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Korean Authors

 

Writer Hwang Sunmi

 

2021.09.06

 

 

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

 

Hi. This is Hwang Sunmi. I write children and youth books.

 

From when did you want to be a children’s book writer?

 

When I was in the 6th grade of elementary school, I first read a storybook. I found out I couldn’t go to middle school at that time. The only way for me to accept that fact was to try to escape by reading books. So from reading books I then wanted to write interesting stories. I wanted to write for my whole life. I wanted to be that kind of person. That was how I was vaguely thinking at the time.

 

Where do you get inspiration for writing?

 

What gives me energy to write is life. And it is the events in the lives of people and their stories - good or bad. What inspires me What inspires me are the incidents happening among people.

 

Did you have a memorable childhood?

 

Everything is so vivid. From my hometown Hongseong, Chungcheongnam-do. I moved to Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi-do – a really barren neighborhood. All kids have warm thoughts about their hometown, but I grew up in an environment where I had to fight back instead of being told not to fight. Ironically, I grew up in this barren landscape. But there were stories everywhere around. So what makes me write is the competition in the other city. Grown-ups either hit the kids or scolded them. This made me write. It’s so weird.

 

There are so many plants, why are you growing them?

 

I did it to survive. It was very, very difficult to bear. So I had to write something. It was a way of breathing without doing that. So I decided to watch a plant from birth to death. I’m still doing it now. There were so many snails. They were just sticking to the wall in the morning. The apartment can be dry. It’s a gray box. Nevertheless, to live in this place we are all striving. So I receive a lot of energy from plants.

 

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The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly (SAKYEJUL PUBLISHING LTD.)

 

 

Do you have any memorable episodes with your readers?

 

I often went to bookstores when I was in Sweden. All I do is go check where my books are. I found where my book was one day and the employee suddenly came and explained about the book, saying, “I’ve read this book. If you read it, you will receive a lot of comfort.” That member of staff was explaining my book to me, so I said “It’s my book I’m this author,” because there’s a picture there. That person looked at the book and me and kept checking and just pulled out books and brought them and asked me to sign them. I experienced small things like that.

 

Do you have any wishes for your readers?

 

I want children to grow up reading books. When I was young, I could receive praise for reading a book. Nowadays, you can meet books through diverse media – for example there are audiobooks now, too. But there is the importance of a book itself. It makes you think while reading. Some personal thought time after reading. Reading a book generates such important things. I want to see more children reading on their own. I hope they think reading a book is like practicing a certain wish. That is how I think.

 

How long do you plan to write?

 

I still have a lot to talk about. I write when I have a lot of stories to tell. I’ll write as long as I don’t have dementia.

 

 

* The interview and video were produced as a part of the K-Book Online Marketing Support Project of the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA).

 

 


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