An interview with R.S. Vern

An interview with R.S.Vern

1 June 2012

Haee interviews R.S. Vern in a rare sitting at home. This is one of the first few times they communicate. Otherwise, they pretty much ignore each other most of the time.

Minuted by Middling Industries

Haee: Why do you write a book on middlings?
R.S. Vern
: I live in a small country where majority of the population is middle class. Many of us work hard in pursuit of a better livelihood, or migrate in search of a dream/ career. Sometimes, we end up feeling bored, confused, alone, unattached and unachieved. But I would like to think this is perfectly all right and a lot of us feel the same way. After all, life is not about having that perfect ending, but having that extraordinary journey.

Haee: What’s your definition of middlings?
R.S. Vern: Middlings live in the city. They have a comfortable standard of living and rely on their own expertise to sustain themselves. They place great emphasis on independence and have great concerns for the environment. Whilst they appear well rounded and established, they often have insecurities locked within.

Haee: When did you start writing this series?
R.S. Vern
: I started conceptualising this series in 2008 during one of my trips to Japan. I was sitting at a café on a weekday afternoon and I saw Japanese salary men in their work suits and brief cases, gazing out of the window listlessly, seemingly waiting for time. When it was six o’clock, many of them stood up and left as if it was time to go home. I later realised many of these men were unemployed and simply needed to either pretend they were going to work so that their families wouldn’t judge them as incompetent or follow a routine which they had become so familiar with. I thought that was rather peculiar and yet, so poignant in this society we live in.

Haee: Why do you constantly have rules that your characters are being subjected to?
R.S. Vern
: Whilst we are all free to make our own choices, we also need a set of rules to live by. And that is the dilemma most of us face. We hate being caged in by rules and regulations and yet, we feel lost and aimless without them. In new environment, all the more we need a set of rules to discipline our thoughts and make sense of the new. We are always conditioned to adapt at the end of the day.

Haee: Why do you use me as the protagonist in your series?
R.S. Vern
: This series is about middling lives and it is something that is quite close to my heart. I feel it is less brutal to see life through the eyes of a cat.

Haee: So are you writing you as me, if you know what I mean?
R.S. Vern
: Actually yes, I know what you mean. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because I am somewhat very much like you, independent, restless and free-spirited. No, because I think I am somewhat like Tom and Jane too as I am often bounded by the demands and realities of living in the city I am in.

Haee: In Book 1 “Haee The cat with a crooked tail”, Tom and Jane are portrayed as middling characters that constantly wish they were doing something else. Is there an underlying message behind this?
R.S. Vern
: Middlings often ask themselves this question: “Are we not as happy as those who are much better off in this world?” We often find ourselves doing something we may not enjoy best because of the realities and demands of living in the city. But I think most of us have a secret desire to live a life that is less demanding and more frivolous.

Haee: Just for the record, I do not have a long and crooked tail. Why does my character in your book have a long and crooked tail?
R.S. Vern
: Middlings are never perfect people. All the characters in this series have physical imperfections about them. You have a long and crooked tail. Tom has claw-like hands. Jane has chronic hives. Whie has a big red nose that almost covers her face. It is fiction after all.

Haee: Thanks for the session. Look forward to Book 2. Chill.
R.S. Vern
: Ok. Chill.

“One of those books you can turn to again and again and find different things, dependent upon your mood.” – KBR

Kindle Book Review

Book 1: Haee The cat with a crooked tail (Haee and the other middlings)

This is an interesting book, focusing on the ideas of need versus want, what is self-fulfillment and exploring our motivations.

It’s a short read, interspersed with beautiful images of Haee and the other characters.

I’m not sure that I really ‘got’ this book on the first read, and I suspect it is one of those books that you can turn to again and again and find different things, dependent upon your mood.

It is thought provoking as we see the human characters stuck in a life they think they should lead, rather than the one they want to lead. I suspect that a young adolescent would take the most from this book as they sit at a crossroad in life, making choices that will impact their future.

All in all an intriguing, well designed ebook. It is well edited and a well thought out and put together package.

Book 2: The Unconventional Life of Haee (Haee and the other middlings)

Another wonderfully illustrated book from R.S. Vern, again following the life of Haee, the middling cat….

This book again observes those that are not quite pursuing a ‘normal’ life but also looks at the consequences of everyone being a middling… it doesn’t quite work, everyone (and thing) has a place in the world, and they contribute, each in their own way, no matter how trivial that contribution may be!

