Thursday, November 27, 2014

A story of THANKS on Thanksgiving

When I decided to publish MY LEA, I've never thought I would need to publish it in different formats other than eBook.

Then one day, I stared at my bookshelf and couldn’t help imagining how great it would feel to have my own copy of MY LEA sitting on the shelf along with the rest of the books from my favorite authors. I decided to make the paperback—just one copy—for myself. Yes, I’m vain like that.
I know I could use Createspace, but I want something different. What can I say? I’m a crazy perfectionist when it comes to beautiful stuff. So I contacted this local printer who has a reputation for printing high-quality books. I told them I wanted to order only one copy, or two maximum.
Because they were polite, they didn’t slam the phone down when they heard my request, but gently told me that a minimum order of 100 must be met before anything can happen. And I went, “One-hundred? Are you freaking kidding me?”

Finally, after arguing (and a lot begging from my part), we agreed on a number that was waaay below their minimum order. I’m so proud of myself for winning this argument.

This story is going somewhere, I promise. I also promise that it has nothing to do with my vanity, my arguing capability, or my stupidity.

I’ve received my mock-up copy last night, and as I expected, the quality of the printing and the paper is flawless.

I put up some pictures of Melly-the-Vain holding MY LEA book before I went to bed. I woke up with more than thirty orders sitting around in my mailboxes and my sites.

HOLY WOW! I did not expect this. I was thinking yeah maybe five, but thirty-two? In one night? And that doesn't include the numbers from my mom yet. (Yes, my mother is the kind of mom who forces her friends to buy her daughter's books. Looks like I need to apologize to some of her friends later.)

If my printing guys were to read this, I’m sure they would punch me with “TOLDYA”, roll their eyes, and double the price for my next order. I have a strong feeling about the latter one.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to say thanks to each and every one of you. To my friends, my readers, and my family—especially to the ones who has bought MY LEA, eBook or paperback or BOTH (my gosh, you are all amazing)—thanks for supporting me. You have no idea HOW MUCH it means to me. Debut authors are like babies. They need a lot of helping hands to hold them up when they start  learning how to walk.
You’re all my precious helping hands and I’m very, very, very, so very grateful.
May God always bless YOU with great success and never-ending love and happiness! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone <3>

*MY LEA paperback will be available in mid-December 2014.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Where does inspiration come from?

I got this question a lot. To be honest, I don’t know the answer. Even if I do, my process of getting there may differ from yours.

Nevertheless, I can tell you this. Always start with something that’s important to you. It doesn’t have to be grand or out-of-this-world proportions. You can get inspiration from the tiniest thing around you. And creation can take many forms. Since my medium is words, I’m creating stories through writing. My daughter’s medium is visual art, so she creates her stories through 3D diorama. My friend’s medium is music, so he creates his stories through songs. You get the idea.  

My son and I had this bedtime routine years ago when he was still a toddler, that each night we would create our own story out of nothing. The story must be original, directly from our heads and not from books or movies. We can be as creative as crazy, because well, it is my story and I can do pretty much anything I want to it. The other great thing is that I was able to get my son’s interest to create along, adding this and that to my totally-just-made-up story. Boy, did we have fun.

In order for me to hold my son’s attention long enough, I must talk about something that I know, something that I have passion for. I need to be convincing. I cannot change the world, but I can influence how my son thinks with my story. No, I’m not talking about the writing part yet. I haven’t even written anything at that time. Growing up as a minority and often subjected to race discrimination, this equality issue matters to me a lot. It still does now. I don’t want my next generation to have to go through this again. I want to teach my kid the meaning of equality—and by default, inequality. I wanted him to learn about harmony and balance. As the result, Rainbow, my first children book, was born that night many light-years ago. As with Big Eyes, my other children book, my emphasis is on similar theme. Being different doesn’t always mean bad.

In everything that I create, I always ask myself, what do I want to say? What’s important about it? And because I’m a parent, I can’t escape this “what kind of message I want to convey” habit. “There’s always going to be a message, isn’t it, Mom, a morale we need to figure out?” I’m quoting my kids here. They say it with sarcastic tones directly to my face.

Ha-ha! Adorable. Not.

Notice that when you talk about something that’s important to you, you’ll turn passionate, you’ll be honest, thus making your voice more genuine. Don’t worry about the technicality of your creation at this point. Don’t worry about lots of things at this point. Just look inside of you and get what you want to talk out in the open.

For me, that is inspiration.

 *Follow my blog for a weekly post about writing stuff that may—or may not—be useful to you J. If you think it’s useful, come back next Friday, okay?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MY LEA Release Day

My Lea, my debut novel is released worldwide TODAY! I’m officially an indie author and proud to be one. I imagine holding out a toast. “Here is to FIRST step.”

This is a monumental moment for me, both as a person as well as an author. As you might know, English is not my first language. It took me two hours to write this post; it took me three years to write a full-length novel in English. I’ve driven my editors and proofreaders mental (so sorry) coz they had to deal with more mistakes found in my script compared to the ones written by American, British, or Australian authors.

Putting my work out there in the unknown world is risky. And scary as hell. Some people might love it, some people might hate it. Some people might hate it with a passion!

Am I crazy? Absolutely. Believe me, up till last night, I still entertained the idea of cancelling the whole thing because THAT would be a lot easier to handle. But, again, everyone has to start somewhere and I need to finish what I started. Might as well be here and now :)

My biggest hope with the release of MY LEA is that I could inspire others—kids, young people, middle-aged people, aspiring authors, dreamers—to have faith in themselves. Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail. Focus on elements you can control (writing, producing, and having fun); forget the ones you cannot (worrying about what other people think).

Before we start, please spend a moment in reading this warning.

*MY LEA is a New Adult Contemporary. It’s not a children’s book, not a chicklit, and not a YA either. This book is NOT suitable for readers under 18 due to mature language and content. As two of the reviewers brilliantly put it in their review page:

“Don’t go into this expecting a normal romance, expect to read something a bit uncomfortable that you won’t easily forget.”

“… if you want something unforgettable and takes the word “angsty” into a different level, you don’t need to wait that long.”

So, here is the link to MY LEA in some of the sites. I do hope you guys will enjoy it and understand the underline message I tried to say in MY LEA. I’m using my sixth sense to persuade you to love it… not really… well… maybe I did (evil laughter). 
Appreciate if you’re willing to leave a review on the sales sites or Goodreads afterwards :)

Kobo (Worldwide distribution)

Inktera Page Foundry (Worldwide distribution)


Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia
Amazon Japan
Amazon India
Apple iBooks

Scribd (Worldwide distribution)

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