Two WU students publish children’s book

| Senior Scene Editor

Senior Vivienne Chang and Eugenia Yoh released a children’s book about a young girl moving to Taiwan, who struggles to adjust to a new home. (Courtesy Vivienne Chang)

Vivienne Chang, a senior majoring in Economics and Finance with a minor in Dance, and Eugenia Yoh, who graduated in 2022 with a Communications Design degree, never expected a night of commiserating over stomach pains would bring them together —  not only as friends, but as successful business partners.  

That fateful night around 9pm Chang invited Yoh to her dorm after Yoh came down with a bad stomach ache from slightly over-indulging on an all-you-can-eat hotpot, hosted by the Hong Kong Student Association. While Yoh was curled up in a fetal position on the floor, the two began to get to know each other and soon the topic of picture books randomly came up.

The two joked around about putting together a picture book of their own, but it was all fun and games  until  they realized they might actually be able to do it. “[We] sat in a Panera and just wrote out basically the entire book…We were so dehydrated [from working all day without rest], it was fantastic,” chuckled Chang. 

Both Chang and Yoh derived a lot of inspiration from major lifestyle changes that had just occurred as COVID-19  hit the U.S. in 2020. 

In light of the pandemic, Yoh decided to take a gap year and was living with a  friend of hers who had absolutely hated it when she moved back to Taiwan during her childhood. Both Chang and Yoh, who loved Taiwan, its culture, food, and everything, “could not fathom how [someone] could hate it there,” said Yoh.

Now it is 2022, and their book, This Is Not My Home, is to be officially released to the public on January 24th, 2023. The book is about a little girl who moves to Taiwan and learns to redefine her meaning of home. 

“I think a lot of the time we think of home as a very physical place: it is a concrete house, the rooms we live in, the places that we walk to,” said Chang. When reading This Is Not My Home, the two want their readers to find and discover their own personal meaning of home. 

“Can we expand on this idea to think of home to be the place that our loved ones work and live? Can we expand home to be somewhere that you do not necessarily feel the connection to yet, but you know you will later because of your cultural identity or ethnic blood?” Chang said. 

Eugenia Yoh (left) and Vivienne Chang (right).

Over these past two years, Chang and Yoh faced many challenges, from deciding  how to tell the story, to contacting an agent, to letting go of pages and illustrations for final copy edits. Chang said, however, that the hardest part is not “the writing, the illustrating, or even working together, but it is selling the book.” Although each step of the process seems to have its own hurdle, the two are currently dealing with how to successfully market their book and pique public interest.

Even so, the two laughed while reminiscing on past struggles.  “[If] I were doing this alone, I would probably be crying half the time, but at least now I have someone to cry with,” Yoh said. 

On the flip side, Chang found  the most rewarding part of the process was being able to publish their book “through the more traditional way.” She  explained that there are two main ways to publish a book: either online individual distribution, such as Amazon, or more old-school,  through an agent and publisher. Traditional publishing is often seen as a more difficult journey as there tends to be  more “gatekeeping” and hurdles  to jump over. 

Yoh highlighted how rewarding it felt when she attended her weekly folk dancing class and her fellow dancers were impressed by publishing at such an early age. “I think I have taken it for granted [since] the excitement has died down, but I am so thankful that it has happened,” Yoh said.

Both Yoh and Chang highlighted the integral part that Washington University has played in supporting their book journey. Chang stated she did not initially enjoy St. Louis and the college experience, but after meeting Yoh and working on this book, she began to find comfort in a place far from her own home, in California.

Chang and Yoh are guaranteed a second book in the future, as this is part of the deal that they signed with their publisher. The two are still brainstorming ideas, but project that the new book would be released around 2025. 

“Vivienne and I love telling stories through pictures that are universal and humorous, so expect a lot of main characters rolling around the floor in complete distress,” Yoh said with a laugh.  

While the project  is still in the works, the two continue to write and illustrate, seemingly having found a home in this shared love and creative passion. 

Subterranean Books on the Loop is hosting their first official book launch on February 7th, 2023 at 6pm, so stop by to show some support! This Is Not My Home will also be available at Barnes and Noble,, Amazon,, and independent bookstores. 


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