Benjamin Law, author of The Family Law, was our special Writing Race guest last night.
Ben shared some incredible insights into his writing career that we simply had to pass on to you!
Firstly, Ben introduces himself and his writing:
‘I’m a Brisbane-based writer, and I mainly work in non-fiction. My bread-and-butter work is writing stories for publications like frankie, The Monthly and Qweekend, and I’ve also written for The Big Issue, Sunday Life, Crikey, New Matilda and others. Last year, I released a black comedy memoir called The Family Law, which was a collection of real-life stories about growing up gay, Asian in a sprawling (and slightly dysfunctional) family in Coastal Queensland in the ’80s and ’90s.
‘Right now, I’m working on a book of journalism, sort of a travel adventure book that looks at queer communities in Asia. So far, I’ve been backstage with the world’s biggest transsexual beauty pageant in Thailand, looking at sham-marriages between gays and lesbians in China, stalking queer celebrities in Japan and just got back from India’s queer pride parade, where they’ve just decriminalised homosexuality.’
Ben on using Facebook and Twitter as promotional tools:
‘I use Facebook and Twitter a lot mainly because I work from home, and I really don’t have any social interaction that people get in normal workplaces. There’s great back-and-forth chatter and Twitter’s a wonderful news/information filter. But it also becomes a useful marketing tool. I link to things that interest or amuse me, and then people continue to follow me, only to discover I’ve written a book, buy it, read it, and tell me they enjoyed it on Twitter. It’s a great way of connecting/discovering new people.
‘Susan Orlean—one of my favourite writers—is a prolific and excellent tweeter. She was recently featured on the New Yorker’s Out Loud podcast talking about Twitter and had some excellent insights: www.newyorker.com/online/2010/02/22/100222on_audio_packer.’
For more information on Benjamin, visit www.benjamin-law.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @mrbenjaminlaw