Name: Ann Kim (writing as A.H. Kim)
Asian background: Korean (born in Seoul, moved to US when I was almost 2 years old)
What is it about your experience and upbringing that inspired you the most to write?
I’ve always loved books, but I never imagined that I could be a writer. Then one summer I read John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, and it touched me deeply. It inspired me to try writing a YA book from an Asian-American teenager’s perspective. I was not able to get an agent for that book, but I enjoyed the writing process so much that I started another book, which turned out to be my debut novel A Good Family (launching July 14).
Name 3 authors and 3 books.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, my all-time favorite book.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, the first time I felt like a book reflected my Asian-American experience.
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee — her debut novel, which I actually prefer to her highly acclaimed (and excellent) second novel Pachinko.
What do you think is the best quality a writer can have?
Compassion — for their fellow humans and for themselves.
Any last words? (Fun facts, comments, something you’d like to share with the world, etc.)
I was in my late 40s when I decided I wanted to be a published author. It took almost nine years for that dream to come true. That sounds like a long time, but in talking with other authors, it’s about par for the course. If you want to write, be patient with yourself and keep the faith.
Challenge: Write a one-sentence story!
Her mother taught her to be afraid, and her children taught her to be brave.