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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
The sight of the notorious author laughing came as a shock to many. Kelly Coin laughing out loud, cheerfully and heartily at that. Of course, with the author being human, viewers were fully aware that he had to be capable of laughing, but the celebrity on screen was none other than Kelley Coin himself. He had never laughed like that in an official setting before, always wearing his usual humdrum and crabby expression. At the sight of the author known for his lack of joy laughing, the interviewer mustered up some courage to ask him a question, “Would it be possible for us to have a word with him?”
It was an invitation for the young author on the other end of the line of the notorious author’s phone, and an apparent annoyance appeared on Coin’s face. Then, there was a brief pause after the author asked Yun Woo for his thoughts. Despite already expecting a negative result, the interviewer couldn’t help but feel nervous.
“Here,” the author said, handing his phone over to the interviewer. While ecstatic looks appeared on the faces of the filming crew and the officials, the author’s editor appeared as though she was ready to give up at any given minute. The atmosphere on the set transferred directly, and vividly, to the viewers. Then, the interviewer greeted the young author on the phone, trying to suppress his nervousness.
“Yes, hello. Yun Woo speaking.”
At that moment, James heard the voice of the ever so mysterious author, Yun Woo. Calm and peaceful. Yun Woo was real, and now he existed within the viewers.
“Are you really eighteen?”
“Yes, I am.”
James listened the young author’s voice with intense concentration. The comments were running amok, his hand was tensing up, and his heart beating out of control. The teacher was able to connect with the emotions of the people commenting on the video. Then, James placed his hands on the keyboard in order to write a comment himself, but soon, retracted them out of fear that it might disrupt him from hearing the young author’s voice.
Looking down and seeing that the hairs on his arms were standing, James asked himself, ‘Why is this such an emotional experience?’ It had to be that he was familiar with the voice, somehow. He had heard that voice somewhere. ‘Did I meet him without even knowing, or am I just going crazy?’ There was no way to know, yet he was having a hair-raising experience. Hearing his voice, James couldn’t help but feel overwhelming joy, as if he had gotten his hands on a clue that would help him find a criminal. It was a remarkable moment.
“Uh, I won’t get in trouble for saying this, will I? I was working on a manuscript back then, which is currently being revised.”
At that moment, James looked up at the sound of the perfect combination of words at the end of the sentence. What did the young, genius author just say? The heartbreaking shout of the short story, ‘River,’ was still quite raw within the readers’ hearts. Everyone expected the young author to go on a long hiatus, and James, too, recalled having sad thoughts about having to wait for at least a year before the author came back with a new book.
“… Which means?”
While the veteran interviewer locked eyes with Coin, unable to hold back his excitement,
Yun Woo said in a calm tone of voice, “I can’t say when, but it means I’ll be coming out with another book.”
“My God,” James let out, his mouth parted open. Then, resisting the urge to shout for joy, he concentrated on Yun Woo’s voice. At that point, Coin was looking fiercely at the interviewer’s hand.
“… but it didn’t keep me from writing.”
The interviewer let out a chuckle. Then, without any concern, Yun Woo continued, moving on to a thank you message. The reason that he had revealed his voice had been for his readers, and his readers only.
“… I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” the young author said in Korean. It was a phrase that the English teacher had heard countless times from his students, coworkers, and employees at stores. Yet, never had there been a time when he had been so moved by it like at present. While he was in a daze, Yun Woo vanished into the distance, and even after Coin hung up his phone, the interview went on.
“This is unbelievable! Oh, my! Oh, God.”
“Why don’t we calm down and move on to my interview?”
“Yes, right. But… Haha! Oh, such specimen. I like him even more after hearing his answers. Man!”
“… Well, that was a mistake,” Coin said, his face going back to his usual, crabby expression. However, everyone remembered his laughter vividly.
From then on, the remainder of the interview after the phone call with Yun Woo was all but background noise. As the mysterious author’s voice lingered in James’ ears, he asked himself, ‘Where did I hear that voice? Where?’
In hopes of finding a clue to his question, James looked to the comments.
“Seems like there are at least ten thousand people asking the same thing.”
