As a child, Laurence Yep always felt like an outsider, a theme he explores in his novels.
Born in San Francisco, Yep is a Chinese American who grew up in an African-American neighborhood
and went to school in San Francisco's Chinatown. Although most of this classmates spoke Chinese,
Yep did not. Later he attended a mostly white high school. Yep discovered science fiction while
he was a teenager and published his first sci-fi story at 18. Dragonwings, the product
of six years of research, was inspired by the true story of a Chinese man who flew his own
flying machine in 1909.