Mark Twain once said, “The trouble with fiction is that it has to make sense whereas real life is under no such obligation.” Sometimes life feels surreal and we make friends in the most interesting ways. As many of you know I have been playing around with the dark literary arts in a secret society of awesome internet people. Like Frodo and his band of hobbits with hairy ski-sized feet, we are on a quest that is interesting but ultimately confusing because why didn’t the hobbits just fly the ring to the volcano in the first place? Wait where was I? Oh yeah….
Today is for my friend YuMin (pronounced YuMin. Got it? Good.) We didn’t go to the same high school. We have different backgrounds. We are different ages. We have different paths through life but through the internet we have become friends. There are actually seven of us from across the globe in the Conceited Crusade. It is safe to say we were all unaware of each other a year ago so it has been fun getting to know one another via Reply All email chains and shared, blog writing prompts. There is a strange chemistry of dialogue that I feel is unfair to keep hidden from the world so I interviewed this woman of mystery. Below is a revealing glimpse at a future writing legend.
Q: YuMin Ye is an interesting name. What nationality is it exactly? German?
A: It’s my Chinese name written out phonetically. I do own something that is from Germany though. (No, not a person.)
Follow-up: I lead with a nationality joke and you counter with slavery. Points awarded to you.
Q: Is it common practice to put a capital letter in the middle of a name?
A: Chinese does not have an alphabet. It has characters. Yu Min Ye is three characters, so technically Min is my middle name. However, I wanted to group it together with my first name because I mean, let’s face it, otherwise people will start calling me “hey Yu” which sounds like “hey you” and every single pop song would be about me. I’m not sure I would like that. By the way, fun fact: if you say my first name backwards, MinYu, it sounds like “menu.” Also, I do not have an English name. Can you imagine me as a Michelle? Julia? Emily? *shudders*
Q: Now that the ice is broken. What age did you start writing and/or become interested in literature as a part of your career?
A: I have been writing since I was seven, but didn’t think about making it a career until I was 19.
Q: You list yourself as a Young Adult Fiction Examiner. Explain a little.
A: Examiner.com allows me to throw up book reviews, author interviews, articles covering author events and the like on my own little space on their site as long as it is everything YA. It’s a place where writers can talk about subjects they are experts in or most enjoy. In my case it’s the latter. It’s kind of like journalism, except we’re not supposed to call ourselves journalists.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure novel? That one story or series that you really enjoy but might not tell your friends. (Mine was the Mortal Instruments series. I was so sexually frustrated for Jace and Clary that I couldn’t take it.)
A: Haha, I’m going to have to read that now. Sexually frustrated characters make for the best guilty pleasure reads. Well, I never read “Twilight” or “Fifty Shades of Grey” and don’t plan on it. Hmm, this is a good question. I’ll circle back.
Q: I noticed that you are a published author which makes me feel inferior. Tell me a little about how that happened.
A: First, I promise there’s nothing special about me that would make you feel inferior. I am very ordinary. As far as how getting published happened, I wrote a book during NaNoWriMo one year and then submitted the manuscript to a fiction contest I found via Examiner and the rest is history. I honestly don’t know how it all came to be. The judges had to have been blind or drugged or both.
Q: Have you ever played the game FMK (F#%$, Marry, Kill)? Who are your three people? Mine are Mariah Carey, Eva Longoria, and Britney Spears in that order.
A: Yes, I have. Aww, poor Miss Queen of Pop. I volunteer as tribute! Hmm, screw Rhett Butler, be John Grisham’s concubine, and murder Gilbert Blythe. I was never really impressed by doctors.
Q: You have a very wholesome and nice girl look and I know from previous works that it confounds you a little sometimes. I assume that societal stereotypes contribute to that image. If you could switch stereotypes with any group of persons who would it be? (Race, sex, creed, age, people with tattoos, bikers, whatever.)
A: Yeah, when people first meet me I come off as nice and wholesome. As far as switching it up, it’s funny because there was a time I really, really wanted to be Caucasian. At another point I wanted to be male because to a certain extent, I think like one. But as I’ve gotten to know the male mind a little better, I’ve realized I’m not male enough and this is why I’m still very much a female. If I had the lady balls to be like Samantha from “Sex and the City,” I would. There! My guilty pleasure novel is anything by Candace Bushnell. But even that I wouldn’t mind admitting to my friends. My real guilty pleasure is bubblegum pop. And Disney Channel.
Q: If you found yourself in the Hunger Games; A) Would you be able to kill or be killed? B) What would your weapon of choice be? C) What would be your greatest asset?
A: I am currently working through this series. A) Killed. B) Bow and arrows. C) Is it bad that I have to think about this? I don’t know. I’m obedient. Does that count?
Q: Let’s say I am a billionaire and I award you a Dream Grant to do nothing but sit around and do what you want. Describe the first day.
A: I would go to a strip club. No, j/k. 😛 Besides reading and writing until there was absolutely no physical way possible for me to do either any longer, I want to watch someone record an album and someone else make a movie. Oh wait, the first day, eh? I’d be geeking out trying to allocate a certain amount to each person I wanted to take with me to do something they’ve always wanted to do.
Q: What is the best flavor of Jolly Rancher hard candy? Don’t you dare say green apple, that is not a real flavor.
A: I love green apple! But my favorite is blue raspberry because it’s so rare.
Q: My girls always ask about superpowers so I feel compelled to ask you, what would your superpower be if you could custom design it?
A: Zap myself anywhere, from Ireland to inside a movie or music video or book or through the computer screen. It would be really cool to be Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Q: Do you have big goals or a career outside of literature?
A: Nope. Writing is my life. Novels are my babies. (And good thing too because my cat reminds me every day why I should not have kids.)
Q: Do you like living in Kansas City, MO?
A: So far, so good. I just moved here and miss my friends in Columbia, MO. It’s not so much where I’m living, but who I’m doing the living with. But I find that each place has its idiosyncrasies you learn to appreciate. Wherever I go, I can make it work.
Q: Do you have siblings and what is your family like?
A: I am an only child. China’s one-child policy made sure of that just a few years before I was born. My family. Ha! Where do I begin? Small immediate family, large extended family. We’re not all in one country and honestly, I grew up not knowing most of my extended family, except through stories my parents told me. So much for biology. I know the family I get to choose better than the family I’m related to.
Q: What is something about you that people would find surprising? (Hobby, Interest, Shoe Size, whatever…)
A: I don’t know if this is surprising, but one time I got to step on a prostrated dude’s back on stage as part of our Ciara’s “Like a Boy” choreography.
Follow-up: I thought she said prostate and I got really confused about the tone of the performance. I discourage all women from stepping on prostates.
YuMin Ye is surprisingly approachable for a blossoming celebrity and I encourage everyone to track her down at her author website but a more interactive YuMin lives at -> attheoutset.wordpress.com, or see how she plays with others at the Conceited Crusade. She interviewed me too so hop over there and check it out.