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Lisa Yee, Girl Genius

Sep 10, 2012

Just hearing Lisa Yee’s novel titles are enough to make a girl want to read them: Millicent Min, Girl Genius. Warp Speed. Bobby vs. Girls. Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time. Each holds the same excitement of opening a new box of cereal for the prize, one of Lisa’s favorite things to do growing up.

Lisa’s other favorite thing was going to Disneyland—as an adult, she ended up writing TV specials for Disney. She also wrote jingles and ads, and even a menu for Red Lobster. But Lisa’s real dream was to write books for kids. “I can’t help myself,” she insists. “Everywhere I go, I see stories taking place. Whether it’s at the grocery store and a little kid is having a meltdown, at the library where a girl is carrying so many books she can barely see over them, or at the park where a dog with a shoe in his mouth is being chased by man wearing one shoe, I always want to know why this is happening. I’m curious.”

That curiosity inspired her first book, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, which took six years to complete! “I was interested in writing about a girl who was lonely,” Lisa reveals. “I actually wrote two versions of the novel that I completely threw away, keeping only the main character.”

Lisa calls herself a “bookaholic” who always knew she wanted to write. One day when she was about 10 years old, Lisa says: “It occurred to me that someone would need to write the books, and I decided that would be me. It was my dream, but little did I know that sometimes dreams take hard work.”

Find out more about our featured author Lisa Yee’s dreams, and how her unique sense of humor ends up in her stories on The Studio.