What colour represents your personality the most?
My favourite colour is blue, the kind of dark blue you get in the “real world” of The Matrix where the characters are unplugged. I am also attracted by the shade of green distinctive to a monochrome monitor, something I can relate to as I am old enough to remember what the first IBM computers looked like. Green is a colour that has great significance in The Matrix as it symbolizes the world of the machines. The Matrix digital rain, with its falling green code representing the virtual reality of the Matrix, is also on the background of the cover of my intertextual study The Matrix and the Alice Books.
What kind of films do you love to watch?
Apart from the science fiction genre of which The Matrix is part of, I am increasingly interested in Chinese/Hong Kong film productions that succeed in portraying the history of China with a combination of excellent martial arts choreography, costumes faithful to the era described, all based in rather large sets. The fact that most Chinese martial arts flicks end with the death of the heroine and/or the main character, as opposed to the unrealistic happy ending style favoured by Hollywood films, is also something that really fascinates me.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
My very first book, The Spirit of Medieval Japan, appeared under the publishing wing of an NGO while dozens of my non-fiction articles and short stories were published in various academic journals and anthologies. Apart from public exposure, there was no monetary benefit. Among the books I have chosen to self-publish, The Matrix and the Alice Books has been the most successful financially. As a writer, to be paid for your writing is a huge reward. Now that one can read an e-book on an increasing score of gadgets, I think selfpublishing is a positive way for writers to make their work available to a very large section of the public. And if the writer did their job properly, then they might even see a return on their investment.
What was the hardest part about writing The Matrix and the Alice Books?
The first hurdle was finding a professor at my university to agree to supervise my thesis and then pleasing her with my work. Eventually, after three initial attempts, we agreed upon presenting the similarities between The Matrix and the Alice books using an intertextual framework.
Did writing this book teach you anything?
I started writing The Matrix and the Alice Books as my Master’s degree thesis at Assumption University in Bangkok, but the current version of the book is somewhat simplified so that it’s far more reader-friendly. What I’ve learned from writing this book was that websites can be quite ephemeral as they can go off line with absolutely no notice at all. Thus, it is very important to mention online sources not only with the link but also adding what date the link was last accessed.
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Genre – Non-Fiction/Movie Studies/Literary Criticism
Rating – G