20th November, 2011
Hey everyone! Thanks to all who sent me kind encouragements via email. If only I am half as deserving of your generous compliments! I apologise that it took this long to respond. Excluding some questions that were a teeny bit personal (this is an author’s page after all), I’ll do my best to answer as many queries as I can.
How long have you been writing?
Started writing seriously about a year ago, more or less.
Does writing run in the family?
I do know that I have a few relatives who had a stint with copywriting and journalism. I’m not actually sure if anyone has completed a book yet, though. My parents have passed on to me all the necessary qualities to help develop my skills. My appetite for reading books is apparently a hereditary trait
What motivated you to write?
I’m a typical 90’s kid, (or at least how I perceive one) who comes from an average family. I excelled in school, travelled a lot, wrote fan-fiction, played the electric guitar, and shared outdoor activities with friends. I plan to become a doctor someday. Aside from that I had boyfriends, obsessed over popularity and committed misdemeanours in and out of school which could’ve landed me in juvenile detention. It was a wake up call for me and I realised that nothing I have done so far was concrete enough, was enough to make me happy. So I dabbled in the theatre and painting. I took up baking as a sideline. Despite being old, I learned how to swim and eventually topped the region in my age category. I immersed in literary writing, until I fell in love with the idea of creating meaning of the world around me. And the rest, as you know, is history.
Describe a day in the life of a writer.
Let me rephrase the question, “What is the day in the life of a writer who is also a ‘normal’ teen?” For other teens on a similar path, here’s your guide. Monday through Saturday I’m already cracking before dawn and that requires eight hours of beauty sleep the night before. That means no TV. I have to be opportunistic, which means writing within the few minutes squashed between Trig ratios, house chores, hanging out with friends and competitive swimming. I swapped Teen Vogue for Tolstoy, boy-count for word count, and Coldplay for Chopin. My mum is there to make sure that I keep the ball rolling. And then there’s this website
How long did it take for you to write Empyrean: Legends of Angels?
I began at 17 and I finished the eighteen chapters a year later. Empyrean was a debut novel for me in every sense of the word.
What was your inspiration for Empyrean: Legends of Angels?
The great thing about history is that while the story is already there, it leaves a large room for the imagination to tell the ‘story behind the story’. As a fan of Tolkien, Lucas and Gaiman, it is crucial for me to have a vast number of different species involved and that their origins are as much revealed as their eventual fates.
When can I get my hands on the novel?
So far, I haven’t sought out an agent to represent me because I don’t know anyone in publishing and the website keeps me busy. The two excerpts on the ‘Book’ page were the only ones released publicly while the rest remains hidden in The Vault. Of course, that will change if you clamour for it or if you happen to know someone who can help me bring this baby out.
- Tell me something interesting about the novel.
1. The writing, graphics, and the website are generally constructed on my iPad. I kid you not. If I lose it, I’ll cry myself to sleep in a corner for the rest of my life.
2. The Empyrean novel is part of a trilogy. Originally, it was a six-book series because of its historical scope but it really shouldn’t take that long to kill the bad guy and see justice served. There are some good series out there that do require more than a trilogy, but generally publishers and writers tend to milk a story as much as possible. Here, you’re getting six books in three. Take it! It’s a good deal. Am I starting to sound like a carpet dealer?
3. The original title was ‘Broken Vow’, complete with a different art cover. Unless you prefer otherwise.
4. The series features historical events embedded in high fantasy. You’re being informed while getting entertained.
5. You’ll find everything you need to know about the book represented on all my book covers, even before you turn the pages. For this novel, you have the Ailendron (‘Tree of Heaven’) which is the symbol of Echeleon, the bureau here on Earth tasked to govern the humans and control the bad guys (Caelumairs). Its eighteen branches correspond to the number of chapters, which correspond to how old I am when I finished the book.
6. The two strands on the lion’s chin represent the two major catalysts that push the story along.
7. Each leaf embodies a character in the novel. Yes, fifty two characters may sound rather daunting for a trilogy. Not to worry, the majority of them plays a minor role nevertheless they’re just as interesting.
After this trilogy, what’s your next step?
Two things I can’t wait to jump-start, the next series of books and college. For now, I’ll make a blast out of senior year before the tidal wave of exams arrive.
As this journey carries on, I hope we continue it together.