Gabrielle Wang is an author and illustrator of 16 YA and books for young readers. She’s of Chinese descent and grew up in the suburbs of Melbourne. I found out about her work through her powerful essay in an Australian paper on growing up in Australia, and hiding what her Chineseness in a world in which there were no books that featured characters like her. Go here and read: Growing up all I wanted to be was white.
On to the question of write what you know: is Gabrielle right? Is it just a matter of combining what you know with your imagination?