My journey to complete a vision of my first short story; “Tae Sung’s Peculiar Life; Tae Sung and the Flattened Snake,” evolved through interactions with creative souls from around the globe.
Inspiration was gifted to me daily through my elementary and middle school students in S. Korea. They would share stories of their families, friends, traditions and shocking news! One such day, a student told me about a snake that had been run over by a car nearby their school. The snake was flattened in the middle and the kids were poking it with a stick. Well, you may have guessed, the character Tae Sung evolved and a message delivered through his unique ability.
Lucy Lu Baek was another student who inspired me with her stories of when she and her family lived in New Zealand and “Harry” a grandfather and neighbor with whom Lucy spent hours talking to. As the story developed, I asked my students if anyone wanted to illustrate my book. I am so grateful that Lucy became my illustrator and her drawings were inspired by her own visions of the character and “Harry.”
Many of the characters in the book are based on people in my life. My son, Mike; is a renowned Debate Coach in S. Korea and recently opened his own private school. Of course, my son inspires me consistently and he became a character in the book as well. My son and I impart life philosophies in our teachings to guide and encourage our students.
The book was only half complete when I began my five-month tour of Europe. Teaching, work exchange and introspection. Along the way, I was asked to read Tae Sung’s story to travelers from all over the world. China, Italy, France, Israel, Estonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, Denmark, Belgium, Prague, Germany, Poland and the list goes on. Students, dorm roommates, host families, friends in the USA all listened and contributed their thoughts about Tae Sung’s adventure.
Meanwhile, back in Korea, Lucy Lu Baek was busy drawing the last few chapters illustrations. Her family bought a scanner and after a few edits, Lucy emailed me the drawings and into the book they went!
Finally, as the book was coming towards its completion, final edits of the manuscript was submitted for publishing and went ‘live’ for sale on Amazon while I was in Germany in the international group of Alpha is Art, with my hosts, Erik and Bianca from Alpha is Art.
Erik bought the first physical copy and had it delivered in time for Bianca’s (an amazing artist) Art “Opening.” She displayed the book alongside her work, and I was able to talk to some of the visitors about Tae Sung. What a fabulous gift from my hosts to hold my book for the first time!
I will travel back home to S. Korea, where I will teach Debate Prep in my son’s school. Copies of the book have been already ordered to be used for ‘story comprehension’ and used in my classroom!
So, you can see how the book has come full circle! From a Korean classroom to international travel and back to a Korean classroom. Tae Sung’s adventures do not stop there! Tae Sung’s Peculiar Life is a series; and although I do not know how many editions will be written at this point…
I do know that I have an abundance of inspiration all around me and Tae Sung’s next adventure is already started! Support the series.
The book is targeted at children starting from the age of 8. This book is a nice present for children that are starting to learn English. The book can also be recommended for students in middle school. There is already a sequel in the works.
We are very curious on how the second book will be! When it is released we will inform you about it on Alpha is Art.
We recommend it! A very inspiring book!
Illustrator: Lucy Lu Baek
“Lucy Lu” Baek (Korean name : 백지현)
5th grade in Elementary school, 11 years old
I’m a little violinist. I love to draw nature and write short stories. I lived in New Zealand for 3 years when I was little. All that I love to do now, is inspired by the experiences of playing in the fields at that time. I like to express my thoughts in words in class. I am sociable and enjoy time with my friends.
About the Author:
Elizabeth O’Carroll is a world traveler, ESL Teacher, Rehabilitation Counselor and Minister of Metaphysics. She finds limitless inspiration through the many beautiful souls who have graced her path in life. Everywhere, there is an amazing story waiting to be written.
About Mike Hatcher! (my son)
Top Ranked Debate Coach and Adjunct Debate Judge for YTN (Youth Television Network). Busan, S. Korea
Leaders Academy: Busan, S. Korea (https://leaders-academy.business.site/)
The book is available on Amazon.