In my entire life, I resisted being part of any organisation. I refused to get a job, dropped out of grad school, precisely because I felt suffocated by having to follow rigid rules and code of conducts that suppressed my creativity. The moment I felt I wasn’t expressing myself, I would just drop out of projects although I am on the verge of finishing them. My life has been about running away from getting dominated. Or dominating others.
Even my blog, videos, and books are about resisting organisation and going undercover, into espionage mode. I was a very curious child, I would read tons of books to find ou the answers to life and of course reading more equates to more questions instead of answers. I designed my life in a way to avoid being committed to any organisation and would go rogue if I am forced into one, including relationships with men.
I spent years travelling in different types of accommodation – five-star hotels, sofa, backpackers hostel. I tried them all. I did not want to be confined to just one type of life, I wanted to experience life from different perspectives. I dated guys from rich and poor families, and tried to elope with my bf in Australia but failed. I still speak to my cousins on a regular basis although they are doing very different things in life from what I am doing, I still prod them and ask them what is life next for them?
I had put myself on the fringe of society to examine society from the outside in. But I don’t feel belonged to any one society or any country. My identity is not related to where I studied, done or did. It is fragmented and each piece of me belongs to a different part of the world I had visited, and it continues to expand as I explore new boundaries.
I reside nowhere and belong nowhere. I am not part of just one organisation, but many organisations. I refuse to stay in cliques and prefer deep one on one conversations. I am not the sum of one, but the sum of many. For this, I give the world my perspective but my perspective is one of the many perspectives and it is not the “real” or “truth”. It is for each to discover through the journey of the characters I created in my Scarlet Queen Universe.
The underbelly of China’s economic success juxtaposed with the decline of America are the themes I explore in the Blue Orca. I would regard the Hourglass Series as my thesis on the reality of the world we live in today. Pre-order now at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1MPRCI
Blue Orca is written from Mimi point of view. As part of my research for the novel, I had spent hundreds of hours watching documentaries and reading up about China. Similarly to what I had done for Red Hourglass, which was written over the span of four years and two trips to New York, I try to make fiction as close to reality as possible.
I had been to Beijing twice, and Shanghai once. My favourite lake in the world is in Hangzhou West Lake. I would happily retire by West Lake writing chinese poetry. I dread Hong Kong as I feel very uncomfortable in small spaces.
I used to only be able to write dialogue between two people and that itself is a challenge. Now, I had upped my game to have dialogue conversations between three people or more. I would attribute dialogue writing as my greatest flaw. Instead of four years, I had given myself one year to publish Blue Orca. Insane, I know. But possible.
I stumbled upon this documentary today. Emma’s voice is ringing in my head. It is about Chinese female orphans adopted overseas. In my dream life, I would foster and adopt children in future. It’s writing about this topic that moves me greatly to want to eventually turn my attention to orphanages – by giving women a voice and chance in life that they would not have otherwise experience. I hope my books will eventually draw more attention to these social issues and end the suffering of children.
The Red Hourglass by Scarlet Risque is now ranked #962 Free in Kindle Store. Considering there are thousands of free books published daily, it is quite remarkable the book has climbed the ranks so quickly. This is probably based on 173 free ebooks downloaded on 08 Nov (Sunday). Maybe people read more books on Sunday compared to other days? I could only imagine that book downloads will soar towards holidays such as Christmas periods.
I am quite zen about my results, I don’t feel any attachment to the emotion of my book downloads. Some days are high, some days are lower. I am in a contented stage. I did my best work, in a limited time.
I am still under 30 years old and I had released my debut novel. I don’t have anymore things in my life that I feel are more difficult. I think publishing a book is harder than graduating from college or starting a successful business (which I both did but felt dissatisfied with my life).
I had to fight my inner demons on a daily basis while writing. I had eccentric mood swings leading up to publication. I had to shed my old beliefs to welcome my new mode of living by turning full time in my artistry. I had reached a state of zen.
