The Great Storyteller Chapter 76
Chapter 76 The Title
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Fernand was one of the most iconic publishing companies among literature lovers. Having celebrated their 100th anniversary not too long ago, Fernand was a company of tradition. It had been that very company who had expressed interest in publishing Yun Woo’s book.
Since the articles regarding his book entering the American market, many publishing agents had disregarded Yun Woo because of his age. Now, with the news of Fernand taking interest in his book, those agents began to take interest themselves. Many countries across the globe had focused their attention on the appearance of a new author. So far, Nabi was putting everything she had into the project. ‘Have I ever worked this hard on a project?’ she thought.
Her seeds of effort had bore more than enough fruit. She was overcome with a sense of accomplishment. On top of that, Yun Woo was making a comeback with his new book. She couldn’t have been happier. She didn’t resist her joy as she read through the emails that were coming in from all over the world. She felt her coworkers giving her an odd look, but she didn’t mind one bit. Including the US and UK, there were offers from a whopping twenty-two countries. Yun Woo’s book would spread the Korean wave in literature throughout the world. The fact that she had been behind it brought her unimaginable joy.
Nabi thought back to her meeting with a senior editor at Fernand. She remembered the distinct scent of cologne Adam had worn. It was a luxurious brand that he was known to wear. His elegant appearance had left quite an impression on Nabi. Though he was known to be rough around the edges, he’d been rather friendly with her. While trying to stay relaxed, she focused the subject of Yun Woo’s book along with Molley, the veteran agent.
“It seems like the author is just as interesting as his writing.”
“There hasn’t been anybody like him.”
Yun Woo as an author had shocked the many, and Adam nodded.
“Including myself, the anticipation is apparent even within the company. Of course, there are some necessary adjustments that need to be made, but the translation is top notch, and most of all, it was beautifully written. From the moment I started reading, I didn’t even think about his age or where he’s from.”
“It sounds like I brought you quite a catch.”
“I knew I can count on Mr. Molley,” he said confidently. His company pride was rather apparent in his face even in the midst of discussing Yun Woo. The fact that he had picked such an amazing book contributed to his pride. Seeing his confident attitude, Nabi felt like his confidence was rubbing off on her.
“Yun Woo will soar up to the sky. We, Fernand, will do whatever it takes to present his book in every corner of the Earth.”
Yun Woo’s success. The rise of ‘The Trace of a Bird.’ Nabi’s heart pounded with excitement. She felt overwhelmed that she had gotten to be part of such a moment in the history of literature. In order to remain calm, she had to forcefully clench down on her teeth.
Juho was sitting in front of his desk with his phone in front of him. He thought of Nabi. “We did it,” she said with a shaky voice. She had sounded like she was suppressing her emotions. Having already seen the article, Juho immediately knew what she’d meant, an offer from a famous American publishing company, and 200,000 copies of the first edition being exported to twenty-two countries.
The entire world was focusing on his book.
With her news, he felt the corners of his mouth turning up. The result was different from the past. It was much better. He felt relieved in that moment at least. With his chin resting on his hand, he let out a silly smile. He was happy and he didn’t try to resist it. After indulging himself for a little while, he remembered the reason he was sitting in front of his desk.
He had been contemplating a title for the new book. Every author had a different approach to naming their books. In Juho’s case, the name didn’t matter all that much. Regardless of whether he thought of a name before, during, or after writing, he was content. No matter who came up with it, he was content. He didn’t insist on anything. It was his impulsive character coming out.
Some time prior, he met with Nam Kyung to discuss the title for the book. “So, how are you planning on naming your book?” Being aware of the significance of the title of a book, the publishing company had wrestled with the matter until moments before publishing.
According to Nam Kyung, there had been several ideas that had come up during the meeting. People from all departments had come together for a discussion. The conclusion had been that “The Mother” as a working title didn’t have enough impact, and Juho agreed. It had been a working title after all. He had named it as such for the sake of convenience.
There would have to be a different name.’What would be good?’ he thought. There was nothing. ‘Title, title, title,’ the word floated around in his head. It was a sign that his mind was empty. He had burnt out when he was one step away from having his manuscript finalized.
His mind was no longer functioning. As he stared at the ceiling in a daze, he sat up and looked around at his surroundings for any potential ideas. Books, manuscript paper, pen, computer, bed, chair, desk. Nothing offered what he was looking for.
‘I have to send the manuscript over to Nam Kyung soon’ He couldn’t think of anything. ‘Title, title.’
“Name,” Juho said out loud. The word had been nothing more than its meaning. ‘I need something that can embrace the book, something that will give it a face’ That time, he tried to write out his thoughts.
“Mother, son, clown, audience, father, owner, lover, baby.”
