A Brief Bio
A Chinese born and raised in Malaysia, Celeste currently lives in NYC with her husband and their Pomeranian, Hamlet, since completing her MFA in Creative Writing. Celeste writes mainly middle-grade and young adult fiction. As a reader, she is generally a sucker for books with lots of action and adventure, with a little bit of romance thrown in. She also dabbles in other forms of writing, such as poetry, picture books, fan fiction, blogging and musical script writing.
Celeste also considers herself a soft-core gamer; in her free time, she enjoys computer games like Final Fantasy and League of Legends. Although very much an amateur, she also loves oil and pastel painting, drawing fan art, OC commissions and doing illustrations of characters and scenes from her own stories. Celeste is an avid Disney fan and adores musical productions like My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music and secretly wishes to perform in a Broadway musical version of Mulan one day.
Photo courtesy of: SPIKE LI
A Lengthier Bio
In her time, my great grandmother had left her home in the Fujian province of China during the Great Famine and eventually settled down in a village near the capital of Malaysia, where the Lim family had thrived and prospered since.
Though hardly fluent in English herself, my own mother tried very hard to read me all sorts of fairy tales from English books. And I grew to love reading about the “West”-- about fairies, elves, snow, turkey dinners and wishing chairs. Ah, the mysterious, beautiful and exciting West that’s so full of adventures! In comparison, Asia, especially Malaysia, had seemed so dull, so BORING! It was a place where nothing interesting EVER happened. So, I grew up to love English, developing a thirst for Western culture, and finished my first book when I was 17 -- a story of 71,000 words set in New York City -- a place I've only ever read about.
The Exodus & Down Under
My adventure began the year I turned 18 when I traveled to Australia and spent 4 years in Melbourne completing my BA specializing in English literature. Though I was old enough to know I wasn't going to find elves or fairies there, I was still eager to make all my other dreams come true; I wanted to see snow, eat puddings, celebrate Thanksgiving (I had no idea this was an American thing) and do many of the other things I only got to read about in books.
The Big Apple
This was another dream come true. I now live in New York City after completing my MFA in Creative Writing at Manhattanville College and Creative Writing for Children at The New School. The turning point was when I finally began to realize and appreciate the magic that is unique to my own culture and heritage. I came to understand -- Hey, we have magic, too! My culture has fox demons, dragons, monkey gods and most of all, kung fu!! (yelled with the same vigor as Po the Dragon Warrior) If I could fall in love with fairies and elves and wishing chairs, other children could fall in love with the wonders of Asian stories, too. And I truly wanted to be someone who could bring such magic to children, just like what authors such as Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl had done for me.
I completed my debut novel, THE CRYSTAL RIBBON, originally titled "The Bride from Huanan" for my graduate thesis in Manhattanville College. Inspired by Chinese folklore and set in Medieval China, it delves deeply into what I have studied about the historical culture of the Song Dynasty, and my goal is to share the knowledge of my heritage in the most interesting way I know how to English readers.
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