Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Notes from the Hong Kong International Literary Festival

My spoils from events with X-Men writer Marjorie Liu, expat novelist Brittani Sonnenberg, and Unexploded writer Alison MacLeod.

For the first ten days in November, authors from all over the world descended on Hong Kong for the annual International Literary Festival. People like Junot Diaz, Alison MacLeod, and Tash Aw entertained and inspired with talk of their work at venues all over the city. The Hong Kong International Literary Festival has always been important to me. It's where I met my first writers' group and my first author-hero (Peter Hessler). This year, I got to be a festival author too.

My event was a panel featuring Hong Kong-based writers. In addition to myself, we got to hear from Marshall Moore (publisher of Signal 8 Press) and Maria Chaudhuri. Jason Y. Ng sadly couldn't make it due to a flight delay, but the event was well-attended and lots of fun. Each author read aloud from their new books and then we had a fascinating discussion with the audience on my three favorite topics: writing, publishing, and Hong Kong.

Best of all, we launched my long-awaited memoir Year of Fire Dragons. The book arrived from the printer just in time for the event. I saw it for the first time myself the night before!

As a festival author, I also got to do a brief radio interview on RTHK and speak about being a writer at a local secondary school. (It made me miss my old students a lot.) The festival was a great success and I'm so glad I got to participate.

Now, Year of Fire Dragons is making its way into Hong Kong book stores. If you spot it, please tweet a picture to @ShannonYoungHK! If you're overseas, you can pre-order from Amazon or order directly from the publisher, Blacksmith Books. The e-book will be out soon!

Just before going on RTHK with Noreen Mir.

Did you attend any HKILF events? Which one was your favorite?

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