A Conversation with Emiko Jean, Author of Tokyo Ever After

Today on the blog, we have an exciting interview with Emiko Jean, author of TOKYO EVER AFTER -- which releases today! We already preordered copies ages ago because it was pitched for fans of Crazy Rich Asians *and* was also blurbed by Katharine McGee...if anyone knows anything about us, it's that Jessica is a sucker for high society and royalty stories! Flatiron Books was kind enough to invite us on the tour today to share an interview with Emiko, so without further ado, let's get into it! 

Emiko Jean is the author of Tokyo Ever After, Empress of all Seasons, and We'll Never be Apart. 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.
Keep up with Emiko: Website / Facebook / Instagram / Goodreads

Question: Our heroine, Izumi, is such a compelling character, and her narrative voice, in particular, is hilarious and unforgettable. Can you tell readers a little more about where the inspiration for Izzy’s character came from and how you went about capturing her voice and sense of humor?

Emiko: My family has remarked on how much of me they hear in Izumi’s voice. Much of her voice, anecdotes, and sense of humor are derived from my own experiences and personality. Izumi is very much like teen Emiko. 

Question: Without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes in the book to write?

Emiko: I loved drafting the second half of the book where Izumi travels through Japan. There is a scene where she visits a bamboo grove and has a meaningful albeit short conversation with the farmer. I loved how the scene unfolded, and I couldn’t help feeling fully transported while writing it.  

Question: We love The Tokyo Tattler articles that are sprinkled throughout the novel. Why did you want to include this nod to celebrity tabloid gossip in the book, and how much fun did you have writing those dispatches?

Emiko: Tabloid culture is such a big part of real royal life—how could I have not included a gossip column piece? They also shine a light on cultural elements and help showcase the lives of the imperial family—things that Izumi might not be able to first-person narrate.   

Question: Can you tell us a little about your writing routine? Where and when do you most like to write? 

Emiko: I write five days a week in my home office. When I am drafting, I keep a daily word count goal. Once I hit it, morning or evening, I am done for the day! It’s difficult for me to start and stop writing, so I find I need to have the whole day dedicated to drafting.  

Question: Lastly, we have to ask – what are you working on next? (We heard that a sequel to Tokyo Ever After might already be in the works!) Without giving too much away, can you give readers any hints as to what they can expect from your next book?

Emiko: I don’t think I can say too much other than there will be a second Tokyo Ever After book. I promise more romance, more kissing, and more royal romps!

Title: Tokyo Ever After
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: May 18th, 2021

Summary: Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?

Thank you so much to Flatiron Books for allowing us to share this interview! We are super excited about TOKYO EVER AFTER, and it's out in the world *TODAY* for you to enjoy!

1 comment

  1. My copy is out for delivery today! I'm hoping to start it tonight if if arrives before my 7 pm zoom book launch party I'm attending for a local author. This book will be so much fun to read!


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