Ellen Oh

Name

Ellen Oh

Age

I keep forgetting (on purpose)

Location

Bethesda, MD/Washington, DC metro area

Occupation

Author, college instructor, attorney, donut lover

Own Words

Growing up first in Queens and then Brooklyn, NY was tough. We weren't rich so we lived in the rougher parts of the boroughs which meant that I dealt with a lot of racism. I got called chink all the time, which really bothered me because I mean if you're gonna be a racist, get your racial slurs right damn it. I'm a Gook not a Chink! But ultimately having to deal with racism helped me become the strong, no-nonsense woman that I am today.

Racism made me keenly aware of my heritage. It is why I love and respect my Korean roots. I am defined not just by who I am, but what makes me that way. I could not deny my Korean background, how can I? It's there staring back at me everyday in the mirror. It's there in my memories, in the voices of my parents, and even embedded in my tastebuds.

When I first began writing, I did so because it bothered me to see how little about Korea was in our bookstores and our library shelves. I loved reading about Korean history, but it was so difficult to get those books. And suddenly the idea of writing a novel based in ancient Korea became an imperative. But it was hard going. So many people told me that no publisher would buy a book about ancient Korea. The thing about being Korean American is that we are a very, very stubborn people. I'm happy to say I proved them all wrong and my YA fantasy trilogy Prophecy: The Dragon King Chronicles, set in ancient Korea, is scheduled to come out in early 2013 by Harper Collins Children's. Never say never to a Korean. We don't take well to being told No.

I love how Koreans are some of the strongest, loyal, emotional, generous, and kind people in the world. I hate that Koreans can also be so materialistic and focused on looks and weight. But hey, Koreans are wonderful and crazy, gossipy and compassionate, ostentatious and generous. Our food is awesome, our music is fabulous, our talent is spectacular, our people are fabulous. What's there not to love? I'm proud of being Korean American.

www.ellenoh.com
Friend me at http://www.facebook.com/ellen.c.oh
Follow me at http://twitter.com/elloecho

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