Robert N. Chan’s latest novel, girl, has recently been published by Second Wind Publishing. Apart from writing novels he is also a successful lawyer. I hope you enjoy reading his answers to my 20 questions below:
1. Tell us a bit about your latest publication.
In my novel, girl, a trusted member of her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community rapes fifteen-year-old Hannah in the back room of a Brooklyn kosher butcher shop. Unwilling to succumb to her parents’ demand that she blame a homeless black man, she runs away. Alone and armed only with an indomitable spirit, a quirky sense of humor, and an unyielding intolerance of hypocrisy and injustice, she must make her way on the mean and unfamiliar New York City streets. It takes her 20 years to find redemption and discover her life’s true calling.
2. Are you working on anything new at the moment?
On My Knees, a smart, sexy legal thriller with a sense of humor about a sixty-six-year-old arthritic baby boomer battling against old age, a right-wing fanatic bent on hobbling efforts to save the environment, and a left-wing terrorist organization claiming to be his creation.
When lawyer and failed novelist, Jack Kahn, is abducted by No Such Agency, he discovers that his novel, in which an investment banker is murdered, has been copied in real life. Offered an unusual case involving cyber warfare that will make his fortune, Jack soon finds himself up against shadowy forces. Will Jack be their next victim, or author of his own downfall?
3. Do you think it is a good idea for Indie authors to submit their manuscripts to small publishing companies? What advantage is there for the author in doing this?
Sure, it sounds better to have a publisher than to be self-published.
4. Which social media do you find is the most successful in helping to promote your books?
None. It all seems to be a waste of time, energy, and hope.
5. Do you think paid advertising on social medial helps to sell books?
6. How does writing compare to being a successful lawyer for job satisfaction?
Both have their ups and downs. The money is better in law. Law is terrific when you have a good case, for a good client, a smart judge, and a skilled adversary. It is less terrific as each element drops out.
Writing is terrific when the words flow, and it is less so when they don’t.
7. Do you carry out research for your books before you start writing, or do you just write from the heart?
I research as I go, and write more from my head than my heart.
8. Whereabouts in the world is home to you?
New York, New York; so nice they named it twice.
9. Who is your favourite author?
This week it is Edward St. Albun and Nick Hornby.
10. What is your most prized possession?
I’m not emotionally connected to any possessions. It’s nice to have a coat when it’s cold.
11. What is number one on your bucket list?
Yikes, I don’t have a bucket list. As I want to do something, I do it. I would like to live long enough to have a bucket list, though.
12. Apart from your work and writing, what else interests you?
My eighteen year old son, my wife, my tennis game, and my friends. I’m actually not quite as boring as I sound.
13. Which single piece of music would you want with you on a desert island?
I suppose Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.
14. Could you cope alone on a desert island, or do you need people around you?
It’d be nice to have a laptop and the Internet.
15. Do you think there is a spirit world existing on a parallel plane?
Nope. This is it; this is all. Make the best of it.
16. Are you practical? Can you change a car tyre?
I am and I have, but I don’t own a car.
17. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I’d have eternal life and others wouldn’t. Oops, that’s two things.
18. Where were you on 9/11?
In my office. I saw the plane flying low down Fifth Avenue.
19. For you, is the glass half full or half empty?
20. Where will you be going on your holidays this year?
My son wants to go to China, otherwise I’ll be in our beach house on Fire Island. Actually I may be just as boring as I sound.
Thanks Robert for your answers, and believe me, you don’t sound boring at all!