I have always wanted to write a novel that would show how and why people do not listen to one another. A book about human differences. Those subtle, individual differences, not the obvious diversity resulting from gender or cultural background. I tried it when writing “Lost in Tokyo”, but what came out was a completely different different story. Then came a prolonged (1 year) Writer’s Block… Then I met Monika Borek, a Polish author living in Singapore, and the block split and sunk (with a bubbly noise).
When planning this book Monika and I intended to show that the same events observed by two persons – in this case a man and a woman, the two narrators – are seen, understood and remembered differently. Thus demonstrating the nature of the subtly different perception of reality by a man and a woman.
Not very politically correct, you might say, in an age when you are supposed to be color-blind, gender-blind, age-blind and I-don’t-know-what-next blind. Well, let me admit: I am personally against all those forms of “blindness” to human differences. I think we should CELEBRATE our uniqueness, not pretend that it doesn’t exist. Pretending does not lead to understanding, respect and kindness.
Back to the book – it’s a dual-voice novel. The two narrators are: Martin, a 39-years old recording engineer and Amanda – a young singer from Malaysia. They witness a rather unusual recording session of a Japanese rock band and many other events that culminate in… OK, I’m not going to spoil it for you 🙂
This dual-voice approach would never be successful or realistic if not for my female co-author, who wrote all of Amanda’s narratives and dialogues (and not only). As a result, instead of GUESSING what is a woman’s view of the world, the reader will her it from an expert 🙂 The co-author, Monika Borek, did a fantastic job, better than I had imagined, because instead of obediently following my detailed plans (in Excel spreadsheets), she promptly tossed them out of the window and produced her own plots, surprising me at every turn…
The location of the action is the direct result of the main theme – that of why people don’t listen. All events take place in a small radio station and a recording studio in Yokohama, Japan. A building inhabited by a strange group of people (and not only people) who never, ever leave its walls. A kind of micro-cosmos where we see some of the phenomena of our world, but somewhat distorted…
All of which has quite accidentally been based on my own experiences. I worked in a recording studio in Yokohama between 1989 and 1991. A really weird place 🙂
You may be wondering if this book is available in English – no, not yet. My books have been quite successful in Poland (all them made it to Top20 bestseller listing, with “Sleepless in Tokyo” staying in Top50 listing for three years), but so far unknown in the West. So your two options are:
1.Learn Polish 🙂
2.Wait ‘till I finally get around to finding an agent in the US and/or England and start working on having the books published in English :-))
More about the book: www.radioyokohama.net