TAKE 5 with Kim-Hoa Ung

Author’s name: Kim-Hoa Ung

Illustrator’s name: Kim-Hoa Ung

What is your upcoming book title? A GIFT FOR NAI NAI

Date of release: December 5th, 2023

Preorder or Order link:     https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250871596/agiftfornainai

https://www.shoponceuponatime.com/signed-books-kim-hoa-ung (for signed copies)

Publisher: Macmillan – Feiwel & Friends

Agent: Miranda Paul

Agency: Erin Murphy Literary Agency

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

“Lyn Lyn’s beloved Nai Nai has a birthday party approaching! All Lyn Lyn wants to do is make a lucky hat for her very special grandma, but her crochet skills are not nearly as refined as Nai Nai’s.

So Lyn Lyn hatches a plan for the best crocheter she knows to help her make the perfect lucky hat for Nai Nai!

Through perseverance and their special bond, Lyn Lyn comes to realize that the perfect gift for Nai Nai comes from within.”

What are 5 things you want people to know about your book?

1. The characters in A GIFT FOR NAI NAI were originally pandas. 

2. My teacher in Storyteller Academy encouraged the class to write about something we knew a lot about. So I chose crochet. 

3. I illustrated the book in Procreate and used Photoshop for layouts. 

4. My book caught the interest of my first editor through a critique opportunity that 

I had won through Kaitlyn Sanchez’s Fall Writing Frenzy contest.

5. The book is inspired by my grandma who I’m grateful to have been able to 

crochet hats for, though not as fancy as Lyn Lyn’s.  

What are 5 helpful hints or tips you wish you would’ve known before starting on this publishing journey?

  1. You might get plenty of rejections before you find your “yes.” Rooting for you all!
  2. Publishing takes a long time. You cannot control it. You can only keep creating. Take control of your own time and creativity. 
  3. Some stories may never get published. Sometimes a detail from those stories may lead you to write a new story. Don’t erase the file. Just keep it in case it comes in handy later. 
  4. Surround yourself with writer or illustrator friends who understand you, who will be there for you through both highs and lows.
  5. Always find time to write or illustrate, even if just for a few minutes a day.   

What are 5 fun/quirky facts about yourself as an adult or child?

  1. I was born in a refugee camp in Indonesia.   
  2. My favorite drink is taro smoothie with boba.
  3. My favorite movie is WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.
  4. My favorite bear is Paddington Bear. My dream is to visit Paddington Station and take a photo with the Paddington Bear Statue while holding a Paddington Bear plushie.
  5. I love to collect postcards from around the world. 

Where are 5 places you get inspiration for your stories?

  1. My family
  2. Random artwork
  3. Social media postings
  4. Other writers and illustrators
  5. Everyday life

What are 5 book recommendations (any genre)?

  1. THE BEST WE COULD DO by Thi Bui (graphic novel)
  2. DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Le and Dan Santat (picture book)
  3. IF YOU MISS ME by Jocelyn Li Langrand (picture book)
  4. ANZU THE GREAT KAIJU by Benson Shum (picture book)
  5. THE MAGIC LUNCH BOX by Hanna Kim (chapter book)

Published by Becky Walker Books

Becky Walker is a girl with a dream to become a published children's author. Becky is a former elementary teacher with a degree in Psychology and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

4 thoughts on “TAKE 5 with Kim-Hoa Ung

  1. What a fun interview! I also love the movie, While You Were Sleeping!:) Can’t wait for your beautiful book to be out in the world!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful interview and author tips! I’ve just pre-ordered A GIFT FOR NAI NAI from my library.

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