Behind the Pages with The Traveling Friends discussion

17 views
Archived / Author Q & A's > Spoiler Free Q & A / Highlights from the book included / Angie Kim author of Miracle Creek

Comments Showing 1-44 of 44 (44 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends (last edited Nov 08, 2019 08:50AM) (new)

Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
I have added some of the Q & A here for easier reading. For the live discussion please keep reading.

Brenda Let’s start with how all the success of Miracle Creek had felt for?

Angie Thank you so much, Brenda! It’s been more than a little surreal, quite honestly. I think all writers dream that their books will find an audience, and I of course did as well. But it’s one thing to have silly fantasies, and another to actually have so many of them come true. Because I’m new to the writing/book publishing world, I didn’t even know about many of the things that have happened to me, including Book of the Month, Indie Next, Amazon Best of Month, Library Reads, and all the magazines that feature most-anticipated and best-of lists. (SO MANY lists!!!!) It’s been really amazing and now that we’re gearing up for paperback publication next April, I’m finding out even more things, which are so exciting and fun. But the most fun and gratifying have been doing things like this and book clubs, where I get to interact directly with readers. So thank you!!

Brenda You wrote about themes you know from your life experiences. Can you share a bit of them that inspired you to write this story or shaped the characters for you?

Angie The three main threads of my life that I mined for Miracle Creek are my own experience being a Korean immigrant as a preteen, my first career as a trial lawyer, and my experience as a mother to three kids who all had medical issues as babies/toddlers. (All are fine now, thankfully!)

The immigrant thread – I moved from Seoul to the Baltimore area when I was 11 (much like Mary in Miracle Creek), and I went through a really rough period of being bullied in middle school, not speaking English at all and feeling lost as a result, and being separated from my parents (who ran a grocery store in a dangerous part of Baltimore). One of the things I loved most about writing Miracle Creek was that I got to explore this experience from my parents’ experience as well as my own. (The mom, the dad and the daughter of the immigrant family all have their own POV chapters.)

The courtroom scenes were amazingly fun to write for me, almost like going back to the courtroom, except that I got to control what the witnesses said! Being in the courtroom and questioning hostile witnesses was my favorite part of being a lawyer, so I loved revisiting that.

Finally, the parenting experience provided the foundation for Miracle Creek. I actually did HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) in a group chamber just like “Miracle Submarine” in the novel with one of my kids. I wrote about it in an essay for Vogue, which you can read here: tinyurl.com/vogueangiekim

Brenda You have a few different and very interesting characters each with their own heartache dealing with being a parent? What came first for you the plot/story or the characters?

Angie I would say the situation and setting came first – the HBOT world and the fact that there would be a disaster that occurs in that group chamber during an active session. Then, the characters–both the Yoo family (the owners of the HBOT chamber) and the patients and their families who are affected by the tragedy. The plot, the trial, what happened that led up to that moment of the fire, etc. – all that came as I was writing.

Brenda What character or characters did you identify more with?

Angie I probably identify the most with Mary Yoo, because she is me (as a preteen/teenager). The Yoos are the characters who are most directly based on people from my own life (me + my parents). As an adult, I also identify with Elizabeth, the mother who’s on trial, mostly because I, like her, felt guilty at times about having a child who had the least severe medical issues in the group HBOT setting and felt a lot of angst about that.

Brenda What does your writing day look like to you? Do you have a routine?

Angie I used to have a routine, which I hope to get back into once travel and events slow down a bit. After the kids are all off to school, I start with reading my previous day’s writing over coffee, and I just force myself to sit in my writing nook for as may hours as I possibly can. I don’t have any word count goals or time goals because it depends so greatly on what I’m working on. If I’m working on the beginning of a scene or chapter, it might take me days to find the right sentence. If I’m working on continuing a scene, I’m usually in the flow and can crank out the last 1/3 of a scene in one sitting.

Brenda On Goodreads you shared some insight into some for the most popular highlighted Kindle passages. Can you give us here some insight into them?

Highlight My Husband Asked me to Lie

Angie The first version of the beginning of the novel started with “The pounding. It’s the pounding I remember most,” and then went directly into the scene with TJ’s head-banging (in the middle of page 7). This original opening line was a rhythmic homage to Russell Banks’ THE SWEET HEREAFTER, which opens with “A dog—it was a dog I saw for certain. Or thought I saw.” I love the structure of that novel—the exploration of a tragedy, the causation and the aftermath, through four people’s POVs—and I wanted to do something similar with my novel.

