Wednesday 6 November 2013

Author Interview – John H.T. Francis @JohnHTFrancis

1. How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I look them straight in the face; I do not hide them in my psyche waiting for better days, and I do not try to deny them. For me, staying truthful to myself is one of my most cherished values. It is not always easy and I do sometimes have bad days; but at the end, I think I emerge as a stronger person, internally that is.
2. Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what doessuccess in writing look like to you?
I think this goes to the original premise of why I write – I write to make a difference for the better. Whenever I clearly perceive that I am making this difference through my writing, I will consider myself to have succeeded as a writer. For me, it is not about a certain number of copies sold or a certain number of books published, and it is certainly not about the money; it is about the impact of my writing on the realm of human ideas and opinions. I care about making people think better and deeper.
3. What’s your weakest character trait?
It may come as a surprise to hear this from someone who likes to deal with ideas, philosophy, and history, but my weakest character trait is actually my impatience. Since a young age, I have been impatient for results, for things to happen. I guess with age this has mellowed down a bit, but I still go through whiffs of impatience from time to time.
4. Have you always enjoyed writing?
Actually no… I have developed my writing skills as I grew older. When I was young, I cared more about ideas and science more so than about writing them or communicating them in the most optimal manner. With time, the more I felt strongly about communicating my ideas, the more I developed a genuine enjoyment towards writing. It started as a need and ended up as one of my greatest enjoyments!
5. What motivates you to write?
I write to try to make a difference for the better. For me writing is about communicating ideas in a long-lasting manner. Writing remains one of the most balanced and lasting ways of spreading ideas even in our days of rich media content. Whenever I feel strongly about a particular subject, I write about it. Whenever I witness something that troubles me and I think I can contribute to fixing it, I write about it.
6. What book should everybody read at least once?
I think everyone should read at least once a comprehensive book of history. And ideally one should read it when he/she is mature enough or old enough to appreciate the details of history. Long-term history always gives perspective and insights that take us all beyond the narrow environment we might live in. Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy is a great book about the history of ideas from Antiquity to our modern ages; it lacks some great names of modern philosophy but it is still greatly instructive nonetheless.
7. Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes I do. I will only write on topics that I feel are important and on subjects that I consider myself qualified enough to write about. From this perspective, I think I have some stuff in store, but when they will be ready to be shared is more difficult to say at this stage.
8. What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Oh it is marketing, by far… In our days, you could say that self-publishing is revolutionizing the publishing industry, and technology makes it so much easier to put something in writing and publish it. The flip side however is that the market is flooded every year with books in different genres; standing out and explaining why your work is really worth the attention of the readers is the difficult part. Even the best written books can fail in our current times, not because they are at the mercy of particular publishers dominating the industry, but because of the crowded industry book publishing has become.
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Genre - Philosophy, Non-Fiction
Rating – G
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