Tuesday, October 27, 2020

How I decide what to read next

Undoubtedly, I am a mood reader. Which makes it challenging to do all the reading one must do in a writing career.

To me, books are kind of like people, and reading like meeting up with them. Can I blame a book for being "bad" if I'm the one who half-heartedly turned up to our date? I've read reviews of books that sounded as if the reader picked them up out of obligation and kind of resented having to read. That's like a relationship destined to fail.

I don't want to read that way. School was the worst matchmaker and kind of sucked the fun out of reading. Few of my English teachers seemed to care about the texts they assigned us too, so it might have been contagious. Now as a sort-of adult type person, my first priority is forming an emotional connection with a book before I even start.

These are the questions I ask:
  • Do I identify, relate to, or sympathise with anything in this story?
  • Do I have a connection to, infatuation for, or admiration for the author or parties this book represents?
  • Will I learn something new or learn to appreciate something I already know in a new way?
  • Will reading this book feel like time well spent?
  • Will this book help me understand or relate better to someone I care about?
How about you? How do you decide what to read next? If you've written your own blog post about it, link it in the comments so I can check it out 😄


Hey, did you know preorders are still open for "The Guy From The Internet"?


Friday, October 23, 2020

Interview with Cheryl St. John, author of "Whisper My Name"

Cheryl St. John's fifty-strong back catalogue is, to say the least, impressive. I'm excited to be interviewing her today about her work and her latest book, "Whisper My Name".

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

New cover for "The Guy From The Flower Shop" (short story)

I'm excited to present a new cover for "The Guy From The Flower Shop".

This short story came out in May, but with the upcoming release of "The Guy From The Internet", I wanted to give this little book a fresh face and shine.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Visiting Romance Lives Forever

Today, I visited Romance Lives Forever to share my upcoming novella, "The Guy From The Internet".

We did that interview a little while ago, but you know what? I'm still a little obsessed with that burger place.

Thank you kindly, Kayelle, for having me!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Guy From The Internet — Preorders now open!

Preorders are now open for "The Guy From The Internet"! And to celebrate, I wanted to share this little excerpt from a very special moment in the story. It's one that reveals a lot about Holly, about her love interest in France, and well... some other things too. Check it out.

Excerpt from "The Guy From The Internet":

But then today happened. I woke up to a message from my mum about not putting her takeaway containers in the dishwasher. Then at work, creepy Richard from IT stopped by first thing to ask if mail arrived for him. Mail never arrives that early in the day, and he bloody well knows it. 
As he sauntered off, the GM of Marketing walked in, discovered her PA had chucked a sickie, and was very unimpressed. She tossed a dictaphone at me, curtly told me not to drop it, then walked away. I wasn’t even halfway through my morning coffee. 
My hands shook as I picked up the stupid little device. Once the people waiting in the foyer got into the lift, I burst into tears. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. It was so embarrassing.
Jedda, my absolute angel, told our manager I’d just thrown up. Bless her, honestly. The team sent me home with a box of fancy tea from our secret stash, but not before Jed grilled me on whether I’d be okay in my apartment all by myself. 
The truth was, I couldn’t wait to get home—away from everyone and everything. I didn’t think I’d be up for streaming tonight, but having something to focus on seems to have calmed me down. 
Well, that and the package sitting next to my monitor. 
I found it waiting in my mailbox when I got back to my apartment. 
You know how something can happen, and suddenly all the crap you were dealing with—no matter how important it felt at the time—just vanishes into thin air? My day was reborn, thanks to this drab padded envelope, with its a French postmark and a Paris return address. 
It’s hard to concentrate on drawing when that package is sitting right there, staring at me while I try to look directly into the webcam. Pretty sure the undo combo on my keyboard is starting to fade. 
But I can’t open it yet. I want to wait for Rin to get home, to get online, then open it with him. 
Is that weird? Am I obsessive? Friends do that kind of thing too, don’t they? Even when they’re all grown up… or supposed to be? Rin’s still not on. It’s later than usual for this time of the week. Not that I’ve memorised his schedule or anything. 
As we get closer to midnight, I end the broadcast and decide I’ve been tragic for long enough. I pick up the envelope and give it a proper shake. Something rattles inside. 
Waiting any longer would be weird now. It would totally send the wrong signal. Like I don’t care. Or that I care too much
I’m definitely overthinking this. 
I grab the rip tab and pull it open. As soon as it detaches from the packaging, a message pops up on my screen.

A hand holding a mobile phone on the cover of The Guy From The Internet by Birdie Song

The Guy From The Internet

A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.

Holly Chee does not have her life together. She’s flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.

But she does have her streaming channel, where she broadcasts her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France… assuming he’s even who he says he is.

