Sue Lynn Tan Inspires HKIS Writers
by Carolina Wen '23
(HKIS Marketing Internship Program)
APRIL 24, 2023 - 2 MIN READ
During International Day, award-winning author of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, Sue Lynn Tan spoke to HKIS Students about her unconventional journey and the lessons she learned on the way.
Library display for Daughter of the Moon Goddess
Ever since receiving a book of myths from her father, author Sue Lynn Tan has always been fascinated by mythology. As an adult, this passion led to her bestselling book The Daughter of the Moon Goddess, a Young Adult fantasy inspired by Chang’e. Last week, for International Day, Ms.Tan came to the high school library to speak with students about her writing and publishing process.

In her presentation, Ms. Tan spoke on her journey to becoming a successful published author and the different paths that could be taken. Having always been drawn to the legend of Chang’e and the many versions of the reason why she chose to take the elixir, Ms. Tan began to imagine the possibility of an alternative motivation - saving her unborn child. This was the inspiration for the premise of 'The Daughter of the Moon Goddess'. As she describes, even amidst the sprawling lands, dragons, and magic, “at the heart of the story is love, both romantic and family, It is what drives the main character.” Due to her success, it is surprising to learn that Ms. Tan was far from an expert when she began writing, having not majored in writing and having little understanding of the complicated publishing process. In her own words, “I was just writing for myself. I didn’t know about structure or outline or anything, it was just something that came out.”

In addition, Ms. Tan took the time to answer many questions posed by students. Ms. Tan revealed aspects about crafting story. When asked about how much of her personal experience she draws on, Ms. Tan answered “[T]his one is very much fantasy. I can assure you there no real life experience there. Where you can draw on is in the emotions the characters go through.”

Finally, Ms. Tan gave valuable advice for accepting rejection as a writer, stating that “When I read something not good about it, I try to think, 'why are they saying it? You don’t have to answer that question straight away, you can give it two days, five days.”
Sue-Lynn Tan speaks with students