Author Chat with Amber Chen (Of Jade and Dragons), Plus Giveaway~ US ONLY!

Today we are very excited to share an interview with author Amber Chen!

Read on to learn more about the author, the book, and a giveaway!

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Amber Chen

Amber Chen is a Singaporean-Chinese author of SFF and contemporary fiction. She spends much of her free time living within Chinese fantasy novels and dramas, and also drinks one too many cups of bubble tea. One of her webnovels, The Cutting Edge, has been adapted for television. You can find her online at ambercwrites.com and on TikTok, Instagram, and X @AmberWrites88.

Website * Instagram * X * TikTok

 

 

 

About the Book: Of Jade and Dragons

Mulan meets Iron Widow in this thrilling silkpunk fantasy about a girl who must disguise herself as a boy and enter the famed and dangerous Engineer’s Guild trials to unravel the mystery of her father’s murder.

 

Eighteen-year-old Aihui Ying dreams of becoming a world-class engineer like her father, but after his sudden murder, her life falls apart. Left with only a journal of her father’s engineering secrets and a jade pendant snatched from the assassin, a heartbroken Ying follows the trail to the capital and the prestigious Engineers Guild—a place that harbors her father’s hidden past—determined to discover why anyone would threaten a man who ultimately chose a quiet life over fame and fortune.

Disguised as her brother, Ying manages to infiltrate the guild’s male-only apprenticeship trial with the help of an unlikely ally—Aogiya Ye-yang, the taciturn eighth prince of the High Command. With her father’s renown placing a target firmly on her back, Ying must stay one step ahead of her fellow competitors, the jealous guild masters, and the killer still hunting for her father’s journal. Complicating everything is her increasingly tangled relationship with the prince, who may have mysterious plans of his own.

The secrets concealed within the guild can be as deadly as the weapons they build—and with her life and the future of her homeland at stake, Ying doesn’t know who to trust. Can she avenge her father even if it means going against everything he stood for, or will she be next in the mastermind’s line of fire?

 

~Author Chat~

 

YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Of Jade and Dragons was an idea that I came up with in 2020, one of the many plot bunnies I had at that time. One of my niche hobbies is speculating about the lives and times of historical figures and filling in the gaps in historical records, so that’s what happened with this book, which was inspired by the story of Primary Consort Minhui of the early Qing dynasty, more commonly known in popular Chinese culture as Hai Lan Zhu.

 

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favourite character in the book also happens to be everyone else’s favourite character—our bratty little fourteenth prince, Ye-kan. Honestly didn’t expect to like him that much, but he really grew on me. I think because he starts off being incredibly obnoxious, his character growth throughout the book is one of the greatest and I can’t wait for everyone to see where we take him in Book 2!

YABC: What research did you do to write this book?

I actually did more historical research than engineering research, because I wanted to blend reality with fantasy. A number of the inventions that appear in the book are based off actual inventions that existed in historical China, with a bit of imagination adding on to them here and there. That was important to me, because it I wanted the tech to be believable, and I was super pleased when an early reviewer said that the book made them wonder if the Qing dynasty could actually have been this technologically advanced.

YABC: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I would love to be able to say “from the moment I was born” but that would be a lie! My first ambition in life was to work in NASA and be an astronaut—figured that wasn’t going to work out pretty quickly though. I’ve always been an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, but I didn’t think of writing my own stories until I was in university. While binging TV dramas (I watch a lot of these) in between lectures and tutorials, I realised that 1) there were so many unsatisfying plot points and endings out there and 2) unfortunately there was a finite supply of content for me to indulge in, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and start writing.

YABC:   How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?

I’m told that my writing voice is truly very YA, and I think a lot of that has to do with me starting out with training in screenwriting before transiting into novel writing. There are many aspects to screenwriting that lend itself naturally to the YA age category, such as faster pacing and style of worldbuilding. When drafting, I also try to limit myself to reading only within that particular age category so that I don’t get overly influenced by the voice of other age categories!

YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?

Angsty ones. Scenes where all is lost for the protagonist, where everything they believed turns out to be a lie, when lovers are separated—ideally by life and death. As a reader, my favourite books are tragedies; as a writer, I find the tragic scenes the most fun to write as well. I’m sorry!

YABC: What hobbies do you enjoy?

Besides reading, I’m also an avid watcher of TV dramas and I spend most of my free time binge-watching the latest dramas. When I have time I even film Tiktok drama review reels (which funnily enough has gotten me quite a number of followers haha).

YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?

It would be a toss-up between middle grade and adult. I have ideas stewing for both, but I’m currently leaning more toward MG because I quite enjoy writing for children and I think kidlit is so important in helping grow the next generation of readers. Also, MG has some of The best covers on the shelves, for real J

YABC:   What’s up next for you?

Book 2 of the Fall of the Dragon duology, for sure, else my editor will be coming for my head! Hopefully that wraps up the character arcs for our main characters nicely J After that, anything is fair game, although I’m hoping to start on a new YA fantasy project that draws on Chinese mythology and my love for the Xianxia sub-genre!

 

 

 

 

Title: Of Jade and Dragons

Author: Amber Chen

Release Date: On Sale June 18, 2024

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

ISBN-13: 9780593622759

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Fantasy

Age Range: Ages 12+

 

 

 

~ Giveaway Details ~

 

One (1) winners will receive a copy of Of Jade And Dragons (Amber Chen) ~US Only!

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

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4 thoughts on “Author Chat with Amber Chen (Of Jade and Dragons), Plus Giveaway~ US ONLY!”

  1. turgturgbuss says:

    My son is very interested in this book!

  2. Hailey says:

    This cover is stunning! And silkpunk–what a fun twist on the genre!

  3. This is one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever seen! This is also my most anticipated book of the year–silk punk sounds amazing!

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