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Meet Temujin Hu Author of The Rage
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Norm Goldman


Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com.

He has been reviewing books for the past fifteen years when he retired from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here






 
By Norm Goldman
Published on November 29, 2012
 



Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com Interviews Temujin Hu Author of The Rage

                                 



Author: Temujin Hu

Publisher: Badlander Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-578-10800-1


Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest, Temujin Hu author of The Rage.

Good day Temujin and thanks for participating in our interview.

Norm:

What motivated you to write The Rage and what was the time-line between the time you decided to write your book and publication? What were the major events along the way?

Temujin:

The theme of redemption for The Rage was the motivation for writing this story. As I’ve grown in my Christian faith, traveled, met people of various backgrounds, and learned how easy it is to make back decisions, my concept of grace and judgment changed. It started with realizing I was judging people who were doing things that I myself did. Instead of calling people out, I tried to understand their perspective, and doing that opened up a whole new world. People who appeared to be despicable became victims of circumstance, bad advice, betrayal, or any number of forces that compel or drive bad behavior.

The Rage was based on an outline for a screenplay that I toyed around with for the past ten years. The story changed with my expanding concept of grace, ultimately resulting in the theme of redemption for the unredeemable. I believe this message is for everyone, not just Christians, because we all need to look beyond a person’s actions to understand them and truly connect with them.

I picked up the screenplay outline and began writing the novel version in February of this year, quit my job that month with the first two chapters started, and two months later finished the first draft. It took another four months for the editing, rewriting, layout and formatting, and then I self-published. It was after I completed the first draft that I decided to self-publish, and the whole process has been a learning experience. I’ve been writing screenplays on the side for 15 years, not novels, and I didn’t have a clue how to get published when I quit my job. I’m looking forward to completing my second novel using a more refined process for outlining, writing, rewriting, publishing and promoting.

Norm:

Was the writing of The Rage improvisational or did you have a set plan?

Temujin:

I outline extensively because I need to know where I’m going to be able to get there. Unlike some authors, I don’t let my characters tell the story for me, my theme directs the action. However, the outline for The Rage was for a screenplay and not developed enough for a novel; also, I realized along the way that my research was inadequate. Thus, during the writing I had to pause a few times to re-outline a chapter or do a little research. After writing the first draft, I restructured almost the whole first half of the story in order to keep the pace moving—again, this was an example of my lack of experience writing novels. All of this taught me to outline and research extensively before trying to write the first page. I didn’t decide who would survive the end of The Rage until about half way through writing the first draft, but my theme made that decision for me. I was not comfortable doing it this way.

Norm:

How did you go about creating the characters of Roland and Nicolas? Are they based on anyone you know?

Temujin:

Roland and Nicolas are not based on anyone I know. For me, characters are tools to tell the story. I wanted to create a character with a rough background and then destroy him with a traumatic blow that would push him over the edge, and then have him cross paths with a well-to-do character whose perfect life would not only be damaged but turned upside down. I also wanted both of these characters to be likeable, not sociopathic miscreants. From these ideas, I created Roland and Nicolas using my knowledge and experience with depression, psychological trauma and harsh circumstances that lead to bad decisions. The same is true of my supporting characters, Janie, Vanessa and Darlene; they were all created to push the plot and theme forward.

Norm:

Did you know the end of your book at the beginning?

Temujin:

I had a vision of how I wanted things to wrap up, but as I mentioned above, I did not know exactly how to finish telling the story I wanted to tell. The idea was to push two decent human beings into despicable behavior, and then try to redeem them. As I pushed them and pushed them, it became obvious how to best demonstrate the redemption I wanted to express (yet for some reason almost everyone has told me they were surprised by the ending). However, I don’t think I’ll do it this way again. Next time, I’ll outline thoroughly and write a synopsis of the story, including the end, before I start writing. This way, as I write it I’ll direct the characters in accordance with the theme.

Norm:

Has your environment/upbringing colored your writing of The Rage? If so, how?

Temujin:

I come from a family broken with divorce and alcohol abuse, and I was border-line suicidal for about half of my childhood. Struggling with depression and avoiding extreme behaviors is a part of my life. I don’t want to go into too many details, but some of the situations in my writing started with an emotion I’ve experienced that I stretched and exaggerated to tell the story. While I am neither Roland nor Nicolas, I can relate to both of them—even in some contradictory ways. I think that is why I drive them together until they are basically living similar lives. I have felt a connection with people I have almost nothing in common with because I can identify with their emotional struggles, and I guess that’s what shaped much of these two characters and how I told the story. I could very easily have been an extremely promiscuous, drunken miscreant if it weren’t for a few circumstances that were in my favor as a child. This is partly why I kept Roland and Nicolas likeable as they descend into dark behavior.

Norm:

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Temujin:

Dealing with the intense negative emotions in the story is difficult for me. I’ve tried to develop a habit of thinking positively, which clashed with the rougher elements of The Rage. To write the darker parts of the story I ended up allowing myself to sympathize emotionally with the characters. Near the end of writing the first draft, I decided to listen to nothing but positive Christian music to get my thoughts right. I know some people will have a hard time reading the dark moments, and one reader has already told me they won’t be able to read the sequel (the outline and synopsis are finished). But life isn’t always pretty and I had to write it that way. I’m having the same problem with the sequel, but it deals with darkness that I think society needs to acknowledge. Life isn’t always pretty.

Norm:

What do you think makes a good story?

Temujin:

I think a good story engages the audience and pulls them all the way through. This requires characters that seem real on some level and whose actions are compelling, not contrived. How this looks will vary depending on medium, audience, and genre, since interests vary. For instance, He-Man isn’t very compelling to most adults, but to kids he is (was?) extremely convincing as the indomitable hero youth idealize. I tend to read and watch stories from many genres because I enjoy seeing stories unfold. I think where The Rage is most effective is when the audience despises what Roland and Nicolas do, yet they still want to see them find redemption.

Norm:

Where can our readers find out more about you and The Rage?

Temujin:

My WEBSITE  and my BLOG is found there. I tend to blog about my faith and the struggles I see around me, but I’ve been trying to keep it relative to the themes in The Rage. I can also be found on FACEBOOK  and I’m on Twitter at @TemujinHu. If you can spell my name, you can find me online.

Norm:

As our interview comes to an end, what is next for Temujin Hu and is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Temujin:

I’m working on the sequel to The Rage which I’m calling The Chaos and it will take some of the characters into the arena of human trafficking and prostitution. It would be great to get it out quickly, but I won’t have as much free time and I don’t want to rush the writing and storytelling. To get something out sooner, though, I’m also working on a short novel based on my experiences working security in Afghanistan, and I plan to publish it one chapter at a time on my blog.

Norm:

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

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