Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Guest Post: Aram Kim, author of NO KIMCHI FOR ME!

Today we are thrilled to host Aram Kim, author of NO KIMCHI FOR ME!, published September 5, 2017 by Holiday House. From author Aram Kim, NO KIMCHI FOR ME! is the story of Yoomi, who is determined to eat kimchi despite her lack of enthusiasm for it. This Junior Library Guild selection has universal themes while at the same time celebrating Korean culture.

Showmanship for Introverts: Presenting Your Books to Readers  

 

Showmanship for Introverts is the title of the master class session at the upcoming SCBWI annual winter conference. Julie Gribble, an author, and founder of Kidlit TV, a senior agent Erica Rand Silverman, and I will be leading the session. When Julie suggested a workshop on authors’ presentations, and Erica narrowed it down to read aloud performance, I jumped right on board. I resonated with the idea very much as a newly published author at the beginning of my author career.

Many of us who try to get published spend years perfecting the manuscripts, searching for right agents and editors, and going to conferences and workshops on how to get published. This process alone is daunting, and we barely get to think of what comes next after the book is out in the world. Many newly published authors confess that they did not realize public speaking was to become such a big part of their career. Whether you love it or hate it, speaking to many readers and presenting your book to the audience is a big part of author’s life. For many authors, doing book events could feel uncomfortable. Creating is often a solitary activity, and many of us who write or illustrate books are introverts by nature. Yet, we need to appreciate the opportunities to present, actively seek those chances, and embrace them. Not only because the book events will potentially boost the book sales, but also because the books that authors spend years writing deserve a chance to be introduced to readers and read by many of them.

What I learned after publishing my first book, Cat on the Bus, and after attending various book events for the second book No Kimchi for Me! is that one does not need to change oneself to perform in front of people. I am in no way extrovert. I know I could not perform like some authors who rouse their audience, make them sing, clap, scream, and dance. That is not who I am. However, I love sharing stories. That is why I am making books. I desire my readers to be interested in the stories I am sharing. I want them to have a good time. I want them to enjoy the stories, and I want my stories to enrich their lives. As introverts who are presenting, what we need to do is to prepare. Prepare well. Spend time to think about what your unique quality is. Spend time to think of what your readers would appreciate hearing. Spend time to practice what you are going to say and practice reading aloud. Record yourself with your phone. Many people, including myself, cannot bear hearing oneself recorded, needless to say seeing oneself recorded. Even though it feels so unfamiliar and weird, by doing that, you would certainly improve the performance.

All my books are inspired by my Korean cultural heritage. Because most of my audience are little children, I use a big bright globe to show where Korea is. Starting from U.S.A., specifically from the city where I am presenting, I draw the line to reach Korea and explain a little bit about the country and tell them that’s where I came from. That introduction leads nicely to the story time, and “kimchi,” often very foreign especially for the children audience, does not feel too foreign anymore. There is always something you can tell your audience about yourself connected to the story. Make yourself accessible. Readers feel closer to your books when they feel closer to you. You are there to make a nice introduction of the book you poured your heart out to create. Just remember one thing - audiences are rooting for you. So go out and have fun.



Aram Kim is a New York-based children's book author/illustrator and picture book designer. She was born in Ohio, spent her childhood in South Korea, and now lives in Queens, New York. She likes bringing in distinctive South Korean flair to works she creates. Aram is a huge advocate for diversity in children's literature, and a creator of the Multicultural Children's Book Day 2018 poster. Her debut picture book, Cat on the Bus (2016), was included in Children's Choice Reading List by ILA. Her second picture book, No Kimchi for Me! (2017), is a Junior Library Guild selection. Visit www.aramkim.com.



Yoomi is determined to eat kimchi. She tries to disguise it by eating it on a cookie, on pizza, and in ice cream. But that doesn't work. Then Grandma shows Yoomi how to make kimchi pancakes. This story about family, food, and a six-year-old -coming of age- has universal themes, and at the same time celebrates Korean culture. A kimchi pancake recipe and other back matter are included.





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