Junying Kirk is a woman of many talents. She’s energetic, supportive, and she’s everywhere—I can’t keep up with her! We bonded immediately because she’s easy to talk to and has an incredibly generous spirit. I love learning everything about her—from her mouth-watering cooking videos to pictures of her world travels to her wonderful writing.
I’ve never been much for reading about my own culture until recently, and I find Junying’s writing both lyrical and informative. Most importantly, she tells a beautiful story.
As part of her generous nature, she’s giving away FREE copies of her books for a LIMITED time only. Find out how you can get yours at the end of this interview.
Please help welcome, ethereal beauty, Junying Kirk.
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Junying Kirk came to Britain from China in 1988. She grew up in the turbulent times of the Cultural Revolution. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University, followed by further postgraduate degrees at Glasgow and Leeds. She has worked as an academic, administrator, researcher, teacher and cultural consultant. When she is not travelling to courts & Police stations as a professional interpreter, she loves spending her time reading & writing books. The first two novels of her Journey to the West trilogy, The Same Moon and Trials of Life have been published on Amazon Kindle, as well as on Smashwords. She is now writing her third, which is to be released in April 2012. She has a grown-up son and lives in Birmingham with her husband.
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Inside Junying Kirk’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Apart from talking to you, Eden, I would be perfectly happy to dance the night way to amazing African beats or Latin music, preferably in an exotic location with palm trees and cocktails, and not to mention a Ricky Martin look alike heart throb who can twist and croon at the same time :)
What turns you on creatively? Interesting people I meet, natural beauty, music, written words and humor. I love the English language and I am so happy that I am able to write in a language that is not my mother tongue but I have mastered it enough to express myself creatively.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? ‘Thank you’ and ‘sorry’ must be the most overused expressions in the English language – I love the fact that I live in a country where people tend to use them, almost on a daily basis. In China where I came from, we have such a different way of life that we tend to behave and speak very differently in every day life. I must have expressed my gratitude and apologized more times in any given month in the UK than the total 27 years I have spent in China :-)!
What quality do you most admire in a man? Can I list more than one quality? Honesty, Humor, Integrity and Loyalty. I appreciate them all in both men and women.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Optimism! I have a strong belief that positive thinking goes a long way and it’s something I admire in others as well as aspire to myself.
What is your greatest regret? I am not a person who looks back at my past and regrets what I have or have not done. There is a reason in everything I did and things that have happened to me, although I may not fully understand the logic behind every single action. Everyone has a unique life path, and what we decided to do, and the kind of mistakes we have made can not be undone. What we can do is to make sure that we follow our heart, and sometimes our head, to do the best we can, so we don’t have regrets in the future.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Didn’t I just say that I have no regrets? Well, I guess if I could change one thing, I wish I had started learning foreign languages at a much younger age – I don’t mean just English. I wish I was brought up in a more multicultural environment so I would be equipped with more languages and dialects, not only to satisfy my constant desire for knowledge, but also my belief that language and culture define us both as humans and as writers.
What is your greatest fear? I am fearless :-)! No, seriously I don’t think I have ever been afraid of anything, and maybe I have yet to discover what is my fear.
Which living person do you most admire? Nelson Mandela. I don’t think I need to elaborate why, as many people would share my admiration towards this great man. I have ultimate respect for people who stand up for their beliefs, fight for freedom and are not afraid of making sacrifices for the greater good of this world.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Musician. I would love to have learnt to play an instrument to a professional level and it does not matter which kind, as long as I could master it. Failing that, I would not mind being a singer. I have a reasonably good voice and can carry a tune, and I had won a bronze medal at a Karaoke competition among the Chinese students and scholars in the UK some ten years ago in Leeds, UK.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A traveling artist! Combining my love to see the world, an ability to paint and draw, a Mac, or whatever modern technology they may have invented by then to allow me to write, together with a cutting-edge video/camera to record every single beauty I am blessed to bear witness to.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My greatest achievement is yet to come :-)! I surely hope that I shall be remembered by the books I have written and they will teach our future generations about our history, the times we have lived in, the tragedies we have been through and the lessons we have learnt and passed on.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Arrogance & deceit, that’s two.
What is your greatest extravagance? Apart from the huge spending spree on my regular overseas travelling, it would be the Apple Mac I treated myself to a few months ago. It is one of the most useful items I have purchased and transformed my life in no small way :-) I can now edit photos and make my own videos, thanks to the Iphoto and iMovie!
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Just one? There are many things I want to do before I kick the bucket:-), but if I have to pick one, it will be travel. Have I told you that traveling is my passion or have you gathered that already? I want to visit the verdant New Zealand, see the majestic Great Canyon, film the amazing Iguazu and Victoria Falls, and climb the magnificent Emperor State building in New York :-)!
What is your present state of mind? Contentment. I have been through a lot of trials and tribulations in my life and I have now come to a stage when I have a wonderful network as a writer and I can do a lot of things I had never dreamt of doing when I was younger – I feel blessed and loved beyond words.
What are some of your favorite curse words? Fuck off (excuse my French), you son of a bitch, and more F words :-)! If by cursing when something bad happened, I’ll choose a set of different expressions. Here is my list: Bloody hell! Damn! WTF?! They sound better, don’t they?
What is your motto? Live for today! Can I add another for good measure: Knowledge is power!
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Thank you Junying SO MUCH for your words of wisdom, your humour, and your generous offer to readers. It was such a pleasure to host you!
Readers: To get your FREE copy of The Same Moon on Smashwords, enter the coupon code SL53D at checkout.
Good for November only, so do it now!
Please show this lovely lady your appreciation and leave a comment here. Also, visit her Goodreads site in December when she’ll advise how you can get your FREE copy of Trials of Life.
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