1983 – Present
Dragon Eagle’s sole living author, Ding Yunyi holds a special place in our organization. In addition to being a contributing author, she’s also one of our head editors and runs our research team, scouting blogs, web forums and self-publishing websites, both in China and America, for talent.
She’s the only member of our staff born in China, though she moved with her family from Chongqing to New York City at age six. Two years later, she was nearly killed, stricken with a fever that hospitalized her for two weeks. After she came to, doctors realized an amazing transformation had occured. They eventually diagnosed her with what’s known as Ding Yunyi’s Disorder, which disrupts the brain’s ability to produce adenosine. Layman’s terms: From then on, her body would no longer require sleep.
She later wrote:
“I always saw it as both a blessing and a curse. Obviously, without it, it’s unlikely I’d be able to accomplish as much I have. On the other hand, there’s a lot I’ve missed out on. I mean, for starters, I’ve never gotten to go alarm clock shopping. I don’t know what it feels like to sleep through something important, like an office meeting or a flight. And always being alert at night meant I could never justify owning a dog.”
With all that extra time, what was she able to accomplish? She graduated prep school at 15, Yale at 19, and she received two Master’s degrees (medical engineering and English literature) from NYU at 21. At Yale, she even took night classes online to get a communications degree from the University of Phoenix, just to see if a friend was serious when she said their diplomas have gold stars on them.
Although her family was well-off, she worked through school to save them money, splitting her evenings between DJ gigs at midtown clubs – mostly deep house and variations of minimal and dub techno – and closing shifts at Panera Bread. To this day, she’s always kept the interests of others at heart, whether it’s designing CPAP machines or her much more impactful work as a poet.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been graduation ceremonies, lucrative patents, and signings to Mille Plateaux. Her parents, who sadly died passed away a week before she joined our staff, weren’t supportive of her artistic side:
“My parents argued that, in comparison to their friends’ kids, the four extra hours per day I accumulated amounted to over 17000 hours when I turned twenty, therefore I hadn’t reached my full potential. They felt the DJing and the writing and the award-winning horticulture was holding me back. I was a successful engineer at Boston Scientific, but for me, work was work and I would never be the pioneer they wanted me to be. Their death in that plane crash really put things into perspective for me, and it was then I decided to change the world with my writing.”
Unlike our other authors, Ding Yunyi’s story has yet to be completed. Dragon Eagle couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming release of her debut novel, What Are Dreams?, on bookshelves as soon as Ding Yunyi finalizes our deal with a printing company.