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Miracle Creek


A thrilling debut novel about how far we'll go to protect our families, and our ...
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Discuss Miracle Creek by Angie Kim:
What one question would you like to ask the author?

Created: 04/16/20

Replies: 10

Posted Apr. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2225

What one question would you like to ask the author?

What one question would you like to ask the author?


Posted Apr. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 437

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

Is Pak an actual name, or is it the all-purpose substitute for Mister/father/sir as it is in Bahasa Indonesia. the Indonesian language?

Angie Kim Response:
It's an actual name! Pak is more common as a last name than as a first name in Korea, but it's a real first name in Korea.


Posted Apr. 18, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolc

Join Date: 02/03/20

Posts: 5

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

Can you tell us a little about your next book? Will you use your writing nook again for notes and calendars?

Angie Kim Response: I'm working on my next novel now. It's about a ten-year-old boy who's nonverbal due to apraxia and autism. He goes on a walk at the beginning of the novel with his father, and only the boy returns home. Because he's nonverbal, he can't tell the authorities or his family what happened on the walk, and his older siblings become obsessed with using assistive communication therapies and technologies to help him to find his voice and communicate. And yes, I'm definitely using my nook again, both as a writing space and to tape up calendars and chronologies and such.


Posted Apr. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gaylamath

Join Date: 02/11/20

Posts: 7

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

What is your writing process, how do you do your research, are you a plotter or panster? Have you written anything else (articles, etc) since this is your first novel?

Angie Kim Response: For Miracle Creek, most of my research comes from having gone through the experiences myself. My family and I immigrated to the US (Baltimore area) from Seoul, S. Korea, when I was a preteen, just like Mary and the Yoos in the novel. I also went through HBOT with one of my kids myself. I'm also a former trial lawyer, so the courtroom scenes and investigation methods are things I already know and feel confident about. For things I don't have direct experience with, I like to do online research first and then follow up with multiple interviews of experts who have direct experience in that field.

I'm definitely a pantser, not a plotter. (For those unfamiliar with the terms, "pantser" means someone who doesn't plot out or outline the story before writing it.). I like to try to have a loose structure in mind, but I often veer drastically from where I thought a particular scene was going. For Miracle Creek, for instance, I knew that I wanted the reveal of who set the fire (and how and why) by the second- or third-to-last chapter, but I didn't know the answer until I was 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through writing the first draft (over a year into writing the novel).

I started writing in my 40s, and I definitely started with essays and short stories, which were published in literary magazines. You can take a look at my website, which has links to all of them, with the older ones on the bottom. https://angiekimbooks.com/other-work. I think it's really important for writers to hone their craft and to get experience in submitting their work (and getting rejections!) before working on book-length projects. My agent picked me out from the slush pile, and she's told me how important it was for her to see that I had publication experience.


Posted Apr. 20, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 37

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

Can you tell us more about your next book? And when it might be out?

Angie Kim Response: I wrote about my next novel, HAPPINESS QUOTIENT, above. As for when it might be out—I'm a very slow writer, and I'm having a really hard time writing right now. I would guess at least 2-3 years from now. You have no idea how much I wish I could somehow transform myself into a super-fast writer so that it could be done sooner!


Posted Apr. 21, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 65

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

<<SPOILER>>

Do you think it's fair that the protesters weren't held at all legally responsible for setting anything into motion?

Angie Kim Response: That's such a fascinating question! I definitely have problems with the legal definitions of "causation" and think that our justice system is too black-and-white in its treatment of but-for vs. proximate causes of tragic events. But in this particular case, I'm not sure I would want the protestors to be held responsible for the fire and deaths/injuries. I don't think they could have reasonably foreseen that their protest in the morning could have led to such a convoluted chain of events that led to the fire. Contrast that to Matt's and Janine's lies, which played a huge part in the setting of the fire, as well as Pak's actions with respect to the mylar balloons, setting up the cigarette, etc. The unfairness is more in their actions being seen as having zero responsibility in causing the deaths and injuries.


Posted Apr. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 234

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

Where did you get the idea for this book. The chamber is so different from anything I have heard about, was it your imagination or something you heard about?

Angie Kim Response: Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is actually a real thing that many hospitals now have and use for things like carbon monoxide poisoning and wound healing. TV shows like HOUSE and GREY'S ANATOMY have even featured it! As for experimental group HBOT chambers like Miracle Submarine, I actually have experience with it. When one of my kids was four, he suffered from ulcerative colitis, and we ended up doing HBOT for him at a group chamber near us (outside DC). I've written an essay about my experience, which you can read here: https://www.vogue.com/article/angie-kim-hbot-treatment


Posted Apr. 24, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bluejay

Join Date: 01/17/18

Posts: 7

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

<<SPOILER>>

I would like to know if Mary's prison sentence is realistic. It sounds severe for someone who is just a minor when all this happens.

Angie Kim Response: It was the result of a plea bargain, so it really depends on the prosecutor and judge, but I definitely think it's realistic. Mary was 17 at the time of the incident, and 18 by the time she came forward and was sentenced. What Mary did is actually considered felony murder—the killing (regardless of intent) of a person in the commission of a felony, which includes arson—and, as such, is considered a capital offense in Virginia. I think 10 years (which will probably end up being less, with good behavior in prison) is on the lower side of what she could have gotten.


Posted May. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poniesnpearls

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 42

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

Do you have experience with autistic children and/or their parents?

Angie Kim Response: Absolutely. When I did group HBOT with one of my kids (as I discuss above), I did many sessions with families with children with autism and/or cerebral palsy. Also, one of my kids was born deaf in one ear, necessitating a LOT of speech and auditory processing therapy, where I met and became close friends with moms of children with autism. Some of those women became my best friends and early readers of "Miracle Creek." One even threw me a launch party in April 2019, on the day of publication, with many of our HBOT friends attending!


Posted May. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 44

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

How did you come upon your opening sentence, "My husband asked me to lie". I always love to read a story that hooks me with the first sentence or paragraph. How did you think of this one?

Angie Kim Response: Thank you so much. For the longest time, my first line was "The pounding. It's the pounding I remember most," which is a rhythmic homage to one of my favorite novels, Russell Banks' "The Sweet Hereafter", which starts with "A dog. It was a dog I saw for certain. Or thought I saw."

The “pounding” refers to the little boy inside the HBOT chamber, banging his head against the steel wall. After I finished the first draft and read it over, I realized that Young's story really revolves around gaining the strength to stand up to her husband and tell the truth. That line came to me, and it seemed the perfect place to start the story.


Posted May. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 34

RE: What one question would you like to ask the author?

I would like to know more about her next book, too. And maybe something about her process.

Angie Kim Response: I've talked about my next book above, so I'll say one fun thing about my writing process. I used to be a theater major in high school. (I went to a performing arts high school.)

Because each chapter is written from a different character's perspective, when I began a new chapter, I would spend a good week or so just imagining the world of that character—what that character was thinking, feeling, seeing, saying, etc., during the previous chapters' events—and acting out scenes before starting to write.


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