Blog Archives

I Got Into The Papers!

A reporter from the Lianhe Zaobao  interviewed me about my book and plans for the future. The article was printed on Thursday, the 9th of March. Here are photos of the newspaper clipping.

newsnews2

A Summary Of The Article In English:

The article starts off with a quote from me. About how it has always been my dream to become a writer and as long as I haven’t fulfilled my dream, I will never give up.

Then it goes on to say that I quit being a full-time guard back in 2009, to focus on writing my manuscript. And through my stories, I hope to let more people understand the hardships in the security industry.

I graduated from secondary school with O levels, the article says. And in 1999, I started working as a security guard. Since then I have worked as a dishwasher, kitchen cleaner and sales assistant before returning to the security industry.

I loved reading English books ever since I was a kid. And the article quotes me as saying, “Security guards, while they are doing their job, frequently get abused by unreasonable people and for the sake of making a living, even if their working conditions are bad, they will choose to keep silent. I hope that after reading my book, the public would act a little more kindly towards security guards.”

However, things are not going well for me because I have been rejected by 4 publishers.

The publishers probably thought that stories about the security industry are unsaleable. That’s why none of them were willing to pick up my manuscript. But for the sake of realizing my dream and letting more people know about the lives of security guards, I will not give up.

So I will either raise the money to self-publish or continue to submit my manuscript to other publishers.

And finally, the article concludes with a quote from me.

“J.K. Rowling had her Harry Potter manuscript rejected 12 times, but she didn’t give up and went on to become a bestselling author. So as long as I don’t give up, there’s always hope.”

Okay, End of Translation.

P.S.: Bear in mind that the article was written by the reporter in the 3rd person, but I use the 1st person point of view for my translation because only royalty and cute Japanese girls use the 3rd person when talking about themselves.

Teck Y. Loh (罗德荣)

 

Help Me Become The First Security Guard Writer In Singapore!

newtype

WHO AM I?

Hi, my name is Loh Teck Yong, a security guard who’s trying to  make it as a professional writer.

Here’s a brief summary of my work history.

I received my first assignment as a security guard way back in 1999, and continued to work in the industry over the next few years. Between 2003 and 2009, I took a long break from security work but finally succumbed to financial pressure some time during the latter half of 2009, and once again mired myself in the industry. I have been working as a security guard (on an on-and-off basis) ever since.

WHAT IS GUARDS GONE WILD!?

A few years ago, I realised that it would be a shame if those stories about my adventures in the private security industry were left to rot by the wayside of memory lane. So I started writing and those collected anecdotes became Guards Gone Wild!.

I sent the completed manuscript to 4 publishers based in Singapore on the 21st December, 2015. As of today, I have been rejected by all 4 of them. Well, exposing the dirty and underhanded going-ons in the private security industry is not exactly a profitable (or healthy) endeavour, so I can understand why the established publishers turned away from me.

And because Singapore has a very small literary market with very few publishers, I shall not waste any more time trying to get published the usual way.

If I want to get my stories out there, I have to do it myself. Through self-publication.

WHY HELP ME?

But self-publication without the support of an established publisher is going to be a difficult and costly endeavour. A noob writer going down this road will have to do and pay for everything himself. Looking for a book cover designer. Paying the book cover designer. Looking for a layout artist. Paying the layout artist. Looking for a copy editor. Paying the copy editor. And so on and so forth. That’s why I need your help to fulfil my dream of becoming a published writer.

Right now, as far as I know, there isn’t any security guard in Singapore who has published a work memoir so, if I succeed with your help, I will become the first security guard writer in Singapore! Help me make literary history!

And help yourself too.

Because in my book, I detailed accounts of various scams perpetrated by security agencies and their guards. The WYSIWYG, Merry-Go-Round and 24-hour Marathon. What are they and how do they affect YOU, the recipient of their service? Also included are stories of bullying and abuses that goes on behind the professional facade of the industry. If you live in a condominium that employs private security, or if your job requires you to interact with security guards on a regular basis, then this book will be a helpful addition to your library

To make a donation or find out more about my crowdfunding campaign, please head over to my crowdfunding page at Pozible:

https://pozible.com/project/help-a-security-guard

To Work Or To Write

That is the question. According to many writers, it is difficult to do both.

“I walked eight to 12 miles each day, carrying a heavy satchel. I actually liked being drained that way, as if each piece of paper I put in a mailbox represented a small packet of my own energy. But at the end of the day, there wasn’t anything left for Second Book. I had the stamina to do the job and come home and recover from doing the job and then go do it some more the next day.”

Excerpt from I Published My Debut Novel to Critical Acclaim—and Then I Promptly Went Broke

And I can empathise with Merritt Tierce, the author of the above-mentioned article, all too well.  I couldn’t do it either, working and writing at the same time. When I started working on Guards Gone Wild! I was also working as a security guard at the same time and, just like Merritt, I had no energy left at the end of a work day for any kind of creative work. Read the rest of this entry

A Question About Crowdfunding

I need some feedback regarding my crowdfunding campaign.

Because there’s a possibility that I may fail to raise the targeted sum, I wish to have a way to return the donations to the donors.

And there’s the free limited edition postcard offer. To send the postcard to the donors, I will need their mailing address.

For Paypal users, there’s no issue. I can use the Paypal Return button. And they can include their address in their email to my Paypal address. So that’s convenient.

HOWEVER, for those doing internet banking, how am I supposed to know their bank account number (for the purpose of refunding donations) or their mailing address? Read the rest of this entry

Why Not Lulu?

A lot of people have asked me:

“Why not use Lulu or some other print-on-demand site to publish your book?”

If I have to give a short answer, then it would be:

“Because I don’t want to.”

But I don’t want to leave it at that because that would be rude to the people who are offering me their sincere advice. So I will tell the long version of the story.

I do not want to use a print-on-demand publisher like Lulu because of the following reasons. Read the rest of this entry

The Last Rejection

I have really bad news.

Publisher #3, the final publisher I was counting on, just wrote to me. They have decided to reject my manuscript.

“We have taken much time to consider your story and its potential, and regret to inform you that we will not take it on for publication.”

They are a little kinder than the other 3 publishers, namely #1, #2 and #4. Because Publisher #3, wrote a long paragraph explaining why they decided to reject my manuscript. I will not share the entire email here however, because that would just make me look petty and sore about getting rejected.

Anyway, it looks like I have to use crowdfunding to raise the money to publish Guards Gone Wild! and try to sell it myself.

For such an endeavor, should I set up a separate bank and Paypal account or use my current accounts? Advice and tips welcomed.

Teck Y. Loh

Just Quit

Just sent in my resignation letter. By text messaging.

Because if I keep waiting for a better time, a safer moment, to hand in my resignation, I might find myself still working as a guard 10 years from now.

If I want to become a published writer, I have to do it NOW.

Besides, I have already arranged to meet my friends on the 1st of May to discuss the crowdfunding of my book. Yeah, I know. I haven’t heard from Publisher #3 yet, but it doesn’t hurt to plan for the worst in advance. So if Publisher #3 rejects me as well, I wouldn’t feel all lost and forlorn. I would have a plan to fall back on immediately, right after reading the rejection email.

And to make sure that I have a working plan by then, I expect to jump right into the fray and work hard after the 1st May meeting.

You know, with drafting letters and meeting people and online marketing and so on and so forth. I don’t think I can commit to a 60-hour work week once I get started with my book publishing efforts.

Teck Y. Loh