Virtual Book Tour #8-Benny Platonov by Gupter Puncher

Could you tell us more about your story?

Benny-Platonov by Gupter PuncherMy story is very loose, barely even a story. Young-ish guy in Hong Kong is confused. His confusion latches onto the class system, the rich and the poor, dialectical whatever-it’s-called. He watches the homeless, he tries to talk to them, he follows them and pushes their carts. At the same time, all his friends are moving on and out of his life, so that only intensifies his sense of mission. He grabs a box and determines to live among them then become their writing voice…

Does any of that make sense?

What inspired you to write this story?

There was no inspiration, not really. I just sat around the red-light district too many times and started thinking of a story. I was reading Orwell at the time – ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’ and his essay on how the poor die – and wondered more about Orwell and his position in the novel than the homeless guys. Is he really one of them? Can he change his class? Then I saw ‘No country for old men’ and the killer with the funny hair…can’t remember his name, but he was played by Javier Bardem…and his ideas on fate were interesting to me, so I added them into the mix. Can you change your character after eighteen years [childhood] of structured building?

Not sure if all that adds up, but the real starting point [I guess] was: ‘I want to write a character who is confused and often wrong.’ I wanted his philosophy to be a complete mess and I wanted him to be unlikable. Just like Bukowski’s Hank Chinaski or Fante’s Arturo Bandini. That’s what I wanted to write.

What influences did you draw upon when you were crafting your characters?

That last answer was a bit waffly, so I’ll keep this one short. I used people around me. I listened to how they spoke, what they talked about, and I wrote down whatever came into my head for the rest of it. For their psychology, why they do what they do, I just made it up.

What influences did you draw upon when you were crafting your characters?

I’m useless at description. It bores me so I shun it as much as I can. The way I see it, people have movie images and internet pictures in their heads so they’ll supply most of the description for themselves.

What advice do you have for self-publishing authors/creators?

Do it. Don’t expect huge numbers, but still, do it. Also, make sure you give yourself a fighting chance. If you just whack your book up on amazon and expect people to find it then you are wrong. People won’t find it, they won’t care. You have to have a plan. You have to know your market.

It’s also a good idea to find other writers and start some kind of collective. Give it a cool name, something like ‘Year Zero’ maybe. Then get everyone to help each other out and group-market your books. It makes a much bigger splash than doing it all yourself, which won’t get you anywhere.

One more thing. The internet is a useful tool but it’s also overloaded with budding writers like us, all with websites, twitters, Facebook, whatever else. As a self-published author you have to stand out. You can’t disappear into this mass. Make a website, maybe a Facebook group, but don’t put yourself in too many places. I have no evidence for this, it’s just a whim, but as long as readers have one definite place where they can find you then it’s enough.

To get the readers in the first place I think you have to hit the streets. Go to events, make a magazine, showcase what you’ve got to real people with real faces and get them interested. Then sit back and watch as…well, as nothing happens probably, but give it some time and, if the writing is decent, the readers might come via word of mouth.

All in all, give it at least five years then re-evaluate whether or not you think you can become a writer.

Gupter’s book is available as a free sample or in paperback. Do support him by leaving comments or buying his book in paperback!

Want to be featured as an author/mangaka on the AMWC Virtual Book Tour? Check out our simple guidelines and we look forward to hearing from you! =3

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4 thoughts on “Virtual Book Tour #8-Benny Platonov by Gupter Puncher

  1. As entertaining a post as the book itself…honest to the core…why can’t more writers just say what they want instead of rambling…

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