Exclusive Interview with
Dr Andrew C S Koh
Let’s start with your Career as a writer!
When did you start writing?
What makes writing your passion?
My passion in writing started with an inspirational spark from God when I was lying in a hospital bed 2 years ago.
How long have you been writing?
2 years ago.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I felt a sense of accomplishment. achievement, satisfaction, thankful, joy, grateful, humbled, motivated, rewarded, and encouraged. It was like a dream came true, or a marathon race completed. To realise that after many hours of hard work, and finally made it to the finishing line was an indescribable feeling!
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I do not have characters because I am not a fiction or novel writer.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Writing is expensive, labour intensive, time consuming, lots of revision, rewriting, proof reading, formatting and reformatting, difficult to get noticed, difficult to promote, and sell, difficult to overcome the initial learning curve.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
Tips for getting over the writer’s block are rest, recreation, refresh, recharge, reactivate, a long walk in the park, holidays, retreats, attend workshops and seminars, and going out with friends.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
What makes me going is inspiration. passion, determination, drive, motivation, perseverance, persistence, and following God’s will. New authors should not be afraid to start and should not give up too easily. If you set your hearts and minds into it, you will get there. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I will say to my younger self, “start writing, do not procrastinate, do not waste time. Time wasted is time lost. Make good use of your time, energy and resources”.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes, I always read my reviews as soon as I get them. When I get a bad review, I will analyse it carefully to see where are my weaknesses and improve on them. I do not bad reviews too personally. I appreciate good and honest reviews even though they may not be good. Bad reviews can be a blessing in disguise if taken with the right spirit. Constructive criticisms are healthy and are good learning opportunities.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I felt elated, satisfied, happy, joyful, grateful, thankful, encouraged, motivated, rewarded, and humbled.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
I am not a novel writer but I wrote on real life incidences in my autobiography, “Memoirs of a Doctor”.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I don’t have characters because I am not a fiction or novel writer.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Yes, the book cover is as important, if not more important than the story. The cover is your first point of contact. Use the cover as your hook, line, and sinker. Get readers attracted to your book the moment they see your cover! Readers will judge your book by its cover. A cover will make or break your book. A professionally created cover is an important part of the project.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I don’t mind chatting with my readers. I connect with my readers on social media to build a long lasting relationship with them. This is a good way to grow, understand, and connect with my followers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I will feel happy, satisfied, accomplished, joyful, motivated, grateful, thankful, humbled, rewarded, appreciated, and encouraged.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favourite author was Mark Twain. He was a classic, novel writer of the yesteryears, and an excellent communicator. I like his writing style, stories, expressions, rich imaginations, plots and subplots. His characters were usually based on real people including himself. Tom Sawyer was actually Mark Twain and Huckleberry Finn was his real life buddy.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
My dream is to write and publish more books. I have 28 book in my portfolio. My next target is 30.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Yes. I will revisit and rewrite new, updated versions when the time is right. After many years, there may be new things to be added and revised to bring the book up to date.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
Hopefully this will not happen to me. This is not a good experience for any writer. I may have to ignore them if this is possible.
What would you say to your readers?
My advise to my readers out there is, “read widely and write a lot. Do not procrastinate. Support authors and buy their books. Start writing your book! Start learning the ropes of writing and publishing”.
Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I lived with my wife in Ipoh, the capital city of the state of Perak in Malaysia. God had blessed me with 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law, 5 grandsons, and 5 granddaughters.
What is your day job if you have one?
No. I am a retired medical practitioner since 2 years ago.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
My hobbies are photography, traveling, and reading.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes I had a happy and well balanced childhood.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
An accident and a near death experience 2 years ago made me realise that life is very fragile. At that moment, God inspired me to write books a legacy for my family and future generations.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?