He felt his strength leaving his body upon seeing the overwhelming number of comments saying that they were doubting their neighbors or sons, or flat out claiming to be Yun Woo. Then, realizing that he had been mistaken, James let out a heavy sigh. ‘Of course I haven’t met him.’ Considering how many eighteen-year-olds lived on Earth, and how many of them lived in the small country called South Korea, it was highly unlikely that James could have met the author. Then, feeling a void in his heart, he placed his hands on his keyboard in order to join his fellow Yun Woo fans in the comments.
“Oh.My.God. I finally heard Yun Woo’s voice!”
“Is he really eighteen, though? How does an eighteen-year-old Korean speak English that fluently? I mean, listen to his pronunciations.”
“His voice is really charming. I’m sure he looks just as good as he sounds.”
“What if we’re just getting our hopes up?”
“Even if he looks like a troll, I’d be fine with it. Any guys who can write like him is my type.”
“Even Yun Woo?”
“I’ve been listening to his voice on repeat because I love it so much. Especially the part where he talks in Korean.”
“He does have a really good voice. His enunciation, his English. They’re all good. Love me some Yun Woo.”
“Man, look at him go, talking to the interviewer in English! That must be the kind of author it takes to write a novel like ‘Language of God.'”
“If anything, the person who was freaking out was the interviewer. His face when answering the phone was the exact look on my face. Thought his eyes were gonna pop out.”
“I didn’t even breath trying to hear Yun Woo’s voice.”
“I didn’t even swallow.”
“Love what he said at the end. He never forgets about his readers.”
“If I were in his position, I’d be so occupied with tooting my own horn. I salute you, Yun Woo.”
“I read his thank you letter on Zelkova’s website. It was so genuine. The moment you realize that it was written by the same hands that wrote ‘River,’ you’re in for a-whole-nother experience.”
“Can’t believe how modest he is even though he is so young and successful. It blows my mind how calm his responses were to an interview request that came out of nowhere. I can relate to the interviewer and how impressed he was. I’m a fan of the author, now, and I believe wholeheartedly in his existence. I won’t take comments that accuse him seriously anymore. For those who haven’t heard his voice, I suggest you do.”
“Did you see Kelley Coin laughing? I don’t think I’d ever seen him do that.”
“Yet, Yun Woo does it again. I knew it from the time he took up that translation gig. They must be close to each other. I can’t even imagine how they would be like as friends.”
“Coin’s notorious for his temper, and he’s known to storm out of official events. It’s a well-known fact that even the publishers try to avoid getting associated with him. But I gotta admit, never knew the guy had it in him to laugh like that.”
“He’s famous for breaking a journalist’s nose for criticizing his book.”
“I wonder what Yun Woo said to make somebody like Coin laugh like that? Who is Yun Woo really, anyway?”
“Maybe he cracked a joke?”
“If I knew, I wouldn’t be asking.”
“Like, an American joke?”
“Yun Woo cracking jokes with Coin.”
“Holy cow, man. With Kelly Coin?”
“I gotta shed some light on the bomb that Yun Woo just dropped during the phone call. If there’s a manuscript that’s being revised, that means he’s coming out with a new book soon, right? I’m not going crazy, am I? I really hope I’m not hearing things and telling myself a really elaborate lie.”
“There will never be another author like Yun Woo in my lifetime.”
“Honestly, I can’t help but be concerned for him. Isn’t he pushing too hard? One can’t simply write like that.”
“I think it only makes sense, considering how fast his books have been coming out. He’s being his usual self. Besides, he has such a strong mind that even the Annular Award isn’t enough to faze him.”
“Yun Woo is now, officially, a prolific writer. The amount of writing prolific writers do is beyond our imagination. I mean, just look at Stephen King. He’s published well over two hundred pieces throughout his career, and I don’t have to mention how successful a lot of them were. Yes, prolific writers don’t always write good books, but that doesn’t mean they only write bad ones, either.”
“I second that. If you watch clips of his interviews, there are stacks and stacks of unpublished manuscripts in his workstation.”
“I mean, we’ll have to wait and see until the book actually comes out, but I do understand the concern. A genius author and his insatiable hunger for writing.”
“I hope he writes something like ‘River’ again.”
“I can’t even imagine how much pressure he’s feeling, but apparently, he’s already written another novel. Yun Woo, you crazy rascal, you.”
