Yin Leong interview


A little introduction:

I am a former journalist and editor who now writes fiction full-time. My genres are urban fantasy and horror. I grew up in Singapore listening to my mother’s ghost stories. Much of what I write has its roots in that early, formative period.

When did your love of books begin?

While my mother was the storyteller, my father was a reader. I grew up surrounded by books. I really began loving books, though, from the time I learned to read. The words on the pages no longer were a mystery. They transformed into adventures, and mystery, and intrigue. I would shut myself in my room for hours, just reading. It was bliss.

When did you start to have the wish to become an author?

Shortly after I learned to read. A part of me wanted to create my own adventures, not just be part of someone else’s. Around age 7 or 8, I started writing stories and poems. One poem was published in the school newspaper, if I remember correctly.

However, I don’t think I ever finished any of my stories. Something more interesting (at least to my kiddie self) always got in the way. Or maybe it was homework.

How have you found the process for becoming an author?

Although I never finished any of my stories, I always had the urge to write. I took a creative writing class while I was in journalism school in the United States (the University of Oregon). I absolutely loved it.

After graduating, I worked as a journalist and editor for many years in Singapore and Washington, D.C. I finally decided that I would never write fiction if I didn’t make it a priority. I quit my job and started writing. And wrote, and wrote.

I ended up with three draft novels, two novellas, and a handful of short stories. A couple of years later, I submitted one of the novels to two publishers that take submissions directly from authors.

A side note on this issue. I didn’t look first for an agent because of what I’d heard from my author friends. I don’t know whether or how an agent may have changed the course of my writing journey.

The whole process of trying to be traditionally published takes a long time. For some, it can take years. After my novel was rejected by both publishers, I decided not to waste any more time. I struck out on my own and published my first novel, The Geomancer’s Apprentice, through Amazon.

What would you say to those wanting to become an author?

There are many different ways to achieve the dream. Try one method, and don’t despair if it doesn’t pan out. Try something else. It’s worth noting that it takes more than skill as a writer to become a successful author. For example, marketing is a constant struggle, especially for indie authors. I’m still relatively new to the publishing business, and I’m learning more and more about it every day.

Tell us about your book/books:

I’ve published two books in an urban fantasy series featuring a magic system based on feng shui and Chinese folklore. The books are set against the background of a very modern Washington, D.C. My protagonists are Joe Tham, a struggling feng shui practitioner, and his apprentice Junie Soong. They discover, to their horror, that politicians aren’t the only soul-sucking monsters in D.C.

The Geomancer’s Apprentice, the first book in the series, was published in February. I published Book 2, The Forgotten Guardian, in November.

The two books started out as novellas. I ultimately decided to turn them into novels because I felt the characters deserved a fuller telling of their stories. I set the series in D.C. because I lived and worked in the D.C. metropolitan area for many years so I know the area well.

My aim in writing the books is to entertain. I want to take my readers on an adventure. I want them to have fun.

I also published Joss Paper—a collection of short horror stories set in the United States and Southeast Asia—in October. The stories feature some of the folklore monsters from my childhood.

What do you love about the writing/reading community?

I am active in the Twitter writing community. I’m glad I found the group because it’s been very supportive and encouraging. We’re all just writers trying to make it in a very competitive market. Fortunately, most of us view each other as support rather than competition. I would urge budding writers to join the group. Just use hashtags such as #WritingCommunity and #writerslife and we’ll soon find you.

If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?

Thank you so much for reading my stories. I hope you enjoyed them. I hope you want to read more, because I have more tales to tell.

Second, please leave a review, not just for my books but for all the books you enjoyed reading. Reviews help other readers to find the author you love. It will encourage us to keep writing.

Where can people connect with you?

Please visit my author website at https://www.yinleong.com/. You’ll find articles on the concepts and settings in my books.

If you’d like to be included in my email updates, please email me at author@yinleong.com.

Please check out my blog where I write about my love for horror and superheroes. I discuss movies and books, among other subjects: https://www.kampungkreepy.com/

You can also find me on:

Twitter: @kampungkreepy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kampungkreepy


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