Children’s author and Sai Kung resident Matt Cooper tells his story to Cherrie Yu.
I’m a stay-at-home dad so I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my children
(Noah, five, and Neve, three). I’ve previously worked as a medical writer but I’ve done all sorts of jobs from working for a credit-card company to scuba diving
I spend a lot of time reading children’s books and my son is really fascinated with transportation. I wanted to find some books about that in Hong Kong, but couldn’t find anything. So I decided to write one that featured transport in Hong Kong.
Lost in Hong Kong follows a boy called Tim Chen on his journey from Hong Kong Park to Sai Kung. It follows a realistic route and he has lots of adventures around Hong Kong in chasing his mischievous dog.
Illustrator Fiona Lai and I met when we worked together at a medical firm in Hong Kong. She has been working in commercial artwork since she graduated from an art school in Canada. She’s had two exhibitions and can draw in many different styles.
The process took two years. The best moment was seeing the first illustration for the book. It was different to what I had in mind – but better. It was very exciting.
We self-published as the publishing industry is hard to break into, there aren’t a lot of English-language publishing companies in Hong Kong. We started our own company and we already have a few books lined up.
The plan is to start small, releasing the book in Dymocks Sai Kung and working our way from there. We may make the story bilingual.
To contact Matt Cooper and Fiona Lai, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.