What motivates you to write? Writing is a chore for me, but I really wanted my story to be told. Most of my countrymen will not have the chance to be heard, so in my small way I wanted to help let others know about what happened to the people of Cambodia.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? Raising my daughter and allowing her to become the person she wants to be. She has graduated with two bachelor degrees and is currently working towards a PhD in Psychology.
What books did you love growing up? I didn’t have any books growing up, and couldn’t have read them if I did. I loved my school books once I had them though, but that was when I was 18 and they were strictly an aid to the education I had been lusting after for so long. It wasn’t until much later that I could read for pleasure, and I never had a chance to develop a taste for fiction.
What book should everybody read at least once? Any book that shakes them up and makes them do something that counts. I don’t like to mention a particular work, for I don’t think I am qualified to comment.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you? They can say what they like, it won’t bother me. You can tell my Buddhist upbringing didn’t take! If I had to read it ahead of time though, I suppose I would like it to say that I knew what I wanted and I strove to get it. Attaining a goal is less important than the trying.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? This is certainly true and where I grew up is the main subject of my book. I grew up in Cambodia as it went through its darkest period of history. Pol Pot and his cronies did their best to ensure that it was a miserable time for everyone, and unfortunately they were very good at it. I now live in Canberra (Australia) where it is peaceful and quiet.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? I am new to this, but writing such a personal book was very difficult. I had shut away a lot of memories and had to drag each one out into the light and examine it minutely. The process of writing brought those images to the forefront of my mind, and I shed a lot of tears along the way. I still do even now as I write this.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG13