Author presents the world like a child's play
Updated: 2013-10-22 07:25
By Amy He in New York (China Daily)
What can children teach the world? Christie Hsiao's latest book, Journey to Rainbow Island, is giving the question a go.
To be released in early November, the novel follows 11-year-old Yuning on a journey to secure sacred stones that have been stolen from her home island. Through the book, Yuning has to "overcome not only the darkness attacking her home, but also the scars of sadness that mark her own heart", according to a synopsis.
Hsiao, who was born in Taiwan, says she's the perfect person to write a children's book because she still sees herself as a child sometimes.
"I'm a child at heart," she says. "I love video games, fantasy, fiction, (genres that show) beyond what we can control in real life."
To her, writing a book with a fantasy edge is the best way to reach an audience with a message, she says, especially if a child is at the heart of the story.
"Children, they're incredible," Hsiao says, adding that the world is full of conformity. "You have to listen to the elder, you have to listen to the government, you have to listen to what the system of authority tells you," she says. But that obedience is something that adults have learned to comply with, Hsiao says, not children.
"Children see everything in reality. They know the truth," she says. "Because adults learn from social norms, and they become afraid, but children are fearless."
Hsiao, also the CEO of the Los Angeles-based entertainment company Serenity Media Group, says great storytelling can bring everyone together, and that is why her company is interested in producing work that will make a global connection.
"We're at an edge. I've always wanted to not just bridge the Chinese, Asian market with the Western one, but (be) global and (go) global," she says. "I want to be the leader, to be the first to make it happen - to really mix the ratio and have everyone come together."
Hsiao is watching the movie industry in China closely to see how it progresses. She says it is still in its infancy. The movies from China, for example, do not have crossover appeal outside of niche films.
"We all know that China is such a huge market, but the film market is still at its very beginning. The creativity, they're not accustomed to be able to imagine, to create. They're boxed in."
She opines that the resources in China are vast - primarily the money - and the country does have the infrastructure, but the talent and the stories aren't there yet.
(China Daily 10/22/2013 page22)