Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Celebrating MOMMY'S HOMETOWN with Hope Lim

By Suzy Leopold

Welcome once again to the GROG Blog Hope Lim! It is my pleasure to share your upcoming book Mommy's Hometown with our readers.

Mommy’s Hometown
Written by Hope Lim
Illustrated by Jaime Kim
April 12, 2022

Share your inspiration for Mommy's Hometown.

MOMMY’S HOMETOWN was inspired by real-life experiences. Since moving to America, I have periodically visited my parents in Korea, and am struck by the continual changes that have slowly altered my hometown. When I became a mother, I took my kids and husband to the river where I used to play as a child. While watching them play and catch minnows and crawfish in the river, I was overtaken by a sense of nostalgia for the time and scenes from my childhood, for everything around the river had changed so much. In the distance, glimpses of mountains brought me back to a time that is long gone. At that moment, I wanted to write something that captured the passage of time and changes that took place. That became the seed for MOMMY’S HOMETOWN.

On our way home from the river, my husband asked if I would still come back to the river or my hometown if my parents weren’t here anymore. I thought about the question and realized that the presence of my parents and their love, which have stayed the same throughout the years of change, are what make my hometown so special. Like the old river that runs through the city unchanged, my parents’ presence and love are steadfast. So that sentiment became the theme of MOMMY’S HOMETOWN.

Did you have a critique group (literary agent or editor) who helped and supported your vision for this story?

I have to say all of them, critique groups, my agent, and my editor helped me with each revision.

My editor, Kate Fletcher, really helped me to focus on the mother-child connection in this story. At first, I was too ambitious trying to weave a different layer into the story, such as Grandma’s steady presence in parallel with the old river. Then following my editor’s advice and focusing on the mother and child connection flushed out the extra elements and made the story as it is now. I am very thankful for Kate for her vision and support. 

What are some activities and events you are doing (or plan to do) to launch and promote your book?

I am doing lots of blog tours for Mommy’s Hometown, and my writing group, Soaring20s, is supporting all the writers and their books coming out this year. 

When did you become interested in writing children’s literature? 

Two things came together. First, I kept a daily journal of my children when they were younger. It was filled with my observations of their daily activities, funny things they said, and my thoughts on parenting. Second, I was constantly reading to my children, all different types of books. I was drawn to the power of picture books, where a single word or illustration can convey deep emotions. The power of picture books and my observations on my kids came together to inspire me to write my own books and share them with the world.

Hope Lim, Author

Time for eight fun rapid-fire questions.

Describe yourself in five words.

Optimistic, creative, thoughtful, sensitive, and idealistic. 

What item displayed on your desk gives you inspiration?

Stacks of books I want to read.

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Climbing the mountains behind my parent’s house and catching dragonflies. 

Sunrise or sunset?

Sunset. Only because I see it more often and I love the colors

When are you most productive?

At night when the house is quiet, and I am the only one who is awake. 

Riding bikes or jogging?

Jogging. I run every day! 

What surprises you?

People who are not kind. 

Favorite place to be.

A place with people who have known me for years.

And now for some writing advice from Hope:


My general advice is read and write and read and write. Reading nourishes your mind and writing strengthens your ability and helps you find your own voice. Writing is hard but we all know what it is like to experience that rare Ah Ha moment that makes our story sing. That blissful moment makes us feel alive and can come to us when we spend lots of time with our stories by writing and reading and thinking about them. 


One specific piece of advice is to make a dummy to see the pacing of your story and how the page turns will work. Making a dummy is my favorite stage because I can envision it as a final product and often draw rough sketches along with text. 

Thank you, Hope. The kidlit community looks forward to celebrating the release of Mommy’s Hometown on April 12th. It’s always a pleasure to have you on the GROG Blog.

For more information about Hope and her books visit her website.


  1. Thanks for an inspiring post, Suzy and Hope. I especially love your advice to read... and about using a dummy to check the pacing.

    1. You are welcome, Sue.

      I, too, appreciate the writing advice Hope shared.


  2. Thank you, Hope, for sharing your treasured story. I'm so lucky to live near the place where I grew up. Unlike many communities, mine still stands with the old along with the new. Thank you for the writing advice, too. Congratulations to you and Jaime! I look forward to reading your story.

    1. Your comment is appreciated, Cute Charlotte!

      I'm quite certain the words Hope chose are as beautiful as the illustrations Jaime created.


  3. Love this inspiration of the hometown and seeing the changes when you are now a visitor. It is so true that what pulls us back most often is our parents or other family members. I really look forward to reading your book. Congratulations Hope - so glad Suzy hosted your upcoming book.

    1. Kim: Pleased to read you are inspired by Hope and Jaime's upcoming book.

      I, too, have many great memories from my hometown and always enjoy visiting.

      Happy reading and writing.


  4. Getting to this later than I like , but great to hear how the story came about and how Hope and her editor worked together on the story. Great questions, Suzy.

    1. Earlier or later or a time in between, come read the Grog blog when its convenient for you, Kathy.

      Kate certainly was the just right editor to encourage Hope to focus on the mother-child relationship.

  5. Congratulations, Hope, on this new book! Which river in Korea? I used to jog along the Han. There were plenty of dragonflies!

    1. Hi, Tina! Thank you! It's a river in Daejon, my hometown. Like you, I used to run along the river whenever I visited. And I love dragonflies!

  6. Oh, this sounds beautiful! Congratulations, Hope!

    1. Hope writes beautiful book with heart and emotion.

      Your comment is appreciated, Angie.


  7. Thank you so much, Angie!

  8. Yay Hope! Glad to see this story in print.