The son was the narrator. The mother was the protagonist. Together, they led a life that was both destructive and twisted. Then, the baby. At the end of it all, there were regrets.
‘Regrets How does one act when they have regrets?”
‘Caw!’ The cry of a bird sounded, and Juho looked out of the window. He thought of a bird that he had included in his new book. It had died once, but it had been revived somehow. The mother told the story about the bird that she had seen. Juho didn’t write about the significance of the bird that had revived in detail. Some would see freedom whereas others would see reality. There were infinite possibilities for what the bird signified. What mattered was that freedom was amid that infinity. He didn’t want to discourage the readers from discovering that.
“The Sound of Wailing,” he read out loud as he wrote it out. It embodied the sounds of crying that couldn’t be heard from within the book. ‘Maybe it could work as a title,’ he thought.
While he stared at the paper he was writing on, he put down his pen and looked intently at his palm. There had been an wound around it somewhere. He remembered bleeding from his hand when he had heard the cry of the baby for the first time. He tried revisiting what he had felt at that time, when he sighed of relief when he saw that the baby was OK. The cry of the baby was both evidence and signal. It was crying out for something, and Juho hoped that the baby wouldn’t stop crying in its effort to seeking after something. He rubbed where the wound had been.
Soon, he picked up his phone and sent Nam Kyung a message.
“I’ve decided on the title for the book. ‘The Sound of Wailing.”
A few minutes later, Nam Kyung sent an affirming response. Juho stretched.
“Yawn!” Nam Kyung yawned loudly as he shook his head as hard as he could to keep himself awake. He had been flooded with work as of late because he had been focusing on the publication of Yun Woo’s next book, ‘The Sound of Wailing.’ In that rush of work, Nam Kyung still couldn’t believe the fact that he was working on Yun Woo’s new book before the year had passed. ‘Who would have thought that he would write a new book so soon?’ To be frank, Nam Kyung had been concerned. Though he had been called a genius, he was still young. He had only written one book aside from the most recent, and Nam Kyung knew countless no-name authors who had left the literary world after their debut titles. Most of them were praised for their talent and were regarded as promising aspirants. However, before they even had the chance to write their next book, they vanished from the literary world. All they had to do was to simply write one more time. Yet, they couldn’t carry it out. It was evidence that being a writer took more than just talent.
He was afraid that Yun Woo would meet the same fate. His debut title, ‘The Trace of a Bird’ had been a steady sell, and it had held its place as the number one bestseller.
‘If I were Yun Woo, I would’ve worked on the next book around the time the fever started to die down, very slowly,’ he thought. There was no apparent reason other than that it would have been burdensome. Even to that day, the name Yun Woo could be seen frequently on the internet. People were showing tremendous interest with news of his new book. Nam Kyung didn’t have the confidence to surpass those expectations. At that moment, a phone rang beside him.
Mr. Maeng answered, “Zelkova Publishing Company.”
As he answered the call, his expression grew somewhat darker, and Nam Kyung knew immediately.
“Yes, right. Yun Woo did write it himself. Yes, the new book is coming out.”
It was an anonymous reader. The publishing company would receive a number of calls like that throughout the day. Yun Woo’s popularity in the literary world matched that of a celebrity. Seventeen years old. A freshman in high school. Now, he was about to make a comeback with a new book. He had submitted his manuscript while looking all the more at peace. Nam Kyung couldn’t help but laugh out of astonishment. Juho was a rather interesting character. Part of his job was dealing with authors like him, so being an editor wasn’t such a bad thing.
He got up from his seat and said to his coworker, “I’m making a stop at the design department. I’ll be back.”
He had decided to request for the cover design himself. A young, fearless author had brought in a new book that he had written. Now, there was nothing he could do other than to try his very best to make that book reach as many people as possible and for it to be made in the most beautiful way possible. He had to make sure that the cover got designed by the best designer around.
“You’ve come to the right place.”
She had a low voice for a woman. Considering how tired she sounded, her department must have been just as busy as Nam Kyung’s. Though he felt bad, he explained his purpose, “I wanted to request for a cover design.”
She was a rather skilled book designer. Her works were easily found in bookstores, and she excelled in interpreting the author’s intentions and portraying them clearly through her illustrations. At Nam Kyung’s words, her voice quickly changed.
“Is this what I think it is?”
“You’ve heard the news, right?”
A high pitched laughter echoed in the room. She had been somewhat of a workaholic. Even if it weren’t for that fact, she had been certain that Nam Kyung would’ve come looking for her.
“You asked me to bring you the book after ‘The Trace of a Bird.’ I’m here to keep that promise.”
While she was a skilled designer, she was also a fan of Yun Woo. Without hesitation, she took out a calendar and adjusted her schedule in a hurry. Soon, a trustworthy response came back.
“I’ll take the manuscript now.”
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