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A. H. Kim | A Modern-day Homage to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility Featuring Two Half-Korean Sisters


Finding Amelia
A.H. Kim

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April 2024
On Sale: April 2, 2024
320 pages
ISBN: 1525819550
EAN: 9781525819551
Kindle: B0BC1X85GR
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by A.H. Kim:
Relative Strangers, April 2024
Finding Amelia, April 2024
A Good Family, July 2020

1--What is the title of your latest release?

RELATIVE STRANGERS

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

Relative Strangers is a modern-day homage to Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility featuring two half-Korean sisters, their former hippie chick mother, and a deliciously diverse cast of potential love interests.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

Inspired by the country cottage in Sense and Sensibility, I wanted a bucolic setting where my characters could find peace, love and happiness. Fun fact: Arcadia is based on a real-life cancer retreat center in Northern California.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely! Amelia is loosely modeled after my younger sister, who happens to be my favorite person on earth to hang out with.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Adventurous, impulsive, voracious.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

That sex scenes make me squirm! The first draft of the book included a couple of steamy moments, and I edited them out. I’m definitely a PG-13 kind of gal.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I’m constantly editing and re-editing even though I know it would be more efficient to wait until I’m done with a complete draft. And I am picky about the dumbest things.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

I don’t have a sweet tooth generally (I prefer savory food), but I never turn down a scoop of ice cream. Favorite flavors are Secret Breakfast (bourbon and corn flakes) and Vietnamese Coffee from Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

My husband built my writing desk that overlooks our backyard. I keep framed photos of my mother, father, and brother (who all passed away recently) nearby, and tacked on the wall is a cross-stitch my sister gave me that says “Keep passing the open windows” – it’s a favorite quote from John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire.

10--Who is an author you admire?

Vanessa Hua, author of A River of Stars and Forbidden City. We met at the Writers Grotto, a Bay Area writers’ community, when my debut novel was under contract but hadn’t been published yet. I remember someone saying Vanessa was the embodiment of a “good literary citizen,” and that stuck with me. I saw how generous Vanessa was in providing blurbs, serving as conversation partner at readings, featuring other writers in her SF Chronicle column. Since then, I’ve tried to emulate Vanessa and be the best literary citizen I can be.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. It was the first book I truly loved, and it made me a lifelong reader.

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

It was a normal weekday in May 2017, and I was having tea with a co-worker. We were wrapping up when I noticed a red dot next to the Gmail icon on my phone. There was a message from a literary agent who had recently asked to read my full manuscript: “Just tried calling. Are you available for a quick chat?” I hightailed it back to my office and called the agent back, my heart thumping out of my chest. He told me how much he enjoyed my manuscript, and I kept waiting for the “but.” But it's not exactly what I’m looking for. But it’s still too rough. But you’re not really a writer. Instead, he said, “Well, I guess it’s obvious, but I’d love to represent this book.” I practically passed out from excitement.

 

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

I like to mix it up, reading everything from contemporary romance (Sonali Dev is a delight and Denise Williams keeps it spicy) to historical fiction (Natalie Jenner and Tosca Lee are two beautiful storytellers) to memoir (Susan Ito’s and Putsata Reang’s books are both on my nightstand). My favorite genre, however, is upmarket fiction -- novels that are well written but also fun to read. There are too many great authors to list here, but a couple that pop to mind are Christina Clancy and Elissa Sloan.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Sense and Sensibility, the 1995 version directed by Ang Lee and written by Emma Thompson. It’s the perfect comfort movie. I love it so much I wrote Relative Strangers as an homage.

15--What is your favorite season?

For most of my life, I loved autumn best, but ever since moving to Michigan with its long gray winters, I’ve grown to appreciate spring.  It’s truly a time of rebirth and renewal.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

I don’t like being the center of attention, so I usually have a quiet dinner with my family. The past couple years, however, I’ve hosted an end-of-summer BBQ in my backyard – but I don’t tell the guests that it’s my birthday!

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Past Lives starring Greta Lee and Teo Yoo and written and directed by Celine Song. The story is quiet but somehow touched me very deeply. I cried both times I watched it.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Korean food is my comfort food, but I also adore a classic French bistro.

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I’m the kind of person who needs to keep busy, so I fill my days with walking, crafting, cooking, reading, watching movies, going out to eat with friends, playing with my dog Lucky, and of course writing. I also love to travel, but that takes time and planning.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I’m excited to go on tour with Relative Strangers. My debut A Good Family came out in July 2020, so the pandemic prevented me from having any in-person events. I’m really looking forward to connecting with readers and booksellers in person. After that, I need to get back to writing – I’m working on a new novel about a woman who disappears and may or may not be dead.

RELATIVE STRANGERS by A.H. Kim

Relative Strangers

From the acclaimed author of A Good Family comes a timely spin on Sense and Sensibility, a twenty-first-century family drama featuring two half-Korean sisters, their ex-hippie mother, multiple messy love affairs and one explosive secret that could ruin everything.

Amelia Bae-Wood’s life is falling apart. Unemployed, newly single and completely broke—for reasons she hasn’t told anyone yet—she finds herself hitchhiking across California to deal with the fallout of her mother’s eviction from the family estate. Amelia needs somewhere to live and time to figure out what to do with the rest of her life, so moving with her mother and sister to Arcadia, the cancer retreat center where her sister volunteers, seems like as good an idea as any.

Amelia’s sister, Eleanor, has too much on her plate, including being caught up in a court battle with a man who claims to be their half brother from Seoul and their late father’s only son—a secret love child from his Korean youth—who’s fighting for a piece of everything that belongs to the Bae-Wood women. And when Amelia adds herself to Eleanor’s list of problems, Eleanor must figure out what to hold on to—and when to let go—before things starts to unravel.

A witty, wry and enormously entertaining retelling, the sisters’ journey of self-discovery as they reshape their lives gives this classic tale a modern, feminist twist, as it touches on themes of blended families, race, class and wealth.

Women's Fiction Family Life [Graydon House, On Sale: April 2, 2024, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781525819551 / eISBN: 9780369735850]

Buy RELATIVE STRANGERSAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About A.H. Kim

A.H. Kim

A.H. Kim was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. as a young child. She was educated at Harvard College and Berkeley Law School, where she was an editor of the California Law Review. She is a practicing attorney and has served as chief of staff to the CEO and head of investor relations at a Fortune 200 company.

A.H. Kim is the proud mother of two sons, a longtime cancer survivor, community volunteer, and member of the Writers Grotto. She and her husband live in San Francisco.

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