게시물 상세

Writer Lee Hee-Young

For Incomplete Teens that Need Unconditional Consolation

 

2021.02.08

 

Beginning with her first Rookie of the Year Award at the 1st Kim Seung-Ok Literary Award in 2013, writer Lee Hee-Young has become a leader in the teen novel market with several other awards, including the 10th 5.18 Literary Award for novels, grand prize at the 3rd Deungdae Literature Award, excellence prize at the KB Creative Writing Contest, and the 12th Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Rather than “pretending” to understand, sympathize with, and know about teens, writer Lee Hee-Young hopes to become their friend that walks beside them, finding the common “teen” area they share.

 

?

 

 

Please introduce yourself to our subscribers.

 

Hello, I am Lee Hee-Young. I mainly write about teens and the world seen from their view. But my only son tells me all the time like, “Mom, please have some interest in your real teen, not only those in your novels.” Yes, so I am a writer with a teen boy :)

 

You have won multiple awards! What was the most memorable award and work?

 

Well, I want to pick the 12th Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction. It was the opportunity to showcase my work Paint (Changbi) to the world, advertise writer Lee Hee-Young to readers, and meet many people from different parts of life through various events such as lectures. Some say that it was striking to see the unique system depicted in the book where you can choose your parents. But the story embedded within it is a bit different, as it delivers a message that there is no perfect parent nor child in this world. And that’s why I hear comments that my readers have felt consoled after finishing the book. My readers’ experiences and opinions have turned into momentum for me to start another work.

 

Can you recommend us three of your best works?

 

Well, I have written three full-length stories up until today. The three titles are all distinct in their atmosphere and characteristics. Teens are the main characters in all of them.

1) Nowadays, people say you make others feel unpleasant by having an interest in them. But still, caring minds and showing interest in each other are important in our society. If you are looking for the warmth of living together, I recommend reading my first full-length novel Summer Summer Vacation (Sallim Books).
2) The fluttering minds of the first love and the mystery hidden behind it can be explored in my other work Who Are You? (Goldenbough Books) which also won a contest for romantic thrillers. This work was also invited to “Book to Film” at the Asia Contents & Film Market held in 2019.
3) If you want to read about the meaning of family beyond the relationship between parents and children, I suggest you read Paint.

 

Summer Summer Vacation

Who Are You?

Paint

Summer Summer Vacation, Who Are You?, Paint

 

What was the reason for you to choose “teens” as your readers, and what do they mean to you?

 

I don’t perfectly understand the teens living in this year of 2021. I am in a different generation, and I had experienced a different culture. However, there are some stories that I want to tell “teen” me, far back in the past (it is quite sad to say it’s been ages). And I have put them candidly into my stories.
Teenage days are a period where you meet the “true” you. Teens begin exploring who they are, and they sometimes get disappointed, feel scared, and experience a dead-end in ideas. But I want to tell them that it’s all a course that everybody goes through. It’s absolutely normal. I wanted to deliver this message to teens through novels. Teens, well, I feel like I want to root for them no matter what. Rather than telling them to follow me, the grown-up, I want to walk step by step with them.

 

What is the thing that you spend the most time thinking about when writing a teen novel?

 

Well, I don’t “pretend.” I don’t pretend to be understanding, knowing, and sympathizing with the teens today. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I often talk to myself – myself from the past. And the answer I get from there turns into a story most of the time. An intersection, like a common area shared with the teens of today, can be found during that process. Indeed, it is very challenging work. But I will strive to expand that common area.

 

 

 

As a teen novel writer, I don’t “pretend” to understand, know, and sympathize with teenagers of today.

 

 

 

When you were writing Paint, which features a system where children choose their parents, was there any incident that gave you the motif for it?

 

When I go out for lectures, I sometimes confess the reason for writing Paint. What motivated me to start the story was a comment under a news article about child abuse, which went, “This is why we shouldn’t let anyone have kids. Only qualified parents should be allowed.” This led me to think, “Then who is going to screen qualified parents, and how? Wouldn’t it be the kids that can have the authority to give that qualification? What would happen if a system is set up for kids to choose their own parents?” And imagining this was the beginning of Paint.
Unfortunately, the case in the article about child abuse that provided me the motif for the book has not concluded but is still ongoing. This is so sobering, and I feel so sorry for the children.

 

What do you think is the ideal relationship between a parent and a child?

 

The child should not be the dream of the parent. I mean, parents should not sacrifice everything for their kids.
It is somehow strange from the perspective of an ordinary Korean parent, but what I mean is that the two generations should pursue their own dreams. And then, the relationship will grow equal, healthy, and supportive. Don’t just ask the children what their dream is. Tell them your dreams, too. Don’t take the parents’ sacrifice for granted. The life of the parents should be respected as well.

 

What are your future plans?

 

A new title is coming up. It’s like a short bonus story that describes what happened after the end of Paint. I am happy, indeed, but somehow afraid at the same time. I have been greatly loved by the readers during the last year. I would be incredibly happy if I could repay that favor to them with a new title.

 

 

 

Reinforce your imagination. Create your one and only protagonist. It will make your life more prosperous.

 

 

 

Last but not least, what message would you like to give to our subscribers?

 

Videos have only one protagonist. But there can be hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of them in stories, as even though how detailed the writer describes the main character, it will be drawn differently in every reader’s mind. Reading cannot exist without a filter called imagination. Reinforce your imagination. Create your one and only protagonist. It will make your life fuller.
It was my honor to meet you all through this interview. I wish you luck and happiness. Happy new year! Thank you.

 

 


Organized by Lee Ji-Hyeon

kbbok

If you liked this article, share it with others. 페이스북트위터블로그인쇄

Pre Megazine