▲ Ryu Chang-wuk (right), Manager of Saftey-Health-Environment at Olefin Plant, SK Geo Centric, and his wife, writer Kim Kyung-ah (left)
Kim Kyung-ah is a woman who is spreading her wings of talents in search of her new dream – becoming a writer, at the age of forty. Ryu Chang-wuk, Manager of Saftey-Health-Environment at Olefin Plant, SK Geo Centric, is a man who is not only a strong supporter but aslo an ardent fan of his wife, Kim Kyung-ah. Let’s meet the couple to hear their stories of how they share positive energy and love with each other to grow stronger every day.
| Her story – Realizing the dream of becoming a writer
Q1. How did you become a writer?
Actually, my major was vocal music. I used to be a member of Ulsan Metropolitan Chorus, but then I wanted to do something of my own, so I started a music academy. While running the academy, I experienced diverse stories, and felt so many things from them. That’s when I started writing in my journal.
Then, in the early 2000s, I was awarded the Grand Prize with my essay at a writing contest hosted by the Ulsan Petrochemical Industrial Complex. That was the moment when I decided to devote myself in writing. Eventually, through the Ulsan Writers Association, I became a professional essayist.
▲ Kim Kyung-ah was a member of Ulsan Metropolitan Chorus
Q2. To you, your husband “Ryu Chang-wook” is?
He is my first and best reader. After writing a draft, I give it to him before revisions. He gives me back objective feedbacks as a reader. Sometimes a better result is created through this process.
And when I am working on my writing, he helps me a lot with house chores. Also, the various aspects of nature that I encounter while traveling are the subject of my writing. So, my husband travels with me everywhere. At an award ceremony, my husband is my biggest fan who always congrats me the first.
▲ (Left) Ryu Chang-wuk reads the work of his wife, writer Kim Kyung-ah / (Right) The happy couple Ryu Chang-wuk and Kim Kyung-ah
Q3. Why does writing matter to you?
Writing gives me a wider perspective on the world and matters. I also like the fact that my children see their mother work hard on something, studying and struggling.
In addition, after I became a writer, all family members live their own lives independently and respect each other’s time, which I am very proud of.
I am currently working hard on my essay book and sijo book to publish around next year. I want to write essays and poems many people can relate to and become a writer to be remembered for a long time.
| His story – A dedicated SHE manager at work, a strong supporter at home
Q1. How did you feel when you saw your wife becoming a writer?
After marriage, she was too busy with children to pursue her dream, and that made me feel very sorry for her. When she told me that she wanted to write essays, I promised her my full support. I could see how serious she was, like transcribing the works of famous writers and all.
I think it’s a wonderful thing to have a dream after 40 years old, and she even put it into practice. That was really admirable. As her life companion, I am sincerely and actively supporting her career.
▲ The books that writer Kim Kyung-ah read and transcribed
Q2. As the “first fan of writer Kim Kyung-ah,” what would be your first pick among her works?
She not only writes essays but composes sijos (traditional three-verse Korean poem). Among her poems, I’d like to recommend “Wind knits time.” The imagery of time is well depicted with wind blowing over icy mountain ridges. This work is awarded the Rookie of the Year award at Baeksoo Literary Award. The literary award is one of the three major sijo awards in Korea.
▲ Kim Kyung-ah won the Rookie of the Year award at the 11th Baeksu Literary Festival held in 2021
Q3. What does it mean to you that your wife is a writer?
When we are on a travel and talk about mutual interests, I feel like we are on a date again. Also, thanks to her, I like reading more than before. Sharing positive energy, we are advancing our life further and further.
▲ The happy couple, Ryu Chang-wuk (right) and Kim Kyung-ah (left)
For Kim Kyung-ah, my favorite writer and beloved wife, to fully focus on her writing, I will support her in every way.