Sunday, October 27, 2013


I’m backlogging. Starting this new trilogy novelette has caused me to put two of my completed works on hold; my 2nd novel and my novella.

Both books are being illustrated, but I’m too busy right now to edit them. I’ve run through them a few times, but I know its not enough. So hopefully after I finish writing the trilogy, I would have time for them.

My goal is to get everything out by next year, at least my 2nd novel and novella. The trilogy can space out between next year and the year after that. I also have another novelette that I wrote for a competition. If I do not win, I would be self-publishing that one too (hopefully I win, then I don’t have to). So right now, I have a total of 6 works that needs to be released in the next two years.

Honestly, I hate not being able to release everything. Having them sit by my side yearning for attention makes me wish I had more brainpower and time. I wish my eyes could spot more errors with ease and I wish I had an editor to help. Editors are so expensive these days! (If you know anyone, please refer him or her to me. Thanks.)

I think I just need to plan the timing of each release and work according to priority. Now the bigger question remains, which book deserves top priority? All I know is writing new works (novels, novellas, and novelettes) will be at the bottom for a while.

Well, don’t mind me now. I'm just going to desperately pray, “Dear God, please give me an editor!!!” 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Paid To Be Published or Pay To Be Published?

I’ve stumbled upon a lot of sites that offer self-publishing services. They would edit your work, print it for you, and claim to be your ‘publisher’… while you pay them for it.

Personally, I’m not game for that. As authors, we should be paid to be published not pay to be published. I know they offer services which are great for self-publishing, but the fact that they call themselves your publisher literally looks like you paid them to be your publisher.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. If you’re up for it, go for it! The way I personally look at it is this, you can spend money on self-publishing to get the layout, art, and editing done, but ultimately it is self –published. Hence, the person who should be credited as the publisher is you! You worked your butt off, you spent money on it, so you should be your own publisher.

The term self-published is self-explanatory. Why pay someone to steal the title you deserve?

You’re probably going, how can I get my works edited and laid out then? If you want art and layout, visit Deviantart and contact an artist that would be interested in working with you. There’s so much talent out there you just need to look. If you want your work edited, google for editing services or find freelance editors. The web is full of them.

Then you ask, how about printing and distribution? First, I would suggest selling e-books. With so many people using e-readers, there is a bigger market for that. You can set up your own Amazon account too. (Consider Smashwords and Lulu for their online services of promotion and formating.. that is if you have a hard time formatting and promoting your books yourself. I don't think you need to pay them in advance either, just standard royalty fees.)

But let’s just say you really want your books printed, how now? Gather your readers and do a crowd-funding project. Unless you have the sufficient funds, you probably might want to opt for that. I know it may seem really awesome to have your book on shelves, but the fact that these self-publishing services offer print-on-demand means they won’t put your book on shelves either. So do it your way!

Mind you, these are my personal opinions. I do not speak for anyone, and if self-publishing companies as such floats your boat, by all means, don’t let me stop you. I just personally think that you don’t need them to be self-published. All you need is your perseverance, time, effort and willingness to get your book out. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

What Happened To Him?

That was the question asked by a blogger on his or her post featuring The Series of Unfortunate Events among other books. It was a question that stuck after I left the blog and it got me thinking.

What happened to him? What happened to Lemony Snicket? Did he phase out or did he just continue writing under another pseudonym? There’s no news about him, they did not continue the movies, and he just… stopped.

Personally, I love The Series of Unfortunate Events. I did not read all the books, no idea why I didn’t, but I love it nevertheless. I now intend to reread them and finish the series. It was a great series, Lemony Snicket was a catchy pen name, and there was even a game…. so what happened to him?

With that I came to a simple conclusion; not everyone can last forever.

Some authors have their short burst of success, while some have a long run of success. Obviously we all want to be the one with the long run of success, but often times we find ourselves comparing with those who have just entered the limelight.

Why do we compare ourselves with the young ones who gained success overnight instead of the old ones who have been there for many years? Why must we look down on ourselves for not doing great things at a younger age, when those who had long runs did not gain success until they were older?

