About Hong Wai Onn:
Hong Wai Onn is a chemical engineer by training and profession. He is a passionate advocate who believes in harnessing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to advance development of the palm oil processing industry by ensuring greater participation by young people, especially chemical engineers.
Hong was born in Ipoh, Malaysia, and grew up in a small family. He attended Universiti Malaysia Sabah, where he studied chemical engineering. He started his career in palm oil industry with Genting Plantations and this exploration eventually formed the basis of his debut book – a short memoir called A Chemical Engineer In The Palm Oil Milling Industry.
Hong has close to 15 years of operational experience in palm oil and biotechnology industries covering a very wide spectrum of responsibilities including production, engineering, project management, applied research, process safety and leadership roles.
Hong was the former Honorary Secretary of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in Malaysia Board. He is also a founding member of IChemE Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group.
Hong is an award-winning author and public speaker. He sits on the Industry Advisory Panel for Chemical Engineering at few public and private universities.
What inspires you to write?
“A Chemical Engineer in the Palm Oil Milling Industry” is my debut book (published on August 19, 2020). Palm oil is a big business. Palm oil has been widely used in food and non-food industries. More than half the products on sale in supermarkets are made with palm oil—yet many people hardly know anything about this industry. They don’t even know chemical engineers have a significant role to play in this industry. Hence, I am motivated to write a book to provide a series of episodes for readers to discover the opportunities chemical engineers have in the palm oil milling industry. I hope this nonfiction memoir book could bring readers closer to the most enigmatic profession of all time.
Tell us about your writing process.
Being a nonfiction writer, I am finding myself as a plotter. I like to work on outlines for stories and specific parts of chapters before writing them. I will fill in the basic plot outline along the way. I feel more comfortable with this writing strategy, although it also means more work up front. Well, I need to emphasize that this is simply my personal preference. One method is no better than other. So, what is important is finding the method that works best for you.
What advice would you give other writers?
I don’t think I can advise. However, I believe many people say they want to write but wish they have the time, and perhaps they will do it after they retire. Mainly this can be an excuse. The best way is to have a piece of paper, and a pen on you, and when there is an idea, put it down. There is no reason any more not to write these days because even if you do not have a paper with you, the mobile phone can do the same. So, try to get the book out that you have always had in your mind.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published my debut book. I know when I’m self-published, everything is on my own. I’m more flexibility to do exactly what I want and it’s a more efficient process. Although I need to invest resources to bring the book out, I can tell you that I truly enjoy the process.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I do not have my crystal ball in front of me, but I believe change is the only constant. The publishing industry is at the doorstep of transition. Traditional print publishing seems finding itself turning obsolete with the rise of digital book publishing. We can’t run away from change and innovation. So, it is up to each individual author to choose whether to move with it or get swallowed up in the giant abyss.
What genres do you write?: Non-Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.