Dad. Husband. Author. Hi, I’m Michael Wong, an award-winning children’s author based in Sydney, Australia. I'm passionate about creating beautiful, diverse, and inclusive picture books to empower kids to be the best they can be.
I wasn't always an author. I was born in London, England, to two Chinese parents. My parents are Hakka Chinese, originally from southern China.
Sadly, my parents split up when I was about eight. The courts told my younger brother and I to live with our dad. Mom had left our lives. Dad didn't talk much. I grew up trying to figure out the world on my own. Dad passed away when I was 23. I took care of my brother for awhile.
Life hasn't been easy. I have been a lot of things in my life: waiter, cook, washer-upper, penniless, unemployed, homeless, self employed, internet marketer, husband. The best thing I have been by far is the proud father of two beautiful boys.
The last 15 years have been particularly tough. My marketing business died a long, slow death. My mental health suffered. We had to sell the first and only home my wife and I ever bought together, to rescue me from the precipice. I tried to create new sources of business income, without much success. I was broken.
In 2019, I decided to try my hand at writing children's picture books. I invested the best part of a year working full-time creating a series of five children’s picture books on a shoestring budget. They all flopped. We sold just 50 copies by the end of the year.
I was devastated. In my heart I knew the books weren't that good. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't try again. So, I did because I thought I could do better. I went in a new direction.
For story ideas, I thought about my kids. I remember "talking" to them when my wife was recovering after giving birth. I wished them all kinds of wonderful things, but most of all, I wish them happiness. An idea for a book was born.
I'm no artist. So, we hired a professional illustrator. We really couldn't afford it because we didn't have a lot of money. But I had to try, otherwise I'd have regrets for the rest of my life. The illustrations were stunning.
My next bit of good fortune was David Miles agreeing to be my book designer and editor. David was the former creative/publishing director at Familius. He is an award-winning author and/or illustrator of over 40 titles and designer of over 300 books. David produced a beautiful book that I still marvel at everytime I pick it up.
Five months before I released the book, I was offered a publishing contract for my book. I politely declined the offer because I wanted to take control of my own destiny. I made the decision to self publish my book.
I released I Wish You Happiness on November 20, 2020 (World Children’s Day). Thankfully, customers and critics loved the book. The book went onto receive four children’s picture book of the year awards. Over 1,300 customers have rated it 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon. And, we’ve sold many thousands of copies.
I'm passionate about giving back, giving disadvantaged kids access to my empowering picture books. With the help of generous customers, I have been able to donate over 200 hardcovers to underprivileged kids via Barnardos, the Aboriginal Literacy Foundation in Australia, Kids Need to Read, and the Tree House Books in the United States.
I was desperate to prove to myself that I Wish You Happiness wasn’t a one-hit wonder. So, I released I Will Always Be Proud of You on March 15, 2022. Thankfully, customers loved that book. Over 800 customers have rated it 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.We released personalized versions of our books. Customers have asked for other names. So we plan to launch a service whereby you can personalize our books with ANY name. If you’d like to be notified when the service launches, subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.
We've also released bilingual Spanish, French, Italian, and German editions of our books to empower and inspire as many kids as possible.
I love this "job." I hope to be able to continue creating beautiful, inspiring picture books to empower kids to be the best they can be for the rest of my life.
For the first time in over ten years, I wake up each day, with hope, rather than dread, in my heart. I still worry about money and bills, but not as much. I can finally afford to buy the necessities my kids need for school and their happiness.
But, I can’t do any of that without the kind support of my wonderful customers. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind support.
P.S. Please stay in touch. Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page. You'll be entered into our giveaway to win one of our hardcovers, every month.
P.P.P.S. And, we're so proud and humbled by these book awards.
- Mom’s Choice Awards® GOLD Award
- 2022 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards SILVER MEDAL WINNER
- 2022 Wishing Shelf Book Awards SILVER WINNER
- 2022 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards 1ST PLACE
- 2021 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards GOLD MEDAL WINNER
- 2021 Readers’ Favorite Illustration Award WINNER
- 2021 International Book Awards WINNER
- 2020 Wishing Shelf Book Awards GOLD WINNER
- 2020 National Indie Excellence Awards WINNER
- 2020 Foreword Indies FINALIST