Have you been waiting for our women crush this month? Let us present to you that our women crush this month is the very talented lady, Charissa Ong Ty, a local young author who has gained a huge success in publishing her first ever book. Publishing an English Poetry and Short Stories book titled ‘Midnight Monologues’, the book is categorized into four part which is LOST, FOUND, HOPE and Short Stories.
Told that she was too young to publish, the 24 year old, Charissa started her own publishing company instead. It’s intriguing how the idea of this book was inspired by her own break-up experience. Being name as one of the top 10 local authors in Malaysia, we are definitely proud with how far she has come to. Interested to find out more about this lovely talented lady? We got the opportunity to get a little insight of what’s going on with her life at the moment!
1. We discovered that you have successfully self-published your first ever book ‘Midnight Monologues’, what motivated you to made it into reality?
Through the encouragement from my readers that exist on Instagram and Facebook. =) They are the ones who put the idea into my head. Before that, I thought publishing a book was a dream that was un-achievable and too big. I didn’t dare to even dream it. But it was through the confidence and encouragement from the people around me, that’s when I really believed that I could do it.
“Why do you believe in me?”
“Because it’s awesome, you should try it sometime.”
- From my poem Believe, in Midnight Monologues
2. What was your inspiration in writing the book? Was it from personal experiences?
Yes majority of it was. The more real the writing, the better the response. I get some inspiration from heartbreak stories from people around me as well from all over the world. People direct message me on Instagram and on Facebook.
3. Since when did you develop the passion in writing?
I was ‘comedic-blogging’ since I was 12. It’s kind of a ‘syok sendiri’ thing at the time. But I did realize that I loved to write since then. I just didn’t know I would end up publishing a book. Serious writing started after my breakup 2 years ago when I published my work on Instagram and get good feedback from users around. I wouldn’t continue my writing if it weren’t for the encouragement.
4. Some people say writers are presumed to be someone who is reserved, creative, and imaginative and a hopeless romantic. Would you agree with that?
Yes, my head is always up in the clouds. But I have the side of me that’s down-to-earth and realistic as well. I try to keep a balance. I’m my worst critic and fun sucker. Yes, I’ve begun to be more reserved recently, most probably due to the many conversations that goes on in my head, trying to solve more and more problems that’s coming my way now. I need lesser distractions. I do get out. Sometimes. So I don’t get Vitamin D deficiencies. *haha*
5. Tell us how did you feel when you are currently named as one of the top local best-selling author?
Amazing. I set my hopes low because I’ve talked to people who have published and they told me to not set them up too high. I’m very glad it happened though. I’m so grateful. I have the best readers in the world.
6. Have you ever dabbled yourself in writing before this such as on a blog? Do you have a blog?
Yes I did! (Refer to Ques 3) Nobody ever reads it. I do keep a technical blog for my work. Haha. Charissaongty.blogspot.com
7. What were the challenges you faced in the process of turning your manuscript into a book?
The biggest challenge was the printing process. Very few people have the paper I want because majority of the printers only print educational books. So I had to run around and find the correct printer to fulfill the deadline I set for myself; which is to publish by July this year. I’m very very very strict with deadlines.
8. What is one thing you learned through this whole book journey?
I had to learn that you have to do everything you can on your own first, only then people would offer their help if they find value in your dream. Also, it stresses my values of compensating people. It is really important to compensate people for the work they’ve done. It is important that you do not expect free-help from others, as it will affect the quality of any product. Why is this so? When you don’t really want to give good feedback because it comes as a favor, you sacrifice your vision for something less. Respect their time and work by compensating it.
9. Do you think you will be writing more books in the future and what type of genre would it be?
First of all I’ll be publishing my second book, Daylight Dialogues in 2018, a second version to my current book. I’m also working on a novel idea, but it will definitely take longer to write and edit. So that would come much later.
10. You have a great figure and we wonder how do you keep yourself fit while balancing your time doing book readings, promotions and work?
Thanks for noticing. Haha. I go for pole dance classes every week at Viva Vertical. I also do 22 pushups every morning or night every day and some yoga stretches, tagged by my Japanese sensei Mai and Kit from pole dance class. I’ve been doing it ever since. I’m also not a fan of rice and coffee. I’m a noodle and tea person.
11. It cannot be denied that doing promos for your book can get tiring but you look flawless! Please share with us your beauty regime.
My beauty regime is scarily simple. I wash my face with water at the start and end of the day with my makeup removal towel with no cleansers or whatever liquids girls use these days. As for my makeup, I use a foundation, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, an eyebrow pencil, brown eye shadows, a highlighter and a bronzer.
12. You must have a packed schedule lately and as any woman would know, picking an outfit for events can be overwhelming. So describe us what’s your sense of style.
Comfortable and laidback. I try to keep up with the trends. Crop tops, off shoulder tops and such. But no chokers. *haha*
13. What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
I read one book a week. Those legit thick paperback books.
14. If you are stranded on an island and you can only bring three things with you, what would it be?
An axe, a water filtration system and my boyfriend (I’m fully aware that he’s not an object) because he’s literally the Malaysian version of Bear Grylls. If no one comes to save us, we would probably procreate and start an entire civilization.
15. In your opinion, what should every woman try at least once in her life?
They should try to achieve a dream that they think it’s too big for them. Because when you reach closer to it, you’ll realize that it’s not that large after all. Not just women (smiles)
16. What is your motto in life that you stand by?
Live as if you were going to die tomorrow, but learn as if you were going to live forever.
17. What advice would you give those who also dream of publishing their own book?
Get started on your manuscript and talk to printers and publishers, they are knowledgeable. Contact the Malaysian Library to get your free ISBN if you wish to sell your book to bookstores. I’d go into detail, but it would take ages. You can contact me here at @cotypoems on Instagram or Facebook. Til then, good luck =)
If you are a book lover and have been through the ups downs of a relationship, you will definitely love Charissa’s book. Be lost in Charissa’s melodious writing and experience all those memories again.
Do you love reading about our women crush this month? Anyone to nominate for our next month’s segment? Share your suggestions with us in the comment section below.