Muesli - the real-life inspiration for the feline star of the OXFORD TEAROOM MYSTERIES

Muesli – the real-life inspiration for the feline star of the OXFORD TEAROOM MYSTERIES

Well, after a long hiatus, I thought it might be good to restart my blog again – as a place to share some behind-the-scenes stuff about my books, answers to reader questions, fun things I’ve done & places I’ve been – oh, and some cute pet photos too, of course! 🙂

My first name is Hsin-Yi (pronounced “Sin-Yee” or “Sinny” if you say it really quickly), which roughly translates to “Heart’s Wishes” in English. The Chinese believe that the name you bestow on a child will determine their fortune in life, so my name was chosen so that “all my heart’s wishes would come true”. (Sometimes, though, I can’t help wishing that my parents had just named me “Lottery Winner”. I mean, why be coy about it, right? 😉 )

IMG_9778-001I (along with a million plastic products and computer parts) have the honour of being “Made in Taiwan” – a little tropical island off the coast of China – but I grew up mostly in “the West”. My family moved around a LOT and by the time I was 10, I had lived in 5 countries, changed my first language to English – and had a serious nationality identity crisis!

My accent is a bit funny too: since I lived and went to school in both the U.K. (London) and the U.S. (New Jersey), I’ve ended up with a bit of a mixed-up accent and some words I say the American way (“to-may-to”), and some words I say the British way (“wohter”). Add in the fact that I spent my teenage years in the United Arab Emirates where I went to an international school and picked up a bit of French (as well as the ability to swear in Arabic like a trooper!) – and then emigrated Down Under with my husband, where we’ve both absorbed some Aussie slang (“no worries, mate!”)… and things can get a bit confusing when I open my mouth.

Actually, that’s probably because I talk awfully fast. I do everything fast. I’ve been told that I’m a typical Aries: emotional, impatient and bossy… and I never give up once I’ve set my mind to something; I can’t resist a challenge and I add chilies to everything I eat. Oh, and I love animals (yes, even snakes & spiders, although I do draw the line at cockroaches)…

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…and of course, I LOVE reading. I’m an obsessive chain-reader. Books are my drug.

I used to feel a bit embarrassed when I listened to other people talk about how they always knew they wanted to be a doctor or a teacher or a astronaut when they grew up. Me? All I ever wanted to be was Nancy Drew… (and a lot of that was because she had “titian” hair. 😉 ). Still, I have to admit – I’m incredibly lucky because I have grown up to live my dream. Well, OK, I’m not actually going around solving mysteries – but I’m writing them, which turns out to be so much cooler! 🙂

Yup, after trying several different career paths, I’ve finally achieved what I always dreamed of: to become a published author.

But wait – if you were hoping to get juicy gossip about my glamorous author life, you’re out of luck. See, being a writer pretty much means that I spend all day – alone – in my pyjamas, having an unhealthy relationship with my computer, and the most exciting event in my work day is when the neighbours go out to hang their washing.

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The glamorous life of an author…

But don’t worry – there’s plenty of excitement in my books 🙂

I write under the pen name: “H.Y. Hanna” – and you can check out some of my books on the Homepage (or head over to the Books page for the full list & reading order). I write mostly mysteries (although I have dabbled in a few other genres) – and in particular, I am currently focusing on “cozy mysteries”, which are fun, light-hearted mysteries with quirky characters in a quaint setting, with a lot of humour, a dash of romance – and of course, delicious “whodunnit” for you to get your teeth into!

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