- Tell us about this book. Is there a central message? How will it add value to a reader’s life?
Dragonfly Dreams explores family bonds and how much one would intervene for those they love. There is also the theme of good versus evil, both outside and inside each of us. I think this novel uncovers the complicated emotions surrounding family and gives insight into Chinese culture in a historical setting.
- If you could compare this book with any book out there we might already be familiar with, which book would it
be and why?
I think it’s similar to If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Both books feature strong female teen protagonists who have to make tough decisions that will deeply affect the world of the living.
- Tell us about the central characters in the book. Are they pure fiction or did you draw from people you know?
I really enjoyed writing Topaz, the main character in the novel. She’s the kind of Asian American young woman I always like to read about, someone strong but a little rough—like her mineral namesake. She’s fictional, but I imbued in her traits of people I know.
- Tell us your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I love feedback, especially when it changes people’s lives. I’ve heard from readers who’ve connected deeper with their relatives because of my work. I also like it when I go beyond people’s expectations. As one blogger said of Dragonfly Dreams, “Death and the perils of parenting are pretty mature concepts, but ones that teens think about — it’s great to have a book that addresses them.”
- If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
- How would you describe your writing style?
Well, my tagline is: “Multicultural fiction, Intergenerational drama.” I’m definitely influenced by my life experiences from my culture and through years of working with older adults. My actual writing style can be described as somewhat experimental with a sparkle of literary influence.
- Who influenced your writing the most?
Amy Tan, for even letting me think that Asian-American literature can be accessible and written about. I also love Jean Kwok, who creates vivid settings and introduces culture and immigrant struggles to young adults around the world. Recently, I’ve been getting into Neil Gaiman, who has an amazing imagination that draws you into his stories.
- Are you more of a character artist or a plot-driven writer?
I’m more of a plot-driven writer. I do make profiles of all my characters to inhabit their minds and worlds. However, I usually start with a dilemma to push off my story and then follow the character’s lead.
- Other than selling your book, what do you hope to accomplish with it?
I would love for young adults to pick up this book and get exposed to a new culture and to think on deeper, more philosophical issues.
- Who should buy this book? Who did you write it for?
It’s an interesting read for young adults and could be a great discussion book. However, there is also crossover appeal to adults because of the themes of maternal love. This book was written with women in mind, for older teens and beyond.
- Where can readers find you and your book?
You can always connect with me on my website: www.jenniferjchow.com
My book can be found at the following sites: