Tell us a bit about the book, what is it about?
The book follows the adventures of 108 unique characters from different backgrounds in 63 real-life locations as they interact with each other and explore the world, each in their own peculiar way.
From Vancouver to Lahore, from Melbourne to Osaka. All these places you mention in the book; are places you have traveled or lived yourself in the past?
Most of them are, some I haven’t been to yet but I just thought it’d be nice to write about them.
Why 108 characters?
The idea came from a Chinese novel called Shui Hu Zhuan.
And one of the 108 characters is yourself, is that right?
That’s right. But in a sense, they are all loosely based on my life and experiences. Every time we write, we leave a part of us in our work. I just happened to have left 108 parts of me in this book.
Of all these characters you’ve created, what’s your favorite one?
I really like Kim Manon. There’s definitely something special about her. As if she had written herself through me.
Tell us a bit about Gwen.
Sure, Gwen is loosely based on Anna from Frozen, but I guess every anime has a character like her. In the beginning, she was supposed to be just a comic relief for Ria and help our younger readers get into the story. As the character developed, she ended up becoming an essential part of the story, holding an enormous potential for character development in the future.
Why did you write this book?
After being bored to death and disappointed by most books I read, I decided to take matters into my own hands and write a book that I would like to read myself. That’s funny and interesting. That takes me to different countries. Because of my “multicultural” background I can’ say that I myself belong to this or that country, so I wanted a book that people from all over the world could relate to. But mostly I wrote it to read it myself. If others enjoy it that’s fantastic, if they don’t that’s fantastic too because it wasn’t meant for them in the first place.
Why do you write in short sentences? Same as above, because it’s easier for me to read like that. One sentence at a time. So it’s easier for me to write that way as well.
I heard you traveled a lot before writing this book. Could you tell us the story of your life in a few sentences?
That’s right, I used to travel a lot, I used to be into politics as well. Then it got boring and I turned to psychology, philosophy, and spirituality in a search for the meaning of life. Nothing of that worked so I turned to writing.
And did you find the meaning of life through writing?
No, but I found that life is meaningless and somehow learned to live with that without worrying too much about it and trying to do what I like. At this time, it just happened that what I like is writing.