I’m in a research of writing my first novel. Beside ghost, gun, and girl, what else can we write about Cambodia?
Again, until this day, if we look at books on Amazon and other places, there are not many fiction books from Cambodia.
So far, here are a few Cambodian authors who sell their fiction books internationally on Amazon:
- Vaddey Ratner – Author of In the Shadow of the Banyan and Music of the Ghosts
- Sambath Meas – Author of The Governor’s Daughter
We have a few more Cambodian authors who write non-fiction books such as:
There are a few essential foreign authors who wrote about Cambodia in fiction and non-fiction such as:
- Sebastian Strangio – Author of Hun Sen’s Cambodia
- John Shors – Author of Temple of a Thousand Faces
- John Burgess – Author of A Woman of Angkor and The Stairway Guide’s Daughter
- Kim Fay – Author of The Map of Lost Memories
- Christopher G. Moore – Editor of Phnom Penh Noir
- Mark Bibby Jackson – Author of To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice
And there are many more authors I could not name them all here. But I am probably the only local Cambodian write who self-published books on Amazon. It is not a hard thing to do. I do hope Cambodian authors start to think of big market like Amazon.
My goal is to write a new contemporary fiction, set in our present time. There are a lot of difficult subjects written about Cambodia. We have a dark history, war, genocide and current politic.
I want to look at things differently. But how? That’s the question I am looking for an answer.
There are some books and movies that I will spend the time to read and watch again. I hope those fictions will inspire me to create something new. I believe in my instinct.
I look at fiction books set in Asia and other countries. Here are the books that I will read them to get inspiration in creating my story:
- The Ambassador by Morris West (I read the Khmer translation when I was very young).
- Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin (I like the writing style by using 2nd person. I used this style in one of my short story).
- A Separation by Katie Kitamura
- Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
- The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley
- Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand by Jim Algie
We also have a good online library on classic Khmer novels at elibraryofcambodia.org. That is a very good resources.
I will keep you update on the progress. My idea is to create new characters that will represent our society today. Their issue would be our issues and their solutions would be something to be considered for the future of our country.
I hope you all will enjoy and support this amazing journey. If you recently read any good fiction from Asia, do let me know. I really like to have an idea of what people like to read these days.