Interview With Manheim Wagner (Korea: How You Feel, Literary Fiction)

Korea How You Feel




In your own words, please describe your book.

I’d say it’s about being a newly arrived expatriate, trying to find your way in a foreign land. The narrator, Michael, goes to Korea to teach English, hoping to clean his life up, but finds himself immersed in the seedy underbelly of Korea. In which, he struggles to find his way, often falling off the rails, before realizing himself and who he is. I guess you could say it’s both a scathing tirade of English teachers gone wild in Korea and the story of modern Korea. Readers will either love or hate the book.

What genre/genres does your book fall under?

It would fall under modern literature or literary fiction.

Is this book part of a series?

No. It’s a stand-alone book that may dovetail some future projects kind of like Kerouac’s Legend of Duluoz. I’m not a fan of book series.

What was the inspiration behind your book?

I was reading Black Spring by Henry Miller and I was thinking that all but three stories in the book seemed like filler. There were three really good stories and I thought that the only reason the book was published was because it was Henry Miller. So, I decided to write my own book, which turned into Korea: How You Feel.

What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?

I never had any ambition to write fiction. I started off as a poet and experimental filmmaker. Then I shifted to photography and painting. Writing fiction was a complete surprise.

So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?

I’d say just selling books to people I don’t know. Everything after that is icing on the cake.

Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?

I’m self-published. I got tired of playing the query game with agents. It was a complete waste of time and I gained nothing from it. The publishing industry is going the way of the record industry, and I felt it was best to be my own publisher. It’s an extremely rewarding experience to be in complete control of your book.

What are you working on now?

I have a bohemian tale of attraction set in Paris, called What a Day for a Night, slated for publication this upcoming autumn. I stole the title from a Paul Westerberg song. It’s a day-in-the-life kind of thing told through the male narrator. It started of as a screenplay and turned into a novella. If you like art-house cinema tales of attraction, you’ll enjoy it.

I also have another manuscript that I just sent to my editor. It’s based on my childhood growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia in the 1970s. We’ll start working on that this upcoming autumn.

In your own words, please tell us about yourself.

I’m an expatriate who is addicted to being creative. I’ve lived abroad since 1997. I can’t sit still and relax. I have to be working on something or travelling. Otherwise, I’d go nuts.

What are some of your likes and dislikes?

Such a broad question. I enjoy new experiences and I hate following convention. Life is way too short and unnecessarily complicated not to follow your own instinct.

How can readers connect with you?



Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?

I’m an avid runner who’s training to run a marathon. Running is the perfect antidote from thinking too much. When I run, I have no thoughts about anything other than the landscape that I’m running through.

If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?

Though my books read somewhat like memoirs, they aren’t necessarily memoirs. Of course, all my stories start with a kernel of truth, but they are works of fiction.

Where can readers purchase your book?




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