Interview with Linong Zhou

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not clearly, as I have read so many in the past many years, and those classics of the 19th century big names were perhaps what I red at the beginning, as Great Expectations, and others. My impressions now are that I was impressed by the complexity of societies and people's nature as described by those masters in depth, indicating how hard it was and is to reveal the true nature and characteristics of someone, and the devils in each one of the person you meet. It is then natural to follow the trends of history from the 19th century on, to see if people can improve and change, or societies progress sensibly. It is perhaps obvious that despite all the regulations inserted by all kinds of entities, human nature has not improved much.
How do you approach cover design?
It is better DIY, if possible. That depends on travel and photo-shooting by oneself. If many good pictures have been taken, then one has a chance to select from them, for different themes. If this one is for Normandy, then pick a photo of somewhere in France, like Paris, or Caen, then edit with titles on the photo. If possible, I would select an old photo of battle scene or soldiers, but that is a little risky, involving the uncertainty of copyrights.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
For my own writing on this book, I prefer the book by Samuel W. Mitcham Jr., as he described the fight by Rommel and German troops there very well, and in great detail, in two related books. So as to Max Hastings. out of the narrow field of Normandy and western front, I quite enjoy the books by Bill Bryson, in his sharp ways to explore different cultures and societies, with much less prejudice and bias, quite refreshing.
What do you read for pleasure?
travel, conspiracies, political saga, military stories
What is your e-reading device of choice?
mostly computer, kindle,
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Hard to say, as I have not been experiencing one, and marketing tools are perhaps more or less the same as to ebooks and print books, I suppose.
Describe your desk
laptop, printer, paper, reading glass, stationary, no paper books
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am from Australia, living in HK now. It is a difference between country community and urban groups, and between western and Asian. This helps to see both sides in opinions, arguments, and mentalities. It is very important to see the other side's story and views, and when local questions are raised, one might find a comparable example in another distant place. As such, keeping a balanced view is essential, not one way of triumphant pushing on certain cardinal things.
When did you first start writing?
Many years back, in academic and commentaries, and more time on topics I like.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a long, but minor hobby, for the stories of the two great military forces (in fact three) clashing violently in Normandy. Much has been written about it, motion pictures about it, in particular A Bridge too far. As 2014 was the year the battle was fought 70 years before, I thought to have a look of what was going on then, starting to read many original books (military histories) and new books about it, for me to get some ideas as how to form the lines and basics of my book. It got more serious later, from Normandy to extend to Market Garden, as I see that the ending of Falaise was not the end of Allied advances and troubles, for the reason of German resistance and defence still in place. Of course writing the entire war there to the surrender is beyond my current effort and interest, and could become boring, as things happening in 1945 are clear to readers. So the latter half of 1944 is the time for exciting and decisive battles, illustrating the leadership and failures in both sides.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have published through proper channels, publishers, editors, enquires and rejections. This book is for my own pleasure, and many editors might not miss the point, not seeing the value of this addition, among other pulished books on similar subjects. It is worth at least trying a new channel, as being available in ebook publishing.
Published 2016-01-17.
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Books by This Author

D-Day to Arnhem: German Forces in Peril and Defeat
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 269,710. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Military
The book covers major battles since D-Day and presents narratives primarily of German defensive efforts and their plight. The focus is on major German participants in their drive to retard Allied offensives and the ultimate failure.