But one day, the line “My husband asked me to lie” came to me, and I knew that had to be the beginning of the novel. It seemed so perfect for the themes of the novel, as well as the character arc for Young Yoo, who struggles to find her own voice and to stand up to her husband for much of the novel.

Brenda This is one of my favorite quotes from your book that I really could relate too. I love to see more insight into the quote “But life doesn’t work like that. Tragedies don’t inoculate you against further tragedies, and misfortune doesn’t get sprinkled out in fair proportions; bad things get hurled at you in clumps and batches, unmanageable and messy.”

Angie This is one of my favorites, too! As I commented earlier, I have three boys who all had medical issues. My first child was born deaf in one ear due to a neurological condition, which involved a lot of hospital visits, tests, and therapy when he was a baby/toddler. By the time he was four, when everything seemed resolved with that (and other associated neuropathies ruled out), we found out that he had two OTHER unrelated medical issues—celiac disease and ulcerative colitis—and my other child turned out to have severe anaphylactic allergies. Shortly thereafter, we had two medical scares with our third child for conditions completely unrelated to any of those. (Thankfully, all three kids are fine now.) I was a Philosophy major in college, and this set of events definitely made me think hard about how foolish I’d been to expect that going through one misfortune would mean nothing more would happen to my life, at least for a while.

Highlight “Having a special-needs child didn’t just change you; it transmuted you, transported you to a parallel world with an altered gravitational axis.”

Angie I did HBOT in real life with one of my kids who had ulcerative colitis. The standard treatments weren’t working, and he was in pain, throwing up every day, losing weight, and we became desperate and decided to try this experimental treatment. It was a group HBOT chamber like Miracle Submarine, with kids with chronic illnesses and special needs, including autism and cerebral palsy. It was an intense and intimate environment, with a confessional feel, and we parents talked about our lives and families. No matter what the condition or the severity, the one thing we all agreed on is that when your kids have a chronic condition, it’s not just your actions that change, but the whole world, your outlook, your relationship to society, EVERYTHING changes. One of my favorite things about having written this book is reading reviews and emails from readers who have children with special needs or chronic illnesses—hearing that they appreciate reading sentiments like this because they’ve thought it themselves, and it makes them feel less alone.

Highlight “That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story”

Angie I think lying is very difficult, precisely because of this. You have to stick to the story you tell, and you have to stick to all the ramifications of that story. My favorite part of being a lawyer (by far!) was being in the courtroom or taking a deposition, questioning a hostile witness and ferreting out and trying to find a weakness in their story. One of the best ways to do that, I found, was to ask them about a logical extension of their main story, something that must be true if they’re telling the truth, and then confronting them with a document or previous statement that contradicts that. The funny thing was, people would often continue to stick to their lie even when faced with incontrovertible evidence that it was a lie. It made them look ridiculous and destroyed their credibility, and yet, they’d persist. I found it fascinating, this commitment to their lies. It often led to a situation in which someone would lie about something little, insignificant, but rather than admit that they lied, shame would take over and they’d end up saying more and more outlandish things in support of that initial little lie, until the lie grew to something big and important. Shame is at the root of so many lies and secrets. I think it may be the most powerful emotion we have, certainly the most long-lasting

Brenda I really connected with the characters in their grief for their children and I loved that you added some of the inner thoughts that in grief we have, the ones that we are too afraid to say for being judged, unliked or feeling bad for thinking them. The thoughts that make us human. “So if a tiny part of us has these thoughts a tiny part of the time, thoughts we shut out as soon as they creep in, is that so bad? Isn’t that just human?”

Angie Thank you so much for highlighting this, which is what Elizabeth says to Teresa in response to what Teresa confesses to her, about her once having a fleeting thought (that she’s extremely ashamed by) of wondering if her life would be better if her daughter had died. This is a passage that Ari Shapiro read on NPR’s All Things Considered and discussed with me. I love that so much because it’s such a pivotal moment that’s at the heart of this novel for me. I think that there’s a Myth of the Good Mother, which is that mothers are and should be saintly. Elle Magazine said that Miracle Creek “tears the ‘Good Mother’ myth apart,” and I hope that that’s true. I think all humans have fleeting, shameful thoughts, but I think mothers who admit openly to having such thoughts are demonized. Being a mother is hard. It’s hard with any child, special needs and chronic illnesses or not. We should be able to be open and honest with each other about it, and not have it be so taboo. I’m not saying that it’s all hard and bad—not at all! There’s intense love and so much joy, but it can be awful sometimes, and we should be able to talk about that and process it with each other, together.

