Sowon Kim, born in South Korea, is a translator, social entrepreneur, and bestselling author. As the daughter of missionaries, she moved to Peru with her family when she was just three months old. She hopes to raise awareness about the diverse social issues happening around the world through her stories, as well as inspire fellow teenagers to raise their voices. When she is not typing on her keyboard (whether it be because of writing or schoolwork), Sowon can be seen swimming, reading, surfing, learning foreign languages, or translating for Lost Island Press and non-profit organizations. She is also obsessed with her adorable cat, Lucky.
Sowon started writing her debut novel, A Gleaming Shard of Glass, at the age of thirteen, and published it at fifteen. She also translated Leaving Wishville from English to Spanish when she was fourteen years old.
Her passion for writing started in second grade, when her English teacher gave her an assignment. Sowon had to write a short story, and she decided to write about a squirrel with superpowers. She enjoyed the process so much that she began writing and illustrating all the stories roaming around her head.
On August of 2020, an idea of a dystopian world based on some social issues came up to her. At that time, it was just a faint, unimportant thought. But as time passed by, that same idea kept poking her head repetitively. She thought, 'maybe this one will be something big.' Sowon started writing the first draft of A GLEAMING SHARD OF GLASS, the story that would become her debut novel, on August 29th, 2020.
Sowon also works as a translator, as well as a director and a content creator, at Lost Island Press, a hybrid publishing house dedicated to publishing YA dystopian, thriller, dark fantasy, and mystery novels. Translation has always been a natural part of her life. Having learned Korean from her parents, Spanish from her surroundings, and English from her school, by Kindergarten she was already trilingual. French and Latin were later added to her still-growing list of languages, and she is currently learning Mandarin Chinese. Because of her vast linguistic knowledge, she was often asked to translate short documents and text messages.
As her experiences with translation piled up, Sowon soon started translating for various humanitarian aid campaigns and non-profit organizations, including Korea Food for the Hungry International, an international relief and development organization that has reached over 20 countries. Leaving Wishville (ADIÓS, WISHVILLE) by Mel Torrefranca is the first novel she translated.
Although Sowon was born in South Korea, her family moved to Peru when she was just three months old, having made the decision to help those in need in developing countries. They had to jump over various hurdles, including language barriers, cultural differences, and racial microaggressions, to finally settle down and be able to call this new country, "home."
Thanks to her family's work, as well as her experiences as a foreigner, Sowon was able to have an extra insight to social issues like poverty and racial inequality, which fuled her to have a desire to make a change in this world. She soon realized that she could connect this desire with activities she enjoyed, like writing. Because of this, almost all of her published work is inspired by a certain social issue that in her opinion, needs to be addressed.
For example, "Psychodrama" is a short story that explores identity in a Korean diaspora, as well as racism. Sowon wrote this short story during one of the hardest times of her life, and decided that she wanted to share it with the world, publishing it through Dear Asian Youth in Mid-2021.
Life as a third culture kid and Korean diaspora was never easy, but it's through her unique experiences that Sowon could find her passions.