Hi Suzanne and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, SO WE MEET AGAIN!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
SO WE MEET AGAIN is a part coming-of-age, part love story about a Korean-American woman who is fired from her job on Wall Street and moves back home to her parents’ house in Nashville, where she navigates a new chapter in her life. Jessie Kim cautiously embraces entrepreneurship by launching a Korean fusion cooking channel, while at the same time unexpectedly falling for her childhood rival Daniel Choi.
Please share the opening lines of this book:
“Jessie! My Office. NOW!”
(this is absurdly short!)
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
Most of this book takes place in Tennessee! I really enjoyed writing about my hometown in SO WE MEET AGAIN: from the food to the hospitality, to the local news station and indie bookstore there. The novel pays tribute to the “Old Nashville” I knew in my youth, and the new, bustling Nashville that had exploded in growth in the last decade. I’m also a Dolly Parton fan so there are many tributes to her in this book.
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
I have several female friends who work in finance, Jessie my protagonist is a mix of all of them: she’s hard-working, determined, and sometimes underestimated. It didn’t take me long to fall into the right voice: Jess was someone I felt I knew well but it was still surprising to me how quickly I was able to develop her characterization. Daniel, the love interest, is based on my own childhood rivalries with a particular family. These two brothers are now quite successful but I haven’t spoken to them since I was in middle school.
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
There’s a scene where Jess and Daniel are ready for some bedroom action, but they find themselves in the most absurd situation. It would have to be a duo who could embrace the comedy and the romance: she’s wearing overalls and his bedroom is a former nursery from the previous home owner.
“Okay, these overalls weren’t a good idea, but this room is…literally anti-sexy. I don’t know if I can do this.” I backed into the hallway but he grabbed my arm.
“Don’t worry, I won’t turn on the mobile,” he said with a half-smirk.
I was definitely going to address the mobile next. It was high above us and stationary, but still distracting with all of the contrasting colors and patterns.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
I wrote SO WE MEET AGAIN in the pandemic, right after turning in my YA book SUNNY SONG WILL NEVER BE FAMOUS (which I also wrote in 2020). SO WE MEET AGAIN was a “comfort write,” a light-hearted book that also tackles heavier issues like sexism and racism. It’s meant to be an entertaining read with a dollop of social commentary, so I hope it delivers.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?
I just turned in a book to my YA editor! It’s a (currently untitled) holiday romantic comedy coming out in fall 2022 about two Asian-American teens who work in rival holiday businesses at the local mall. They find out it’s being torn down and have to work together to save it. I also have an adult comedic coming-of-age novel coming out in spring 2023 called THE DO OVER. It follows a Korean-American woman who finds out through a job-related background check that she never completed her college degree and has to go back to earn her final credits. There, she finds out her grad student TA is her old college boyfriend.
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Giveaway: (2) Print copy of SO WE MEET AGAIN by Suzanne Park
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When investment banker Jessie Kim is laid off in a virtual meeting and then overhears why (“she’s already being overpaid anyway for a woman” and “Asians are worker bees, not someone who can drum up new deals”) she delivers an “eff you guys” speech and storms out.
After moving back home to Tennessee to live with her loving but meddling mother and father, she runs into her childhood nemesis—golden child Daniel Choi—at the local Asian grocery store. The smart, charming lawyer appears to have it all…while Jessie has nothing.
Jess begrudgingly accepts Daniel’s help to relaunch her long abandoned Korean cooking YouTube channel: HANGUK HACKS, showcasing easy meal prep for busy professionals. But just as she discovers Daniel’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems and there’s more to him than meets the eye, he shows up for a life-changing business opportunity, and their rivalry is back on . . .
Meet the Author:
Suzanne Park is a Korean-American writer who was born and raised in Tennessee. As a comedienne, she was selected to appear on BET’s “Coming to the Stage.” Suzanne was also the winner of the Seattle Sierra Mist Comedy Competition, and was a semi-finalist in NBC’s “Stand Up For Diversity” showcase in San Francisco.
Suzanne graduated from Columbia University and received an MBA from UCLA. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, female offspring, and a sneaky rat that creeps around on her back patio. In her spare time, she procrastinates.
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