Living in Tokyo as part of the expat community you run into all sort of interesting people. There never seems to be that many degrees of separation from someone else living in this giant of a city. This is especially true when you’ve been here for years and all the people you initially met, pull up their stakes and head home (quitters). This leaves you with a dangerous mix of interesting and talented people who have made it work and then the crazies who you run into and wonder how on earth they survived this long. Definitely in the interesting and talented camp is the Tokyo based Australian author, Andrez Bergen. A DJ, editor and author he has written a number of works including:
Recently he was kind enough to answer some questions about his writing career:
How did you get your first book published?
It was a collection of prose work for an art photographer friend’s book back in Melbourne (easy!), but my first novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat was published in 2011 thanks to a lot of stubborn banging-of-the-head.
What is your experience with book releases?
I’ve had five books of my own published – 4 novels and one collection – plus two graphic novels, a comic book series, and I co-edited a noir anthology. It’s tough at times, but if you have passion and believe in your stuff – definitely worth the work.
In the age of digital books what do you sell more?
Yeah, this is a good point. One of my novels sold 3000+ digital versions, but only 240 copies of the paperback. It’s tough sales-wise with the physical versions.
Do you get paid more for digital sales or physical prints?
At this stage, definitely the digital copies just because of the higher number of sales.
I heard you are putting out a graphic novel, care to share release dates?
Actually, I’ve done two. One was a graphic novel of my first book Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, which has pretty much sold out – we printed up 200 copies. The other is my new one Bullet Gal, which was published in North America in April and I think they did 2000+ copies. It’s available via Under Belly Comics here: underbellycomics
Word on the street is you worked as a DJ in Australia. Are you still doing that?
Ha Ha Ha… yep! Not as much as I used to since I have a 9-year-old daughter, but occasionally I still spin and make tracks as Little Nobody. I’m doing an Australian tour in August for the 20th anniversary of IF? Records.
What brought you to Japan?
The food! Seriously. Plus the anime, manga and Japanese cinema, plus local techno. And I studied Japanese history at university.
Does living in Japan influence your work?
Definitely. It’s always popping up in my writing, comics and music. There’re always Japanese characters or cultural inserts. My novel 100 Years of Vicissitude was my love-letter to the country just after the Fukushima earthquake. And I moonlight as a journalist, often writing about Japan.
If you like this, you should check out:
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