Created September 01, 2023 by Tanja Bauerle
Karen S. Chow started writing novels when she was a college sophomore while earning a degree in Electrical Engineering at Arizona State University. Now, she is an engineer by day and middle-grade novelist by night. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her three kids, hiking all over Arizona, and satisfying her bubble tea cravings. She lives in Gilbert, AZ.
Hi Karen, it’s so nice to connect with you. Thank you for being our very first SCBWI-AZ Equity and Inclusion Member Spotlight!
Can you tell us how long have you been a member of SCBWI-AZ and what’s your favorite part about your membership?
Thank you for the spotlight! I’ve been a member for a little over one year, and slowly trying to be more active. I love SCBWI’s mission to help and promote authors and illustrators. Mostly, I love being able to meet other authors and illustrators who are as passionate about writing as I am. Everyone is so welcoming, and it’s nice to feel like part of the community.
Can you share the story behind your upcoming book?
My book, MIRACLE, is inspired by my father. He passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was in college. I’ve always wanted to write about his beautiful personality and life, but it never seemed like the right time, until NaNoWriMo 2016. It was a magical month, and the words flowed onto the page. My main character is Amie Cheung, who deeply loves her father. When he dies from cancer, she has to figure out how to grieve and heal and get along with her mom, whom she doesn’t connect with as much as her dad. I also infused my love of Harry Potter and my background in music (I was a band geek) into the book. Some of the conversations/memories/scenes between Amie and her dad are taken from real life.
Once MIRACLE was written, I revised with my critique group (the Charglings: G.F. Miller, Mary E. Lambert, Lara Herrington, Keith Pond, and Traci Avalos). Afterward, it was selected for Pitch Wars 2017. I revised with mentors Cindy Baldwin and Amanda Rawson Hill for two intense months. I received helpful feedback during the agent round/querying and revised again before it hooked my agent, Andrea Cascardi, during #DVPit. And then, I rewrote the entire book for an R&R (revise and resubmit) with my editor, Christy Ottaviano, before she offered.