Today on the blog, I’ve got a very special guest! Give a warm welcome to Tuan Ho! Author and blogger extraordinaire, Tuan hales from Australia and writes intriguing science-fiction stories. He’s here today to share his journey as a writer and author with us. Without further ado, I’ll let him take over!
(Tuan) Here it is finally! My long-awaited interview responses to coincide with my KDP promo of my short story, The First and Last.
(LM) When did you know you wanted to be a writer/author, Tuan?
(Tuan) As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a movie director (and still do) so I enrolled myself in a screenwriting course about 4 years ago. My screenwriting teacher turned out to be Tim Ferguson (Australia’s Howie Mandel and also a huge Star Wars fan) so the classes were tons of fun.
After that, I spent a year doing a media course which didn’t allow me to write much, but it did allow me to create ideas, and these ideas lingered in my mind for years before I finally sat down and started writing—I had to—I was now enrolled in a professional writing and editing course. The first story I wrote in that course was The First and Last (which is now FREE on Amazon). I received fantastic reviews for it. It was a wonderful feeling and that’s when I realized: I want to be writer!
(LM) What made you decide to self-publish?
(Tuan) Well, literary journals and competitions weren’t accepting my work so I said, “What the heck, might as well!” I also came across a lot self-publishing success stories and was astonished at the amount of money some authors were earning. I wanted a piece of the action. If I can sit at home all day and write and write while 6 digit checks come in each month—that would be WONDERFUL!
(LM) Out of your stories, which is your favorite and why?
(Tuan) That’s a tough one. There are about four of my stories that I really do love equally, but I would have to go with A Star In Time, which I published on Amazon just days ago. It’s a story where I really let my imagination run wild and to top it all off—the story was featured in a sci-fi anthology last year.
(LM) What fictional book did you read growing up (or as an adult) that changed your life? Which book was it and how did it affect you?
(Tuan) From the age of 12 to 18, I only read about 4 or 5 books, which were mandatory ones I had to read during my high school. I started reading daily again once I began writing, and being a huge fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey the movie, I decided to read Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. And it blew me away—it’s such an astonishingly well-plotted and masterfully written book. It’s a shame Clarke’s later novels couldn’t quite measure up.
The most recent book that had a huge impact on me (and still lingers in my mind right now) is The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. It has such a ridiculous plot that all leads to an ending which caught me completely off guard. I had to wipe tears from my face as I read the last few pages. It’s an incredibly beautiful and profound tale. Vonnegut is such an exquisite writer and has definitely influenced the novel I’m currently writing.
(LM) What are your biggest challenges as an author?
(Tuan) Deciding what to do with my millions once I become a bestselling author. I’m not really sure if I need eight jetpacks—I think three will do. Once I can work all that out, I’ll give the rest to my parents, friends, relatives, and charities.
(LM) How do you face those challenges and strive to succeed in the face of difficulty?
(Tuan) You’re absolutely right. Deciding on whether I really need eight jetpacks instead of three is one of life’s most difficult decisions. I don’t envy other authors who have faced the same dilemma. But what can you do? I guess you just spend each day like it’s your last day without a jetpack and appreciate every second of it.
(LM) Do you have any tips for writers who are looking to publish their work?
(Tuan) Aim to do something wild and literally—out-of-this-world. Build or buy yourself a jetpack and fly as high as you can then pray for some space aliens to abduct and take you to their home planet. Once you’re there, savor every moment of your anal probing and/or weird bodily intrusion so you can write about it once you come back to Earth (if you come back). Then contact me. I’ll read about your experience and then give you some tips on how to be a better writer.
(LM) Do you have a dream “writing space”? If so, what would it look like?
(Tuan) I would love to be somewhere HIGH UP, preferably a mountain peak or a space station so I can look down on the world and be inspired as the ‘awe’ particles enter my system. Most of my ideas come into being when I’m in a very relaxed and peaceful state. And it’s also an excuse for me to be out in space.
An example would be this photo:
(LM) Who is your favorite author? Why?
(Tuan) Another tough question. Arthur C. Clarke is the one I’ve read the most (I’ve read heaps of his short stories, 5 of his novels, and currently finishing off a 6th) but none of his novels had an impact on me like Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan. So for now, Kurt Vonnegut would have to be my favorite author because The Sirens of Titan is seriously a stunning piece of fiction.
(LM) What writing projects are you currently working on?
(Tuan) I’m currently working on a novel that’s based on a short story of mine titled, Give Me My Refund, Dickhead. I’ve written about 7,000 words and aim to finish it before July 4th (my birthday) at the very latest. Once that’s out and is selling millions of copies, I’ll begin writing the sequel. If none of this pans out like I expected, at least I’ve got Pacific Rim to look forward to—it’s that badass-looking Guillermo Del Toro-directed movie where giant effin’ robots fight giant effin’ monsters. What more could you ask for from a movie?
Places to find Tuan’s Books and Tuan on the interwebs:
>> My short story, The First and Last is now FREE to download on Amazon until March 8th 2013. (Grab it quickly, people! Last day is tomorrow!)
>> Amazon Books
(Tuan) Thanks once again, L.M.! Have a lovely day,
Thanks so much, Tuan, for visiting my blog today! It was a pleasure having you on! Lovely readers, you should definitely grab Tuan’s free eBook and check out his blog, social media, and other works!
Happy Thursday! Stay tuned tomorrow for an interview with one of my sponsors!