I’m back home again! I’ve just returned from a month-long visit to China, where I was invited to be part of the 2018 International Writing Program in Beijing. It was truly an amazing experience. This was my 3rd time to China (the previous two visits happened when I worked at Intel), but my first time as a tourist as well. I attended with authors from many other counties (Italy, Greece, Croatia, Peru, Colombia) and we were hosted by the LuXun Academy of Literature.
Because of some school vacations, I brought my family with me during the first two weeks of the trip and we got to see some amazing sights. We visited the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, ate scorpions at Wangfujing alley, and saw some amazing sights.
This picture is from Summer Palace – known as the “stone boat”. I had researched it while writing Silent Shield (book 5 of Kingfountain). This is the boat that crossed to the palace where Trynne went to rescue Evie. It was so amazing to be at the place that I had written about!
During my stay, I did some appearances with my Chinese publisher (six of my books were translated into Mandarin this year). I went to one of the top bookstores in Shanghai and interviewed with many Chinese publications. At the bookstore event, I got to meet the “Stephen King” of China, Cai Jun–he’s sold over 15 million books over there. Quite impressive. We had a dialogue between us and then asked questions by the audience. The bookstore, as you’ll see in the pictures below, was amazing.
This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I learned so much about Chinese culture and got to meet some of my Chinese fans. Even better, I got to see the sights with my family and expose them to the Beijing subway system, chopsticks, and some amazing food. We will never forget this experience.
While we were there, I was inspired by much of the scenery and locations for the next project I want to write. Now that I’ve finished writing the final book of Harbinger (Broken Veil), I’m ready to sink my teeth into something new. I’m going to weave into my story some fun things I learned about while visiting China as well as other story ideas I’ve been stewing on this last year.
It’s great to be back but I wouldn’t have traded this experience. I made some new friends, checked off some bucket list items, and now I’m ready to get back to work and write some books.