Author Chat with Emiko Jean (Tokyo Ever After), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Emiko Jean author of
Tokyo Ever After.
Read on for more about Emiko, her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet Emiko Jean!
When Emiko Jean isn’t writing, she is reading. Before she became a writer, she was an entomologist, a candlemaker, a florist, and most recently, a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She is also the author of Empress of all Seasons and We'll Never Be Apart.
Meet Tokyo Ever After!
The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After, the irresistible story of an ordinary Japanese-American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan!
Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.
Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
What appealed to me was writing a story about a girl, specifically a Japanese-American girl like myself, searching for her identity and a place where she belongs. For me, a book always starts with what-if questions. What if this girl reunited with her family in Japan? What would that look like? How would it go? From there, it was a hop, skip, and a jump to casting the girl as a descendant of the imperial family, using the classic “I’m-really-a-princess” trope and pairing it with a search for cultural identity.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel. Throughout revision, the book ends up changing so much that I find it kind of impossible to title a story before the draft is complete.
YABC: Do you have a favorite writing snack?
While drafting, I consume a lot of Skittles, hot tamales, and tea! My husband likes to say I run on sugar and love.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
The importance of revision. Revising is probably my least favorite part of the writing process, yet it is so very essential. When I compare first drafts to final drafts, the difference is irrefutable.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
Everything! First, I love how it features a Japanese girl. Representation is so important within the pages but also on covers. Second, the paper cutouts done by artist John Ed De Vera are extraordinarily beautiful and reminiscent of paper art in Japan.
YABC: What’s on your TBR pile?
Currently, I have Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau, and Anna K Away by Jenny Lee in my stack.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
I have been on a romance kick and just finished Beach Read by Emily Henry. I loved it—so smart, funny, and full of heart. She has another book publishing soon, and I have preordered it!
YABC: What’s up next for you?
So much! I’ve been hard at work on Izumi’s second novel. Her princess journey will continue in Japan. I can’t say too much, but the stakes will be higher. I can’t wait for everyone to read! I am also contributing to a short story to an anthology about the biracial experience in America. It’s currently untitled but will hit shelves in 2022, I believe!
YABC: What advice would you give to new writers?
I’ve had a sticky note taped to my desk since my debut novel, We’ll Never be Apart, and it merely says: don’t give up. I see it every day, and it is my reminder to keep pressing forward. There will always be hurdles in this industry. I am careful not to say failures because failures are just successes that haven’t happened yet. I received a lot of rejections for We’ll Never be Apart (too many to count), and it’s important to know you’re not alone. We are all swimming in the same turbulent waters, so rely on others to keep you afloat.
Second, to that, I would also say: write. There is an adage about not being able to fix a blank page, and I also think about that every time I am gearing up to draft.
Tokyo Ever After
By: Emiko Jean
Release Date: May 25th, 2021
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Three winners will each receive a copy of Tokyo Ever After (Emiko Jean) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
I loved the “Princess Diaries”!! I am really excited to read this book from the synopsis and I love the representation and definitely want to read more books from POC authors that involve POC as main characters!
The cover is very beautiful, and it definitely reflects a part of the Japanese culture in regards to royalty I never knew before. Also, the synopsis is very intriguing as it shows how some Asian American girls feel in our world today—finding a way to best connect with both their American and Asian heritage, which I have always found the most fascinating to read about lately. I can't wait to read this book!