An interview with:
Red Hour Glass
- Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
The Hourglass series is a sociopolitical discourse about capitalism and how top down decisions affects the lives of ordinary people. I am fascinated with financial centers and major property acquisition players. My approach is unique as I do not state the obvious but let the reader decide what is obvious to them.
- How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
The Red Hourglass took four years to write and I was actively writing the book in five different countries. I research different topics that interest me on a daily basis through a combination of Wikipedia, news, YouTube, books and talking to people who are in similar positions or characteristics to those I write of.
I visited New York twice (2011 and 2013) and wrote the subway scenes by spending a long time observing homeless people begging for change. It was a novelty to me, and I was immediately drawn to that. I wrote the first scene of the White Queen finding Mary in the subway back in 2011 as I was inspired by the subway stations of New York City when I first visited.
How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?
I believe that we write based on what we know over a period of many years and try to condense it in a novel form that is easy and enjoyable to read. Most of the research literature I read are academic and non fiction, they hold no interest to most people.
I wanted to write something I would love to read and still have something to think about. I prefer reading books that allows me to question and find out more answers for myself. In this sense, I try to do just that.
- What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?
Interviews with famous actors on YouTube is my favourite resource as I can play back and study their word choices and way of thinking, to get into their “heads”.
- How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?
I would prefer to casually chat with anyone no matter what their position or authority as they give inspiration to different things. I don’t believe in stereotyping. A good way to approach someone is always to get a referral from a friend who knows that person, so that he would speak as naturally as possible instead of putting a professional front. I prefer the realness to my character development sketches. I don’t sketch my characters just based on one person but a few different people usually.
- How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?
I went directly for self publishing.
Did you need to self-publish on e-books before a publisher took you up?
- Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?
I haven’t reached this stage yet, it is something to consider to reach a different target market. It would really depend. From where I am at, most physical book stores and music shops had closed down as they are unable to meet the rent. I believe the trend is towards virtual publication and virtual outreach.
- Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?
Definitely not. My previous income was much higher as I used to do consultancy. I felt dead inside. Despite the external achievements and materialistic acquistions, it gave me no sense of fulfillment. I gave up my shadow life to pursue writing. I had cut back on my expenses and traveling. Some rewards cannot be measured in monetary terms. I used to dread waking up, but since I turned full time as an artist, I wake up before my alarm and I feel energised to take on the world. I receieve fan mails daily and I feel that is the greatest reward that my work has impacted others.
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
I am on a YouTube “book tour” at the moment on my own channel. I am surrounded by my Knights and minions. What is funny is one of my Knights commented he was waiting for me to do a Sharon Stone Basic Instinct move by crossing my legs. But I didn’t. Haha!
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