I’d organized a tour as part of a teacher’s conference at the Hunter Museum of American Art on how to use art in writing assignments. We were shown several paintings and then told to choose one as a writing prompt. I was drawn to a painting called Confrontation by Hughie Lee-Smith, which showed two girls not looking at each other on a surreal and crumbling beach front (on loan from the Smithsonian American Museum of Art). The painting expressed alienation and disconnection, and hinted at a destructive past. I asked myself, who are these girls and what has happened that makes so disconnected? Almost immediately, I decided the girls were sisters, but one was adopted, Korean. The novel took off from there.