Sai Kung’s very own writer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJeremy Z.Y. Chan, 14, has his second novel published. 

I’m 14 years old and live in Clearwater Bay. I’m in grade nine at Diocesan Boys’ School in Mong Kok. I like to read, listen to music and play the piano and flute. I’m in the school orchestra.

When I was young, I read a lot of fiction – Harry Potter, Alex Ryder – which inspired me to write my own. As I have grown up, I’ve turned to non-fiction books. If you only base your writing on reading fiction, it’s not going to make sense. I’ve been researching.

I wrote my first book, Scott Connor Death Game, when I was 10. I attended a few English writing classes and during the summer I started to write. It was a lot easier to write when I was 10, because I was still in primary school and had more time. But there were quite a few mistakes owing to my lack of research – there’s a big step from that book to this one in knowledge and vocabulary.

I finished my second book, Scott Connor, when I was 12 years old, but I had a piano competition so we put off finding a publisher until I had more time.

It was inspired by skateboarding. I don’t know how to skateboard but thought it was pretty cool. I came up with this idea of teenagers going through challenges. Some people think it’s similar to The Hunger Games, but I wrote it before that book was published.

It’s basically a survival challenge in a desert. Scott (the main character) encounters different obstacles, monsters, mental challenges and nostalgia. There’s
a lot of action. It took me a year
to write.

My mum really helped me a lot. I did the writing and she helped with everything else.
I drew the cover myself for the first book [which was self-published] and then we found a designer to do the illustration. With the second book, I gave my design ideas to the publisher. It’s much cooler.

My friends are very supportive. I don’t make it a big thing, my friends didn’t know about it until it was published. A friend who is younger than me said he wanted to try writing. Although he’s going to write in Chinese.

I would like to continue this series, but I’m really into music and it takes up a lot of my time. When I have free time I’ll write.

I strongly encourage other kids to write – don’t be put off by thinking that writing takes a lot of planning or resources, just write what you want to say.

Scott Connor will be launched on April 11, 6pm-8pm, at Dymocks, 7 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung, 2791 9110. Click here for more information.