Interview with AJ Antony

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was three when I read Treasure Island. It was the book that suddenly made me realize that my world was much bigger than just my parents house and our neighborhood. Robert Louis Stevenson also played an important part in narrating what the world could be beyond the perimeter of safety my home provided. Since then, I have read this book countless times. It has become something I turn to for comfort because of the conditions the book was first introduced to me. I still recall sitting on my fathers lap as he read his book and I read mine, referring to him some words that I didn't understand, or concepts that were totally alien to me.

I admit the initial reading, at that tender age, did not take full effect, but the beauty was that the story aged as I did. Every year, new experiences in my life, resulted in a whole new story within the same lines. I have learnt so much from that one book, that I made it the first book for my children too. Treasure Island has gone from being my personal treasure to being my family's heirloom.
How do you approach cover design?
I look at cover design as the artistic representation of the textual content. I have no idea what the cover should be until I have finished the book, then had a chance to get a feel for it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favorite books, in no particular order are Treasure Island, this is because of the association between me and the conditions that brought me to this book.

The second, is Shakespeare's Hamlet. This is an amazing play where the words can make my spirit soar and there is so much great advice for today's youth and adults alike. The value of the philosophical aspect of this particular piece of work is priceless. For instance, "...nor unproportioned thoughts its act" such sage and valuable advise from Polonious to Laertes. Its one book that my kids have memorized. I hope it stays with them long after me.

Then there is Plutarch's Morals. Within these pages are the foundations of a strong character. I have been reading this for a very long time and still return to it till today.

My fourth is Mario Puzo's Godfather. Although it's fictional, the pace and adventure impart a sense of honor that is brilliant. I am not sure if this one is on my list because it was a favorite of my father's, and perhaps influenced me, but it is still none the less an amazing piece of work.

Finally, Gandhi's Autobiography and experiment in Truth. It is a beautifully written and translated work from the Mahatma's hand. It talks about the various experiments he had conducted during his lifetime and the effects that it had. A simple man who achieved great things because he believed in the truth. It is a powerful story.
What do you read for pleasure?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have yet to figure that out, but I will update this question when I get a feel for it.
Describe your desk
Keyboard, mouse, screen, lamp and my keys. If you were expecting the clutter of books, papers and picture frames, sorry to disappoint. But those are all on the floor across the room in a sea that I wade through each day in and out of my room. My table, on the other hand, is bare.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Singapore, Malaysia, London and the United States. Much of my influence is rooted in Singapore and the US. That is where most of my friends are and where I've learnt a great deal. However, those are only second to my real influence which was the entire breadth of my travel over the last 30 years. I have travelled across every state in the US, and every country in the EU. I have traveled through Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Myanmar, as well as much of Mexico and South America.These travels are what has influenced my pen.
When did you first start writing?
When I was five.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest is about the truth and honor in entrepreneurial ventures.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It suits my philosophy in life and it's a way to spread what I've learnt.
Published 2014-04-30.
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