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Author Interview with Christine Ko

How did you become a writer?

I have always loved books and have wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I wrote a Regency romance novel as a teenager, and as if that wasn’t enough overwrought melodrama, I dabbled in poetry and took one creative writing class in poetry as an undergraduate student. I suppose I have always had the writing bug, and while I have never journaled consistently, I always come back to writing about the things that affect me deeply.

What inspires you to create?

My imagination can run wild, and it gives me a sense of catharsis to put things down on paper. I also have very strong emotions and don’t always know how to express them. It helps me to work things out in written form.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

For my (hopefully) first children’s book, a lot of people helped me develop the story and characters. It also helps to take some time away from the story that I am writing and come back to it a few days or weeks later.

Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?

It is hard to know how best to break into the world of publishing, which is still somewhat of a black box to me. I am shy, but through putting my work out there, I have learned to be more open to being vulnerable, to more handily accept critique and feedback, and to persevere for the things that matter to me. Rejection is hard to take, and it takes a lot of passion to continue to press on. I still think it is all worth it!

Tell me about your protagonist. What's your favorite trait and/or weakness?

My protagonist is very secure in who he is, and I love that.

How does your antagonist create conflict?

My antagonist creates conflict because of her curiosity – she wants to be able to experience something foreign to her.

What are your current/future projects?

I love the diversity that is popping up in books for readers of all ages. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to expand the types of protagonists that are featured in children’s books. As a child, I hardly ever read a book that had a main (or even supporting) character that was Asian like me. To see my children reading books that showcase diversity made me realize more fully how much I wish I could have had the same experience.

Do you have a routine you follow when writing/illustrating?

No, not really. I will tend to just sit down and write, either with pen in a spiral notebook (or any other piece of paper that is handy – I have even written on paper bags and napkins), or on my computer. I am not sure which I prefer – the computer is efficient because it is easier to edit things. There is something lovely, however, about feeling the words as they are written down.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?

I think I would have told myself to believe in myself and pursue the things that I wanted. A lot of times, my shyness and reticence held me back.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers or artists?

I would say that I am still an aspiring writer! So the advice that I would give is to not give up! Keep your dreams alive!

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?

Twitter: @ChristineJKoMD


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