This novel has been a long labor of love. The first scene was written in 2010, but I didn’t start seriously working on it until Fall 2014. After two rounds of NaNoWriMo, a novel writing workshop class, several beta readers, and multiple revisions over three years, I finally completed ASHES. This novel is about a mixed Thai/American teen and is sort of my own way of honoring Thailand and processing my own experiences of growing up as a third-culture kid and wrestling with faith. However, my protagonist Jasmine has her own story, and I’m proud to have written it. I don’t want to say too much, but after a tragic accident, Jasmine and her family move from the US to her mother’s home country of Thailand, and Jasmine has to wrestle with a strange culture, a new school, a language she doesn’t speak that well, and a secret she carries from her life in the States.
In addition, my friend, daughter, and I have started a podcast called Why Read YA. This podcast celebrates young adult literature. We’ll tell you why you should read YA! I hope you’ll listen along! You can find Why Read YA on iTunes or Podbean. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram @whyreadya, or on Facebook at Why Read YA.