_ Guest Author _
Today, I introduce my first guest from Hong Kong. Tim is a writer of conscience; a man who writes on social & global issues, for people, society and mankind. Most importantly, he writes for his own happiness.
Welcome, Tim ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
A – I am a writer of 8 books now, based in Hong Kong, I write on serious global and social issues, and use all the proceeds from my books to run my charity ISSLCARE.
2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
A – I started writing in 2009, but I only published my books in 2015, and have planned to write at least 2 books per year. Since I have been working from 17, I never wanted to work for money again after I turned fifty and writing was the easy choice. Writing makes me not only happy but I can also use it for helping the others and I wouldn’t trade my position for anything else for now.
3. WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOTS FROM THE HIP?
A – I always have the main theme of the book well thought out before I start writing, the prose of the story is roughly thought out as well, and of course, I make changes during the course of writing as the story progresses. In addition, I also keep notes of the main events, characters and other necessary details on a separate file, so, it won’t go ashtray.
4. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
A – The most beautiful thing of writing is you can put all of your imaginations into a story that can not only become real but also helpful in some aspects of other peoples’ life and for good or bad, it can change their life. My story is always for good, I want people to learn and inspire from my works and bring necessary changes in their life if possible.
5. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
A - You cannot earn a decent living out of it, your life will fly away before you can become a well-known writer and for that reason alone, most will give up on the middle of the way.
6. WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
A – I served as a Gurkha soldier for the first 13 years after I joined them at 17, then I worked in the manufacturing industry back in China while raising my young family, and decided to become a fulltime writer after I turned fifty.
7. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
A – Despite not going to university, English not being my first language and without any proper courses or training, I somehow managed to become probably one of the very few Nepali writers who write in English and whose works are internationally available now.
8. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
A – My 8th book is going to be published by early 2016; I am applying some finishing touches onto it, and working on for my future books now.
9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
A – I think the world has become more materialistic, people have become more selfish and self-centered, and nobody wants to be bothered by other peoples’ problems. Unless it starts affecting our own lives, it is someone else problem and that sort of mentality is making this world more apathy and indifferent. But we mustn’t forget our responsibility towards the global society, making our life good alone is not sufficient for me, and we should always help the poor, needy and weak ones. That is the only reason why I keep writing, I want to use it for goog cause so it is not wasted, and it also makes me happy.
10. WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
A – As I only write on serious global and social issues, my books are mostly a mixer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I prefer to say they are in literary/contemporary fiction.
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
A – I am a very humble and modest writer, I am not sure if I am even qualified to give any advice, and if I really have to say, I would say, don’t leave your daytime job yet, good luck!
12. DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
A – Yes, it happens to all sometime, but for me, it is momentary and if I just go out and do other things for a while, it will be just fine.
13. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
A – No, I normally write on the afternoon at the office, the morning rush hour is filled with checking mails and other stuffs, and I don’t work at home and I don’t have other weird ideas of writing on the middle of the night or at the wee hour of the morning and so on.
14. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
A – No, I just write on my office and that is all.
15. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
A – Writing is in my blood, it not only warm my heart but also provide solace for my soul as well as help save me from insanity.
16. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
A – I don’t have that many, I mostly liked the first book of any big name writers that I have read so far, but after reading his/her 2nd book on, the magic is somehow gone. I do like to read books from all the Nobel Laureates though.
17. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
A – I got quite a lot of great compliments from the reviews of my book AFTERLIFE, I have listed them on the description of the book itself at Amazon and some of them were pretty interesting. But it was the very first of my article in a local paper in Hong Kong that got almost 4 k likes on its first publication and established me as a writer in our society.
18. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
A – It was not from the reader but a fellow writer, who without even reading my book rated my book 1 star out of envy and even contempt, it did really upset me and I even wrote an email to him with not so good words in it. But that was at the very beginning and now I am perfectly fine with it.
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
A – Oh yes, that is for sure, we do usually write from our own experiences, events that occurred to our life definitely affect our writing and especially writers like me who write on serious global and social issues, it plays a great role in our writing.
20. OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
A – I used to love watching and playing football, the English football type, not the American, and after I turned over fifty, I learned the importance of living simple, and I can do without many things in life now. So, I am just writing and running my charity for now.
21. DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
A – Yes, that is the most important part of publishing, I have a long time professional editor, it costs me a lot but I don’t want to put craps on peoples’ hand and be ridiculed. Editing doesn’t mean it is okay to edit by our own, it doesn’t matter how many times you edit but there is a big different between doing it by yourself and a professional. If you want to be a decent writer, it is a must and you should never put your works out there without editing it by a decent editor.
22. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
A – I wake up around 6:30, after washing up, I feed my lovely cat Vanila, change water and clean the littering, water my plants, prepare the worship place for my dear wife, eat breakfast, go to office, check emails, work on promotions and updates of social networking sites, read news, eat lunch, write at the afternoon, by 5pm we return home, water my plants again, feed my cat, pray, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed by 10-10:30pm
23. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
A – My lovely wife, because without her I cannot simply survive, and I am totally dependent on her. SERIOUSLY!
24. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
A – Stop being hypocrite, think for the people before yourself and the power invested to you by the people is not for quenching your egotistical thirst.
25. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
A – I am planning to write at least 2 books in each year, I have a campaign of helping the poor children in Nepal that will eventually expand to the whole nation one day and until that is happening, I have to keep trying hard.
26. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON BOOK TRAILERS? DO THEY SELL BOOKS?
A – I haven’t made one, so, I am not in the position to say anything, sorry!
27. DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
A – As I call myself a writer of conscience and righteousness, most of my main characters are good people, they don’t drink or take drugs, and they always tend to help other people and the society. Therefore, I think it is quite natural for writer to portray their heroes as they are and I am not exception.
28. DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
A – Yes, in some extent, they only shoot for the shining star, people hardly give chance to the new ones, and it is very hard to be published through so called traditional publishing. I have never tried it, I didn’t have to as my expectation was not that high and I am not writing for money or fame. Vanity publishing has also given itself a bad name, 80-90% of the books on Amazon are craps, people just want to be called a published author, and they don’t give much thought about writing good books, promoting it properly and eventually succeeding on it.
29. DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
A – No, never, it is never been the case for me, thank you!
30. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
A – OLD MEN DON’T CRY, my 7th book which going to be published on 6 Jan 2016, was perhaps the best book I ever wrote hitherto, it was also the book that I worked really hard and I had to do a lot of researches as well. It is a book about Hong Kong, it is also very sad and moving story and I wanted to write all the sad things of my life into it so henceforth I don’t have to write such sad book again. As of that I called it my own version of ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, and I do hope it will also turn out that way for me as well.
31. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
A – I think it is a very subjective question, it depends on individual writers, and as far as I am concerned, a writer is successful when he or she has managed to write a book that she liked the most, read and accepted by at least tens of thousands of people and have substantial number of followers on social networking site, I suppose.
32. WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
A – It is at least a decent book, oh, I didn’t notice this or that before and now I am going to do something about it. If this can be achieved, I will be more than happy!
33. WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES? EVER WRITTEN A SCREENPLAY?
A – Yes, of course, it will be a dream come true for all the writers, I used to dream sometime about Jackie Chan playing the main part of my book OLD MEN DON’T CRY, when I was writing it and I intentionally make the character with big nose to just fit in there. But of course, it doesn’t matter that much now.
34. HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
A – I mostly provide the synopsis of my books to the designer, the covers of my first 6 books were made by my own children and they were perfectly matching with the story, the other two covers were made my designers and I choose them if I liked them at the first look. Sometime, I also discuss with my other friends and families, and make necessary changes accordingly before the final decision. It is quite important to have the right cover for any books and one must choose it rightly so.
35. WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
A – I just want to keep on writing until I can expand my charity campaign to entire country of Nepal and help as many children as possible. If that can be done, I will be more than happy and that will be all for me.
36. WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
A – Marketing is much harder than writing especially for writers, we are naturally a shy and introvert people and marketing book is not easy. Especially for the new and aspiring writer, it is extremely difficult and unless you have enough time, money and passion, you should let the professional do the marketing for you. Luckily for me, I already had much experiences on marketing through my previous jobs, besides, I have time, money and passion to work on my new project and still working really hard to set my feet on this new world. It is a very long, slow and assiduous road, it needs patience and hardship and one must be prepared for a very long haul.
37. ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
A – Yes, I decided to become a self-published writer, I didn’t even contact one publisher for my books and I have already explained my reasons for that above. I only write for my charity, my expectation is not that high and whatever I will be able to achieve in the future, I will be more than happy with it, so, I will just do my best and that is all.
38. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
A – Honest, hardworking, determined, kind and conscience
39. WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
A – People’s choice of materialistic things, barking on the wrong tree, prioritizing on frivolity, and having a stereotyped view on almost everything in this world.
40. WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
A – The last good book I read was ONE YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Marques and that was quite a while ago, thank you!
41. WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
A – The End! On each and every end of my book…!
42. WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
A – I wish the people were more kind, equal and reasonable. I wish the world was more nice, fair and peaceful. And I wish there were no sickness, sadness and sorrow in this world.
43. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
A- That would be all for now, thank you so much and have a nice day!
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Tim. I hope you are not my first and last guest from Hong Kong. Spread the word, my friend. I love your passion.