The images in the book are again wonderful, and really capture the idea of Haee and his other friends.

Certainly a quick and easy read that will provoke different ideas each time you pause to read it.

Reviewed by Sarah Burns for The Kindle Book Review
To read more, please go to http://akindleandkittens.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/r-s-vern-two-ebook-reviews/.

A five stars book review by Readers Favorite

A 5 star book review for "Haee The cat with a crooked tail" by R.S. Vern
A 5 star book review for “Haee The cat with a crooked tail” by R.S. Vern

Haee The cat with a crooked tail, “Haee and the other middlings”, #1, received a five – stars book review by Readers Favorite. Jessica Porter, book reviewer at Readers Favorite says:

“Are we not as happy as those who are much better off in this world?” After this statement I was hooked! Then seeing that first cat just blew me away! I love all the artwork! Haee gets restless with his life and decides to go looking for adventure and through his adventure he gets lost in a black hole but he meets a new family. He stays with the new family for years observing what they do and how they live their lives. He then again gets restless and decides to go on a new adventure with a street cat. This is where book two starts.

This book was very cute. I loved the wonderful drawings. The only drawing I had an issue with was the one on smoking. The drawings are really what make this book so cute. I can’t wait to get a hold of the rest of them and I think I am a middling as well!”

To continue reading the entire review, please go to http://readersfavorite.com/review/7689 .

“Haee’s excursions will not only capture the imagination of children, but will also get a laugh out of adults.”

“Like all cats, Haee is a curious cat. One day, he decides to venture out of his comfortable home.”

When Haee, the cat with the crooked tail, comes across the black hole, he is overcome by curiosity. As he conjures the infinite roads the black hole can lead to, he decides to enter. After hours of exploring, one turn after another, Haee’s hunger sparks a desire to return home. There’s just one problem: He’s lost and terribly frightened by the darkness. Vern appears to use Haee’s adventures to show his audience, mainly children, the consequences of curiosity.

The second part of Haee’s adventures begin when Tom and Jane free him from the black hole and provide him with a worry-free, comfortable life. Rather than playing with other cats, Haee spends the majority of his time sun bathing. After several years of living in Tom and Jane’s home, he notices that his human friends engage in the same activities at nearly the same time everyday. Though both are happy, each has his or her own insecurities, aspirations, and desire for freedom from the routine activities of everyday life. Surprisingly, Haee is required to follow a daily plan like Tom and Jane, and is rewarded when he is successful.

Perhaps this second part of the book resonates strongly with adults. As children, they are allowed to roam free and explore the world. As grown-ups, they must abide to stringent schedules and deadlines, while constantly running the risk of feeling mechanical. When Haee’s restlessness grows, he leaves Tom and Jane’s home, and builds a new world with a bullied, red-nosed cat named Whie.

Throughout the story, Haee’s display of curiosity and courage are remarkable. When he wants to break free from routine, he simply does. Haee’s excursions will not only capture the imagination of children, but will also get a laugh out of adults as they anticipate the release of the next book in the Haee series.

The US Review of Books

[Scrib.b.b.bles by Haee]. Now available on Wattpad!

Middling Industries launches Scrib.b.b.bles by Haee on Wattpad…. with monthly notes updates!

Haee loves to scribble when he is bored. Although he is just a cat, Haee is remarkably in touch with his inner self-conscious. He spends most of his time alone, daydreaming and sunbathing. That gives him plenty of time to contemplate on life. Haee has a street education with a major in Humanities. His favourite color is white and his favourite book is The Outsider by Albert Camus. Haee spends a lot of time wondering about what happens when he is alone and dying.

Scrib.b.b.bles
is a collection of short writings written by Haee. We encourage you to read only when you are alone.

To start reading Scrib.b.b.bles by Haee, simply login to http://www.wattpad.com or download the Wattpad app on your mobile device.
Locate Scrib.b.b.bles by Haee at http://www.wattpad.com/story/1655450-scrib-b-b-bles-by-haee or  use code 5659737 .

About Wattpad
Wattpad is the world’s largest community for discovering and sharing stories on the web and across every mobile device. It’s a new form of collaborative entertainment that connects readers and writers through storytelling and creative fiction! Wattpad is the only place offering a mobile, social, eReading experience.