I was walking between the short, dusty brown shelves of my local neighborhood library when I saw it. Someone had placed a gray hardcover book on display on the top shelf. Epically splashed across the cover was a beautiful painting that was reminiscent of classic Chinese brush art complete with sloping mountains and a bright moon. What really caught my eye, however, was the painting of an East Asian boy riding on the back of a dragon that was Asian in design except that she had wings like a European dragon. [The cover you see in the Amazon link here is a new one and not the one I saw as a child.] Immediately judging this book by its cover, I snatched it off the shelf and checked it out with my library card, my little nine-year-old mind greedy and ready for an adventure filled with dragons, magic, and demons. Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep remains my favorite childhood book until this day.
Fast forward two decades later, and I've finally written my first book. I'd like to think of the two books as being a part of the same niche genre, some of the few out there that integrates heritages to create something new, something uniquely American, something that tastes like a California sushi roll.