Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: X. Fang

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2023 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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Little Liddy is so excited at the promise of a visit to the excitingly named Dim Sum Palace that she can’t sleep. But what dreams she has!

1. Liddy seems a spiritual sister to Sendak’s Max and Mickey. Were they part of your childhood?

Unfortunately, they were not. My family immigrated to the U.S. when I was four, and the language barrier made me a reluctant reader through elementary school. I missed out on a lot of classic children’s literature. It wasn’t until I started studying illustration in college that I discovered the wonderful world of Sendak and became fast friends with Mickey and Max.

2. What did you dream about last night?

I don’t remember many of my dreams, but the ones I do remember are extremely boring. For instance, I once dreamt about checking my email and unsubscribing from spam.

3. Favorite place to get dim sum?

This is a tough question because any place that serves dim sum instantly becomes a “favorite” place for me. But if I must choose one place, it would be Oriental Pearl in Chamblee, Georgia. It’s the restaurant where all my childhood dim sum memories take place.

4. Your husband, Peter Brown, is also an author/illustrator — what was his best piece of advice for your first book?

My husband loves giving me unsolicited advice! Whenever I was stuck on a story line or illustration, he advised me to keep it simple. Simplify the story, the composition, the colors, because a good idea doesn’t need to be overworked.

5. What are you most looking forward to?

Converting the small barn on our property into an art studio.

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Photo: Peter Brown.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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