Lots of Links Before The Tour Begins [#14]
I'm talking a lot to podcasts, and TV, and newsletters. Plus, we're a People pick, people!
The book process is a long and winding road that involves a lot more than just writing. There’s all the thinking, and imagining, and pre-writing, and proposing, and selling, and outlining, and revising, and then finally a big chunk of reporting and writing, and that’s never really finished, because even after books went to print I was writing adjacent essays, or pitches, or answering press questions. I am constantly learning new things, and digging deeper to offer more of myself, which is hard because I feel exposed and a vestigial instinct not to call much attention to my perspective or experiences.
What keeps me going is remembering that I wrote in proximity to hundreds of Korean women, whose stories informed the thinking/imagining/writing etc. Their experiences begged to be taken more seriously by global observers. To be clear, they have written books and essays of their own, and my entry is just another in an ongoing conversation about bodily autonomy and liberation and what a more just society could be. So when about 50 Korean feminists gathered with me via Zoom last weekend at 9pm Saturday my time, 1pm Sunday their time, to talk through #FlawlessTheBook’s big ideas, ask how they could support the book and share with me how the struggle is going on the ground in South Korea, I felt moved to tears. The warmth and openness of the ladies could be felt across the ocean, and the sense of community between all of us reminded me how meaningful it is when we share our stories with one another and amplify our voices, because they matter.
Links Links Links
My essay in The Atlantic that jumps off from a scene in Flawless, and a question I wrestle with: How to parent in beauty culture.
InAsia podcast with the Asia Foundation, which starts with a very provocative point that got me riffing right away.
A Q and A with fellow writer Nicole Zhu, who first interviewed me about having the “wrong face” in Korea back in 2017 for her podcast Sweet and Sour FM.
WBEZ’s Nerdette podcast with one of my favorite public radio hosts, Greta Johnsen.
We’re also in People Magazine as a People Pick this week. And the show isn’t out yet but here’s a pic with my favorite LA anchor, Frank Buckley, for his 30 minute KTLA-TV program and podcast! He even asked me about the labor and delivery scene of Baby Isa that’s in the book.
For me, the single most rewarding part of any creative project, especially one that takes three years(!) like this one, is the connection created among the team of people it requires to make it happen. I’m deeply grateful for you and your support. And I just want to give an extra shout-out to those who have believed in this project from the very beginning and got us to this moment. People like Cassidy and Emily at Dutton Books, agent Howard, freelance editor Carrie, my mom and dad, and our family’s tireless helper Yani, who tending to things like the laundry and the plants and the pets AND the small humans made my work possible. Gah I’m getting all verklempt. Thank y’all from the bottom of my tender heart.
Things You Can Do
It’s not too late to pre-order — it helps determine a book’s sales trajectory and support. Bookshop is running a 20% off promotion for Flawless if you use the code AAPIHERITAGE.
Amplify on socials! Tag me @EliseWho on Twitter & Instagram, @WhoElise on TikTok, and on Facebook. #FlawlessTheBook.
Leave a loving review for the algorithms! On Goodreads or Amazon.
Come see me on tour! NYC > Los Angeles > Culver City > Austin > Houston > San Francisco > Seattle > Phoenix > Boston > Dallas > Washington, DC. Details here.
Talk about Flawless with your communities and direct them to find out more at my website.
Invite me to speak to your book clubs, orgs, schools, companies! Contact me here.
That’s it for this update, and another one will follow soon since we’re only a few days away from launch. Thank you for being on this ride with me, I’m trying to really take it one moment at a time so I don’t forget it in the whirr of activity.