1. What's up with Phoebe? (An American girl of Korean descent for whom the whole situation is overwhelming, though she's really smart.)
Phoebe is an American of Korean descent, and for any American—Korean or no—the complicated idea of the Korean-Japanese community is in many ways quite puzzling.
2. Did you ever think a character had to die, but find it too sad and save them?
Nope. I love all of my characters, but some have to die. Yes, I am very heartbroken, too.