Brenda Can you tell us what your are working on?

Angie I’m working on my next novel (or trying to, anyway!). It’s about a 10-yr old boy who’s nonverbal (with autism) who goes on a walk at the beginning of the novel with his father, who’s his primary caregiver. But only the boy returns home. And because he’s nonverbal, he can’t tell us what happened to the father. His older siblings (17-18 yr old fraternal twins, one boy, one girl) become obsessed with working with him with assistive communication technologies and therapies to get him to communicate

What Angie had to say about us “I know this is an active group filled with passionate readers, and I loved getting a chance to think through and answer such thoughtful, insightful questions. Thank you so much for reading Miracle Creek and for inviting me to take part in this amazing discussion group!”


message 2: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Cannot wait for this!!!


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
Hi Angie! I am so glad to get a chance to discuss Miracle Creek a bit more with you.

Let's start with how all the success of Miracle Creek had felt for?


message 4: by Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends (last edited Sep 22, 2019 08:48AM) (new)

Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
Can you describe Miracle Creek in three words?


message 5: by Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends (last edited Sep 20, 2019 05:31PM) (new)

Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
What does your writing day look like to you? Do you have a routine?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
You wrote about themes you know from your life experiences. Can you share a bit of them that inspired you to write this story or shaped the characters for you?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
What character or characters did you identify more with?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
You wrote some highlights and notes here on Goodreads for the most popular highlighted Kindle passages. Can you give us here some insight into them?

MY HUSBAND ASKED ME TO LIE.


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
This is one of my favorite quotes from your book that I really could relate too. I love to see more insight into the quote

"But life doesn’t work like that. Tragedies don’t inoculate you against further tragedies, and misfortune doesn’t get sprinkled out in fair proportions; bad things get hurled at you in clumps and batches, unmanageable and messy."


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
"Having a special-needs child didn’t just change you; it transmuted you, transported you to a parallel world with an altered gravitational axis."


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
"In Korean, he was an authoritative man, educated and worthy of respect. In English, he was a deaf, mute idiot, unsure, nervous, and inept. A bah-bo."


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
"That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story"


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
I really connected with the characters in their grief for their children and I loved that you added some of the inner thoughts that in grief we have, the ones that we are too afraid to say for being judged, unliked or feeling bad for thinking them. The thoughts that make us human.

"So if a tiny part of us has these thoughts a tiny part of the time, thoughts we shut out as soon as they creep in, is that so bad? Isn’t that just human?”


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
"Pak had planned to call the business “Miracle Creek Wellness Center,” but seeing the chamber, the way it resembled a miniature submarine, she’d said, “Miracle Submarine.” She’d turned to Pak and said it again. “Miracle Submarine—that’s what we should call it.” He’d smiled and said that was a good name, a better name"


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
In our group read this was a quote we discussed.

“Pak became quiet. He found relief in the relative dignity of silence and retreated into invisibility. The problem was, Americans didn’t like silence. It made them uneasy..... Quietness, Americans seemed to equate with an empty mind—nothing to say, no thoughts worth hearing—or perhaps sullenness. Deceit, even.”


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
For more highlights and notes from Angie can be found here

https://www.goodreads.com/notes/41189...


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
How long did it take you to write MC? Did you plan things out or did it come together as you were writing?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
You have a few different and very interesting characters each with their own heartache dealing with being a parent? What came first for you the plot/story or the characters?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
What do you hope readers get out of your story?


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
Can you tell us what you are working on now?


message 21: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Hi everyone! Thank you so much again for having me for this great AMA. I see that there are already a lot of questions, so I'll get started with replying. Please feel free to ask more, and I'll continue to answer throughout the day!


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
Angie wrote: "Hi everyone! Thank you so much again for having me for this great AMA. I see that there are already a lot of questions, so I'll get started with replying. Please feel free to ask more, and I'll con..."

Hi Angie, that sounds great! Please skip over any if you already answered in another comment.


message 23: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Hi Angie! I am so glad to get a chance to discuss Miracle Creek a bit more with you.

Let's start with how all the success of Miracle Creek had felt for?"


