Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was orphaned somewhere in Sumatra, and eventually adopted by an American couple who raised me in their secluded home in Hawaii. Impressed with how easily I learned American Sign Language, my new Ma and Pa tought me to read and write English next. To this day, most of my writing is in English.
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When did you first start writing?
My handwriting has always been terrible, so I took over Ma's old manual typewriter soon after I learned the alphabet. She got tired of hearing me hunt and peck, so she masked the keys and wouldn't let me type until I memorized the keyboard. Soon I was touch typing at 20 words per minute, and started my first novel at age 6.
By the time I was 7, I realized that first story was juvenile trash, and I threw it away. I've thrown away others since, but never one as bad as the first.