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V.A.L. Exclusive InterviewAsiaFinest's Interview with Val


This interview was conducted by Ben from AsiaFinest on 4/20/2004.

Ben: Can you tell us about yourself?
Val: VAL is an acronym of my full real name and because of a stalking incident that occurred in October 2001, I rarely give out my real name anymore. I'm 23-year-old Vietnamese girl. I can read, write, and speak a little bit of Korean. It's almost as good as my Spanish, which isn't saying much. ^_^ I graduated college in 2002 and am finishing up my clinical program next year. I live in Kansas right now but used to live in the Orange County, California for a short period of time.

Ben: Where do you get your ideas for these stories?
Val: My ideas come from situations that happen in my real life along with my family and friends. My stories are mainly fanfiction based on the popular Korean boyband, SechsKies. I try to portray their real-life personalities in my stories and also interweave their background information in there as well. Celeste (Kyung Hee) So started me with the writing when she introduced me into K-pop. She loved to hear stories that I tell her and urged to put my stories into paper. I had absolutely no interest at first because I'm lazy as hell but since she's my friend, I finally gave into her request.

Ben: What do you think has been your best/favorite work up till now?
Val: I guess my best/favorite work would have to be "What I Did For Love". It was written for a purpose and I've received thousands of emails regarding this particular story. Ironically, I started out as a comedy writer the internet world I'm known as the "sad story" writer. It's that Mina and Kyung Hee's names are almost as well known as SechsKies.

Ben: Who's your favorite author, and what's your favorite book?
Val: My favorite author. This might sound odd but I don't read that much. Back
in my writing days, I do have favorite fanfic authors and they are Clair, Kim JiEun, diL bang, and SoJu.

Ben: Tell us a little about "What I Did For Love".
Val: "What I Did For Love" is written for my friend, Mina Nam in November, 1998. She does have a heart condition but I embellished on certain parts. It took me three days to write "What I Did For Love", one day to write it and two days to type it. The storyline just came to me suddenly and once I start on something, I like to get it finished as soon as possible. I worked as a lab monitor/tutor, that's how I met Kyung Hee and Mina, and I could be found chatting 24/7 and used my work hours to type up stories. I remember even telling one of my tutees to come back November 31st and I'll help him prepare for his exams then. LOL. November doesn't have a 31st.

June 17, 1999 was an important date in Mina's life and the Alternate Ending was written a year after the story was completed. I received numerous emails asking for a sequel but I decided to compromise and write an alternate ending. I felt that I owe it to the supportive happy ending readers.

Ben: Have you ever consider turning your stories, especially "What I Did For Love", into a movie?
Val: I have seriously considered turning my stories into movies. Over the years, I have received numerous offers but so far, nothing has come out of them yet. The most current offers are the independent school/college projects set to film in summer 2004. The main problem is that all of this must be non-profit unless I could fly over to Korea and ask SechsKies personally to use their names and information. I had to turn down an independent movie company and a publishing company because they wanted me to change the names. I do own the legal rights to the story but if I change the names, I believe the story loses its value and meaning.

Ben: Any goals that you want to achieve but still haven't?
Val: My list of goals is infinite and I'll continue pursuing them for the rest of my life. To keep this answer short though, I just want to be done with school and see the world.

Ben: Is there anything that we can look forward to in the near future?
Val: I have stopped writing for years already. I sort of lost motivation when my friends moved away and towards the end, a lot of my fics were unfinished. I used to write for soompi & The Funky Fanficz Library. The FFL renovated many times and now, it became The Sofa. My old fics can be found at the sites listed above. Another funny thing is that back in the late 90's when I wrote for these sites, I wasn't even popular. My favorite fanfic writers were the popular ones and they still are to this day.

Ben: Thanks for giving us a chance to interview you! Is there anything else that you would like to let our visitor know?
Val: Thanks for interviewing me, Ben! I'm nobody special in real life but I'm so flattered that a popular site such as asiafinest.com would want to interview me. I just want to thank everyone for reading my story and emailing me over the years. It does feel a bit surreal, the emails I've been getting regarding "What I Did For Love". I've received thousands of emails from all over the world, even countries I've never even heard of. I still receive new emails each day from unique users and I just want to personally thank everyone for taking their time out to read my story and for emailing me comments. I really do appreciate each and every one of your emails. I know I have posers out there so I just hope that if you guys ever decide to share the story, please pass along that I'm the real author. I do own legal rights to this story. To my family & friends from Dodge City, Kansas - I love you guys! I know the day will come when I'll stop receiving email altogether but until then, I'm just happy knowing that my stories have touched a tiny part of your lives. Thanks again asiafinest.com for the cool interview! Your already popular site still has so much more potential to grow and succeed so I'm pretty sure it'll be well-known all over the net. Good luck on all your endeavors and God bless!

Be sure to check out Val's "What I Did for Love" and "It Was You All Along". Feel free to talk about Val in our friendly discussion forum!

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