Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
I was in a thrift store in the Bay Area (of San Francisco, CA) when I came across a stack of old vintage suitcases. I stumbled across this beautiful old yellow suitcase that still had its owner's and United Airlines tags on it--I'm guessing from as early as the 1960s or 1970s. There were tons of old suitcases but that one called to me, and it seemed to be begging to have its story told. I knew right away I'd have to write about it. However, this particular story came out of a question that had been eating away at me for years. I don't think I articulated it clearly to myself right at the beginning, but as I wrote, it became clearer to me that what I was really trying to figure out was: what makes the difference between a victim and a survivor? Trauma, abuse, and betrayal affects people in such similar, yet such widely varying ways. Some people are damaged for life; others suffer unspeakable horrors and refuse to let it define or deter them. What distinguishes one from the other? That's what I set out to explore in the relationship between the two sisters, Ae Lin and Nok, in my story, The Yellow Suitcase.