Ray is the author of the novel “South Morning China Blues” and many other works of fiction and autobiography.
At the moment, he is working on an autobiographical graphic novel entitled “Always Goodbye”. You can follow his progress on Webtoons here:
What does being an indie author mean to you?
To me, being an indie author means being an author by any means necessary. The writing and story-telling and creativity in-of themselves are more important than being part of some big publishing company. Learning to market oneself is key, of course, but ultimately the fact that I’m willing to put myself out there without a big support structure shows that the writing is at the core of being an indie author…
What are your writing quirks and habits?
I used to stay up late writing, because it’s a quiet peaceful time and everyone would leave me alone. I don’t know if it’s a quirk, but that was my routine. But then life happened and I had to change my schedule so I could have somewhat more normal job hours. I still brainstorm a lot at night, write notes and vague scribbly outlines etc., and then I try to put them together into feasible scripts in the early afternoon. Now that I’m working on the Always Goodbye graphic novel, I have a Monday – Thursday system of writing, lettering, drawing, scanning, and photo-editing which ends with two full pages by Friday. Everybody needs a good routine, right?
What else do you love to do besides write and read?
That’s a surprisingly hard question. Much of my free time is spent reading novels and comics. Does watching movies and television count? But even that is still about absorbing a story. I do occasionally enjoy some light video-gaming on my various old school consoles, as well as jog when I have the time. I love music too, finding new sounds and seeing live performances when I get the chance.
Has a particular setting, landscape, or cityscape influenced you?
I am often quite inspired by wherever I happen to live, and work that into my stories. I also try to live in interesting areas. California once influenced me very much, for example. My strongest ever inspiration was definitely the Pearl River Delta region of China, and as I wrote my novel South China Morning Blues I soaked in as much of the vibe of modern China as possible while wandering the crowded streets of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The more of that indefinable unique energy a city has, the more it affects me in ways both direct and indirect.