Interview with Insight Circle Publishing -- a division of Global Marketing Communications Network, Inc. (GLOBAL MCN)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Hong Kong and I immigrated to Vancouver, BC, CANADA when I was 15. It plays a BIG role in how I write and what I write. I like to write about culture, sub-culture... different cultures. I love to learn and experience different things. I love to take photos and watch movies in foreign language. I appreciate arts from different cultural background. I love to write about little things that show big impacts.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I love Children's Storybooks because we all learn to read by reading a Children's story somewhere. Perhaps my favorite one is probably one that my mom made it up for me about two cats -- the "black" and the "white". They fight for their food and they end up with no food. Teaching a little morale on "no fighting and be considerate" for the best outcome -- peace and harmony. Most of my childhood stories are based on Chinese cultural value and customs. There are so many of those and I can read them all day long to learn about historic people, places, failures and triumphs. With all these Chinese cultural stories and my Western education, I always think about topics on: "east meets west", "global culture" and "multiculturalism".
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love Self-Help books with arts and sciences...
1) How to Win Friends and Influence People 2) Think and Grow Rich 3) The Art of War 4) The Power of Positive Thinking 5) The Hidden Messages of Water
I love books that teach me something about "life" -- how to live a fulfilling and purposeful life.
When did you first start writing?
I was not a good English speaker or writer because I failed my English tests so many times. I guess after you fail so many times, you have to learn how to write better every time, as compared to the last time. I knew that I would love a "writer's life" so I finally took a few writing programs in 2014 and decided to start writing and publishing "seriously". Thinking is one thing; doing it for real is another thing. So, here I am... writing and publishing.
What is your writing process?
I like to write about specific issues, problems and challenges... and then find creative alternatives, solutions and insights. My writing process is like "Yin and Yang" -- write with a basic structure or framework, and write freely about it in flexible ways. I love to do a lot of research and find interesting topics before I write, so that I can target specific audience and offer them good benefits in reading my pieces. I like to motivate and inspire my readers to follow through my articles or books. I love to write to express new ideas and share meaningful insight. Of course, good writing also means a lot of editing, proofreading and rewriting till I am happy to share the piece with the world.
What do you read for pleasure?
I would read anything that I can find from online news portals and business websites. I love to look for local and global market trends, from commodities, consumer behavior, new product launches to social changes and political events, across countries and cultures.
Describe your desk
It is a mess right now, but I do try to put things in the best "feng shui" perspective to get positive energies. For example, I have pens on the right and piles of paper, books and folders on the left. I have a systematic way to put things... where I put my coffee mug, my laptop, my desktop, my mouse, my mobile phone, my lucky charms and all. Perhaps it's called "creative flows in a structured working environment".
How do you approach cover design?
If you need to attract readers to buy, you got to sell the COVER. Therefore, I always create a concept that speaks to the target audience and resonates with what they feel in that topic. I will interpret all and then create a list of pointers for my designer to create anything based on my inputs, graphics and photos. I am lucky to find a very nice, friendly and patient graphic designer who is working with me virtually as a team. We communicate well so we can always polish any design draft copies to where I want it to be. If I can give any advice to any writer out there, hire a good graphic designer who speaks to you. Also, it's good to learn some basic skills in your own drawing programs (e.g., Openoffice Draw) so that you can make minor changes to exactly what you want on a timely manner. Sometimes, having a well-done cover in advance can motivate you to write faster to the end because now you can visualize how your book is going to be in real world.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I would love to have one of my books showcased as a movie one day. Maybe I will become a movie producer or director (somehow). If we just read all the mainstream media news, that will be too boring, restricted and limited. As an indie author, I can write about any niche topic that mainstream media is not interested in talking, reporting or publishing. Perhaps we will get an opportunity to learn about the "truth" of anything if we set our mind to study and learn from it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I chose "How to Speak and Write Correctly" as the first book to edit, rewrite and publish because I think this world needs to have more people who care how to speak and write "positively". Instead of fighting, blaming, bullying and harassing (mentioned in news hours every day), we human beings need to take responsibility, think "consciously", speak clearly and write concisely on what we truly intend, not what we do not want people to know. If we can all speak with mutual respect and understanding, we will be able to create positive "karmic" relationships. As a Buddhist myself, I believe that each of us has an inner god guiding the right way. Learning how to speak and write correctly takes practice and discipline. Even though this book is over 100 years old, the kind of wisdom, suggestions and tips inside are all invaluable for us to learn again and again -- especially now this book is newly edited with new text, design and formats.
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