Interview with Jian Qiu Huang

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in Malaysia. Our home was a one-bedroom hut with a roof made from dried local 'attap' leaves. The hut was in a coconut plantation and our only source of water was from a nearby well. Despite our poverty we were never hungry, we had music and more importantly we had fun as a family.
When did you first start writing?
I took to writing about 13 years ago as a means to release my emotional challenges during that period. I was going through a marriage breakdown and the only way I made sense of the emotional tsunami was to pen my thoughts down.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"The Yellow Banana" explores the life journey of a 16-year old Malaysian student migrant in Australia. Sent by his family, in the 1970s, with a quest to find success in the new country, he arrived in Australia without knowing where he would spend his first night. It is a humorous and yet poignant account of a story of this student’s 30-year life changing experience.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I needed to share this story so that readers can learn and grow from a 30-year life changing experience. Sometimes in moments of absolute despair a right word or a right book at the right time can provide the needed insight to move on and grow.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Feedback from my readers.
I had both good and not so good feedback. But the best feedback is when readers email me telling me how my story has touched them, made them cry and provided an impetus for them to look at their life from a renewed perspective.
That is the greatest joy for me.
What do your fans mean to you?
My readers mean a lot to me. Every time I see one book downloaded I get a real buzz and every time I get a notification about a feedback from my readers - I get so excited. I see it as a real connection between my readers and me. I cannot help but appreciate the effort my readers have taken to write a few words back to me.
What would you say is the main purpose for writing your ebook?
My ebook is not a best-seller - but that was not the purpose for publishing "The Yellow Banana"
I simply wanted to share my growth experience with others and if the ebook helped just one reader then my purpose is fulfilled.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I never knew what the word 'indie author' meant until I stumbled upon Smashwords a few years ago. This excellent editing, publishing and distribution platform is a saviour as far as I am concerned. It simply allowed me to share my story quickly, effectively and all for FREE.
What are you working on next?
My 2nd ebook will be a follow up from "The Yellow Banana". It will be about the learning from people I have come in contact with - both friends and the not-so-friendly.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live in Melbourne with my wife. My children are grown up and apart from working I spend most of my days being in the moment and simply enjoying each moment. I write in two blogs and spend a lot of time researching and contributing to those blogs.
Do you blog?
Yes I do and I contribute to two blogs:
www:jianqiuhuang.blogspot.com.au
www:zichoulu.blogspot.com.au

I have a keen interest in fostering understanding between the western and eastern culture and the zichoulu blog looks at both cultures from a humorous and informative perspective. In the blog jianqiuhuang, I want to distill spiritual concepts into layman terms so that we can all gain from its wisdom.
Which author has the biggest impact on you?
Straight off the top would be Eckharte Tolle and Neale Daniel Walsch.
How do you approach cover design?
I am fortunate to have a family member who is a designer. I generally gave her a short verbal blurb about the ebook and with that she came up with the design.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use the iPad.
However, my ebook is available on all formats to cater for the various e-Readers in the market.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I am a poor author - I use whatever means available to me.
What do you think of peer group reviews?
I only sent my ebook to two peer group reviews. It was a real risk for me as peer group reviews are done by unbiased more experienced and seasoned authors. They can either tear the book apart or give it the support needed by most new indie authors like me.
I was lucky as both the peer group reviews I participated in supported my book.
Published 2014-01-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Yellow Banana
Price: Free! Words: 78,090. Language: Australian English. Published: October 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational
(4.87)
"The Yellow Banana" explores the life journey of a 16-year old Malaysian student migrant in Australia. Sent by his family, in the 1970s, with a quest to find success in the new country, he arrived in Australia without knowing where he would spend his first night. This humorous yet poignant book tells the true story of this student’s 30-year life changing experience.