Sunday, 1 June 2014

My featured author for June is Kenneth Lim author of The North Korean

Introducing Kenneth Lim author of The North Korean.
Welcome Kenneth, and thank you for taking part in my featured author spot.

Can you tell me a little about your new book The North Korean?
I liken it to a shooting star taking a long time to reveal itself before disappearing again. I put obscure players from a little-known part of the world under a magnifying glass so that their feats and accomplishments are noticed before being buried in the slush pile of history. The setting, of course, is Choson, known to some as Korea and others as its northern manifestation. The hero, Eddie, is reflective of its people, his hopes, fears and idiosyncrasies very much theirs.

How did you come up with the title?
With the absence of a 38th parallel, no such creature as the title is called, existed then, so I allowed my favourite villain, Lieutenant Colonel Sasaki, to coin the name out of a codebook. In that part of the world, it was honourable to acknowledge a worthy opponent in a distinct way before killing him.

When did you start writing and was it triggered by a specific event in your life?
My father was a prolific writer of articles and the author of a fascinating book called “Romances of Old China,” and I took after him by creating literary pieces of my own from an overactive imagination for my school paper.

What is the biggest source of inspiration in your writing life?
Again, my father deserves credit or blame for inspiring me to write. He told me such amazing bedtime stories, I couldn’t get enough of them. I later came to understand that he was telling me his life story in increments. 

What is your favorite time of day for writing and why?
I would say between 3am and 6am. I would get out of bed after much tossing and turning with ideas demanding to be typed out on my laptop. Then the peace and quiet of the wee hours encapsulate me in a creative bubble.
How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
Or how much fiction goes into real life? Take the ill-starred martial artist Bruce Lee. His action shots had to be slowed down because his moves were just too fast at normal speed to follow. Or take the eyewitness who tempers the telling of a bizarre experience just to be believed. I would say there could be as much real life going into fiction as the other way around. The author, after all, projects himself into the characters he creates. Great answer!!!

What made you decide to become an ‘indie’ [self published] author?
Frankly, I was getting tired of the peacock dance for representation. I thought back to Edgar Allan Poe, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain and wondered why I couldn’t be an “indie” author like they were.

What are 3 of your favourite lines/quotes from The North Korean?
Here are 3 quotes that come to mind.

His entrails tumbled out onto the mat, and he contemplated their significance on a spreading puddle of blood. There was a haiku somewhere in the spilled guts, he thought.
Their passion was deep and dark, like a drug drawing him on to some undisclosed end. With her words, it took on a quality of effervescence, light and airy with the rightness of love, the noblest of emotions.
An acrid, pheromonal stench pervaded Eddie's nostrils, drying his throat, and he recognized the smell of fear.
What languages you can speak and write?
I know a smattering of several languages and dialects, but English is my mother tongue, both in spoken and written form. It was the language used by my parents and pressed upon the rest of us in the family.

What is your favorite book and why?
Off the top of my head, I would say “The Four Guardsmen” by Alexandre Dumas. It was a moth-eaten book in my father’s library that awakened me to a world of wonder and adventure, and I read it countless times as I grew up.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
I would give that honoured spot to my mother who taught me patience, forbearance and eternal optimism. She had “the tiger’s whisker” (look it up in my book).

Do you have a current writing project that you would like to share with us?
I’m currently working on “Deadly Windfall” (a title for the time-being) about a startling discovery on a tsunami-ravaged island, changing the lives of those affected, in many different ways. Certainly, the suicidal New Yorker thrust into the forefront of it all, finds himself with challenges that dwarf his past woes.

Do you have any advice for writers considering writing about very personal subject matter?
Pour out your heart into the first draft. Then you have a solid foundation to build on. Thus rooted, you can do your tweaking and editing while retaining your composure as sincere, passionate and true.

If you wrote your autobiography what would the last line be?
"Like the Legless Fisherman, I’ve lived to tell my tale.
Kenneth, I know many of my readers will relate to some of your answers especially those of us that write in the small hours, and those who are fortunate enough to have been inspired by their parents. I wish you every success with your books.
Sarah Jane
Get your copy of The North Korean at:
You can contact and follow Kenneth on the links below:

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