Bonus Drive-By: Charles Tan, the Bibliophile Stalker

It’s not stalking if you really love the person … that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

If you’ve spent any time on t’internetz looking for useful information about the spec-fic scene chances are very, very good that you’ve come across the Bibliophile Stalker, aka Charles Tan. Charles is an avid blogger, an editorial assistant, anthology editor and a writer … did I mention over-achiever?

If it’s happening with the Tribe, then it’s more than likely that the Bibliophile Stalker knows about it and has already blogged it. Here he answers five random questions and gives a glimpse into his world …

Writing, editing or stalking – if you had to choose just one, which would it be?
The problem with the three choices is that it assumes the three components can be isolated.

For example, as a writer (corresponding with “writing”), there’ll still be some editing and/or stalking involved. Self-editing is a valuable skill for a writer for example. (Or if you mean “editing” as in creating anthologies, well, a different skillset is involved but there’s overlap in the sense that as a writer, you have to be a reader and you also select stories which you gravitate to or want to emulate.) And I think “stalking” is an essential skill for a writer. We all hear stories of writers “eavesdropping” for their dialogue…

When it comes to editing, again, editors might not make a career out of writing, but they’re at least familiar with the basics of it. If you’re talking about anthology editors, they need to write the Introduction at least. 🙂 As for the stalking part, well, editors need to track down contributors and copyright holders… (and sometimes their publisher!)

Okay, so stalkers don’t need writing or editing skills!

Since I am a min-maxer, I’ll have my cake and eat it too so I’ll choose writing!

2. How did the Bibiliophile Stalker begin?
I’ve been blogging since 2001 but it was known under less-catchy names: Shadows of a Stalker, Stalking Manila… I finally settled on Bibliophile Stalker when I relocated to Blogger’s Beta site, although early on, I wasn’t familiar with what I should focus on. I have a lot of hobbies that you associate with geeks, everything from video games, collectible card games (CCGs), tabletop RPGs, comics, anime/manga, tech, etc.

It wasn’t until the the latter half of 2007 that I set 2 goals for myself: 1) to blog regularly and 2) review books consistently (alas, I’m currently on a book review break). By the end of 2007, I succeeded with those 2 goals but I wanted to improve myself.

At the start of 2008, I started doing interviews with authors/ editors, and other people in the publishing industry.

In 2009, I started compiling publishing-related links patterned after SF Signal.

3. What’s the rudest refusal you’ve ever had from a prospective interviewee?
No real rude refusal. I do have interview inquiries wherein the interviewee doesn’t respond at all. Whether that’s them snubbing me, my email got classified as spam, or my email disappearing into the Internets, we’ll never know. There are some interviews which never got finished (interviewee agrees to the interview, I send in the questions, they don’t respond back after numerous followups), but the people I’m interviewing are quite busy.

4. All fiction can be improved by the addition of 32% more …?
32% more Slatter. 🙂

On a more serious note, it depends on the writer and the type of story. A horror story for example could always use more horror. 🙂 A writer who is weak on characterization could always use 32% more characterization (unless the lack of it was the point of the story).

Of course I see this is a trick question. Why more? Why not less? Sometimes, good fiction needs less of something; less wordage, less complexity, less verbosity. Edit, trim, edit, trim…

Oh, addition for #4: more copyediting

5. Donuts or danishes?
Lots of Donut vendors here. We have Mister Donut, Dunkin Donuts, Hot Loops (a pseudo-Krispy Kreme clone before Krispy Kreme was available here), Krispy Kreme… heck, even our Starbucks serves Donuts!

On the other hand, I’ll never decline a Blueberry Danish 🙂

For more fun and practical and legal stalking go to

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