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Korean Authors

 

Writer Kim Lily

 

2021.12.06

 

 

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

 

Hello. My name is Kim Lily, a children’s author as well as a rice cake shop owner who wrote My d’Artagnan (Changbi), Puff Snacks are Here (Munhakdongne), and Manbok’s Rice Cake Shop Series (BIR).

 

Did the memories from your childhood influence your works?

 

When I was young, I was a skinny, not pretty to look at, and not a bright girl. I think that is why I went through some difficult times. But whenever those times hit me, I survived by imagining things. At the time I remember desperately wishing for my wishes to come true. I do write many stories about wishes by reminiscing on those days.

 

Why did you dream of becoming a children’s book author?

 

I had this idea that a children’s book author is someone who ‘grows the flower garden of the imagination’. Since I had many siblings, I was sent to the countryside alone and spent my childhood in my grandparents’ house. At the time, I suffered from extreme loneliness, being separated from my family. However, back then, my grandfather had a beautiful flower garden filled with flowers. Whenever I had been scolded by my grandparents, I would let my imagination fly freely whilst playing in the flower garden and could often mend my wounded heart and find comfort. I think that is how I overcame those difficult times. This is why that flower garden is the space of hope for myself, and I started thinking that the world needs such a space right now. I wanted children’s stories to become a space not only enjoyed by children but also a place where adults can find happiness and dream of hope. That is why I resolved that I would become a children’s book author.

 

Do you have your own way of selecting content for your book?

 

I am very interested in the concerns of children. I listen to their concerns and put a lot of effort into alleviating their desperation in the form of stories. I find my themes there. As for content, I try to find content from Korean folktales and traditions. I think that is how I can write a unique fantasy stories distinct to Korea and different from foreign fantasy stories. This is why I write stories using materials and characters from Korean traditions and folktales.

 

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Wish Rice Cake Shop (BIR), Manbok’s Rice Cake Shop

 

 

Is there a specific reason why you use ‘tteock (rice cake)’ as a theme in many of your works?

 

One of the questions children ask me is “Ms. Kim! There are cakes, breads, cookies, and so many delicious foods out there, but why did you choose tteock?” However, tteok represents many meanings that other foods lack. It drives bad luck away, it holds wishes against bad things from happening, it means to wish for luck, it also holds the idea of thankfulness. Since the past, tteok was made to be shared with neighbors rather than to be eaten alone. I could not find any other food with so many good meanings. That is why I decided to use tteok in my stories.

 

Is there a specific attitude to life you pursue as a children’s book author?

 

I put a lot of effort into being happy. It is because my writing tends to become depressive if I feel depressed. In order to become a children’s book author, one needs to be able to play with children in stories. To do so, one needs a large amount of energy. I try to make myself happy so that I can lead a happier life and write stories to instill hope in children.

 

What kind of stories do you want to write?

 

I would like to write stories that can relieve children of their desperation, with joy and imagination. I have been wanting to write something like that for a while for now.

 


Kim Lily’s One Line Reading - Wish Rice Cake Shop

“This tteok might be the one for me.”
The little mouse carefully took some tteok from the basket.
It could feel the warmth of the fresh tteok.
It held the tteok in its paws and nibbled at it, little by little.
When it ate the flat tteok, it could feel its loneliness and sadness fading away.
The taste of flat tteok was that of big happiness.

I chose to read this part because I want to stand beside children and write stories that can mend their wounds and give them comfort as well as provide them with happiness and hope.

 

 

* 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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#Kim Lily#Children’s author#K-Book#KPIPA
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