Tina Jimin Walton
Court intrigue and foreign powers threaten Korea’s centuries old “hermit kingdom.” Ji-nah, the sheltered ward, and Han, the manor’s servant, are left in the tight-grip of Tutor Lim while Master Yi travels to Peking. The tutor strips Ji-nah’s privileged life, and crushes Han’s future. When Ji-nah and Han uncover the tutor’s broader conspiracy with the Japanese and Taewongun, an enemy of the kingdom, they determine to save Queen Min, whose fate seems tied to that of their master. Despite the fallen kingdom, the two, young people discover hope in their new identity and choose to rebuild their lives and nation.
Tina's story "Short and Sweet" appears in the anthology A Book of Hugs, Stories to Keep you Company, published in August 2020. All proceeds from sales go to charity. "Lovingly filled with short stories, poems, and artful pictures, this anthology hopes to give you a great big hug just before you take on the world."
Now available at your favourite bookstore or online retailer!
Shortlisted - Scholastic Asian Book Award
Praise for Tina's Work
"LAST DAYS OF MORNING CALM offers an intriguing, historical portrait of Korea and her people at the brink of political and religious upheaval. Written in elegant poetic prose, this story is equal parts mystery, history, family drama and royal court dynamics. The alluring twists and turns keep you turning pages and holding your breath for the characters and the story."
LAST DAYS OF MORNING CALM - "A compelling, page-turning tale of power plays and inequities, of family ties and secrets, of young heroes who defy the odds to rise up in spirit and heart."
Cynthia Leitich Smith,
Tina Jimin Walton is a Korean-American writer and life-long learner. She writes children’s and young adult fiction and sometimes freelances for magazines. Last Days of the Morning Calm is her first published work. When she isn’t writing or reading, she teaches English and writing to teens in Singapore where she lives with her children, husband, and Westy pup, Snowy.
Tina remains curious about many things; at the moment, she’s intrigued by cultures, past and present. Tina is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and she also holds a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Washington. In 2016, she received her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
News & Events
Tina writes about Korea's obsession with education on Best of Korea, at: https://bestofkorea.com/education-a-look-back-to-koreas-obsession/
LAST DAYS OF MORNING CALM was reviewed in Issue 93, August 2020, of Historical Novel Review - https://historicalnovelsociety.org/mag_edition/hnr-issue-93-august-2020/. The reviewer wrote:
"Korea, 1895. Ji-nah believes something very wrong is happening, but she can’t fit the pieces together. After a long absence, her guardian abruptly sends word he’s traveling to America and has left Ji-nah’s tutor in charge. It’s quickly apparent the tutor has sinister plans for the household and its staff. One servant, Han, uncovers a threat to the queen, but how can a powerless girl and servant boy convince anyone of the danger when their proof disappears overnight? And especially after Han is sold to foreign missionaries, leaving Ji-nah on her own?
Last Days of the Morning Calm is a quick read about the final days of Korea’s fallen kingdom. The narrative alternates between Ji-nah and Han as they discover clues within their spheres of influence. I enjoyed the way the author contrasted different cultures. Most strongly realized is Han expecting the foreign missionaries to be one way, but working alongside them, he discovers a different narrative to their story. That being said, character and plot development are somewhat predictable, and the second half of the story feels rushed as multiple clues are revealed in quick succession. While emotions and intrigue are light, the exotic landscape and culture are enchanting. The author possesses great knowledge of the time and place and utilizes it well to create a coming-of-age tale for young adults."
The review may be found here: https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/last-days-of-the-morning-calm/
Tina gave a book talk in Greenwich, Connecticut, and reconnected with friends from the Tri-State area. Thank you to dear friends Nicole Heath and Mary Himes for organising the event, and thank you to all who attended!
Tina and Last Days of the Morning Calm are featured in "500 words from....", an occasional series on the Asian Books Blog in which writers talk about their books.
"Tina is a Korean-American writer based in Singapore. She loves researching historical events, and enjoys stories that empower and encourage youth. She writes what she would have liked to read when she was young. While she was working on Last Days of the Morning Calm she took an MFA in creative writing."
Find the blog entry here: http://www.asianbooksblog.com/2019/05/500-words-from-tina-jimin-walton.html
Thank you for joining us at two successful book launch events in Singapore! Tina gave a "book talk" with an explanation of the historical background of her novel Last Days of the Morning Calm, and with a moving summary of her own personal history and the reasons she felt motivated to write. If you would like to ask Tina to present at a school, community center or library, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to the Singapore National Library Board for hosting us at the Singapore Central Public Library!