Name: Eeleen Lee
Asian background: Malaysian-Chinese
What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?
When you’ve come back from school and watched everything on TV for the afternoon (this was in London, UK, some years before the internet…) you get quite bored. And when you’re sufficiently bored as a kid you read anything in front of you, and then you reread it until you fall in love with the words. And then you have an elder brother who leaves his science fiction and fantasy books lying around the house, so you read those, and when he gets sent away to boarding school you dig out all his other books and read them too.
Name 3 authors and 3 books
- Red Sorghum by Mo Yan (translated by Howard Goldblatt in 1993): this novel combines family legends, folklore and history and sort of falls into the magical realism genre. (One day I’ll read it untranslated.)
- Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds (2000): so far, the only space opera to depict a real-time star map of the ENTIRE MILKY WAY.
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959): it’s actually quite a subtle ghost story, despite the title. And ghost stories tend to work best when they’re subtle.
What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?
Persistence, followed by curiosity.
Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)
I collect rocks and minerals in my spare time, so it that knowledge went into my novel Liquid Crystal Nightingale. Also, obsidian isn’t a crystal but a natural volcanic glass. and amber isn’t a crystal too but it gives off an electrostatic charge.
Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!
When we lost the Moon we took one of Jupiter’s and now 50 000 alien ocean ice-dwellers aren’t very happy.