What a fun author visit from Remy Lai!
Before the visit, students came up with MANY questions that she answered:
1. How long does it take to make the book?
I got the idea of the two boys baking in 2016, but I only figured out the story in 2017, and I think from there, it took me 6 months of full time writing and illustrating to write and draw the book.
2. What is your first book? / How many books have you written?
PIE IN THE SKY is my first book, but I have many manuscripts (around 20) that I wrote before PIE that did not get published (but I might try to publish them again in the future).
3. Is the book based off your childhood? / Is this a true story?
Parts of it is based off my childhood. I only learned English when I was nine years old. And [spoiler alert] my older sister did leave me behind at a bus station and I did end up at the police station.
4. What inspired you to write the book? / How did you come up with the idea for the book?
It started with an image that popped into my mind, of two brothers secretly baking cakes. When I figured out they couldn’t speak English, the story fell into place, and from there, I borrowed things from my childhood.
5. How did you come up with the characters?
The brothers popped into my head almost fully formed. My characters in my stories usually pop into my head as an image. I think I’m a very visual thinker. For the other characters, I came up with them as I wrote the story. The other characters are the ones that are needed to advance the plot and to also bring about the changes in the two brothers.
6. Why is it called PIE IN THE SKY when they make cakes? / How did you come up with the title?
The original title was RULES FOR MAKING CAKES but my editor changed it to PIE IN THE SKY and I think he was right to do that. Pie in the Sky is the name of the cake shop the boys’ dad would have opened in Australia if he hadn’t passed away. It is also an idiom that means “an impossible dream”, and it symbolizes the dream the dad has for the brothers, for them to have a better life in Australia. It also speaks of how hard it is for someone to migrate to another country. For some people, it might seem impossible.
7. Has my dad died?
Yes. He passed away many years ago. Writing about the boys’ father being dead was hard for me.
8. How old are you?
I’m old enough to be your mom but not old enough to be your grandma.
9. Are you going to write another book?
I have finished writing and drawing another book, but it will only come out next year May 12, 2020.