So how has Justina Chen found beauty in words?
I always wanted to be a writer and wrote my first 50-page novella when I was eight. But after graduating from Stanford, I took a minor detour to work at Microsoft, both in Seattle and Sydney, Australia. Afterwards, I returned to my first love: writing (and researching!) young adult fiction.
My novel North of Beautiful is a Walden Award finalist, and I couldn't be happier since this award is given for the three things that matter to me most as a writer: teen appeal, literary merit, and a positive outlook on life. My debut novel, Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), was sold at auction and won the 2007 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. Girl Overboard was a Junior Library Guild Premier Selection.
I'm absolutely passionate about teen service. So I toured the country with Olympic Gold Medalist Hannah Teter to encourage young adults to change the world. Additionally, I co-founded readergirlz, a cutting-edge literacy and social media project for teens, which won the National Book Foundation's Prize for Innovations in Reading.
When I'm not writing novels, I'm an executive communications strategista, crafting speeches for executives in entertainment, gaming, and technology, including Xbox and Halo: Reach.
And then, of course, there's my obsession with geocaching, yoga, and yam fries.