you could ban one thing from all books, what would it be?
Hmm… I don’t think I’d ban anything in books. Life doesn’t ban anything, and books are representative of life. I want them to stay real.

What would you like to see more of in YA novels?
More action, the kind of adventure that you see more in middle-grade. A lot of YA has to do with discovering yourself, which I get. But sometimes it makes for slow reading, plus it’s not always fun to be inside someone’s head who’s going through a lot. I really like when the story’s been rollicking, and then at the end I realize how the protag’s changed for the better. It’s the best ending for me.

What's your favorite part of a story?
The moment right after the black moment where the protag is on the verge of winning. I love the feeling of finally overcoming the huge obstacle and having a triumph to savour.

Do you feel like characters in YA books are representative of you?
Most of the time. Maybe it’s because I’m not as much of a teenager as others my age, but there are times when I just want to scream at the characters’ decisions.

What's a saying that you use frequently?
Um, I’m totally going to sound lame, but I say “Holy crackerdoodles” a lot. I don’t believe in excessive swearing I stay away from people who drop F-bombs all the time.

What did you eat for lunch today?
What? Today? Um, today happens to be the day I left NYC for my hometown in Canada, so… instant noodles? I promise I’m not usually that unhealthy. Usually.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be able to breathe fire. I think being able to have fire in my hair, in my hands, in my eyes (metaphorically!) would be so wicked. But I’ve also wanted to be able to fly since about forever, too, so I’m not sure… ooh! And I’d love to have the ability to talk to animals! Okay, I think I’m the wrong person to ask this question. I can’t make up my mind at all…

I know you're also a writer, would you like to tell us what kind of things you're working on?
I’m currently in revisions with my contemporary middle-grade FAKING THE AURORA BOREALIS, about crop circles, a family mystery and horses. My current WIP is DREAMING UP MY BROTHER (whose name shortens conveniently to DUMB! I still crack myself up with that one), the first full-length YA novel I’ve attempted it’s a bit frightening. Middle-grade is usually my age group of choice.

Can I say, I love "Holy crackerdoodles".  I'm going to have to use that one some time.  Thanks again, Yahong, for your fabulous answers!


Alicia Gregoire said...

Great interview. I too love "Holy crackerdoodles."

Marquita Hockaday said...

What a cute interview :D That saying is adorable. I like Yahong's answer about breathing fire...how unique is that??? And I also like her very well-educated response to why you chooses books- it's not often that teens (or adults for that matter) will pay attention to publishers when choosing a book. Really good interview!

The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

Holy crackerdoodles, Yahong! Great interview. :D And I'm right with you in screaming at those silly, angsty characters.

Sophia Richardson said...

I like her answer for the 'what would you ban?' question, it's pretty smart. My immediate response is always the passive/whiny characters and Mary Sues, but there are people like that IRL. They just need to be kicked in the pants in a novel.
- Sophia.

Lori M. Lee said...

What a great interview. My favorite so far! And I loved her answer to what she thought should be banned in books. Thanks so much!

Pam Harris said...

Great interviews--and I'm so stealing "Holy crackerdoodles!" :)

Yahong Chi said...

Thank you, Alicia, Pam!
Quita -- I've found the publisher really helps distinguish good books.
Glenna -- high-five, sister!
Sophia -- yes, being kicked in the pants is usually an effective remedy :D
Lori -- it actually took a while to come to that conclusion about banning.

Okay, so apparently "holy crackerdoodles" is not as uncool as I thought?? :P LOL.
Thank you, Holly!

Hannah said...

Holy crackerdoodles! I'm learning new words every week--great interview, Holly and Yahong :)

And also can I just say, this is one of the best answers EVER: "Life doesn’t ban anything, and books are representative of life. I want them to stay real."

Gracie said...

Hey, I go to a Canadian school with IB too... :D Anyway, I loved this interview especially your answer for what you'd like to see more of in YA. I love the kind of "rollicking" that you get in middle grade. They're so fun.

Yahong Chi said...

Hannah -- thank you! *blushes* (Just joking. I don't blush. 0_o)
Gracie -- OMG where do you live!?? (That was not meant to sound stalker-ish.) And rollicking is why MG is my fave age group. :)

blueeyedadri said...

See us Canadians can put some awesome answers together even in the blinding sun and freezing temperatures.

Thanks so much Yahong, some great thoughts. IB? Wow, you are brave!

Anonymous said...

What great answers! I love what Yahong Chi said about life not banning anything, so books shouldn't either. I completely agree.

Yahong Chi said...

Adrienne -- haha, yes, we can string words together.
Kelly -- glad to hear that!

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