FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions I get.

Q. I like your name. Are you from Canada?

Thank you! I like my name too! That's to my parents' credit. I am actually from Hong Kong, and I moved to Greater Los Angeles when I was 11.

Q. How do you come up with ideas?

The more I read, the more artwork I see, the more creatives I meet, the more inspirations I get. I always keep a notebook and jot down things I find interesting, however trivial. You never know when you put two and two together and connect all those trivial dots.

Q. Is it true you are allergic to chocolate?

Yes and no. I was eleven when I did my first trick-or-treat in America. I was so excited, I gobbled up one too many pieces of chocolate. I got really sick and had since developed a psychological allergic reaction to chocolate. It might be psychological, but the reaction is real. I truly do get sick after.

Q. What book genres do you enjoy?

My default leisure reading rotates between history and astrophysics. I gravitates more towards non-fiction, but I do enjoy a good fiction occasionally, such as a good mystery. 

Q. What else do you do when you are not drawing and writing?

I am an avid competitive badminton player – not the ones that you swing your racket leisurely in an open park, but the indoor, fast-paced, rigorous type. I play about 2 to 3 times a week in local badminton clubs. I also take care of about 10 community cats on my street with my neighbor. They are the most adorable cats, and I've grown really close to them. (Please TNR community cats!) I go in and out of my local library at least once a week – you will find me either reading or working there. It's my go-to happy place.

Q. How did you get started in children's book publishing?

Much like many of my peers, I joined the Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrator (SCBWI). They are fantastic! Five stars! Highly recommend!

Q. Do you do school visits or library workshops?

Yes, absolutely! Due to Covid, most of my school visits and library workshops have shifted online. Please feel free to email me directly on schedule and cost. (maplelam@gmail.com)

Q. I wrote a story! Can I hire you to illustrate my book?

I am very flattered. Thank you for thinking of me on your project! Please contact my agent Jordan Hamessley at New Leaf Literary Agency. Please note that I am currently not accepting commissions to illustrate self-published books. Thank you again!

Q. Can you donate your art or a book to my organization or event? It's for a good cause.

Much like my peers in the industry, I get this question a lot. I think there is an misconception that the publisher will send the author-illustrator tons of her own books for free. The truth is, we only receive a few copies of our own books, and we buy the rest of them with our own money. Please understand that even when I get a slight discount for buying my own books in bulk, I am still paying out of pocket, and am also responsible for all the shipping and handling cost. Because of time and financial limit, I am usually not able to participate in such donations. Thank you for your understanding.

Q. I love your artwork! Where can I buy your art?

Thank you for the love! I currently sell art prints on Inprnt.com. Feel free to check them out!