When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain.
Emiko strongly believes in “fake it till you make it” and asking forgiveness rather than permission. She and her friends once (poorly) fixed up an old van. They drove it across the country. The bumper fell of and they lost the brakes in the Redwoods. She declared it the best time she ever had. She wrote super angsty poetry as a teen and later, Twilight FanFiction—some of which still lives on the internet. If you find it, she will deny that she ever wrote it. She’s now published many books, but has written more than a half dozen which have been rejected hundreds of times (by agents and editors).
Speaking of Mika in Real Life in an interview with Good Morning America, Jean said “This book was definitely driven by my desire to explore certain themes — the bond and often tense relationship between mothers and daughters, the Japanese American identity and intergenerational trauma… As a woman of color, growing up in the United States, I didn’t see myself in the media I consumed… You can imagine what this must teach a child about their value and worth in the world.”