Interview with the Author: Joan He!

By: Cori Reed

Hello! We are so pleased that we were able to include The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He in our May EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED boxes. We sat down with Joan for a little interview which was featured in our monthly magazine! Here's what she had to say:

Where did the idea for The Ones We're Meant to Find very first come to you?
It started with the old cliché—a dream. I dreamed about a girl diving into the sea, clearly searching for something. As I tried to figure out what that something was, I thought back to all the YA dystopians I read when I was a teen, where the older sibling saves the younger one. What if, I wondered, the girl in my dream was searching for her sister? And what if the younger sibling didn’t need saving?

Which of the two sisters in the story do you most relate to, Cee or Kasey?
Neither and both. I’m nowhere as logical as Kasey and much more emotional, like Cee. But I’m also introverted and socially awkward like Kasey.

Did you have to do any particular research when writing the elements of the book that featured a lot of science?
By and large, the science in the book comes from whatever I retained from my high school Biology, Chemistry, and Physics classes. I wanted the science to be accessible and aesthetic, to an extent. Think anime!

What was the writing process like for this book? How long, overall, did it take to complete the first draft?
The summer before my senior year at college, as I was waiting for my debut (Descendent of the Crane) to sell, I started drafting this book. I wrote THE END two months later, which is very fast for me. The revising took much longer, haha.

What are you working on next? Whatever it is, we can't wait to read it!
Aw thank you! I’m working on a low fantasy nicknamed Mountain Book for now (The Ones We're Meant to Find, for reference, was dubbed Ocean Book). As with all my stories, it’s speculative and features a big twist. I’d also love to return to Chinese fantasy soon, too.

We hope everyone is loving The Ones We're Meant to Find! Don't forget to tune on on Friday, June 25th at 4pm PST/7pm EST for a chat with Joan He over on Instagram Live for an OwlBabble! Makes sure to follow us there so you don't miss the official announcement with all the details!