Amélie Wen Zhao was inspired by Chinese mythology and history, so she wrote "Song of Silver, Flame Like Night".
What was your inspiration behind your most recent book? What can readers expect from it?
“Song of Silver, Flame Like Night” was inspired by Chinese mythology and history, and is a celebration of the Chinese people’s resilience across turbulent histories as well as our cultural traditions. Readers can expect to enter a world steeped in the legends, folklore, and magic that I grew up with in Beijing, a smart-talking sunshine heroine with a grumpy hero, and a star-crossed romance meant to last across lifetimes.
“Reading Rainbow” is a column that represents all writers, their stories, and their background. Why do you feel diverse representation is so important in books?
We learn from the world around us, especially as children, so it’s important to see ourselves in the media and stories that are treasured within our communities. I grew up in a different corner of the world and strongly believe in accessing stories from all around the world to broaden our perspectives. More than ever, we need authentic voices of different backgrounds telling our stories. What we see in the media in each country tends to sensationalize events from around the world, so having authors telling stories of our lived experiences humanizes us and our people.
What are you the most excited about when it comes to being a part of the Miami Book Fair and coming to Miami?
Talking books and stories and meeting readers near beaches and sun, what’s not to love!
What inspires your writing style and stories? Are there any authors that you look up to?
More and more, I’m experimenting with bringing Chinese storytelling into the English and global publication world — different takes on the myths and legends that inspire our fantasies, and different methods of telling those stories. I always look up to authors who bring new, rich perspectives into publishing, especially those from marginalized backgrounds.
What’s up next for you that you can share?
The sequel to the ”Song of the Last Kingdom” duology is out on January 2, 2024; after that, I’ll be entering my dark Chinese romantasy era. Excited to share more!