Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Mingmei Yip, author of Song Of The Silk Road

Following her success of Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals from the Sky is the release of SONG OF THE SILK ROAD, the third novel by celebrated author, Mingmei Yip. This richly imaginative novel follows one woman’s daunting journey along China’s fabled Silk Road, a life-changing adventure filled with the most unexpected revelations.

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographs of the desert—its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer. An aunt she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across China’s desolate Taklamakan Desert—and carry out a series of tasks along the way.

Intrigued, Lily accepts. Her assignments range from the dangerous to the bizarre. Lily must seduce a monk. She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountains of Heaven to gather a rare herb. At Xian, her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection. And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny, and the shocking truth behind her aunt’s motivations.

Powerful and eloquent, Song of the Silk Road is a captivating story of self-discovery, resonant with the mysteries of its haunting, exotic landscape.

Which part of SONG OF THE SILK ROAD was the most enjoyable to write?
There are a few. First, the love-making scene in the desert, imagining golden singing sand dunes, the unrelieved heat, the passion…all aphrodisiacal.
Another sequence I particularly enjoyed is the protagonist Lily Lin’s platonic love with one of her admirers – an Ughur healer who loves and protects her without asking anything back from her. Later, upon learning his tragic story she discovers she can open her yin eye to see beings from the realm of the dead.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I work on each until it is as good as I know how to make it. Then I move on to the next one.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you mean aspiring writers, yes. Read a lot, not only to feed your imagination and creativity, but also so you know when you are writing well. When you’re sure your writing is good, pursue publication until you succeed. The Daode Jing says more things are spoiled in the end than the beginning.
Don’t give up until you are there.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
After I labor through getting down the first draft, as I polish up my writing, I begin to enjoy my characters and their trials and struggles as they work towards a happy ending. In my writing, I meet people like the Chinese herbalist and blind fortune teller in Song of the Silk Road, whom I might never meet in real life.

Do you have any quirks that come out while you are writing?
I just plunge into my writing and ignore everything around me. Since I was a tiny girl I have always preferred life inside my own head.

Desert in Duang Huang, Silk Road, China

Visit Mingmei Yip's website to find out more

Thanks to Mingmei Yip for visiting my blog. If you'd like to win a copy of SONG OF THE SILK ROAD, leave a comment regarding the interview. Don't forget to include your email address.

+2 post about this give-away on twitter or your blog & leave a link

Competition is only available to US/Canada. Ends 11th May and the winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone!


  1. I like her advice to writers: Don't give up until you're there.

    I'm a follower also, and would love to win this book.

    harvee44 at

  2. Don't count me in as I am overseas but just wanted to say this looks to be a gorgeous read.

  3. This year I am broading my horizon (or trying to) by reading books with the setting outside the USA. I am really enjoying reading about other cultures.

    I would love to read Song of Silk Road by Mingmei Yip


  4. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I've heard great things about Song of the Silk Road and would love to read it. I like Mingmei's advice to aspiring writers to make sure they write well before they try to publish. :)

    susanna dot pyatt at student dot rcsnc dot org

  5. I always find it fascinating to see how a platonic love develops. It really could make the story amazing.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. Love in the desert! Sounds good. Can I be entered too.

  7. Interesting interview. I liked her comment about really getting to know and enjoy her characters after the struggle of the first draft.

  8. Great interview :)
    It does sound like a book that I would enjoy

  9. I saw this book on another blog and thought it sounded interesting!!!

  10. Intriguing? Well, the fact the Lily must seduce a monk.

    Please enter my name in the giveaway for the book. Thanks!


  11. I liked her advice for writers, but I have mixed feelings about the advice to read a lot. I feel like when I read a lot all my creativity gets sucked away because I think that everything's already been done!

    arallison at gmail dot com

  12. One thing left out about lovemaking in the desert--the sand that gets in places! lol! The book sounds great, I can't wait to read it.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  13. Thanks for the interview! Loved hearing more about this book and about the author! Would love to win a copy as it sounds so interesting!


  14. Great interview! I loved her advice for aspiring writers. Encouraging words!



  15. This book has been on my TBR list for a while and I am really excited for it. I love how Yip talking about "meeting" characters in her books that she might not meet otherwise - that is a big part of why I read!

    Thanks for the chance to win!


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