1. The sound of electronic voices has always been a big part of my childhood

My dad is blind but he loves books and listens to them via screen reader. Growing up, the sound of electronic voices was a constant background presence. Instead of doing my homework, I would often listen to whatever story my dad’s computer was reading to him at the time. Some people say that they can’t get used to how unnatural screen readers sound, but listening to one is now an important step in my editing.

Ann Sei Lin, Rebel Skies

Ann Sei Lin, Rebel Skies

2. I have an obsession with paper

Obviously! Rebel Skies is a story brimming with paper – from the paper creatures known as shikigami to the Crafters who wield origami magic. There’s just something magical about creating something completely new out of blank paper.

3. One of the very first things I learned how to read were bills

I would stand at the kitchen table and read them aloud to my mum, who has eyesight problems as well. Those bills were my first introduction to many big words. And my first introduction to financial anxiety!

4. My obsession with Japanese literature began in my local library

It quickly became my favourite place for being somewhere warm and full of books. After figuring out how the moving shelves worked, I soon discovered the Japanese literature section. That was the beginning of my love for the Meiji era. I started reading everything from that era that I could get my hands on from Soseki to Akutagawa. My debut, Rebel Skies, is loosely based around Meiji Japan.

5. I’m a word hoarder

I never throw away anything I’ve written. If I change the way I describe a room in one chapter, I save it as an alternate document. I think I have 30 alternate documents for Rebel Skies alone – some that veer wildly from the final plot and some in which the only difference is the colour of the airship’s sails!

6. I eat far too much rice

It’s the easiest thing for me to make and I’m very lazy about cooking for myself. A pot of rice will last me three to four meals. I do get sick of it after a while though. Sometimes, I just long for a hamburger!

7. Video games are how I de-stress

Pokémon was one of the very first video games I played and I’ve loved the series ever since. From there, I moved on to Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Persona and other franchises. I’d say 90% of the games I play are RPGs. No matter what the medium, I love a good story.