Kent Hung, the author of Letting Go, released his book in May 2019. We wanted to catch up with the new author and see how life had been treating her since he was published.
- Did you always dream of becoming an author?
Since I was little I have always enjoyed reading and listening to people’s life stories and liked the process of creating characters in my head, imagining what they are like and developing a storyline around them.
Before writing this novel, I published eleven articles on food for an expat magazine while working in Brussels, Belgium. I was told that I am a good storyteller but never got so far as thinking that one day I would be able to write a novel and become an author. It has been a very rewarding, exciting and humbling experience.
- What was your first job?
My first job in life was a son to my parents. But most importantly, also being a grandson to my paternal grandparents, as I grew up with them and lived with them till I was about seven ready to enrol to school. Their Confucian values and Buddhist beliefs were imprinted as the foundation of my being and guidance in life.
- How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I have lived in many countries and met many people who shared their life stories with me. These stories that I have encountered have enriched my appreciation of life. In autumn 2016, I attended a friend’s housewarming party in Copenhagen. Woken up from a sleepless night with a banging headache, I was suddenly enlightened with an idea of a novel, and all the storylines and characters just emerged in my head.
- What was your life like before you became an author?
I worked full-time and travelled quite a lot for work. Life was more hectic and eventful.
- Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
Initially, I thought I was writing a short story but when I managed to write the first 130 pages I submitted two chapters to a few literary agents and of course they all rejected my submission and one agent event wrote back and say that there is not enough time and money in the world to make this novel work. Actually, I wasn’t too bothered about the comment and in fact it inspired me to improve it. Thankfully, I had a great deal of encouragement from friends and, over two years, I've developed the characters and the storyline for "Letting Go" which is now a 310-page novel.
- Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
Actually not much has changed. At times I still feel that I am at a crossroad but one thing that is different is that I now feel that my feet are standing firmly on the ground. I feel that I have a voice and able to use the first novel as my starting point for imagining future dreams. I would really hope to turn my novel into a film script and that it became a motion picture one day.
- Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
I work as consultant and now work only part-time because I want to devote my time to my second novel. I work from home so I don’t have to face morning traffic or rush or dealing with office gossips and politics. I often work only in the morning and then take a long walk in the afternoon while developing storylines and characters in my mind.
- What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
When I received the proofread version back in February 2019 and it was the first time in over a year I read from the beginning to the end. I was surprised how much I was touched by the story lines and characters in my novel. It was almost reading someone else's work and an experience I will never forget.
At first, it was about a disheartening relationship which forms between the main character Andrew and his son’s friend Justin. Then I was also surprised how the storyline became more about the struggle of finding self-acceptance and learning to let go of self-inflicted pain and guilt. I am glad and proud to have raised awareness of this topic, especially for men as men don’t often talk about their emotions and the character Andrew is no exception. I would like this book to reach a wide audience and hope that readers will see that it is ok to share with your friends, family and colleagues about grief and losses in life and that it is important to make allowances for others but mostly for themselves.
- In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
I received an email from Pegasus Publishers in December 2018 saying that my manuscript had been chosen to be published and at first I thought it was a mistake. I went to Cambridge and met with the team in January 2019 where I also signed the contract. I am very pleased with my experience with Pegasus Publishers. Each step of the process was explained to me and the team was supportive and professional.
- Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
Because the face-to-face meeting in January 2019 went well and I felt confident with the team.
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