About Me

author headshot

Jennifer Chow (Photo Credit: Julie Daniels)

Jennifer J. Chow is a Chinese-American author who writes multicultural mysteries and fantastical YA. Her Asian-American novels include the Lefty Award-nominated Sassy Cat Mysteries, the Winston Wong cozy mystery series, Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick), and The 228 Legacy.

Writing awards and honors

•2021 Lefty Award finalist for Best Humorous Mystery for Mimi Lee Gets A Clue.
Teen Vogue pick for great Asian-led book for Dragonfly Dreams
•Bronze medalist in the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards for Dragonfly Dreams
•Finalist in the 2015 CLUE Awards for Seniors Sleuth
•Runner-Up in the 2015 Beach Book Festival for Seniors Sleuth
•Honorable Mention in the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival for The 228 Legacy
•Finalist for the 2013 IndieFab/Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award for The 228 Legacy
•Second round of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for The 228 Legacy
•Second place in The Sacrifice Anthology Contest
•Honorable mention in the Project Keepsake Contest
•Finalist standing in Writer Advice’s 7th Annual Flash Prose Contest
•Honorable mention in the 2012 Whispering Prairie Press Writers Contest

Short fiction

“Midnight Escapade,” Midnight Hour: A chilling anthology of crime fiction from 20 authors of color, November 2021

Those Holiday Blues,” previously published in limited-time holiday anthology, Festive Mayhem

“Moon Girl,” STEM anthology for young adults, Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines Who Hack, July 2018

Love is Fragile,” Over My Dead Body! magazine, February 2016

“Gratitude” and “Hey, Beautiful,” Hyphen Magazine, July 2015

“The Delicate Lotus,” Yay! LA Magazine, March 2015

“The Red Book,” Mouse Tales Press, April 2013

Look Again,” Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, March 2013; also selected for print anthology of the best submissions from 2012-2013

 

FAQ

Did you always know you wanted to write?

Yes, even as an elementary kid banging away on my father’s typewriter. As I got older, I found ways to polish my craft as an editor or contributor for the school newspaper, yearbook, and literary magazine.

Which writers have influenced you?

Jean Kwok: I’m inspired by her personal story of working in the garment industry as a sweatshop laborer and then transforming her experience into a captivating story. She also writes an astounding mystery.

Lisa See: A friend recommended Snow Flower and the Secret Fan to me. The amount of sweeping research that Lisa See undertakes with all her books continues to awe and challenge me.

Amy Tan: What list would be complete without this role model? She paved the way for Asian-American writers and helped me understand my heritage at the same time.

How did you get into the mystery genre?

I’ve always loved mysteries. I have fond memories of devouring the Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew series. Then I discovered Agatha Christie. It became a bonding experience for my mom and me to read Christie’s books together.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere and revise. Keep on writing and submitting even when you don’t see results because someone will understand your voice. I also agree with Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn blog to not compare yourself with others but to focus on your own writing goals; you can measure your milestones using an Olympics-style timeline–by looking back every four years.