Monday, October 24, 2016
Writing Connections: You Never Know
Well, mostly, I’m answering the questions people always ask when they hear about my Korean books.
No, I don’t speak a word of Korean. I write the books in English and they’re published in English. That model seems to work best for students to learn a foreign language. (But there are an awful lot of notes in Korean! I have no idea what’s in those notes. I hope that they’re explanations of vocabulary words, cultural references, and biographical information. But they could say, “Cathy C. Hall is a poopyhead author.” If you’re ever in Korea and see my books, could you check into that for me?)
Yes, I am a longtime member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and this organization has helped me in countless ways. But SCBWI wasn’t the connection that brought me to writing Korean children’s books. That’s a whole ‘nother story that began right here, with WOW! Women-on-Writing.
I started my writing career as a freelancer and at one time, WOW! had a market resource known as Premium Green. It was a wonderful opportunity to share resources, of course, but more than that, it was invaluable as a “place” to share the ups and downs of this crazy business of writing. Many of the writers I met in this online group are still great friends of mine, and I’ve watched them go on to win prestigious awards, expand their careers, and become engaging authors. Which brings me to Suzanne Lilly, a prolific author and teacher who contacted me one day with a writing opportunity: Darakwon, a book publisher in Seoul, Korea, was looking for English-speaking writers who also have teaching backgrounds. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
And lastly, I’m sorry, but no, Darakwon has plenty of writers. Still, you never know when a writing connection may contact you with an interesting gig. So be prepared! Study your craft, develop good writing habits, give your imagination a daily workout. You want to be ready when opportunity comes knocking.
(Oh! There’s one more thing. Don’t forget to thank the writer who held that door open for you. Thanks, Suzanne!)
~Cathy C. Hall