H.G. Yoon was born in South Korea during the Korean War. As a little boy, he was fascinated by legends, and he often created his own stories and told them to his friends. When he was in the ninth grade, he wanted to write stories in English because more people could access them. Unfortunately, he quit school after the ninth grade.
The year after he moved to the United States, in early 1982, he enrolled in Los Angeles City College (LACC). He registered for ESL, basic algebra, and ESL speech classes. He often studied on the bus, late at night, and wherever and whenever he could. In 1990, he published his first short story in English, “Room 203,” in LACC’s literary magazine.
In 1992, he transferred to California State University, Los Angeles (CSLA) with several scholarships and studied poetry. In 1993, he published two blank-verse poems in CSLA’s literary magazine. In 1994, he received a BA in English and continued in the graduate program. He wrote a blank-verse poetry collection for his English M.A. thesis, Birds of Paradise, and received an M.A. in English with Distinguished Honor. He also obtained another M.A. degree in TESOL and wrote Teaching ESL with Literature for his M.A. thesis.
He taught at Los Angeles City Community Colleges for a couple of years, but his main teaching experience was at Latino majority inner-city middle and high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. After over 20 years of teaching, he took early retirement so that he could pursue his childhood dream of becoming a full-time writer. Currently, he plans to study his fourth language, Italian, and walk the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in Spain. He lives in Southern California with his partner Charlie, his dog (Sunny), and his two cats (Gracie and Jake).