As a writer, it has been a dream of mine to participate in the Hong Kong Lit Fest, so back in January I started contacting everyone I knew who had connections to it. I received introductions to board members and advice to put together a panel of writers to discuss a hot topic.
With input from some writers, including fellow panelist Shannon Young, I wrote a proposal for a panel to discuss writing about cross-cultural relationships. Marshall Moore and Ray Hecht agreed to join us on the panel and David Nunan signed up to moderate. The Lit Fest gave us the gorgeous Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences as a venue and we were all set for November 8th!
I was traveling with my mom and our good friend, Mary, who first took me to China when I was in high school 27 years ago. We left in plenty of time to reach the venue a good thirty minutes early, which is when I was asked to arrive.
In Hong Kong I rarely take cabs, but the museum was up the hill from our hotel and we figured the best way to get there was by cab. Only it was all but impossible to find a free cab that weekend. So I turned to Uber and there was a slight mistake in the address. Caine Lane was our intended destination, but we found ourselves across town on Caine Road.
By the time we arrived, it was well past 3pm and a minute or two past 3:30, when the event was supposed to start. This photo says it all.
Once we started, the Lit Fest organizer, Phillipa Milne, introduced the panelists and moderator, and we were under way!
We started by reading short excerpts from our books, then took turns talking about writing about other cultures, the difference between fact and fiction in memoir, the challenges of being in cross-cultural relationships (location was my answer), and identity in cross-cultural relationships.
Ninety minutes flew by. At the end we spoke about our latest works in progress and had a few minutes for questions. Author Coco Richter was in the audience and asked my mom a question! It was my mom’s first time attending one of my book events, apart from my launch, which was more of a reception with wine and raffles.
Besides the honor of speaking alongside my fellow panelists–all writer friends I already knew long before the event–and Professor Nunan, I was also honored that so many friends trekked up to the Medical Sciences Museum to attend the event. Thank you!
Was the Lit Fest everything I had expected and more? Yes. It started off a bit harried because I was late, but I loved every minute of it. Thank you again to everyone involved!