Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My Interview with Ivy Ngeow is in Blue Lotus 13

My interview with Ivy Ngeow, author of Cry of the Flying Rhino, winner of Proverse Prize and Heart of Glass, has been published in Blue Lotus 13pages 8-17.

Also appearing in the issue:  

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My interview with Preeta Samarasan, author of Evening is the Whole Day, was published in Blue Lotus 12, pages 8-21.

Borneo Expat Writer

My other interviews with First Novelists

Golda Mowe author of Iban Dream and Iban Journey

Chuah Guat Eng, author of Echoes of Silence and Days of Change. 

Also, Malachi Edwin Vethamani, author of Complicated Lives and Life Happens.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Awards—2018 Finalist for Novel: The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society recently announced the short list finalist; although I missed out, The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady was named a finalist and three other novels semi-finalist.  This year they had 438 novels, 98% from the US.

The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady had been a finalist in their 2014 and 2012 contest, a Quarter-finalist in 2012 Amazon Breakthrough, and won fourth place in 2008 National Writers Association novel contest), though under a different title.  Over the years, while rewriting the novel, I went back and forth over the title.

Originally it was The Lonely Death of Jonathan Brady.  Although his death was the culmination of the novel, at that point, the novel was more about his “affair”, so I changed the title to The Lonely Affair of Jonathan Brady.  After rewriting the novel, overhauling it completely, I changed the title to The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady.  Although the novel opened with his death, I resurrected his life by examining it, the year-long events that led up to his death, followed by his spiritual “resurrection” after his funeral.  Then I switched the title again and simply called it The Lonely Affair.  Nice and simple I thought, but then I rethought that the following year because the novel was not just about the affair, so I went back and forth between The Lonely Affair of Jonathan Brady and The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady.  Finally I hit on a perfect compro­mise, which fully encapsulates the novel since it’s about both:  The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady.

Here is the synopsis:

          During Cabrina Chaval’s debut in The Magic Flute, Jonathan Brady was only sixteen years old, too young to understand the implica­tions of that look — the way she poured out her heart, her soul to him.  Twenty-two years later, she bumps into him and invites him to paint her house.  Yet Jonathan knows her true intentions.  She wants him to rescue her from her failing marriage so they can be together.
          Through a series of coinci­dences, Jonathan is convinced that Cabrina Chaval is not only pursuing him but also deeply in love.  Because of her prominent position in society and the fact that she’s married, Jonathan accepts that their love, for now, must be kept secret.
Recap­turing the innocent love between two sixteen year olds and coming to terms with the loss of a domineering mother, Jonathan Brady’s delusion takes him through five distinct stages of love — Heightened Aware­ness, Playful Pursuit, Courtship and Romance, Jealousy and Sus­picion, Reconci­liation and Acceptance — all unbeknown to Cabrina Chaval.
After some soul-searching about the state of her marriage, Cabrina Chaval resurrects Jonathan Brady’s life and, in the process, elevates his love for her to its penultimate stage — Eternal Love.
              —Borneo Expat Writer