Hoi Yee and I are often asked what it’s like writing with another person. For my part, I think it’s great! As two people, we couldn’t be more different, but there are some unusual things in our history that link us, and maybe it’s those elements that make working together such fun.
Age-wise, there’s almost a generation between us. Nationality-wise, we’re similarly miles apart; Hoi Yee is traditionally Chinese and I’m typically English (pearls, gardening, napkin ring!). However, I think our similarities outweigh the differences. These perhaps begin with our parents; mine came from urban London, Hoi Yee’s from rural Guangzhou. Both went through the hardship and deprivation of war and revolution. As a result, mine left the capital for the quiet safety of the countryside, while Hoi Yee’s left the dangers of the paddy fields for the security offered by a large city. Although Hoi Yee’s father worked in the restaurant business and my father was an engineer, they both earned additional income through property. Both men were married to tough, independent women who had a high work ethic, that was passed on to us. We both come from a big family of girls, each of us having only one brother.
I was fired on the first day of my first proper job and, as a result found myself on the, then very exclusive, island of Ibiza, as nanny to a child from a well-to-do family. Surrounded by gorgeous, glamorous and famous people, I felt very unworldly and just had to enroll at Barcelona University to study the Spanish language and culture. Years later, Hoi Yee, born and raised in Canada, got a great job in Mexico where she, too, learnt Spanish.
After my Spanish escapade, which included the Canary Islands, I became a student at La Sorbonne, Paris, to learn about the French people, their language, culture and cuisine. In parallel, Hoi Yee grew up in Quebec, Canada where she acquired the French language and a love of French food.
My husband and I came to Hong Kong in search of adventure. So did Hoi Yee and her husband. I opened my own business, Hoi Yee now has her own business. We both see Hong Kong as our home. We love art, good food, being pampered, action, travel and fun. And we really enjoy each other’s company, so writing a book together comes very naturally.