The main library’s third floor contains a number of authentic history books. Many Sookmyungians may have thought about reading the books, but few students will actually borrow one. However, Lee Jueun (LEE), author of the book, A Scandal in World History has changed student thought. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met her to learn more how she became a writer.
SMT What inspired you to write story about the middle ages in Europe in 2013 on your blog?
LEE When I first starting to post in 2013, I didn’t have a clear mind. Perhaps, I was just bored at that time. I first uploaded Nunsong Nunsong History Exploring #1, which later became the content for Become Useless. I serialize the story at Sookmyung Women’s University’s community site, Snorose, over a two-month period. As its popularity increased, my blog postings, which began as my personal private blogs about interesting historical facts soon became renowned. I had great fun writing on my blog. Finally, I published A Scandal in World History.
SMT Among blogs that provide historic postings, your blog ranks first in terms of its number of visitors. Please explain the background to the blog and how you came up with the unique idea?
LEE When something suddenly comes to mind, I make a note of it on my cell phone or I ponder issues other bloggers have mentioned. I also visit the Capital Library as it contains lots of graphs and references. The Capital Library has a wonderful collection of reference books. Also, I often use E-books as another material source for my stories. Basically a short story or picture story on my blog takes about half an hour to write. However, longer stories like postings about Anastacia and Elizabeth Taylor take a great deal of time. I enjoy continual series story writing because I don’t like ending a story quickly.
SMT There is talk that A Scandal in World History Volume Two is set to be released later. After graduating from university, will you continue to write or do you want another job?
LEE At first, I had planned to publish both volumes at the same time. However, I think my ability and aptitude are much better suited to a career as a writer than a desk or laborious job. So I will concentrate only on my book writing career because, luckily, the path of a writer has appeared. If life as a writer proves unprofitable or unfeasible, I will consider other jobs. It is never too late to try something, but I want to write books as long as I possibly can.
SMT You studied in the Department of English while at Sookmyung Women’s University. Why did you decide to write a world history book?
LEE In elementary school, most of my friends told me to stop reading. However, my mother gave me many books because I read endlessly regardless of whether the topic was interesting or fun. By elementary school third grade, I had read Jane Eyre, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, and The Old Man and The Sea. These founded my interest in Europe during that period. Also, I attended an English literature lecture at New York University in the United States, which connected literature to real events. Therefore, I think reading classic novels motivated me to write a history book.
SMT In recent years, a number of university students reading literary texts is decreasing. Especially, some students see history books as boring and heavy with themes of the past. How do you feel about that and do you have any advice for Sookmyungians?
LEE Now, society seeks people with flexible thinking. Therefore, students should learn from their major, but also from other various fields. As a result, most students can’t have their free time, since they are busy building what society wants. However, I hope Sookmyungians realize what not only what society wants but also find a way to fulfill their own wants. There is always a way to tune in with society and your wants. For me, it was reading.
SMT What does SMU mean to you?
LEE It allowed me to stand here now. People tend to see a women’s university as a place of individualism. However, it is not true. Behind students’ outward individualism, there is warmness and kindness among students. In fact, I often patronize students younger than myself because I feel like an older sibling in a large family. Therefore, I think Sookmyung is full of love. As an alumna, with connection to those younger than myself, I’m really satisfied. I want to tell Sookmyungians to get acquainted with upper year students in the university. Finally, a warm-hearted thank you to all Sookmyungians!
Lee Jueun (Lee)
• Graduated from the Department of English ’09
• Author of the book, A Scandal in World History
• Homepage: blog.naver.com/royalsweet16
ALL PHOTOS BY LEE