“The interview is getting a massive number of views even though Yun Woo only talks for like three minutes out of the entire time.”
“Did anyone see this? There’s this dude screaming that Yun Woo’s the best writer in the world. He lost some bet, apparently?”
“What is this?”
“Oh yeah. I know this video. He cries while eating a burger later into the clip.”
“Oh, boy. So, Yun Woo finally revealed his voice.”
While looking through the edits in the manuscript, Nam Kyung looked toward the voice coming from next to him. It was Mr. Maeng, who had already seen the interview.
“People are going crazy, aren’t they?”
“Yep. Not only in Korea, but in other countries, too. Mr. Woo’s one of the most talked about authors these days. Besides, the timing is just impeccable. Kelley Coin of all people?! I’m telling you, nothing fazes Mr. Woo.”
“Thanks to that interview, people who didn’t know Yun Woo are starting to take interest.”
Because of Yun Woo’s association with Kelley Coin, the foreigners who knew nothing about the author from a tiny country in Asia began to take interest in him. Yun Woo had the unmistakable quality of a star, making even those who don’t read regularly pick up his books out of sheer curiosity from his accomplishments. It wasn’t a bad phenomenon. No matter what made people read a book, whether it was the cover design, the title, or the name of the author, the fact that they were coming to read it was enough to be deemed a success. After all, there weren’t many who would forget about Yun Woo after reading his books.
“Mr. Woo speaks quite well, especially when it came to the questions about the candidacy.”
The young author had been chosen as a candidate for the Annular Award. After his coworker’s remark, Nam Kyung smiled cheerfully, and said, “Even being chosen as a candidate is already half the success. Yun Woo’s gonna be an international author, and nobody’s going to be able to speak badly of him. On top of that, we’ve been having to print additional copies of ‘Trace of a Bird’ and ‘Sound of Wailing.'”
All preconceived notions about the young author would be overshadowed by the international literary award. The massive attention the author received had nothing to do with his age or the age he debuted. It was his writing. His skill. The literary value of it all.
“Although, there are bound to be haters who hate for no apparent reason.”
“It really depends on how Mr. Woo does things from now on. There have been authors in the past who fell away around the same place in their careers.”
“These authors, they’re delicate people.”
Interpreting and analyzing the emotions coming into them, authors tended to capture every single thing they were feeling. Whether it was regret or despair, they brooded on their feelings until they felt satisfied, all for the sake of writing. It was on manuscripts like that that Nam Kyung had been drawing red lines across. Despite the pain and suffering that had gone into writing a novel, there always existed room for improvement because novels were made by human hands.
“I really hope the new novel does well,” Mr. Maeng said, and pushing up his glasses, Nam Kyung answered, “You know what I think about the most while editing Mr. Woo’s manuscript?”
“… What?” Mr. Maeng asked, looking like he had a vague idea.
“I shouldn’t be reading the book. I need to be editing it.”
When he had Yun Woo’s manuscript in his hands, he couldn’t help but read it over and over again. Immersed in the content completely, he frequently lost sight of places to edit or of typos, even while he was scanning through it before he started editing. The young author’s writing had a charm that kept making readers of it come back for more.
“So, let’s not worry about things that don’t really matter to us at the moment, and let’s focus on the task in front of us.”
Then, after checking the time, Nam Kyung rose from his seat.
“Are you going out?”
“I’m meeting with reporters for a meal.”
Mr. Maeng looked at him packing his things. Then, feeling his coworker’s gaze on him, Nam Kyung said, “We’re officially announcing Yun Woo’s new book today.”
“Oh, wow,” Mr. Maeng let out with a faint sense of excitement and weariness. As a fellow editor, he had been dealing with the massive amount of inquiries flooding the office. Thanks to the bomb the young author had dropped without even a warning, the fans have been running amok, anxious to know more about the new book. In the end, after a discussion, the publishing company had decided to make an official announcement regarding Yun Woo’s new book.
“We haven’t even designed a cover for it, yet.”
“If we keep our mouths shut, though, our phones and website won’t be able to handle the traffic. Anyway, break a leg.”
With his coworker’s insincere blessings, Nam Kyung stepped out of the company building.
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