Today we're talking to June Chen, author of Seeing the Light.
FQ: Rhea and her friend Karen encounter several people in the book who threaten them and even hurt them. They are exposed also to other violence and drug use. Do you see the world as a dangerous place for young people generally?
FQ: Rhea's family is loving and close, a contrast with the chaotic world Rhea encounters outside of her home. They care for each other and even for strangers, and they seem happy to give their time and energy to family matters. Did you base her close-knit family on personal experience?
FQ: The pet farm is an unusual setting for a novel. Do you think that living in the country is part of what allows the Kosmo family to have such a happy and supportive home life?
FQ: Rhea spends some time thinking about the story of "The Prodigal Son." Do you think of the story as a metaphor for Rhea's life?
FQ: We see the world through Rhea's eyes. She has a warm relationship with her family and pets and seems like a smart person. I found it easy to identify with her, and even like her, though you also portray her as someone who is selfish and opposed to making charitable donations. Do you think most readers will recognize pieces of themselves in Rhea? Could her transformation inspire others to make changes, as well?