Another way to describe this emotion is like having climbed Mount Everest. Okay, I climbed the highest mountain. I have no more urge to climb anymore mountains. I had done it. All I have to do now, is maintain my momentum and continue writing the sequels and spreading the message. I have the people around me to thank for (especially my editor, Tara Keogh), and my fans who continue to support my work, that makes this viable for me to continue pushing on this state of zen.
The day has not ended for Nov 04, so the graph only shows the units sold on Nov 03 and not Nov 04.
I am really excited that my book is climbing up the ranks so fast, I hope readers find themselves and their truths through the Hourglass Series. Here is a video of me reading the introduction to the Red Hourglass (book trailer).
I took a one month vacation and gained new perspectives on how to go about in my future endeavours as a professional artist (defined as: one who works full time at her craft). I have a schedule which I tabulate the number of hours I spend a week on my artistry, which amounts to about forty hours a week. It’s a full time job almost – just that I do not have a boss or fixed pay check at the end of the moment. I do not have much financial rewards. However, there is a secondary kind of reward – fan mail from fans, recognition, and overall satisfaction of life, which I had been receiving since I resumed filming and writing.
I am on the final stretch of revising and checking for the final edits on my novel, the Red Hourglass. It’s like almost a devotion to a religious manuscript at this point. I have to remember, and find out what is working and what is not working. I had identified some small weaknesses, but overall I feel quite happy at the end product at the moment. It’s only one month left till publication and the amount of edits I can do is limited at this point.
The difference right now between the original first draft to this final draft is that I feel an adrenaline rush reading it. It’s like being in a race almost. It has a thriller like quality to it. It’s like a movie on fast speed. I had NEVER imagined my novel to be this, from where I started – it has exceeded my expectations. There is a saying “write what you do not know” to stretch your imagination. If you are in New York, write about what if you were living in Los Angeles. Precisely because of that, I think I had been driving my imagination crazy about writing in a context of a place I am not situated at.
One of my beta readers feedback is that the final draft is like “being on an adrenaline rush without coffee.” I had admittedly, probably consumed about a thousand cups of coffee to write the Red Hourglass. Maybe it’s the the sum of my mental hardcore process of condensing many things in a few words. When I read it now, I recall several memories here and there – when I wrote it, sometimes about my own life, sometimes what I watched or replayed to study (character studies), etc. It’s like reading what I did four years of my life in one book.
There are many people who dream out there to write their own novel, having almost finished my first novel, I have this to say – just do it. Just sit down and write. No one is going to push you to do it. Just do it because YOU want to do it. The process is fun, and the end product is satisfying. I would attribute the completion of my novel is the major milestone in my life. It’s not even about my graduation day that was my milestone – it is this. This is the ONLY thing I did for myself in my life. I graduated from university because I was EXPECTED to graduate. There is a difference in that.
As I go about two more weeks of final changes, I have to say I am very excited for the launch of the Red Hourglass on 30th October 2015. The day before Halloween
I am writing to say, I have decided upon several things.
I have neglected you for so long, that I feel like a serious underachiever.
I am returning back to you, because only you make me feel sane.
The crazy others out there, they just want to watch me burn.
I love being you, AVERRAL.
You are hot with your red bass guitar
You rock my world with your melodies
Your poetry, it feeds my emptiness.
I am only complete with you, without you. I am nothing.
You are my superstar. My one and only true love.
You create worlds that I can’t imagine
You torment me daily with your brilliance
That I am just a shadow of the system that forces me
To make ends meet, to keep you alive.
At the expense of the daily torture
Of not submitting to your wishes
To be the artist you desire.
It pains me to see you unable to be yourself
You are my lady, my mistress of pain
I saw the insignia of the black widow spider
The deadly red hourglass tattoo
Behind your back
I am warned now.
That is why, I submit to you fully.
Before you decide to kill me.
My lady, you are free now
To do what you please
You can whip me into submission
If I ever use my logical senses
And think of doing what is “right”
You give me a new meaning
To do what is perceived as wrong.
I don’t care anymore
I will be you.
She is releasing a novel (Hourglass Series) yearly and weekly YouTube videos. She does experimental flash fiction on this blog, along with song, movies and character analysis using historical and literature references.
One Million Views on Scarlet Queen YouTube (2015)