28 April 2009

Phoenix Rising

So I've been e-meeting a few fellow young adult authors via The Debs and other webby things recently. It's been a really great experience because even in my limited time interacting with other authors, I've learned so much about their experiences and processes. I don't know how I've gone through so much time without really meeting other writers but it's something I definitely crave and am thrilled about.

What I'm equally thrilled about is getting the heads up on authors who write awesome books. For example, meet Cindy Pon and her debut novel, "Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia." Fantasy tales set in China are ripe for the telling and I've always wondered why there weren't more around. There's so much unexplored magic and history to China that it shocks me publishers haven't jumped into that world yet in a big way. Well, Cindy's book is now poised to become a trailblazer and a new classic in that field and I'm so excited about it. It's got a strong heroine, beautiful writing, descriptions of sumptuous food, and an eye-catching cover. And it comes out today!

Here's the synopsis and book trailer (which is just epic in tone and style):

"No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved -- despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family -- to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying -- a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard...she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.

It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help...and perhaps more."
As it turns out, Cindy is actually from San Diego by way of Taiwan, just like me! There's actually a whole bunch of Asian American authors out there -- and a lot in young adult fiction actually -- but I don't really know any except by reputation or online stalking. It's always great to meet someone who has something in common with you and in this case, it's like doubly great because Cindy is also a writer hailing from San Diego. And I haven't even ever actually met her because we just became e-friends recently. But you catch her at one of her events near you. Say hello for me please.

Silver Phoenix is available online or in local bookstores so definitely support Cindy and her book. There's also a sequel to Silver Phoenix and a picture book featuring her Chinese brush art paintings in the works. Cindy's been great at getting the word out about her debut and wonderful reviews (including blurbs from Meg Cabot and Alyson Noel!) and contests for an autographed copy of Silver Phoenix as well as an original framed brush painting are running now.

She's like just a little multi-talented, don't you think?