Author Interview with Jennifer J. Chow
Hello! My name is Jennifer J. Chow. I write Asian-American fiction that often features older characters.
My debut novel, The 228 Legacy, was about three generations in a Taiwanese-American family. It won Honorable Mention in the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival and was a 2013 Finalist for Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award.
1. Can you give us a brief overview of your latest novel and the inspiration behind it?
My latest novel, Seniors Sleuth, is the first in the Winston Wong mystery series, and won Runner-Up in the 2015 Beach Book Festival. I was inspired to write a cozy mystery because of my mom, who loved reading them with me.
A brief summary of the book: Winston Wong used to test video games but has now decided to try detective work. Through a slip-up in the printing of his ad, he gets his first case—at a senior home.
2. How long did it take you to write Seniors Sleuth? What is your writing process like?
It took me about a year to write Seniors Sleuth, but it’s been lurking on my computer for a few years getting edited and revised. Typically, I like to write the first draft, go over it several times, send it off to a critique group, fix it, get beta reader opinions, revise it some more, and then publish it. Whew!
3. Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’ll still plotting the next Winston novel in my head. In the meantime, I have a historical young adult novel scheduled to go to press in the late fall/early winter. It will deal with immigrant issues and generational drama—but with paranormal elements.
You can keep up to date on my latest works by visiting www.jenniferjchow.com and signing up for my newsletter, which has updates on my newest books and quirky musings.
4. What’s your favorite quality about your hero?
I love the geekiness of his character. He’s so bumbly, but loveable at the same time. It makes me want to give him a giant hug.
5. How would you describe your writing style and previous novels to someone that has never read your work before?
Here’s my tagline: Asian-American fiction with a geriatric twist. I have a lot of experience with older adults and that has transferred over to my stories. My books often deal with relationships, whether with family or romantic interests.
6. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes! At least, ever since I discovered the magical kingdom known as a library.
7. What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
I would probably be working directly with seniors. My education is in gerontology, and I have an advanced social work degree specializing in older adults.
8. What kind of environment do you write in?
I prefer a quiet environment. With two young kids running around, though, I’ll take what I can get!
9. What would we find if we looked in your handbag right now?
I don’t want to know… Actually, I think there’s a mishmash of receipts, crumbs, and pens, along with my essentials: wallet, phone, and lip balm.
10. Either or…
Dogs or cats? I used to be a dog person, but now I’m leaning toward Team Cat.
Coffee or tea? Definitely tea, but once in a while, I’ll splurge on a fancy mocha frappucino.
Summer or Winter? What about spring? I do like sunny weather, though. That’s one of the reasons why I live in L.A.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep, for sure.
Check out Jennifer’s Latest Release!
Author: J.J. Chow
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published: May 9, 2015 by J.J. Chow
Winston Wong used to test video games but has left his downward spiraling career to follow in the footsteps of Encyclopedia Brown, his favorite childhood detective. When the Pennysaver misprints his new job title, adding an extra “s” to his listing, Winston becomes a “Seniors Sleuth.” He gets an easy first case, confirming the natural death of a ninety-year-old man. However, under the surface of the bingo-loving senior home is a seedier world where a genuine homicide actually occurred. Winston finds himself surrounded by suspects on all sides: a slacker administrator, a kind-hearted nurse, and a motley crew of eccentric residents. To validate his new career choice (and maybe win the girl), he must unravel the truth from a tangle of lies.
A bit more about the Author – Jennifer J. Chow
Her multicultural women’s fiction, The 228 Legacy, was a 2013 Finalist for ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Award. She also writes the Winston Wong Cozy Mystery Series under J.J. Chow.