Thank you so much, Brenda! It's been more than a little surreal, quite honestly. I think all writers dream that their books will find an audience, and I of course did as well. But it's one thing to have silly fantasies, and another to actually have so many of them come true. Because I'm new to the writing/book publishing world, I didn't even know about many of the things that have happened to me, including Book of the Month, Indie Next, Amazon Best of Month, Library Reads, and all the magazines that feature most-anticipated and best-of lists. (SO MANY lists!!!!) It's been really amazing and now that we're gearing up for paperback publication next April, I'm finding out even more things, which are so exciting and fun. But the most fun and gratifying have been doing things like this and book clubs, where I get to interact directly with readers. So thank you!!


message 24: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Can you describe Miracle Creek in three words?

Murder. Parenting. Hope.



message 25: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "What does your writing day look like to you? Do you have a routine?"

I used to have a routine, which I hope to get back into once travel and events slow down a bit. After the kids are all off to school, I start with reading my previous day's writing over coffee, and I just force myself to sit in my writing nook for as may hours as I possibly can. I don't have any word count goals or time goals because it depends so greatly on what I'm working on. If I'm working on the beginning of a scene or chapter, it might take me days to find the right sentence. If I'm working on continuing a scene, I'm usually in the flow and can crank out the last 1/3 of a scene in one sitting.


message 26: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "You wrote about themes you know from your life experiences. Can you share a bit of them that inspired you to write this story or shaped the characters for you?"

The three main threads of my life that I mined for Miracle Creek are my own experience being a Korean immigrant as a preteen, my first career as a trial lawyer, and my experience as a mother to three kids who all had medical issues as babies/toddlers. (All are fine now, thankfully!)

The immigrant thread - I moved from Seoul to the Baltimore area when I was 11 (much like Mary in Miracle Creek), and I went through a really rough period of being bullied in middle school, not speaking English at all and feeling lost as a result, and being separated from my parents (who ran a grocery store in a dangerous part of Baltimore). One of the things I loved most about writing Miracle Creek was that I got to explore this experience from my parents' experience as well as my own. (The mom, the dad and the daughter of the immigrant family all have their own POV chapters.)

The courtroom scenes were amazingly fun to write for me, almost like going back to the courtroom, except that I got to control what the witnesses said! Being in the courtroom and questioning hostile witnesses was my favorite part of being a lawyer, so I loved revisiting that.

Finally, the parenting experience provided the foundation for Miracle Creek. I actually did HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) in a group chamber just like "Miracle Submarine" in the novel with one of my kids. I wrote about it in an essay for Vogue, which you can read here: tinyurl.com/vogueangiekim


message 27: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "What character or characters did you identify more with?"

I probably identify the most with Mary Yoo, because she is me (as a preteen/teenager). The Yoos are the characters who are most directly based on people from my own life (me + my parents). As an adult, I also identify with Elizabeth, the mother who's on trial, mostly because I, like her, felt guilty at times about having a child who had the least severe medical issues in the group HBOT setting and felt a lot of angst about that.


message 28: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "You wrote some highlights and notes here on Goodreads for the most popular highlighted Kindle passages. Can you give us here some insight into them?

MY HUSBAND ASKED ME TO LIE."

The first version of the beginning of the novel started with “The pounding. It’s the pounding I remember most,” and then went directly into the scene with TJ’s head-banging (in the middle of page 7). This original opening line was a rhythmic homage to Russell Banks’ THE SWEET HEREAFTER, which opens with “A dog—it was a dog I saw for certain. Or thought I saw.” I love the structure of that novel—the exploration of a tragedy, the causation and the aftermath, through four people’s POVs—and I wanted to do something similar with my novel.

But one day, the line "My husband asked me to lie" came to me, and I knew that had to be the beginning of the novel. It seemed so perfect for the themes of the novel, as well as the character arc for Young Yoo, who struggles to find her own voice and to stand up to her husband for much of the novel.


message 29: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "This is one of my favorite quotes from your book that I really could relate too. I love to see more insight into the quote

"But life doesn’t work like that. Tragedies don’t inoculate you against f..."

