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5 Creative Questions with... Leanne Yong

Leanne Yong is a YA novelist and escape room creator. While this sounds cool to me now, there was a time when I had an irrational fear of escape rooms. This will give you some insight into how my mind works: I wondered if an escape room could involve, for example, being locked in a coffin. You see why the horror genre came a-calling. Yong, a debut novelist whose book Two Can Play That Game, is out now through Allen & Unwin, appeared as a guest at a Read3r'z Re-Vu session at Galaxy Bookshop. She expounded on how her lead characters arrive at romance - by battling it out through games. This seems a legit way to fall in love: you have something in common; you get to put on a display of blistering competence; you've got stakes, tension, adrenalin. I get it.

Leanne Yong. Image: Myles Kalus Yong is the second in my series of creatives to take five questions.


When my creative process is stuck, I reach for

A puzzle game or video game. I find getting away from writing-centric stuff and using my brain in different ways helps everything to stew for a bit. Alternatively I reach for a towel and take a long shower. I've had so many awesome shower thoughts.


The weirdest thing about being a creative human is

How much of your personal worth you place on the things you create. Which isn't healthy, I should add. But it's something I've noticed given both my jobs (escape room designer, writer) are almost all about the creative process. It helps to be able to step away for a bit, go for a walk, and remind yourself that you're more than whatever you created. Especially because it's so easy to be constantly comparing yourself to other creatives.


The most unusual object in my house is

An entire airbrush kit (more uncommon than unusual), which I had to buy and learn to use in a day or two because of work.


I celebrate my achievements by

Eating somewhere fancy. I'm such a huge foodie, but I also feel bad about spending too much money, so I use achievements as an excuse to go eat somewhere nice! Alternately, if I'm feeling lazy, by gaming all day and ordering in food and not adulting. You know what, can I just say 'I celebrate by not adulting'?


Something in the world that already exists that I wish I had created is

I wish I'd written either the entire Green Bone Saga (by Fonda Lee), the entire Vorkosigan series (by Lois McMaster Bujold) or the entire Queen's Thief series (by Megan Whalen Turner). If I could create anything as incredible as those in my lifetime I would die happy.

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