About Joannes Rhino:
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1980. I was educated at the local state school until graduation in 1998 and continued to study in Hospitality University. I was then employed by a financial company in Jakarta, where I began to receive many awards related with customer satisfaction. Having been working the same routine for years, I started to write a novel to kill the time. Finally, my first novel “Etzhara” was published by the biggest traditional publisher in Indonesia and made me one of the best young writers under thirty at Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2009. Feeling confident with the writing skill I had, I published the second novel in the same year by another traditional publisher in Jakarta. I then began to receive many invitations to attend book signings, talk shows, radio interviews, and other literature activities. This second novel made me an overnight success.
Feeling secured in terms of financial and social life, I felt something was missing. The turning over point of my life had occurred when someone handed me a novel by Paulo Coelho “The Alchemist” and a motivational book by Rhonda Byrne “The Secret”. Those books really changed my perspective about life, and that was when I decided to let go of the glamorous life of Jakarta and hit the road. I was 30 at the time. That year, I self-published a collection of poetry in the United Kingdom. This poetry collection was made during the most troublesome moments of my last 10 years of life, when dark clouds enveloped me. Anger, anxiety, emptiness, guilt and lost love coalesced into a single, unbearable emotion.
With all the savings I got from the previous job and book royalties, I traveled to Bali and worked for a timeshare company. Three months was all I needed to understand that it was not what I wanted. I then changed course to a publishing company as an Editor in Chief. As much as I loved dealing with words, my passion to see the world kept haunting me. Finally, I decided to travel to Australia and Thailand for 8 months. It was between 2011 and 2012 when I tried to fit in with a new life; working from farm to farm, hitchhiking from place to place, and volunteering from school to school. I went all around Australia and returned to Bali with tons of stories to tell.
During my journey in Australia, I had written two other novels and got rejected from several publishers in Indonesia because the content was not sellable. Therefore, I translated to English and self-published them with a USA publisher. This huge change made me an international author. However, this achievement did not stop me from pursuing my literature obsessively. I am now working freelance as a ghostwriter, copywriter and scriptwriter.
I am based in no place, as I am still in search for a place called “home”.
What inspires you to write?
I used to be a very quiet person, and tend to keep silent when it comes to giving opinion about something. This situation inspired me to write because I do want to be heard. My inspiration comes from my surrounding and personal life experience. I think it’s easier to express yourself based on what you see and feel.
Tell us about your writing process.
Before I start writing about something, I choose the topic wisely and start doing research. I put note of the things I discover. In terms of writing style, I use my own. Some say my writing style is poetic, well it’s probably because I love poems a lot.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
All of my characters in my books are related with me. They could be myself, my friends or someone I know in real life. Having said so, it’s easier for me to feel the emotions of the characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be yourself! That’s very important. I mean, don’t try to write using your favorite author’s writing style. Use your own style, and don’t be afraid to show people what’s inside your head.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have 2 books published by traditional publishers and I also have several books self-published. It’s actually pros and cons. I mean, of course, having your books published by traditional publishers is an achievement because your works are being appreciated. Meanwhile, if you self publish, you can do it instantly and set your own royalty. As for new authors, I recommend self publish for start because based on my experience it took me a year to see my book on book stores after I signed the agreement.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
People read everyday, and no matter how sophisticated the tech industry would be in the future, at the end of the day people will always be reading books. Publishing company will be exist with new concept of publishing (i.e. publishing ebook).
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Psychology/thriller
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, 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.