On Saturday, with my real life BFF and occasional guest blogger, Tiff, in tow, we made the hour and twenty minute drive to check out NerdCon for K Love. It’s not every day that you get to meet k-drama fans who wrote a book replicating the feelings and style of k-dramas. It’s also not everyday that all of this happens in Pennsylvania — the place I’ve called home for twenty-nine years.
So, how was NerdCon?
It was a very neat experience held at a library. Throughout the first floor, there were various tables set up with vendors selling stuff. This is not on a comic con size scale, but it was a nice experience. Tiff and I walked around for a while to admire the library itself and to see what the vendors were selling.
As we did another round of the library around 10:45, we spied the sign for K Love and then I saw Devon and Cornwall. Of course, I knew what they looked like thanks to pictures they’ve shared on their blog and from reaction videos like Goblin.
They had a few books and some bookmarks available. There was even a TV screen set up where they were playing some videos from youtube of k-dramas, which was a nice touch to lure in the passerby’s. Although, as we chatted, the videos suddenly deviated to a series of The Heirs fan videos. Cue Lee Min Hottness, ugly sweaters, couple sweaters and sneakers, California coastal scenes, and some Park Shin Hye awkwardness.
We spoke about a whole slew of dramas — from recent ones such as Strong Woman Do Bong Soon and Goblin to Secret Garden and Queen In Hyun’s Man. Because, hey, we’re all k-drama fans and how can you not talk dramas for hours on end? I assure you, it’s much easier than it looks!
They spoke a lot about their book and the challenges they’ve encountered. Some of these have been mentioned on their blog previously, but I’m just going to reiterate some of that information as I’m sure they’ll be telling you all about it.
Incorporating Korean (as in the romanization of Korean) into the book posed a few challenges. Luckily, they had the help of a South Korean college student, (who is currently in school to become an English teacher) to help with some of the phrases. So, yes, we do see romanized Korean in the book, but only sporadically. Nonetheless, it’s really fun to read. But as I’m not an expert, I did google some phrases for help.
Originally, Devon and Cornwall wanted to go the published route instead of the self-published route. Unfortunately, trying to explain k-dramas and what they were trying to do just left publishers confused. What genre did K Love fit into? Was it similar to a Telenovela? Maybe they could make it New Adult and spice up the content? (No, no, and more no. What blasphemy!) What exactly is a K-Drama?
These were just a few of the questions Devon and Cornwall faced. Ultimately, as we all know, they chose to go down the self-publishing road. And while that’s harder and poses more challenges, I believe they are helping pave the way for future writers who are interested in writing the same kind of content. Much like new adult didn’t exist until self-publishers such as Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Jessica Sorensen and Abbi Glines arrived on scene, it eventually exploded and books started to come out of the woodwork in that genre.
My sincere hope for the K-Rom genre is that we see a similar explosion.
Word of mouth is really going to be key here. The k-drama community is quite large and we’re a passionate group. I think we can do it together. What do you say, k fans?
Devon and Cornwall are great and very humble people in real life. Their passion for dramas mirrors my own, and it’s great to share something you’re passionate about with others. It is something that helps break me out of by shell and they have no idea just how exciting it was to meet them. You kind of get starstruck there for a while. What was really cool and unexpected was being recognized by mentioning this blog. (For those of you who don’t know, I actually started this blog three years ago as a personal effort to keep track of the dramas I was watching. Slowly, over the years, it’s morphed into what it is now. And a huge part of that is thanks to my loyal and growing group of followers. I adore each and every one of you. And ISWAKD wouldn’t be half as special without all of you.)
Anyway, back the story. I think we talked about K Love and k-dramas for almost two hours. We’ve watched and enjoyed a lot of the same k-dramas, so that kept conversation flowing. I felt a bit guilty for spending so much time with them, but we were just so excited to gush over K Love. Yes, that was my main reason for attending NerdCon.
In an effort not to take up all of their time, we left at 12:30 to get some much needed lunch. I’m sure if time permitted, we could have talked dramas even longer, but alas, we needed to let these ladies promote their book and hand out bookmarks. I wish we could have stayed longer and chatted some more about their book and k-dramas, but who knows where the future may lead? If they ever have book events or signings somewhere in PA, I may just pop up and cheer them on.
By the way, I binge-read K Love this weekend. I am currently doing some re-reading and jotting down a few additional notes. I hope to have my review up by 5/4/17 when the book officially releases. There will be two styles of reviews I’m doing: one for the k-drama fan and another for the general public. I figure that’s the best way to review K Love. The k-drama-centric version will be posted exclusively here at my blog where I will delve deeper into tropes and all of the little Korean bits and bobs I picked up on. The more standard review (that doesn’t break into too much k-drama fanfare) will be posted on the likes of Amazon and possibly Goodreads.
Teaser: I stopped reading many, many times to have little fangirl moments at the beginning. Oh the sweet, sweet anticipation I felt reading this book. Stay tuned!
P.S. I may have missed a few things, so there could possibly be a part 2 post.
P.P.S. Here’s a little teaser of the book and the bookmark I received. FYI, like the dork that I am, I got excited and hung up on the dedication for at least five minutes. That’s when the nerves kicked in… (Sorry for the poorly lit and low quality pics. Nicer ones will be in the review, I promise!)