“The Guy From The Internet” is a sweet #OwnVoices Asian-Australian romance novella, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

Coming 2 November 2020. Preorder now on Amazon.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Thoughts on culture

My upcoming novella, "The Guy From The Internet", draws from growing up as a first-generation migrant in Perth. It's not true to life, though many of the culturally charged events and exchanges were inspired by real human moments I've experienced, heard about or witnessed.

We're in this dynamic and exciting period where media representation of Asian culture is being called into question (sometimes with vitriol). Admittedly, I struggle even when writing my own culture because of how much Western culture I consumed throughout my formative years... and how much I continue to consume in adulthood.

The casual through politically incorrect label for someone like me is "ABC" (Australian-born Chinese or American-born Chinese), but since I was actually born in Asia, it's also highly inaccurate.

Of course, there's always the charmingly offensive though somewhat more accurate label of "banana" — yellow on the outside, white on the inside. (I don't recommend using this unless you're a close friend!) (I think I've heard "coconut" used before too, since some of us have darker skin than others.)

When we're not splitting hairs, though, ABC/banana refers to a Chinese person who has become Westernised. We speak fluent-enough English with Westernised accents, adopt Westernised values, etc. That's me to a T, even before my family moved to Australia. And we have the media and a Westernised primary school to thank for that.

Growing up, I was never "Asian enough" for the Asian half of my life, while never "Western enough" for the Australian half. This doesn't bother me so much for what other people think, but I do feel a little sad that I never held on more tightly to my Asian roots. Learning language is hard now that I'm not surrounded by it. Learning food feels less personal when it's not my Mum and Grandma teaching me.

My biggest challenge when writing "The Guy From The Internet" was the cultural stuff. Will I represent us right? Am I doing a disservice to "my countrymen", to my fellow bananas, to other racial groups who've had equally frustrating yet very different upbringings?

The truth is, I could never represent the total Asian-Australian experience. I could Google facts til I'm blue in the face, but anything I read online will come with a fair serve of Someone Else's Experiences. And those experiences could be wildly different to mine, which was already so different even to those of my other first-gen migrant friends.

Well, "The Guy From The Internet" is my little contribution to the media mix. It was never meant to be a family culture novella, just a simple online romance. But I guess this is the story that wanted to be told.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Betrayed by Jacklyn Daher (Cover Reveal)

Betrayed by Jacklyn Daher

The Chronicles of Luxor Everstone, #2

Publication date: November 19th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

With the revelation Luxor Everstone is the daughter of the Prince of Darkness, an entirely new door fraught with danger is opened. As Cane is lying in wait, Luxor is forced to have constant protection, leaving her suffocated. 

When new help arrives in the form of a witch, and a mysterious and dreamy boy who seems to soothe her more than anyone else can, she doesn’t hesitate to invite them into her life despite her growing affection for Hunter. 

As fresh dangers loom on the horizon, she begins to unravel different details about her past, while greater powers are introduced, and the others continue to evolve. Conflicted between the pull toward her darkness and her desire to be good, Luxor juggles the priorities—and her opinionated guardians—while trying to find some semblance of balance. 

When the darkness returns to claim her completely, can she trust herself to make the right choice?

I have a lot more social media since the last time here are all of them.

About Jacklyn Daher

A mother of two boys, I’m a self confessed nerd who loves to write dark and twisted characters in modern settings. You could find feisty MC’s and bad boys with filthy mouths. Doesn’t mean I don’t love to read or write saucy romances too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Friday, October 2, 2020

Goals for Oct 2020

"The Guy From The Internet" is only a month away, with pre-orders opening real soon. I must admit, this goal really took me by surprise, as I wasn't expecting to have the edits done so quickly.

So, October is all about prepping for release day. But first, how did September August (because I totally forgot September lol) go?
  1. Send my August newsletter on time
  2. Edit "The Guy From The Internet"
  3. Watch a lovely dovey movie on Netflix
  4. Treat myself to avocado toast 🥑
Yay! 🥳

My goals for October:

  1. Send my October newsletter on time
  2. Finalise the edits and revisions
  3. Share an excerpt from the book
  4. Set up preorders
  5. Finalise typesetting
It's going to be a busy month!

What are your goals?

Latest on my blog

Out Now: The Guy from the Internet

A sweet romance with a touch of family drama.

Holly Chee does not have her life together. She's flip-flopped on uni courses and career choices, and somehow scared off her long-term fiancée-to-be, much to the chagrin of her immigrant parents.

But she does have her streaming channel, where she broadcasts her art from her one-bedroom Mount Lawley apartment. And she has that guy from France... assuming he's even who he says he is.

The Guy From The Internet is a sweet #OwnVoices Asian-Australian romance novella, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

Now available on Amazon in digital and paperback.

Would you like to sample my work?

The Guy From the Library is a sudden puppy short story, free for my newsletter subscribers, available now on StoryOrigin.