Is anyone looking for the perfect book to kickstart their spring reading list (or a good story to help take your mind off of the coronavirus worry)? Look no further than June Hur’s upcoming release, The Silence of Bones! Described as a YA historical-mystery set during the Josean period, this book will have something for just about every reader. In this installment of our interview, June and I talk about her favourite books, K-drama reccomendations, writing snacks, and writing routines. Enjoy! (and be sure to check out Part I here)
From your bio, I learnt that you studied in Korea for a while in high school. Is it really as intense as it looks in Sky Castle?
I only watched one episode of Sky Castle, but I do remember how intense high school in Korea was! I’d be at school from morning until 10 pm. The evening hours at school were meant for self-studying. I remember teachers would be monitoring the halls, peering into each classroom to see that students were studying and not sleeping. And depending on the teacher, we’d get struck on the palm for every wrong test answer, so when it came to my Hanja (classical Chinese) tests, my hands were always swollen. However, because school was so intense, the friendships were as intense. We practically lived together in school. We studied together. We cleaned the school together, the classroom, hallways, washrooms. We tried to save each other from corporal punishment. We snuck out of self-studying sessions, raced through dark hallways and climbed over the school wall, all this to buy snacks. I’d never experienced friendship this deep until I attended school in Korea.
For our K-culture fans, do you ever watch K dramas or listen to K-pop (and if so, do you have any recommendations?)
I used to listen to way more K-pop when I lived in Korea, but not anymore. I do still watch K-dramas, though. My all-time favourites would be Dong Yi, Jewel in the Palace, Deep Rooted Tree, Joseon X-Files, and Signal (a contemporary mystery). And a recent drama I really enjoyed was Kingdom!
Do you have a specific writing routine?
Before I had a baby: Wake up in the morning, make coffee, journal and schedule my writing tasks. Then I’d write until lunch. Take a break by reading or running errands. After spending time with my husband, in the evening I’d write some more with a glass of wine to reward myself for getting work done.
Now that I have a baby: Get a few hours of writing done during baby’s nap time, though most days I’m so exhausted I end up napping as well. I get most of my writing done in the evenings when she goes down to sleep, and I still have a glass of rose as my companion. But once a week when my in-laws babysit my daughter, I get to live out my pre-baby writing schedule.
Favourite writing snacks?
Anything that goes well with coffee!
What are some of your favourite books?
Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables, Joy Luck Club, Glass Castle, Through Black Spruce, Little Fires Everywhere, everything by C.S. Lewis, including his non-fiction works.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or your book?
One thing I always like to share is the importance of work-life balance; it’s a topic very close to my heart. I used to be a toxically ambitious writer, where my entire life revolved around writing—and writing is work. I wrote all day and refused to socialize because I wanted to get published ASAP. Then I realized it might take me ten years or more (if ever) to get published. That’s when it hit me: I needed to learn to enjoy my life now, not put life on hold until I got published. So to all those ambitious creatives out there—work hard for your dream, but also take breaks, go out for walks, meet people, and make sure you find other things in life to be excited about!
Good advice, June!
Follow June on Twitter and be sure to buy her book when it debuts on April 21st, 2020. Also, leave her a note in the comments!
Categories: KOREA-CANADA BLOG 2018