An Na was born in Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. A former middle school English and history teacher, she is currently at work on her third novel. She lives in Vermont.
Where did you grow up?
About An Na
An Interview with An Na
More About An Na
I grew up in San Diego, California.
You've had a variety of different occupations. Which was your favorite?
Well, I have to say that I loved each job for very different reasons. Obviously, the video clerk job was easy, not to mention, watching movies all night was pretty cool, but the best part about the job were the customers. There were some pretty crazy characters coming into the store late at night which was when I had my shift. I have them all filed away for a book someday. The pastry chef job was the most physically intensive but I love to cook and making and tasting desserts was not a bad way to go if you have to have a job. And finally, teaching, was the most spiritually and emotionally rewarding but it was also the one job that made it very difficult to write. I had nothing left in me to give to my writing at the end of a teaching day. I loved my students and fellow teachers so this was the job that was hardest to leave.
Who has had the greatest impact on your life?
My daughter, Juna. She is my star, moon, sun, sea, life.
What inspired you to write The Fold?
I had a friend who asked me to contribute to an anthology that she was putting together around the subject of beauty. I immediately thought of the fold surgery but never got around to writing it. When I was trying to think about my next novel, I came back to this idea and the name, Michael, popped into my head. Everything from there just flowed out of me at that point.
What is the most important thing you would like readers to learn from The Fold?
We are all victims at one time or another of not feeling beautiful enough. However, to take it to the next level and to begin to change or do something about this feeling can be as simple as buying a piece of clothing or as intense as going under the knife. I would like readers to really take the time to look within themselves. Not to latch on to some quick solution, but to think about who they are and what they truly want and to also be okay with saying, I don't know right now. A young adult is constantly going through change and to make permanent decisions about how one should look is a lifetime consequence. It sounds cliched but loving yourself first should be at the heart of every decision especially when it comes to deciding what looks beautiful.
Whatever my mom is cooking.
Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere warm with blue green water. I'm in Vermont and during the winter I surf online and go look at warm tropical islands. Sigh.
Desert island book?
How To Cook Everything
When did you start writing?
I came to writing very late in my life, just at the end of college. However, I have always been an avid reader and lover of story.
What do you like best about writing for a teen audience?
Teens are the BEST audience because they are so honest. They will tell you flat out if something stinks or if its fabulous.
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