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In Selina's final year of University, she was offered the coveted musical role of Eliza Doolittle - the Lerner and Loewe production of My Fair Lady. The role earned her a standing ovation and her work was credited to her USQ course. Shortly after graduation, Selina accepted an entertaining contract to perform at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. This was extended to include the Para-Olympics and the World Tour & Trade Festival, also held in South Korea, during that period. Having the bug for travel, Selina then moved to the United Kingdom where she worked at the Australian Embassy - Queensland House while taking dance classes at London Royal Ballet, Covent garden.
Having a natural talent for linguistics, Selina again took up studies at Griffith University in Australia. Her father suggested it would hold her in good stead for additional work. She completed her second degree - a Bachelor's in Modern Asian Studies - majoring in Korean and Political Science.
In 1993, she accepted a scholarship for extended studies at Yonsei University, back in Seoul. There, she fine-tuned and extended her Korean language ability. Shortly after her arrival in the country, Selina participated in the Daejon World Expo where she won First Prize in Traditional Music. This award and publicity led to a cultural reporting career with MBC Broadcasting and a 'Pansori' (Korean traditional opera) research position at The Corporation Korea Traditional Art Institute, under the guiding hands of Song Chang Soon - Human Cultural Asset No 5. In turn, she accepted an offer to work with the Korean Commission for UNESCO as Chief Editor, getting time off for broadcasting work.
Over the next few years, Selina fine-tuned her capabilities as a freelance-cultural reporter, accepting contracts with KBS in news, music and gaming shows, Arirang television, SBS, Hyundai Broadcasting to name a few. Selina had become such a household name that in 1997, she was honored by the Korean National Ministry of Culture for her service to Korea and the Arts.
In September 1995, she married and then gave birth to her son - Ethan-Luke Cho in 1998. Selina moved her focus to family and took up the arduous task of home-schooling while teaching English to underprivileged Korean children on the border of North and South Korea. Curriculum formulation led to the writing of children's short stories for her students, which in turn gave birth to her first teens novel series - 'The Parchment'.
A rocky marriage saw her return to Australia in 2000 with her son. Back home, Selina sought solace in her books and concentrated on online MA studies in Diplomacy and Trade through Monash University, while guest teaching at the University of Southern Queensland in the Theatre Department.
After years of struggle, the first book in 'The Parchment Series' was finally published in 2009 by ELK Publishing, Korea. With the help of a good friend, she translated the book into Korean and by 2010, it hit the Korean market. That same year, 'The Parchment' was entered for both the Australian Aurealis Awards and the QLD Premier Literary Awards. On the 18th of August, 2011, 'The Parchment' hit #6 in fantasy and #7 in children's literature on Amazon. In 2012, book 2 of the series was published - 'The Parchment Tale Unfolds'.
In 2013, Selina extended her teaching degree and earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Learning & Teaching for Secondary School. In 2014, ELK Publishing established itself in Australia under the Sketa Oz brand and published her next children's book - 'Possum Tales...in the Lettuce Patch'. In the following years, her second illustrated children's book - 'Possum Tales...an odd day', hit the shelves in hardback and softcover across the globe.
Both 'The Parchment' series and 'Possum Tales' mark major milestones for this Australian author and independent publisher of children's books, which sells and distributes on a global scale to physical and online bookstores in the UK, USA, Canada, and Austral-Asia.
“Once you are an artist, you can put your hands to many things.” ...Sketa
Tale of Tales – Selina Kucks
Written by and Photographed by Janine Waters