Monday, May 9, 2016

Mingmei Yip

Mingmei Yip is the author of a Secret of a Thousand Beauties, The Nine Fold Heaven, and most recently, The Witch's Market.

From her Q & A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: Do you usually know how your novels will end, or do you make many changes along the way?

A: Unlike some writers, I do not plot out the entire novel before I start to write. Instead, what I need is an idea that excites and intrigues me.

I’ll give two examples. Once I attended an academic lecture where the speaker talked about hongfen kulu, skeleton women. The term refers to scheming women, so beautiful that they could destroy men and turn them into skeletons.

Skeleton woman is a term from a very wicked period of Chinese life. I’d heard it as a child when the adults talked in hushed tones about these evil, but irresistible women.

Right in the middle of the lecture I decided that my next novel would be about these skeleton women. Many of these women used their charms to serve as spies, a kind of life I knew nothing about.

I started doing research about them and, fortunately, was able to find some old books about these brave, though treacherous, people. Though most were men, there were two or three women, as beautiful and scheming as one could hope for!

Another example is my new novel, The Witch’s Market. I wrote the entire novel...[read on]
Visit Mingmei Yip's website.

My Book, The Movie: Secret of a Thousand Beauties.

The Page 69 Test: Secret of a Thousand Beauties.

--Marshal Zeringue