Hi all! First, I'm still alive... in case I am lucky enough to have readers who had been checking in for updates. Now that's out of the way...
How time flies! I just realised that my last post was exactly a month ago. I've told myself I'd write regularly. After all, what's the point in telling my would-be-writer friends to trick themselves into writing when I myself can't walk the talk?
Today, 16 September, being Malaysia's birthday, I should really be writing about my wishes for our country but that will be another post. Because today I want to talk about my book.
Footprints was featured as 'Pick of the Week' in DE on on Saturday, 28 August. Readers who can answer three question correctly (based on the book) stand a chance to win a free copy from Penguins/Zenithway, KK.
I wonder who the winner will be because I told my friends about the quiz. Secretly, I hope a total stranger will get the book and I hope he/she will like it.
It's a little unnerving knowing my book is 'out there' and that people are judging me, the person, based on what they've read. Or they're judging the book and they know nothing about me.
Sometimes I ask myself: Does it matter whether or not people like the book? For obvious reasons, yes, it does! When readers like the book they will influence others to buy it and, hopefully, the publisher won't lose money. If the publisher makes a profit, he's rewarded for taking a chance on me, an unknown. If I make any pin money, what joy! But let's not celebrate too soon.
A reader who likes a book he/she has bought will not feel short-changed. It's money well spent. (Haven't we, readers, procured books which now sit in various corners of our homes still unread because we couldn't get past the first three pages?)
Numerous readers have told me how much they liked Footprints. The common comments were: It reminds me of my own childhood... I could relate to what you had to say... I love the humour... You've inspired me to write my own story.
I'm touched by all these especially when they came from young people, my kids' generation, who are actually my 'target' audience (besides people who want to learn about the Dusun culture).
I want to tell them: This is what life was like and I've tried to record it the best way I know how, on behalf of my and my parents' generations. Another writer may have handled the subject differently. And it cannot be denied that the book could be improved further. I could have continued indefinitely to edit the manuscript but I had to stop some time, hadn't I?
Whether people like me or not is out of the equation. As long as no one throws rotten eggs at me, I'm quite happy to have shaped Footprints the way it is because this is the kind of book I like to read: informative, honest and written in simple, everyday language. (Just stating a fact, okay?)
I've met people who said Footprints was the first book they read without falling asleep; or the first book they read from cover to cover; or the first one they couldn't put down. What more could I ask for? Of course I've often wondered if people are only trying to be 'nice' and maybe I should just toss aside their compliments.
However, I also know that it's short-sighted to let praises keep us on cloud nine forever just as it's foolish to dwell on negative comments. Give them our attention; learn from them and move on ... to write a better book!
Thank you to all my readers!