1. You did a lot of traveling for this novel. Where did you go and what did you do?
2. When you researched this novel, did you discover anything that surprised you?
I was surprised to find that Xanadu was a real place, the site of Khubilai Khan’s summer palace. It once had a marble palace, lovely gardens, flowering trees, winding brooks, pagodas and pavilions. It was destroyed completely and is now in ruins.
3. You said in your author bio that having a Chinese husband inspired you to write about international love. Has he inspired your writing in other ways?
My husband, Paul Yang, suggested I write a novel about Marco Polo, who was the first European to visit China and write a book about his experience there. Marco stayed in China 17 years and never mentioned a love affair; he was a young Italian male, and I suspect he found someone to love! Since he didn’t mention it, I created a love interest for him. Once I imagined this young woman, I wanted to tell the story from her perspective. Most books don’t speak from an Asian female point of view.
4. You write for a YA audience. What made you decide to write for teenagers?
I’ve noticed that both teenagers and adults enjoy Daughter of Xanadu. Teenagers, though, are much more open to unusual settings because they are growing up in a multicultural society and a global world. The YA genre is booming, with some great literature, and it’s an exciting time to write for it.
5. If you could choose just one thing you want your readers to get out of this book, what would it be?
I hope readers will find Daughter of Xanadu lively and fun, a story that takes them far from their daily life. However, underneath lies a message about the importance of getting to know people from distant lands because it opens our minds and broadens our worldview.
|Fashion show at conference|
I welcome readers to visit my website, www.dorijonesyang.com.
Thank you so much, Dori! I can't wait to read your upcoming books.