I often see fiction projects in terms of shapes. For my story collection, ONCE THE SHORE, an island—the circle—intrigued me as a setting because of its limitations: islands have a clear boundary, much like a stage in theater, and I wanted to see how much I could do with that fixed space, how much I could create. The limitation was freeing. What happened offstage—whether it had to do with military occupations or tourism—became just as compelling as what happened onstage; but there was always this anchor, this Korean island that everything revolved around.
If my story collection was a kind of beginning—a jumping off point—then for my next project I was in search of a place to go from there, literally. Another destination. I chose Brazil. And so SNOW HUNTERS can be viewed as a kind of bridge that connects two very different places. Over the years, the circle I started off with in my imagination split, developed, evolved—one book led to another; an island became continents.