My parents expected me to be a doctor, but they turned me into a writer instead.

They showered me with books about medical heroes: Albert Schweitzer, Florence Nightingale, you name it. I fell in love—not with the doctors and nurses, but the stories. I hungered for narratives of all kinds, not only to read but also to write my own.

I churned out stories and cartoons in school journals from first grade through graduate school (where I studied not art or writing, but applied linguistics). I drew storyboards for a Hollywood animation studio, where I learned the art of storytelling from the greatest writers from around the world. Then I serendipitously landed in Hong Kong, where I chronicled its transition from British to Chinese rule in books and daily cartoons for Asian and international publications.

After directing animation for several years, I now write books full time from my new home in Portugal. Whether in words, comics, or moving pictures, and in whatever part of the world, I have always been and always will be a storyteller.

With apologies—and thanks—to mom and dad.