My Inner Kim

From my recent interview in Locus magazine:

“Even though Kim is Korean-American, she grows up as an orphan, so she has no connection to that culture. She’s like all other Americans now — she refers to herself as a feral American. She’s had to do everything herself and educate herself. People are constantly asking her things about Asian culture and she says, ‘How the hell should I know? I grew up in Poughkeepsie.’ To a large part, she represents my own interior life…

“I usually do a lot of note taking and fiddling around, concerning my characters. Kim was unusual in that she walked into my head the way she was. I thought maybe I should change her and make her different, to avoid all the issues that come with writing outside your personal background. Okay, she’s no longer Korean-American. Nope, she came right back in that way. Or maybe I should change this or that about her. Everything would revert right back to the way she wanted to be. I think that’s because she’s really me, sort of an auto-psychological self-portrait. Not because of the details of who she is, but because of what she’s had to do, that whole feral thing, trying to figure out the world on her own…”


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