Find out more about me and my writing from interviews and blog posts that are listed and linked below. My thanks to the generous bibliophiles and talented writers who let me contribute!
I’ve found that I can make short periods of writing time productive by focusing on small, specific tasks. What kinds of tasks work well for short bursts of writing energy?
In December 2014, I flew to China to participate in the International Symposium Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Excavation of the Han Tombs at Mawangdui. What did being there mean to me?
Anticipating readers’ questions helps me in writing nonfiction. I give an example of questions for Chapter 2 of the book that I thought readers would want answered.
A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME (“Author’s Note” from the book)
An insatiable curiosity led me to search for everything I could find related to Mawangdui. But how could I shape what I’d discovered into a book? Aha – as a time capsule . . .
I share four lessons I learned during the 14-year process of writing the book:
- choose a topic big enough to sustain your interest
- do your homework
- know why you’re writing the book
- be tenacious
Writing the book involved a personal journey of becoming connected to my Chinese ancestors. I describe how performing rituals to honor my ancestors at their graves helped me understand why Lady Dai’s family constructed such an elaborate tomb for her (and vice versa).
A Q&A for the Next Big Thing author blog tour, posted by fabulous writer friend Sean McCollum. I give brief answers to such questions as how long it took to write the first draft and what inspired me to write the book.
I explain how I experiment with writing multiple openings to figure out how to approach a chapter, article, or story. As an example, I give five openings I brainstormed for Chapter 6 of the book.