Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Regina Shen has grown up on the outside, at the bottom of the official caste system. Yet, her tough upbringing has given her strength to endure what she must to survive, help family, and achieve her goals. Giving up isn’t an option for her. She’s resilient, vigilant, and defiant in protection of what matters to her: family and friends.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In a sense, everything writers write reflect experiences and research in some mix. Research fills in details of place and circumstance, but I believe the emotional aspects come from the heart. Having moved as much as I have, I’ve had to start over from the bottom rung of each new society I moved into. Perhaps the resilience, vigilance, and defiance I find in Regina are in some part derived from these experiences.