Meet the Author: Wong Herbert Yee

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I was born in Detroit and have 4 sisters and 2 brothers. I found out I liked to draw (and was pretty good at it) in first grade. Being an author/illustrator you’d think my favorite class in school was art or english. WRONG! It was gym. Especially dodge ball!

1. When you were my age did you like to read? I did like to read as well. We didn’t have many books at home. Having library class once a week was a real treat. We took a book off the shelf, sat down and read for thirty minutes. I went through different phases. Dog stories; horse stories. After that came series books like Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Dr. Doolittle.

2. Did you have a favorite story? I don’t know if I had a favorite… but a book I do remember was Angus and the Ducks by Majorie Flack. The fact that I even recall it must mean something, I think.

3. Where do you get your ideas from? I get my ideas from anywhere and everywhere. I think a common trait for writers is being observant. I don’t talk much, but do pay attention to what’s going on around me.

4. Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? I’ve always had ideas… for stories, or pictures. For most that’s the tough part. Afterwards it’s a matter of putting in the work. Getting good at whatever it is you want to do. Practice, practice, practice!

5.Why did you start a graphic novel series?  I started out with picture books. From there the Mouse and Mole early reader series. Doing a graphic novel was different, a new and exciting way of storytelling. Still, it doesn’t matter what kind of book I’m working on, so long as the story is a good one.

6. What author do you really like right now? The book I’m reading now is by Alan Bradley, hot off the press, the latest in the Flavia de Luce series.

7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? This one’s easy, and a fitting last question. Read, read, READ! If you don’t like what you’re reading, stop, drop and pick out another. Pay attention to the stories that keep you turning the pages. It’s just the kind of book you might write some day!


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