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New Novel About Expat Life in China


qc418
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Hi everyone,

 

My name is Quincy Carroll, and I lived in Hunan province for 3 years from 2008-2013. I recently completed my first book, which will be published by Inkshares next month (11/10/15). The title is "Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside." You can order it online now through my publisher or Amazon.

 

The story is about two Americans teaching English in rural China. One is an entitled deadbeat, content to live out his life in Asia skating by on the fact that he's white, while the other, a recent college graduate, is an idealist at heart. As they vie for attention, recognition, etc. in their small Chinese town, one of their more overeager students gets caught up in the conflict. In writing "Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside," I was trying to capture the experience of being a foreigner in China. The novel addresses themes of loneliness, cynicism/optimism, and the changing dynamic between China and the West.

 

The book has already been getting some great reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but I would love to hear what you (i.e. men and women who have lived in China as foreigners before) think. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and hope you get a chance to read the book.

 

Best,

 

Quincy Carroll

www.quincycarroll.com

 

P.S. Inkshares is currently running a promotional giveaway on Goodreads, in which they are raffling off 20 copies of the book!

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You're right - the reviews posted are mainly from people I know, but they're all real people, and they all read the book. I'm just trying to get some momentum started. My publicist sent out promotional copies to media outlets and Kirkus last week, so we're still waiting to hear back. All I'm asking is that you check it out! Excerpts have been posted here, here and here. Just thought other people who are interested in China might want to read it. Thanks for giving it a chance!

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I read the first chapter, and it definitely evoked certain memories of China.

 

That being said, it seemed like every other sentence you were trying to squeeze in some obscure word e.g. in the first paragraph we have words like clerestory, muntin and mountebank (Firefox spell check doesn't even recognise 'muntin') and it continues like that throughout a lot of the text.

 

I'm not sure if it was on purpose to affect a certain style, or if you just have a very different set of vocabulary from me, but it made the writing feel a little pretentious.

 

Edit: The other excerpts are much better in this regard.

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Hi Quincy - I've actually read your book. I thought it was a good read and one of the better fiction books I've read about modern day China. It was obvious that you had lived in China. I'm not sure that I would describe it so much as a book about "expat life" as the setting is in a more rural area. Regardless, very good effort for your first book!

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Wow, thanks so much, SkyFitsHeaven! That's very kind of you. I'm surprised to hear that the book has made it out to you already. That's awesome. Could you write a review on Amazon/Goodreads? I'd very much appreciate it, as others here have mentioned that the small number of reviews appears a little bit suspicious. If you're too busy, however, I totally understand. Do you still live in Beijing?

 

As for Imron's post, that's totally legitimate criticism. Thanks for giving the other excerpts a chance!

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I read the excerpts to which you linked. Not bad. Captures some local flavor for sure.

 

Congratulations on actually finishing it and getting it published. Takes lots of drive. I've started several books, but never managed to actually see them all the way home. Maybe someday...

 

Should have lots of appeal to foreign English teachers working here. Wonder if there is a way to target them in your marketing?

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I read the excerpts to which you linked. Not bad. Captures some local flavor for sure.

 

Congratulations on actually finishing it and getting it published. Takes lots of drive. I've started several books, but never managed to actually see them all the way home. Maybe someday...

 

Should have lots of appeal to foreign English teachers working here. Wonder if there is a way to target them in your marketing?

 

Thanks a lot, man. I really appreciate it. Started writing this novel back in 2010, so to see it come to fruition is a dream come true. One of the book editors at Timeout Shanghai is currently reading it, so I'm hoping they spotlight it for a review. The first chapter was also published in Chinese in Changsha's 晨报周刊 (Morning Weekly) magazine, so I'm gonna get in touch with them to see if they want to do some sort of follow up article. That magazine is read mainly by the Chinese, however, so I'm guessing it won't catch the eye of many foreigners. Any ideas or suggestions you might have would be more than welcome. Also if you'd like a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review online, let me know your e-mail, and I'll hit you up for your contact info. I just want to get the book out there at this point, you know?

 

That was a lot of so's. Best of luck with your own writing - God knows it ain't easy.

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Also if you'd like a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review online, let me know your e-mail,

I'd be up for that - the review would be on these forums though rather than Goodreads or Amazon.  You should be able to contact me through my user profile.

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Sounds good, Imron. My publisher gave me 15 free copies, but I only have one left. Let me see if abcdefg is interested, since I offered it to him first. I will get it to you, if not. I'll try to get more in the future.

 

Exciting news! Got my first review from a complete stranger today on Goodreads. Check it out below:

 

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1428327956?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

Thank you for the support! This is not an easy process...

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#14 -- @qc418 -- I just now saw this post after reading and responding to your private message. Please go ahead and give this last copy to Imron. When I get back to Texas in early December I'll buy one from Amazon. Looks like a good read and I'm willing to bet that it's worth the $12.67. I get free shipping through their Amazon Prime program. Will review it on line after reading.

 

Any ideas or suggestions you might have would be more than welcome.

 

I had another related idea. Have you thought about trying to get the book mentioned on Dave's ESL Cafe? That's a place where it would be seen by people who either have been foreign teachers in China or are thinking about it. Targeted marketing.

 

http://www.eslcafe.com/jobs/china/

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Will do, abcdefg! Thanks for the support - I really, really appreciate it. Great idea re: Dave's ESL. I used to visit that website often when I lived in China but completely forgot about it. Just had my publicist reach out to him.

 

Imron, sending you a private message now. Thanks for your willingness to take a look at the book.

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Maybe I missed it, but is there a way to purchase it on kindle or another eBook format?

 

You can preorder the book as an e-book file on Amazon, but it won't be delivered until the release date, which is November 10th. I believe that if you buy on my publisher's website, you can download it immediately. Here's the link. Thank you so much for your interest!

 

https://www.inkshares.com/projects/up-to-the-mountains-and-down-to-the-countryside-1

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Holy crap, do you even know what that title means?  The down to the countryside movement was no joke, it plunged millions of people into poverty and permanently ruined many lives. 

 

If you wanted to capture the authentic experience of the foreigner in China, the book should have been set in Beijing and revolved around eating at new foreign restaurants while trying to live your life just like you did back home. 

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