A friend of mine asked me how I got my name. I told her it’s what my first book is all about. It’s a true-life novel of my grandmother’s life during the Japanese Occupation of Korea, which has many parallels to my family’s immigration to America.
Rosa is really not my given name. My birth name is Haewon, which means “graceful princess” in Korean. That name was lost when my family immigrated to Los Angeles and my parents wanted me to assimilate. As an outsider, I hungered to belong.
Kwon is really not my first surname either. I was born a Kim because my father’s name was changed from Kwon to Kim when he was adopted. As we became U.S. citizens, my father made a significant personal choice to change our name back to Kwon to recapture his original family name. Our families influence and shape our identity.
Easton is my married name. No, I am not related to the Easton bat company, or Sheena Easton, the famous singer. I changed it when I got married, and now my son and daughter have a name that originates in England and comes from a long line of old Boston families. My current family does not resemble my birth family. Future generations will look, feel, and think very differently from mine.
Thank you for joining me on this search to find our place in the world.
My Official Bio
I am a writer, attorney, community volunteer and mother of two young adults. I have been published in numerous newspapers and anthologies, performed a story on stage and spoken in front of various organizations. I believe in the power of story to educate, broaden cultural understanding and inspire others to discover their own stories.
I have always loved reading and writing, but decided to devote myself full-time to writing after my last child left for college. My previous experience writing professionally consisted of producing legal documents and having articles published in law reviews when I was in law school. After practicing law for about six years, I decided to stay at home to raise my children and become more active in my community.
As an elected Trustee of the Palos Verdes Library District, I provide leadership and policy direction to ensure that library services are accessible to all. I am also on the Board of the Volunteers of America Los Angeles, whose mission is to help the most vulnerable change their life stories. I was the President of the parents’ association of my children’s former independent school and had the opportunity to travel to Korea where it has established a second campus.
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Smith College, a Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. I was born in Seoul, Korea, and now live with my husband and maltipoo in Palos Verdes, California.