This is one of my favorites, too! As I commented earlier, I have three boys who all had medical issues. My first child was born deaf in one ear due to a neurological condition, which involved a lot of hospital visits, tests, and therapy when he was a baby/toddler. By the time he was four, when everything seemed resolved with that (and other associated neuropathies ruled out), we found out that he had two OTHER unrelated medical issues—celiac disease and ulcerative colitis—and my other child turned out to have severe anaphylactic allergies. Shortly thereafter, we had two medical scares with our third child for conditions completely unrelated to any of those. (Thankfully, all three kids are fine now.) I was a Philosophy major in college, and this set of events definitely made me think hard about how foolish I’d been to expect that going through one misfortune would mean nothing more would happen to my life, at least for a while.


message 30: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: ""Having a special-needs child didn’t just change you; it transmuted you, transported you to a parallel world with an altered gravitational axis.""

As I commented earlier, I did HBOT in real life with one of my kids who had ulcerative colitis. The standard treatments weren’t working, and he was in pain, throwing up every day, losing weight, and we became desperate and decided to try this experimental treatment. It was a group HBOT chamber like Miracle Submarine, with kids with chronic illnesses and special needs, including autism and cerebral palsy. It was an intense and intimate environment, with a confessional feel, and we parents talked about our lives and families. No matter what the condition or the severity, the one thing we all agreed on is that when your kids have a chronic condition, it’s not just your actions that change, but the whole world, your outlook, your relationship to society, EVERYTHING changes. One of my favorite things about having written this book is reading reviews and emails from readers who have children with special needs or chronic illnesses—hearing that they appreciate reading sentiments like this because they’ve thought it themselves, and it makes them feel less alone.


message 31: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: ""In Korean, he was an authoritative man, educated and worthy of respect. In English, he was a deaf, mute idiot, unsure, nervous, and inept. A bah-bo.""

This is one of the passages I read most often in bookstore events and talks. Even though this particular passage is about (and written from the point of view of) Pak, I remember this very thing happening to me. In Korea, I had been a talkative, social, smart girl. In the US (in middle school), I couldn’t understand or say anything. Intellectually, I knew that I wasn’t stupid, that there was a reasonable explanation for my not speaking English and I shouldn’t feel ashamed, and yet, that’s exactly how I felt. It was the most frustrating experience of my life, and even after I became fluent in English, this frustration and shame stayed with me, as I witnessed the same thing happening to my parents—frustration that it was taking so long for my parents to learn English, shame that I was the daughter of people who were so stupid (even though, again, I knew at an intellectual level that there was a perfectly understandable reason for their relative difficulty mastering English, that they were not stupid).


message 32: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: ""That was the thing about lies: they demanded commitment. Once you lied, you had to stick to your story""

I think lying is very difficult, precisely because of this. You have to stick to the story you tell, and you have to stick to all the ramifications of that story. My favorite part of being a lawyer (by far!) was being in the courtroom or taking a deposition, questioning a hostile witness and ferreting out and trying to find a weakness in their story. One of the best ways to do that, I found, was to ask them about a logical extension of their main story, something that must be true if they’re telling the truth, and then confronting them with a document or previous statement that contradicts that. The funny thing was, people would often continue to stick to their lie even when faced with incontrovertible evidence that it was a lie. It made them look ridiculous and destroyed their credibility, and yet, they’d persist. I found it fascinating, this commitment to their lies. It often led to a situation in which someone would lie about something little, insignificant, but rather than admit that they lied, shame would take over and they’d end up saying more and more outlandish things in support of that initial little lie, until the lie grew to something big and important. Shame is at the root of so many lies and secrets. I think it may be the most powerful emotion we have, certainly the most long-lasting.


message 33: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "I really connected with the characters in their grief for their children and I loved that you added some of the inner thoughts that in grief we have, the ones that we are too afraid to say for bein..."

Thank you so much for highlighting this, which is what Elizabeth says to Teresa in response to what Teresa confesses to her, about her once having a fleeting thought (that she’s extremely ashamed by) of wondering if her life would be better if her daughter had died. This is a passage that Ari Shapiro read on NPR’s All Things Considered and discussed with me. I love that so much because it’s such a pivotal moment that’s at the heart of this novel for me. I think that there’s a Myth of the Good Mother, which is that mothers are and should be saintly. Elle Magazine said that Miracle Creek “tears the ‘Good Mother’ myth apart,” and I hope that that’s true. I think all humans have fleeting, shameful thoughts, but I think mothers who admit openly to having such thoughts are demonized. Being a mother is hard. It’s hard with any child, special needs and chronic illnesses or not. We should be able to be open and honest with each other about it, and not have it be so taboo. I’m not saying that it’s all hard and bad—not at all! There’s intense love and so much joy, but it can be awful sometimes, and we should be able to talk about that and process it with each other, together.


message 34: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: ""Pak had planned to call the business “Miracle Creek Wellness Center,” but seeing the chamber, the way it resembled a miniature submarine, she’d said, “Miracle Submarine.” She’d turned to Pak and s..."

