Hello Folks! I’m back with another author interview! My guest this week is author Jennifer J. Chow.
Jennifer J. Chow writes multicultural mysteries and fantastical YA. Her Asian-American novels include Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick), The 228 Legacy, and the Winston Wong cozy mystery series.
Her short fiction has most recently appeared in the STEM anthology, Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines who Hack, Hyphen Magazine, and Yay! LA Magazine.
Welome Jennifer! Tell us a little about your background!
I write multicultural mysteries. My dad has Chinese heritage but was born and raised in Malaysia. My mom grew up in Hong Kong. I have a professional background in geriatric social work, so don’t be surprised if you see older characters in my stories!
Tell us a bit about your latest book
MIMI LEE GETS A CLUE is about a Los Angeles pet groomer who ends up being the prime suspect in the murder of a local dog breeder. She’ll need help from her sassy talking cat and her dreamy lawyer neighbor if she wants to get off the suspect list.
How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
I like compiling character profiles. These lists describe the goals, quirks, and traits of each individual. While I’m writing, I find that their personalities will unfold on the page.
How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I start with a general outline for the story and also use bullet points for each chapter. As I work, though, I’ll also let the characters act organically.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
Getting published is a marathon. It’s hard to persevere when receiving rejections and pressure from well-meaning friends and family. Motivation comes from seeing the success of other writers as they pursue their passion. For me, looking up to and following established Asian American authors is especially rewarding.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I’m really risk-averse, but my most recent adventure involved petting a hedgehog. (ROCCO: Sounds like an interview for another day, meow)
What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Unlike most writers, I can’t operate on coffee—it makes me too jittery. I prefer tea.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Both! I like all things furry. (ROCCO: Good answer, meow)
Beach or Pool? Beach.
Steak or salad? Steak salad?
Favorite Drink? Jasmine green tea.
Favorite Book? It changes every year! A few weeks ago, though, I read The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and really enjoyed it.
Favorite TV Series? TV? I don’t have time for television.
Favorite Movie? Beauty and the Beast
Favorite Actor: I think Tom Hanks is very talented.
Favorite Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (and it’s not because we share the same first name!).
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Neither, but I do like those cute cocktail umbrellas.
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii.
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Emily Dickinson.
If I had just one wish, it would be increased appreciation and compassion in the world.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be Reese Witherspoon (and getting to run her women-empowering book club).
Thanks for a great interview, Jennifer!
Folks you can connect with Jennifer at the below:
Jennifer will give away an ARC of MIMI LEE GETS A CLUE to one lucky commenter. Leave your name and email address in our comments section below to enter. US entries only, please! The winner will be selected at random on February 28.