Hiya! Today’s post is a very exciting one because I’m going to be hosting yet another blog tour stop and interview with Sarah Suk, the author of Made in Korea! Before we get into the tour, here is a bit about the author’s debut novel…
Title: Made in Korea by Mariko Turk
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: May 18, 2021
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.
Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…
What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.
Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.
But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.
Find out more about Made in Korea with these links!
Here is the tour schedule link! If you have time, do check out the other amazing tour stops as well!
Without further ado, here is the interview!
1. Hi there Sarah! I just want to say that I’m so excited to have you here with us today. Before we get into the interview, do you mind telling us a bit about yourself?
Sarah: Thank you so much for having me! So I’m Sarah – nice to meet you – and I live in Vancouver, Canada where I write books for kids and teens. Other than writing and reading, I love film, photography, spending time by the water, and making souffle pancakes.
2. Any book that mentions Hi-Chews is a win for me! So I have to ask, what’s your favorite Hi-Chew flavor? After reading your (lovely) novel, I’ve learnt that there is a flavor for every occasion. What flavor would you give Made In Korea?
Sarah: My favorite flavor would have to be strawberry. As for a flavor for Made in Korea, I’d have to say mango! Mango is Valerie’s celebration flavor, and this book is very celebratory to me. Both in personal ways, because it is my debut novel, and in the book itself, because I feel like the story is a
celebration of many things, including Korean culture and teen entrepreneurship.
Saniya: Ooo good choice, strawberry is always nice! I NEED to try the celebration flavor now. 😆
3. I love how Made In Korea revolves around young entrepreneurs! What inspired the entrepreneurial aspect of the novel?
Sarah: I love that part too! I was just really intrigued by the idea of students selling things at school and running their own businesses. Teens are so innovative and creative, and I wanted to explore that through an entrepreneurial lens in Made in Korea.
4. If I may ask, what is your favorite scene in the book and why?
Sarah: Definitely all the scenes between Valerie and Halmeoni (her grandmother). Those were some of my favorite moments in the book. They were just very healing and tender. I also loved writing the Halloween scenes!
Saniya: 100% agree. Valarie and her halmeoni have the best bond. Ahh yes, the Halloween scenes are iconic!
5. Do you have a specific writing routine?
Sarah: I feel like this changes with each project and sometimes even with each day, but there a few things that have stayed consistent in my writing routine. I always write down my writing goal for the day in my bullet journal to help me keep track of what I need to do. Then I usually make myself a cup of tea, sit down at my desk, procrastinate for a while, and realize I should probably turn off my wi-fi if I want to get any work done. Sometimes I also listen to an instrumental or lofi playlist while I write to
help me focus.
Saniya: It’s so cool that you use a bullet journal, they truly are helpful. I liked what you said about how your routine changes with each project too!
6. Is there a character in the book that you resonate most with?
Sarah: I resonate with each of them in different ways because I feel like I can see a part of myself in every character. For example, I relate with Valerie’s ambition and tendency to define herself by her goals, as well as Wes’ passion for the arts and people pleasing nature. I even resonate with some of the side characters like Charlie and Pauline in their loyalty and inquisitiveness.
7. What do you hope readers will take away from Made In Korea after reading it?
Sarah: Mostly, I hope readers will feel something while reading the book. Whether it makes them laugh or reflect or empathize with a character, I hope there would be something in the story that sparks a sense of joy.
Saniya: That’s such a beautiful message, I love it!
Giveaway (US/Canada Only)
One winner will receive a finished copy of Made in Korea. The giveaway will end on May 24th.
Click this link to enter the giveaway!!
About The Author
Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. You can visit her on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.Sarah is represented by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency.
Thank you so much for reading this blog tour stop post, I hope you enjoyed it. Ms. Suk’s debut novel is amazing, and I can’t wait for you to read it! Have a great day!