I’m Maisie Chan, the author of award-winning Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths. I’m going to chat with you today about a couple of books - Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chu and Bedtime Stories: Amazing Asian Tales from the Past and how they feature some famous Chinese mythical and historical figures.
By coincidence, Scholastic asked me if I wanted to write a story for Bedtime Stories: Amazing Asian Tales from the Past. They had a list of historical figures - I chose Xuanzang. He travelled from China to India because he wanted to translate and return to China with updated Buddhist scriptures. This is the real life person that Wu Cheng’en was inspired by when he began writing The Journey to the West!
He did what he set out to do, he learned Sanskrit. And in AD 645 decided to head back to China with newly translated Buddhist scriptures. His writings were the foundation of Buddhism in China where it is one of the most popular religions.
When I wrote Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chu I was thinking about her road trip as an inner journey as well as an external one of getting to Blackpool to have some fun. I wondered how she and her friends would be changed by that trip? And who or what might stand in her way. I think of road trips in stories as a great way for the main characters to learn something about themselves, other people, and the world around them.
Think of a historical figure. Write a contemporary story about a road trip with this person and you, or a character you make up. Where would you take them? Who would you meet on the way? What would happen once you got there?
Her latest novel KEEP DANCING, LIZZIE CHU is out now with Piccadilly Press. She also writes the series TIGER WARRIOR for younger readers. She has written early readers for Hachette and Big Cat Collins, and has a collection of myths and legends out with Scholastic. She runs the Bubble Tea Writers Network to support and encourage writers of East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) descent in the U.K. She has a dog called Miko who has big eyes. She lives in Glasgow with her family.
You can buy Maisie's books here.
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