Ho Yee-ping's time-travelling first work goes on sale at the book fair Fourteen-year-old novelist Ho Yee-ping says she lives in the present, but acknowledges the influence of the past. All the while, she is keeping an eye on the future. Appropriately, the young author's first work, Past and Future, concerns a time machine. Yee-ping thanks her grandfather, who died when she was just six, for providing her with the inspiration and the will to write. 'My grandad was the first person to inspire and encourage me. He taught me Chinese poems and idioms when I was just a small child,' she said. 'According to my parents, my grandad told me a story every night when I was a baby. Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to thank him by showing him my first published book. 'My grandfather was born to a poor family in China. However, he studied so hard that he finally received a scholarship which enabled him to study at a university in Hong Kong. I would love to put his life story into a book one day.' Yee-ping started writing Past and Future last year, and it is on sale at the Hong Kong Book Fair, which opened yesterday at the Convention Centre. It took her only a few months to finish the book, which is published by Ming Pao Publications. 'I joined Ming Pao's Writer Cultivation Scheme this year. I am so excited that my first book will be sold at this year's fair,' she said. Her book reflects how some people 'always dream of going back to the past so that they could change history'. 'They wish they had one more chance so they could do better,' she said. 'Some others would like to know their future bad luck, so they can prevent it from happening. However, if I had a time machine, I would not use it. I am living in the present. I would rather try my best to enjoy every moment. 'I have never thought of changing the bad luck in my life. What do good luck and bad luck mean? Without knowing sadness, how will I ever know how to treasure what I have?' Yee-ping, who started writing stories seriously in the sixth year of primary school, said she was also influenced by local novelist Ngai Hong. 'His thinking is really amazing because he knows how to think out of the box,' Yee-ping said. 'I also enjoy contemplating things, both philosophical and scientific. Why are we afraid of death? How big is the universe? Where do we come from? Many might regard these questions as meaningless, but to me they mean a lot.' The Writer Cultivation Scheme has been sponsored by Ming Pao Publications since 2001, with the aim of helping young writers publish books. Four budding writers aged 12 to 14, including Yee-ping, have benefited from the scheme this year.