Our Friend is Here! An Interview with June C.L. Tan, Author of Jade Fire Gold – On the Trope of the Chosen One, Cultural Inspiration, and Asian Media Recommendations

Our Friend is Here! is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Our Friend is Here: Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond during the month of May, where Asian and Pasifika authors are invited to celebrate being Asian and Pasifika work and literature! Find the introduction post for Asian and Pasifika Heritage Month here.

When I first saw the cover reveal for Jade Fire Gold on Twitter, I gasped. I grew up watching Chinese wuxia dramas with my mother (who was very much the source of my early C-drama obsession as a kid), and the cover art instantly transported me back to those 6 PM childhood evenings spent in front of the television set, rapt with long-running story arcs of whatever was airing at the time. Like a lot of diaspora kids, my upbringing featured a steady hybrid diet of both Asian and Western media: the evening C-dramas were interspersed with Japanese anime, nighttime Disney movies, and American cartoons.

This unique mix of influences is precisely what makes Jade Fire Gold‘s twin ‘comps’ of wuxia meets Avatar: The Last Airbender so potent for me too; it’s genuinely so heartening to see more books being published today that reflect the huge varieties of media that marginalized readers are growing up with. It is thus my greatest honor today to be sharing a little interview we had with June C.L. Tan about her upcoming book, the inspirations behind it, and her writer journey so far!

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