My mother grew up in a village in Hong Kong’s New Territories where her family had lived for generations. My grandparents on my father’s side left their home in Fujian, China, before my father was born in the 1950s, emigrating to Sarawak, Malaysia. Twenty-something years later, they met in London, England. My father was studying to be an accountant, and my mother was working in her parents’ takeaway. Their subsequent movements around the world lead them to live and work variously in the Middle East, China, and Thailand.
Amidst all this, I grew up alongside my brother. As I approached the end of my teens, I decided to pursue what seemed best and safest for building a career – I went to Imperial College London to study engineering. During those years, to preserve my other passions, I read a lot, and wrote for the student newspaper. After graduating, I clung to the idea of being a technocrat, working for a government body on flood defences in the fens of Cambridgeshire, and along the River Thames in London, but I maintained a hobby of drafting stories, and writing articles for political blogs.
My partner’s job took me away from engineering. In 2014, I joined him in California, where he had started work as a scientist. Since then, I have had more time to write and do art.
In 2015, I joined Wattpad, and in early 2016, I finished my first project for the site, The Saddest Girl Since The Song Dynasty. In April that year, it was featured, and in November, it won a Watty, a top prize in the largest writing competition in the world. A completed draft of the novel, Drinking Wind, Eating Earth, which The Saddest Girl Since The Song Dynasty is the first part of, was finished in March 2017.