I love discovering new authors, especially debut authors. There’s something so wonderfully exciting about a new voice with a fresh or fascinating story to tell.
I’m very happy to have debut author, Jennifer Chow as my guest today. Jennifer’s new book, The 228 Legacy was inspired from photos of a two-million-person human chain commemorating 228. Her dedication for research and love for culture shines brightly in this novel. I really enjoyed the rich depiction of life as a Chinese-American and her distinctive flair for creative storytelling and know you will enjoy getting to know her, too. Please help me welcome my lovely guest, Jennifer Chow!
Who or what inspired you to be a writer?
My early love of childhood reading, spurred on by weekly library visits, inspired me to become a writer.
Tell us what your current release is about, in 2 or 3 sentences.
Three generations in an all-female Taiwanese family living near Los Angeles in 1980 are each guarding personal secrets. Grandmother Silk finds out that she has breast cancer, as daughter Lisa loses her job, while pre-teen granddaughter Abbey struggles with a school bully. When Silk’s mysterious past comes out—revealing a shocking historical event that left her widowed—the truth forces the family to reconnect emotionally and battle their problems together.
Some writers like to let plot ideas percolate and grow for a while before they start writing the story. Would you say this applies to you as well?
I have a basic idea in mind. While I conduct research, I let the idea simmer. After that, I actually start writing the story, but the characters may take me to a different place than I had first planned.
What’s your typical day like when you’re between writing projects?
I spend my time revising finished stories and connecting with readers. Also, I chase after my two young daughters.
What’s your favorite time of the day and place to write?
I like to write in solitude. For me right now, that means after the kids are asleep in bed at night. One day, I’m looking forward to starting in the early morning when my mind is fresh.
Three things you know now that you wish you’d known before publishing your first book?
1. Publishing is a very slow business.
2. Write and rewrite (emphasis on the latter).
3. Fiction tastes are subjective. There will be someone who understands what you’re trying to do.
Your favorite desert or snack?
Egg tart (dan tat): a dim sum treat, featuring creamy egg custard inside a flaky, pie-like crust.
Rock or country music?
Both. I grew up in Fresno, which has a large country fan base, and I enjoy listening to the heart-felt songs. I’m also influenced by rock, particularly early rock-n-roll.
Sunset or sunrise?
Sunrise. There’s something breathtaking about the promise of a new day.
Favorite conference memory?
Last year, I met Jamie Ford, author of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Despite being a NYT bestselling author, he was very down-to-earth. He answered all my questions and encouraged my writing efforts.
Jennifer J. Chow, a Chinese-American, married into the Taiwanese culture. The 228 Legacy was inspired by the family stories she heard after viewing photos of a two-million-person human chain commemorating 228. She has traveled multiple times to Taiwan and visited places dedicated to the incident. Her experience with the elderly comes from a gerontology specialization at Cornell University and her geriatric social work experience. You can visit her online at www.jenniferjchow.com.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Jennifer! Readers, another wonderful author to try! Do stop by Jennifer’s website to learn more about her. To help her celebrate, I’m giving away a $15.00 Barnes & Noble gift card, a $5 Starbucks drink card, a stack of great summer reads, all tucked into a JP tote bag with lots of reader goodies for one lucky winner! For a chance to enter this contest, leave a comment and tell me what you like to discover most about other cultures – food, tradition, language etc. Contest runs through Friday night and I’ll announce winners on Saturday. Happy reading!