21 October 2015 - LONGY HAN - Guest Author





LONGY HAN

- Guest Author -

G'day folks,

Welcome to my interview with a well-travelled author who works as a lawyer during the day and writes great stories at night.

Welcome Longy ...


1.   TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?



Lawyer by day, children's book writer by night. 

Naturally curious and mildly adventurous, I have travelled independently across 7 continents, over 30 countries and 90 cities mostly on a shoestring budget. 



2.   WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO BECOME A WRITER?



Having travelled quite extensively, I really wanted to share travel stories as a way to inspire curiosity, to spread happiness and to provide kids who haven’t travelled an opportunity to “experience” the world in the comfort of their homes. That's the main reason why I started writing the Curious Travels of Gusto & Gecko series.





3.    WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?



For Gusto and Gecko travel to Kenya, I wrote the story in dot points, padded it out, finalised at least five drafts. Then one day out of the blue, I re-wrote the entire story under two hours (and the manuscript pretty much stayed that way).



4.   WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?



The second and third book in the Curious Travels of Gusto & Gecko series - Gusto & Gecko travel to New Orleans and Gusto & Gecko travel to China!



5.   HOW DO YOU PICK THE COUNTRIES TO WRITE ABOUT?



That's the first question people always ask! Honestly, I had no idea which country I should write about first because they are just so many incredible places in the world. It caused me so much headache that I eventually decided to just write in the order of the countries that I visited. So it was Kenya, then New Orleans (USA), China and so forth.





6.   WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?



Eradicate illiteracy in the world.



I believe literacy lays the foundation for lifelong learning and it is a tool of personal empowerment. Being able to read and have access to good books can play a big part in introducing kids to new ideas, broadening their horizons and fostering better understanding of the big world. As their capacity to read grows, so will their understanding and appreciation of the different cultures, traditions and people around them.



One of the four pillars of the Gusto & Gecko series is to give back to the community. For the first book, I donated $1,000 to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an Australian charity dedicated to raising literacy levels amongst indigenous children living in remote and isolated areas in Australia. I also committed to book donations to major Australian children’s hospitals, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, primary schools and kindergartens. I want to be able to do more of this in the future.

7.   HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?



For us, designing a book cover was surprisingly straightforward - we picked out the coolest thing in the book then attached it to the most ridiculous thing in the book! Whilst the idea of having a lion dangle off a travel machine is a little bizarre, Elli (my illustrator) did such a fantastic job that readers have embraced the design. I can't brag enough about how awesome Elli is. This book would not be where it is today without her invaluable contributions.







8.   WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?



I dream of one day rocketing to the moon with a wardrobe full of pastries and playing fetch with my humongous, drooling, happy husky on a lunar crater.



9.   WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?



Delivering Happiness (2010) by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It's very good!

 Q: HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE 'success' AS A WRITER?

A: Success means different things for different people. To me, if my writing lingers in the mind of readers, if it inspires curiosity or teaches them something new then I would feel very content.
 After a successful book launch at Dymocks Sydney store, Longy is already planning a sequel to her book. She has returned to the crowdfunding platform and is looking to achieve more with less. Her funding target is $8k and when you purchase a book via the campaign, she will donate a book to a kid in need. So if you are interested in her project and in promoting literacy, please check out:










 Clancy's comment: Go, Longy! Well done. Keep travelling and writing. They are two great things to do in life. Mm ... Not too sure about that trip to the moon.

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