A: I wrote in the diary frequently until Mother's Day of 2012. Sometimes I talked to him as I would if he were alive, telling him about up-to-date news I thought would interest him. I discussed interesting aspects of books I was reading. I told him about my life after the divorce that he hadn't wanted to hear about. I attempted to understand him better, both as the child he had been, and as the adult I barely knew. And I wanted him to know me as the person I was now.
A: I first went to China in 1988 out of sheer curiosity. I knew nothing about China. I didn't know any Chinese people. And no one was talking much about China at that time. My first fascination with China was, I suppose, the third-world time machine effect. I knew I wanted to get to know the people, and I chose teaching as my tool to learn the culture from the inside.
A: While the seed of writing a book about the times and cultures I explored through my travels was in my mind for a while, the idea to try writing a diary arose unexpectedly from the nagging thought that my son was too dead.
After I ended the diary as a book, I missed the communication with my son. So, I have continued to write him e-mails. I don't know at this point whether those e-mails will one day become a book. I surprised myself by publishing one book. There is also a Chinese translation of my first book on an online website in China. And now Out of Step: A Diary To My Dead Son will be available to all. Because I am sure I won't stop writing, I know that I will continue my blog (www.zimatravels.com/wordpress). It's quite possible another book will emerge eventually.