Friday, April 20, 2012

I Need Friends Friday: Natasha Yim

(Every Friday I interview a different person and share that interview with you. Perhaps they will be a fellow-author. Perhaps one of my neighbors. Maybe the bagger at the grocery store. A member of my family. A follower of this blog. Maybe it will be you! Hey, it could happen.)
Today's Friday Friend is author Natasha Yim. Natasha is originally from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and later moved to Singapore and, at ten, to Hong Kong. She writes picture books, "fact books," as my daughter would call them, and is working on a Young Adult novel.
Natasha can be found on the web at her website.

Let's get to know Natasha!

SME: Welcome to I Need Friends Friday!

Natasha Yim: Thank you, Sarah. I'm thrilled to be here.

SME: The way you came to be this week's INFF Friend is, quite possibly, my favorite yet. You stumbled on INFF completely on accident & in a moment of absolute bravery, volunteered to play along!

Natasha Yim: My husband calls it my "shameless self-promotion". I'm always looking for ways to get my books and my name out there. Thanks for agreeing to interview me.

SME: Oh, as a fellow author I understand this self-promotion requirement quite well!!
I always, and I do mean always, ask my interviewees a few very key questions. Among those is something about food. So, here's your food question: What is your absolute favorite cuisine?

Natasha Yim: You'd think it'd be Chinese because I'm Chinese, but it's actually Italian. LOVE my pasta!

SME: Perhaps someone will open an Italian-Chinese restaurant and you could have both. Think of the possibilities: Won Ton & Gnocchi Soup! Sweet and Sour Ravioli!

Natasha Yim: I like where you're going with this, Sarah! I've thought about opening up a restaurant myself. Cajun, though. Very few Cajun restaurants here in California, but then it wouldn't leave me ANY time for writing.

SME: I perused your website a bit and discovered you write books that kind of perfectly fit my daughter's age group. (Which, believe me, was a very welcome discovery.) Tell us a little bit about what you write.

Natasha Yim: I have written mostly picture books, although my books, "Cixi, The Dragon Empress" and "Sacajawea of the Shoshone" are for the tween age group, 9 - 13. I'm also currently writing a Young Adult novel.

SME: Yes the tween books caught my attention, since I am currently living in the same house as a tween. But I didn't realize you were working on YA as well. Do you have a favorite age group to write for?

Natasha Yim: I don't think I have a favorite age group. Ideas for stories come to me in many forms. I have several ideas bouncing in my head right now that is definitely for the picture book set, but then I'm also interested in writing for the older audience.

SME: That is fantastic, truly. I have always been sort of awed by authors who can write across genres and age groups. I have tried, bless my little heart, but historical romance is what I am apparently meant to write.

Natasha Yim: Well, I can't quite claim to write across genres and age groups yet until the YA gets published. But I'm hoping I can claim this soon! And who knows, I might find that YA is what I'm meant to write.

SME: Well, let us know when your YA is published and the INFF Nation will celebrate with you!

Natasha Yim: Thanks. As slow as the publishing process is, it might be a few years yet.

SME: Believe me, I understand! And yet we do it over and over again. Writers are either the most patient people in the world or gluttons for punishment.

Natasha Yim: Ha. A little of both, I think. Which is why my blog is titled: I Must be a Masochist—A Writer's Life.

SME: Perfect. That should also be printed on t-shirts. You would sell a bundle!

Natasha Yim: Great idea! Gotta supplement that writing income somehow.

SME: Wait. You mean all authors aren't disgustingly rich? That was the rumor I heard.

Natasha Yim: That's definitely the life I lead in my head.

SME: So very true. It's like we're characters in our own personal novel.

Natasha Yim: Then we crash-land back to reality.

SME: Every author reading this is now nodding their heads in mournful understanding.

Natasha Yim: That's why I love to go to writing conferences. Nobody knows the angst and pain of writing, rejections, and trying to get published like another writer going through the same thing. My husband is still in the "your book will make us rich" fantasy.

SME: My daughter once told her brother that someday "Mom will be a rich and famous author," to which he replied, "Mom's not that kind of author." I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

Natasha Yim: That could be a great title for a book! I think we really need humor in this business which is why I like to write humor into a lot of my projects. Not the non-fiction, obviously. But my plays, and my YA has humorous/comedic elements.

SME: Another very traditional INFF Question for you: What is your favorite continent?

Natasha Yim: To live in, I would say North America. To travel, definitely Europe. I'm going to Italy and Ireland this summer.

SME: I am absolutely going to pretend I didn't hear you say you were going to Europe-especially Ireland. Otherwise I will be insane with jealousy!

Natasha Yim: My brother is getting married in July. And fortunately for me, he chose a romantic setting in an Irish castle. So, I couldn't really make an excuse to not go to my brother's wedding now, can I?

SME: And a castle even! I am going to have try very hard to have charitable thoughts about you from now on. (But, seriously, that is fantastic.)

Natasha Yim: Yes, I am very excited! My husband and I honeymooned in Italy, but I've never been to Ireland.

SME: I may have to invite you back for a follow-up INFF in which you share with me in great detail everything you saw there.
I do believe we have reached the portion of the interview when I show you the mind-bogglingly amazing portrait I have drawn of you.

Natasha Yim: You have been a great hostess. Would love to come back.

Natasha Yim Cute!

SME: My portraits are kind of amazing, huh? If the whole writer thing doesn't work out, I may go into art.

Natasha Yim: Let me tell you, it's better than anything I can draw!

SME: Well, Natasha, that leave only the traditional final question of every INFF interview: Top 5 reasons this is the best blog interview you've ever done. Ready. Go.

Natasha Yim: 1. It's very casual and stress-free.
2. I got to talk about food.
3. I got my portrait drawn, and it didn't cost me a cent.
4. I love this IM chat box thing for doing an interview. You'll have to tell me how you set it up.

*Sarah here! To explain, my interviews are conducted in a chat box on a private blog. And it is every bit as exciting and nerdy as you are imagining. Okay. As you were.*
5. I got to visit with the very rich and famous, Sarah Eden.

SME: All excellent reasons! And, trust me, the chat box is easy to set up.
Thanks for joining us for INFF, Natasha!

Natasha Yim: You're welcome. Thanks for having me, Sarah!

SME: *cue exit music* Well, this has been “I Need Friends Friday.” Join us next week when I will make another friend!

If you'd like to be interviewed for I Need Friends Friday, shoot me off an email: friends at sarahmeden dot com!
I am looking for anyone and everyone, whether or not you think you are interesting. You'll get a fantastic stick figure portrait of yourself, a little promotion (if you're looking for that sort of thing) and the opportunity to tell your friends and family that you've been interviewed by SME, er... by ME!


Julie Daines said...

Another awesome interview. I'm excited to check out out the Dragon Empress book. It sounds fascinating for me and my daughter.

Thanks for another fun and highly entertaining INFF! Hope you are feeling better.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Fun interview! Wonder what the exit music sounds like?

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a fun and unique INFF post. And a new author to check out.


Really enjoyed my visit with you, Sarah! Thanks for having me as your INFF friend.

robinofrockridge said...

Great blog interview w/ Natasha, Sarah! I know Natasha through Redwood Writers branch of the Calif. Writers Club. She's a fun and very talented member of RW!Love her Cixi book!

Also love your IM approach to interviewing--certainly makes it spontaneous.


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