Neela Eyunni is an American journalist who has been living in Beijing for four years. She currently works for CCTV News International as a news anchor.
Neela's experiences living and reporting in China have given her a unique insight into Chinese culture and society. We sit down and talk to her about her inspirations behind her first book: Cee Cee's World Adventure - Beijing Bound.
Why did you decide to write a children's book?
I report on hard news everyday so to write a children's book is a refreshing and creative outlet for me. I also have a four year old niece who lives in Minnesota, USA and whenever I Skype with her she is always asking me what Beijing is like. After doing some research I found that there weren't many books about China for kids so I decided to write my very own. I hope the book will peak their interest in Beijing and inspire them to learn more about it.
What do you love most about Beijing?
I love all that Beijing has to offer and I find it to be one of the most entertaining places to live. I always have my iPhone out and usually end up taking about a dozen pictures a day - capturing everything from the street food to cultural heritage sites. The main character's curiosity about the city is in many ways based on my own. I really wanted to share my experiences and what I think makes this city so special. Writing the book was a great way to remind myself why I live here in the first place.
Will you be doing more children's books?
Yes - the book is also designed to be a series. Cee Cee's next adventure will take her to New Delhi, India. I've been there many times and am half Indian. I only want to write about places that I really know about and have spent a lot of time in. I think it's important to write about a city through personal experience and not just after a Google search.
Where can you buy the book?
You can find the book on Amazon in paperback and also in Kindle edition. Or you can pick it up at The Bookworm in Sanlitun.