Southern Fried Asian: Christina Soontornvat

On a brand new episode of Southern Fried Asian, children’s lit author Christina Soontornvat is Keith’s special guest.

Christina tells Keith about reading fantasy stories as a child in her parents’ Thai restaurant in West Texas (2:00) where her parents had opened a Chinese and Thai restaurant in the early ’80s (5:00). Of course, they have to go over Texas’ qualifications for being considered a “Southern” state (6:15). Then, Christina shares about her STEM background and reconciling her love of science and love of fantasy (11:30), how she decided to write children’s literature (14:30), and authors challenging the Euro-centrism of the fantasy genre (21:00). She then dives into the nature of shapeshifting in her debut novel The Changelings and how its themes resonate in her own life (23:00) before revealing what compelled her to tell the story of the Thai Cave rescue (34:00). Finally, Christina shares her favorite Thai dish from her family’s restaurant in Texas (44:00).

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Our official theme music is the song “Top Down” by  ChopsTimothy Flu, and Mic Barz

Southern Fried Asian is produced by Keith Chow and Jes Vu.