My working title for Eating Korea, my second book which went on sale in the U.S. & Canada today, looked destined to stay in my head and lay forgotten in a file on my computer forever more. However, it can now see the light of day as the title of this blog post and of chapter 3 in Eating Korea.
It’s not the only reference to Philip K. Dick in Eating Korea, but it is the only one I dreamt up while standing on a street corner in Seoul, waiting to meet someone to go and eat with.
Needless to say, the publisher was right and the title that actually appears on my book makes a lot more sense to potential readers than Do Koreans Dream of Electric Kimchi? So, there it is, my book is finally on sale (use your local book store if at all possible). Something that started out as the glimmer of an idea about four years ago, now has pages and words and a wonderful cover (more on that, much more, over here) and I’m very proud to have written the first semi-traditional travelogue about South Korea since 1995. Which leads me to another question, which as far as I know has absolutely nothing to do with electric kimchi.
A long time ago, in 1995/96, in the small town of Rugby in England, some friends used to get together in a small room to make noise that they dared call music and plenty of fun was had. It was around this time that I planned to move to South Korea to live and work. More than twenty years have passed and I haven’t seen many of those guys who I played music with in that room for a very long time.
So tell me, what are the chances of two of those four or five people who were in that small room in that small town going on to write books? I’d say they were quite improbable.
Now tell me, what are the chances of those two people improbably finding the improbable books they wrote both going on sale in the far away land of the United States of America on the exact same day twenty years later? Slight, to non-existent?
Now, what are the chances that the colour scheme of those two improbable books would be so improbably similar? Do they even offer odds on those kinds of chances?
You want to buy my book today? Why not buy Will’s book too? because he was in that room twenty years ago. And I’ve read his book, it’s great, he’s a very fine storyteller. And there’s food in it, it’s probably not food you’d want to eat, but it is food. I know this very odd alignment of the stars has weirded Will out just as much as it has me. But, then Rugby always was a very weird little town.
Photo of Rugby town centre by Ian Rob.