As writers, we should aim for more years of inspiring lives than a few years of fame. If we aim for the latter, we’d be asking ourselves ‘what happens next?’ ever so often. That is a worrying question… don’t you think?

The Series of Unfortunate Events had a pretty good run, but it faded out like the end of a movie. Lemony Snicket will be remembered but his name does not pop up on any new book (that I know of). All we can do now is ask, “What happened?” (There's even a Yahoo question on that.)

For me, I would rather have a long run of influence rather than a short burst of fame. I don’t want to be worrying about my next move, I just want to go with what I have and continue doing what I love. I want to be big one day, but the kind of ‘big’ that lasts for a very, very long time. It may not happen overnight, but the wait might be worth it.

So the next time you find yourself comparing with an author, pick the one that may not be young but is still kicking all these years. They are the ones that would motivate you to keep going and stay strong :)

Monday, October 14, 2013


... we all have them.

I'm going to be honest here, when I first started putting myself out there as a writer, I had insecurities. I chose a western pen-name for two reasons, and one of them was to make me sound less Asian (now of course, I only keep the good reason for my pen-name, but that would be a different blog post all together).

I also hesitated in letting my readers know my age, race and citizenship. All these because I was afraid of what they would think of me. Would they judge me base on where I am from? Will I be stereotyped?

There is definitely nothing wrong in asking those questions, especially when stereotype is common in the storytelling world. Asian writers are not having their works adapted as much as those in the US and UK. Asian writers usually write cultural drama books. Asian writers this, Asian writers that...

Lets also not forget how 'young' writers are perceived by 'older' writers. Young writers have less experience. Young writers have not honed their skills enough. Young writers this, young writers that...

Those were the reasons why I chose to hide my identity... until I realized that my works speak for themselves. My readers do not care where I am from, they actually judge me base on my works! When I saw how all those factors did not matter, I began to open up.

Last year, when I shot a vlog for my blog I revealed a few things about myself. Today, I can comfortably tell you my race, age and citizenship, because who I am... is what's inside.

Since I've shut the door to insecurities, I also learned to accept that I am who I am because God made me that way. He could have placed me in another country and He could have made me older, but He chose a time and place for a reason. By accepting who I am and not running away or hiding the truth, I am acknowledging that I have faith in myself and in God. When that faith is established, I am no longer insecure!

So, if you are facing the same thing, remember that who you are is what's inside. Everything else... does not matter. Really. They do not matter! Just believe in yourself and shine :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Master Of Death

Awhile back, I won a bid for a Deathly Hallows necklace at the price of a theme park can of Coke. That’s cheaper than a plate of chicken rice!

Anyways, I’ve been wearing this Deathly Hallows necklace quite frequently. And to me, it’s actually not the Deathly Hallows, but it’s the master of death.

When I think of the master of death, the first person that comes to mind is Jesus. He died, remember? Then he came back to life.

You see, instead of wearing a cross, which symbolizes Christ’s torturous death, I’ve decided to wear the Deathly Hallows because it symbolizes Christ’s victory over death.

On top of that, I have also found a connection between the three Deathly Hallows and God.

What are they, you ask? Well, read on!

#1 Invisibility Cloak = Protection
The cloak has kept Harry protected, hidden, and has allowed him to slip from danger. Similarly, the cloak is like God’s wings, where we can be protected, hidden, and kept away from danger.

#2 Elder Wand = Power
This wand was made to be the most powerful wand ever known. Everybody wanted it, yet nobody could handle all the power it contained. Just like God’s power, it is too strong for humans to handle and we are never able to fully grasp it.

#3 Resurrection Stone = Purpose
The stone’s sole purpose is to bring the dead back to life. It is straightforward and not questionable. When you think about it, Jesus’ dying and rising was the purpose of God. And us being children of God, we too have a purpose in God. We all have a destiny, a single road to follow, and we are made for a reason.

So you see, the Deathly Hallows hanging around my neck not only reminds me of the victory of Christ, but it reminds me that I’m protected by God, God is powerful, and I have a purpose in God.

Despite some people saying Harry Potter is evil, I believe that I’ve learned a lot from it and God has a way of showing himself through this fictional story. Only those who live in the religiosity of things will find it hard to discover God in the things around them.