I discussed earlier that I did HBOT with one of my kids. The first time he saw the chamber (he was 4 yrs old), he pointed to it and said, “Look, it’s a submarine.” We’d just watched the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine for family movie night, and the HBOT chamber looked just like that, except it was blue. So we called it our “Blue Submarine” for the rest of that summer. When I wrote this novel years later, I titled it Miracle Submarine, and that’s how thousands of ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) were printed. We got feedback from some early readers that the “submarine” in the title made them think it might be a military thriller, or perhaps a children’s book (like the Yellow Submarine), so we changed it to Miracle Creek, which is ironic given this highlighted passage. I named the town (and the creek) Miracle Creek as an homage to Dennis Lehane’s MYSTIC RIVER, which is one of my favorite books of all time. I outlined that book to learn from its great structure and plot points when I decided that I wanted to write a novel, so I wanted to pay tribute to it somehow.


Norma * Traveling Sister * On hiatus due to health | 47 comments Mod
Hi Angie, thanks so much for joining us today and congratulations on the success of Miracle Creek!

I am thoroughly enjoying reading all of your responses to the above questions.


message 36: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "In our group read this was a quote we discussed.

“Pak became quiet. He found relief in the relative dignity of silence and retreated into invisibility. The problem was, Americans didn’t like sile..."


Oh, interesting! This was not one of the official most-highlighted passages from Kindle that Goodreads provided me, but it's definitely one that folks have posted about. Pak's silence is really modeled after my own father's. He's always been a very quiet man, and I saw how this characteristic, which I'd always respected in Korea, changed into something unlikeable in the US. Verbosity is something that's greatly admired and equated with intelligence in American culture, I think--think of the characters in West Wing or the fast-talking guests on Sunday morning political talk shows. And in courtrooms, too--you don't want jurors to feel like a witness is being short and trying to hide something.


message 37: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "For more highlights and notes from Angie can be found here

https://www.goodreads.com/notes/41189..."


Thank you so much for highlighting these notes, Brenda! I absolutely loved going through and seeing what the most highlighted passages were, and then getting to comment on them, so I appreciate your sharing and spreading the word!


message 38: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "Hi Angie, thanks so much for joining us today and congratulations on the success of Miracle Creek!

I am thoroughly enjoying reading all of your responses to the above questions."

Thank you so much, Norma!


message 39: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "You have a few different and very interesting characters each with their own heartache dealing with being a parent? What came first for you the plot/story or the characters?"

I would say the situation and setting came first - the HBOT world and the fact that there would be a disaster that occurs in that group chamber during an active session. Then, the characters--both the Yoo family (the owners of the HBOT chamber) and the patients and their families who are affected by the tragedy. The plot, the trial, what happened that led up to that moment of the fire, etc. - all that came as I was writing.


message 40: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "How long did it take you to write MC? Did you plan things out or did it come together as you were writing?"

I started doing freewriting and imagining the world of the novel in the summer of 2012. Then really started drafting from chapter 1 onward in spring 2013. Finished the first draft in spring 2015. Then revisions until fall 2016. Then signed with an agent in Nov 2016 (I was in NYC on election day, meeting with various agents!), then the novel was sold in March 2017! Then two years until pub date in April 2019!


message 41: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Can you tell us what you are working on now?"

I'm working on my next novel (or trying to, anyway!). It's about a 10-yr old boy who's nonverbal (with autism) who goes on a walk at the beginning of the novel with his father, who's his primary caregiver. But only the boy returns home. And because he's nonverbal, he can't tell us what happened to the father. His older siblings (17-18 yr old fraternal twins, one boy, one girl) become obsessed with working with him with assistive communication technologies and therapies to get him to communicate.


message 42: by Angie (new)

Angie Kim | 21 comments I think I answered all the Qs. If there's anything I missed, please ping me. Thank you so much again!


Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends | 110 comments Mod
Thank you so much for joining us, Angie!!! I loved reading all your comments!


Lindsay - Traveling Sister (lindsaylivi) | 13 comments Mod
Thanks very much for being with us today Angie! Loved reading all of your answers and comments. 😊


back to top