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Korean Authors

 

Writer Kim Ho-Yeon

An All-Round Storyteller Who Makes Everyday Stories Special

 

2022.03.07

 

The grand prize winner of the 1st Bucheon Cartoon Story Contest in 2005, the excellence prize winner of the 9th World Literary Award in 2013, the winner of Book of the Year Award of Yes 24, and the No.1 Audiobook of the Year chosen by Millie in 2021 – these are the titles representing writer Kim Ho-Yeon. He has even become a writer of steady-sellers this year. Writer Kim has been an all-round storyteller, going from films to comics and novels. So then, what is the reason that so many people are enthusiastic about his works? One plausible idea is that his works are so akin to our lives. Following is an interview of writer Kim Ho-Yeon, an all-round storyteller who gives deep insights and touches our hearts through ordinary daily life stories of charming and dynamic characters that might exist around us.

 

 

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

 

Hello, good to see you all. I’m Kim Ho-Yeon, a novelist and screenwriter. I’ve been wanting to meet you!

 

As you work across various media, what do you think is the most appealing media for storytelling?

 

I’m a storyteller who has been working as a scriptwriter and a novelist for a long time, ceaselessly writing stories that the public might like. I believe that novels are a medium that can maximize readers’ imagination and draw dramatic engagement. The fact that so many movies and dramas in the world are based on novels today is good proof of it.

 

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Mangwondong Brothers

 

 

The characters in your first work, Mangwondong Brothers (Namu Bench), are so fresh and impressive. What is the thing that you take most seriously when writing a work?

 

First, characters. Second, characters. And third? Characters. The plot is like a playground for the characters, and the structure is just a timetable for them. So, we need to study the characters and write about their human nature.

 

 

It’s important to write about the characters and conflicts among them.

 

 

What are some of your works you want to recommend to overseas readers?

 

Well, I would like to recommend my second novel, Rivals in Love (Namu Bench) and fourth novel Fauster (Wisdomhouse Mediagroup Inc.), and my recent title Uncanny Convenience Store (Namu Bench).
Book Rivals in Love is like a road movie of two men and one woman going on a deeply moving journey. Its publication rights were exported to Thailand, and I’m waiting for publication at the moment.
Next, Fauster is an action-thriller that got its motive from Faust of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The book was praised for unraveling the secret desires of humans with ingenious imagination, and it’s been receiving good feedback from German readers since it was published in Germany last year.
Also, Uncanny Convenience Store is my representative work, which has been an all-time bestseller from last year to today, greatly loved by Korean readers. It’s a bizarre but heartwarming story of a homeless man working as a night-shift part-timer at a 24-hour convenience store in Seoul. The publication rights were sold to Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and it is currently under drama production.

 

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Rivals in Love, Fauster, and Uncanny Convenience Store

 

 

When writing your works, was there a particularly memorable sentence?

 

"A convenience store is where people come frequently, whether they are customers or staff. It's like a gas station where people come to ‘charge’ stuff or money. She knew it so right. At this gas station, I didn’t just fill the tank. I fixed the car. Leave, take the road with your fixed car – I felt as if she was whispering to me.” - Uncanny Convenience Store, page 243

 

That's the paragraph added late to Uncanny Convenience Store when I was doing the last polishing. As I could define the "convenience store" that I was writing about as I reached the final phase of writing, it has a special significance to me. It also reminded me of a truth a writer learns from his/her work while writing.

 

Is there a title that you feel particularly attached to among all your novels?

 

At the moment, it’s Fauster. I mapped it for a long time, and I had to take care of a cervical disc problem. It was my first thriller, and my first novel to be released overseas. Before writing it, I was curious to know how a writer can write a story more than 500 pages long. And now, I am happy to understand their mind, as I completed this book (Fauster is a brick-like book 544 pages long). Thus, this book pushed me to the end, but it is also a charming book that received a good response from readers. This is why I picked it as the work that I feel most attached to. But since Uncanny Convenience Store is climbing the ranks at an exponential rate, my number one choice could change soon (laughs).

 

Through your book I Write It Everyday, Rewrite It, and Write It to the End (Hangseong B), you shared secret writing techniques and know-how for winning contests. So, what are the secret writing techniques?

 

I Write It Everyday, Rewrite It, and Write It to the End, is my first memoir and a desperate but humorous “survival story” as I’ve been making a living by just writing for 20 years. Rather than writing secrets, it contains more stories about attitudes to writing. And, yes, there are many useful tips, but I’m not opening it here because if I reveal everything, that might cut my throat (laughs). But, as you all know, the answer is in the title: write everyday, rewrite it, and write it to the end.

 

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I Write It Everyday, Rewrite It, and Write It to the End

 

 

Uncanny Convenience Store became a steady-seller, going beyond just a bestseller. How do you feel?

 

First of all, it’s amazing. I also feel humble and thankful for readers’ love. I’m happy as well. It allowed me to write my next story in a better condition.

 

What are your future plans? Also, please leave your last words to those reading this interview.

 

For the past 20 years, I’ve been writing stories across various genres and media as a storyteller. Before my fifth novel, Uncanny Convenience Store became a bestseller, I had already published four novels and one memoir. I’ve been steadily writing stories. My hope is that overseas readers have more opportunities to read my various works. I’m currently writing my next title, in return for the support and love from my readers. I’m writing today, to become a writer who writes sincere stories that move the hearts of people. Thank you.

 

 


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#Kim Ho-Yeon#Storyteller#Screenwriter#Uncanny Convenience Store#Steady-seller
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