This summer I hosted several students from China. One thing I discovered is that teenagers have a lot in common no matter where they are from. I had a bunch a teenaged girls. Just like American teen girls they spent a long time in the bathroom in the morning. They wore makeup and loved their iPhones along with all their other electronic gadgets. These students were very respectful but they weren’t shy like the stereotypes we often see about Asian girls. They were funny and loved telling jokes. You see this is what makes people interesting and unique. The differences and the similarities. Now when I write an Asian girl I will think about what I learned about them.
My next book has a Korean girl as one of the main characters. I hope to do her justice and I hope I have the opportunity to meet a few Korean teenagers. When I write characters that are different from me I always check with someone who shares that same background to make sure my characters seem authentic. If you have an opportunity to integrate yourself in an international community you should jump right in. You and your writing will benefit from it.