A Writer’s Journey
Author and illustrator Grace Lin is a born storyteller. She believes that “it’s really important to write and create your own stories, because those are the ways that you’ll remember your life.” Watch Grace talk about her work here, and listen carefully for two important pieces of advice!
Grace writes and illustrates picture books, early readers, and novels, and many of her stories are about Asian culture and traditions. Her most popular book—and the one closest to her heart—is Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace describes this book as a sort of “Chinese Wizard of Oz.” In it, a young girl named Minli journeys from her home in the Valley of Fruitless Mountain to meet the Old Man on the Moon, in the hopes of changing her family’s fortune. Minli meets lots of interesting characters along the way, and each of them tells her a story that affects her journey, though she doesn’t realize this until the end.
“I’m trying to recapture the [Chinese] culture that I didn’t learn when I was younger…the things I didn’t know,” Grace explains. She grew up in upstate New York as one of the only Asian Americans in the area. Her books are inspired by experiences that are significant to her—just as your interests should shape the stories that you tell. As Grace says, “Always write or draw the things that are important to you.”