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The Iron Butterfly blog

Would you like to see The Iron Butterfly developed into a movie?

I have been writing for children most of my life. Several years back, though, a surprising, highly unusual and deeply moving story came to me and I felt compelled to write it.


I wrote The Iron Butterfly for YA and adult audiences and it was published by Pelican. Recently it was selected as one of the three finalists in the Book Pipeline competition for its high cinematic potential. Master Harmon and I are very excited about this, and so are many other people who have read the book.


Today, I present you with a summary of the book. What do you think? Would you like to see this story developed into a movie? If you are inclined to, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you!




Giving up is not an option...


"Set in South Korea and in the United States between the 1950s and 2000s, THE IRON BUTTERFLY recasts the genre of women-in-unconventional-roles into a modern, "hard to put down" (Book Bargains and Previews) action/drama featuring the heroine, a woman determined to become a martial arts master, and those who relentlessly oppose her from reaching her dream.


CHOON-OK JADE HARMON is expected to follow in the footsteps of a traditional Korean woman — to marry a Korean man, have children, and care for her family and her husband's parents — but she refuses to follow that path. Sick and tired of living at the edge of survival, Choon-Ok commits to becoming financially independent and personally fulfilled by training in martial arts. Immediately, her family forbids her to pursue such non-traditional, unfeminine idea, and later, martial arts masters quietly conspire to sabotage her ambition. Choon-Ok draws from her fierce determination and defies them all, regardless of the consequences."


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Interview with The Iron Butterfly



The Iron Butterfly is one of the three finalists in the 2017 Book Pipeline competition. This inspirational and heart-gripping memoir stood above about 2,000 submissions as one with the most cinematic potential.



Click on the image above to read a recent interview with Choon-Ok Harmon and Ana Maria Rodriguez.

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Great news for The Iron Butterfly! It is one of three finalists on the 2017 Book Pipeline Competition. Master Harmon and I are very happy about this honor for the book.


This inspirational and heart-gripping memoir stood above about 2,000 submissions as one with the highest cinematic potential.


Click on the Book Pipeline logo above to read about it.

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A Korean Mermaid

Here is an excerpt of The Iron Butterfly of the time her family returned to South Korea after spending years in Japan:


"They arrived on the mainland dripping wet, seasick, and scared.

They had lost everything they had brought back home to start a new life.They had no money, no clothes, no utensils, no furniture, nothing. Going back home turned out to be much harder than they had anticipated.


They traveled back to Koje Do and lived with Mom ’s family for a while. Once again, Mom used her diving expertise to bring money home. There were many other haenyo like Mom trying to make a living from harvesting what the sea provided, but this was not a problem. Sea food was abundant in Koje Do; there was plenty for all the people in the village....


Things went well for a while until Dad took a wrong turn with his life. He went back to his old habits. He became demanding and impatient... The situation slowly grew out of hand. Mom felt trapped."


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Review for The Iron Butterfly


Thank you, Roberta, for your inspiring review!


Click on the book cover above to read Wrapped in Foil's review. Read More 

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You have not read anything like this before! The Iron Butterfly is the True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter


Very few stories are about women who quietly achieve great things. These women believe their stories are not important to others, maybe only to her immediate family and friends. They do not believe that they have achieved outstanding milestones. They believe their patience and perseverance was simply blessed with luck.


Sometimes, these women are ashamed of what they had to go through in life and do not want others to know. But when an outsider learns about what they have done, how they have done it, and the immense dedication and resolution these women must have within to achieve a better life, then outsiders are in awe and wonder. What would I have done if I had been in her shoes? When the outsider is a writer, then she must write these women's stories.

Lucky I was the day I met one of these outstanding women. She is Choon-Ok Harmon, the martial arts instructor of my sons. She did not want her personal story to become public. She did not want anybody to know about the endless obstacles she had to overcome and her most traumatic personal secrets. But one day, after much prodding from her daughters, she agreed to place her concerns aside and tell me her story.


We have written a book together, The Iron Butterfly.


She is living proof that 'when there is a will, there is a way."


"Giving up is not an option."


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