Monday, April 19, 2010

Interviewing Cabinet ministers

I've been writing feature articles for 14 years, but recently I enjoyed a career first - interviewing a Cabinet-level central government official. In fact, I interviewed two by email, and their answers arrived in my mailbox within a few hours of each other.

The two are Emile Sheng, minister of the Council of Cultural Affairs, and Chou Kung-shin, director of the National Palace Museum. Yes, that's right - the chief of Taiwan's most famous museum is a member of the Cabinet. I'm assuming this is because, back in the 1960s and 1970s, Chiang Kai-shek and his son regarded their possession of the collection as central to their claim that the ROC was the legitimate government of China.

I interviewed Dr. Sheng about his previous job, CEO of the 2009 Taipei Deaflympics Organizing Committee, for Taiwan Business Topics. The questions I sent to Dr. Chou are for an article about Asia's leading museums for Silkroad, Dragonair's inflight magazine. The former is due out very soon; the latter will appear in June or July.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Books no. 2 and no. 3

Encouraging news from Thailand and the UK. It seems my second book, Taiwan: Dos and Don'ts, is finally going to press. Also, the cover design of Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide has been confirmed and the book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.