We’re so happy to have Samuel Park visiting us on the Ball today! We’re happy to take him for a spin around the floor while he tells us about himself and his fascinating novel. Pull up a chair and welcome him!
Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter to win a copy of his book!
Samuel Park Takes the Deb Interview!
Samuel Park is the author of This Burns My Heart (Simon & Schuster), selected for the July Indie Next List and as one of Amazon.com’s Best Books of the Month. Originally born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he is a graduate of Stanford University and USC. He currently lives in Chicago, and teaches at Columbia College.
Who is one of your favorite (fictional or non-fictional) characters?
I adore Lizzie Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Especially the fact that she’s flawed and makes mistakes. In fact, she was the inspiration for my own novel. Austen writes brilliantly of women who are their own worst enemies. In my novel, the main character is asked early on to make a decision that changes the rest of her life. Then we see the consequences of that decision and her attempts to remedy the situation.
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
I love the email lovefest that happens between me, my editor Kerri Kolen, my agent Lisa Grubka, my publicist Tracey Guest, and my marketing specialist Amanda Ferber every time something good happens to the book. I feel like we’re a team on the championships and every time we score a point, we high five and cheer. It’s really fun.
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
I love Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden. I was fascinated by the way Golden mixed up different influences: a Victorian structure of storytelling (I think of the book as a Japanese Jane Eyre), a foreign place and period we don’t know much about, and a quintessentially American point of view. That mash up is something that ended up affecting every line of my book, which is set in Korea, a very different land, but with a heroine who is straight out of a Dickens or Bronte novel.
What three things would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
I would want the six-volume collection of Jane Austen’s novels. I would want a DVD player and the DVDs of every movie Annette Benning has ever made. I would want my ipod, filled with songs by Elba Ramalho and Caetano Veloso.
What is the best perk of your job?
With Facebook and blogs, I get to hear people’s reactions right away. I love it when a reader sends me a note saying how much she enjoyed reading my novel. As much as I appreciate the artistic side of writing, I’m most happy when I’m able to transport a reader to another world for a few hours. Being able to do that feels incredible.
Samuel, thank you so much for taking the time to drop by the Ball! Read on to learn more about This Burns My Heart, and don’t forget to leave a comment to say hello and enter to win a copy!
This Burns My Heart was inspired by a story that Samuel’s mother told him: The day before her wedding, a mysterious, handsome stranger asked her to run off with him instead. Though his mother said no, she often wondered about the different path her life might have taken.
In This Burns My Heart, an ambitious Korean woman restricted by stultifying customs has to deal with the consequences of marrying the wrong man. The novel has gotten some great blurbs by authors like Audrey Niffenegger, who calls it “quietly stunning…an exciting debut.”