I grew up in Wahiawa, Hawai'i, a small town right in the center of the island of O'ahu. My family is still there, but they love to fly up to California to visit on the way to Las Vegas.
I majored in Psychology and took pre-med Biology and Chemistry classes at Stanford University. I decided not to go to Medical School (well, at least, I got an invitation to interview at a medical school, but I turned it down), and instead worked as a biologist researcher for nine years. I did compound development studies for a major pharmaceutical company and product development and method-of-action studies for a smaller biotech company.
I've loved to write ever since Junior High, but I put it aside because I felt convicted that my motives were not pure--I was more interested in being a published author than in serving God and writing for His honor and glory. But in 2003 I felt God's calling to write again, and I've been loving every minute. I've learned so much about writing technique from books and articles on the web, and from the writers' websites and groups that I've joined. As of right now, I am active in American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW, formerly American Christian Romance Writers) and the Faith, Hope and Love chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America).
My writing has been heavily influenced by my interests: reading and action/adventure movies and shows. I am addicted to the TV show "24," and will watch anything with Jet Li, Chow Yun-Fat and Jackie Chan.
I also love Japanese anime--does anybody else besides me remember Star Blazers, Voltron, Robotech, and Bubblegum Crisis? I love the mangas Ranma 1/2 & InuYasha.
Outside of writing, my husband and I are staff workers with our youth group at an Asian Christian church in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is both pleasure and pain: Some days I feel God's blessing as I see the results of years spent developing a relationship with these kids, and helping them to understand Christ more deeply. Other days, I just want to strangle all their little throats. ;-)
God has given me an opportunity to combine both my writing and my youth work ministries by becoming an contributing editor for Rubyzine, an online Christian magazine for teenage girls. I've written articles and stories, and have a Q&A column called "Real Life."
My husband and I adopted our dog Snickers from the Santa Clara animal shelter. She is 65 pounds of pure energy. She has a huge pain threshold and can run full-tilt into doors, pick herself up and take off again. My parents affectionately call her their "granddoggie."
When I first started writing, I didn't know if God was going to allow my novels to be published, but the entire experience has taught me more about entirely, completely, totally depending upon Him, and submitting to Him aspects of my life that I never realized I was trying to keep control over.
Now, I try to trust in His plans for me--I know that what I write is for Him to use for His own agenda. He knows how He wants to use me, so I just need to go with the flow.
"Romance with a kick of wasabi"
What does my tagline mean?
Wasabi is a very hot (sinus-clearing) Japanese radish condiment used to give a clean-tasting little spice or kick when eating sushi or any raw seafood. Most of my stories have a hint of romance in it, and wasabi, with its Asian origin, refers both to my Asian characters and that "kick" of sass in my chick-lit.
What do you believe about God, the universe, and everything in between? How strongly do you believe it? Does it impact and influence your life?
I've known people who try to shove their faith down my throat. I'm not here to do that. Give me a minute to tell you my experience with Jesus Christ.
In school, I was an outcast and I would have done almost anything to fit in, to be acknowledged as someone worth knowing. I thought I was a Christian but I wanted to do things my own way, and I did some horribly selfish things to other people, making Christians seem like hypocrites.
God didn't strike me down with lightning. He sent real Christians into my life to make me realize that their faith gave them a confidence and stability I didn't have. He showed me that if I surrendered control of my life to Christ, I could cast aside my old life"the old me"and gain a new life, a new me, someone I'd like much better.
I always regret that it took me so long to find this kind of freedom. That's why I work with teenagers in my church youth group"to help them discover this kind of supernatural love and inner peace while they're still young, before they make stupid decisions like I did.
God didn't make me do anything I didn't want to do. Instead, He opened doors for my greatest dream and desire, my writing. His Spirit guides me and molds me in ways that are too weird and mysterious to describe, but very cool to experience.
It isn't hard and it isn't a cosmic killjoy. It can be a little scary, but He loves you so much, the fear melts away. If you earnestly search for God, He has promised that you'll find Him"undeniably, irrevocably. So don't take my word for it"look for Him yourself. Find a Bible and start reading the Gospel of John.