Ben by Elliot Chan

Buy it HERE! 

Cover Ben1

Book Description:

A sheltered young man sets off on a trip to South East Asia in an effort to escape his business-oriented father and his pretentious North American lifestyle. The hot sun, the bug bites, and a man who calls himself Ben lead him through the lust, ecstasy, and agony of a life too far from home.

 

Origin of the book:

In 2011, I drained most of my savings into a five-week-long backpacking trip to South East Asia with my friends, Antoine and Michael. It was my first real experience traveling outside of North America, and needless to say, I was anxious and over-the-top excited. I even purchased a camera to documented my trip in a “travel show” style I’ve grown to adore. Sadly due to my sprained knee, gum infection, and acute case of homesickness, I only managed to film the first three weeks of my trip. I entitled the series The Chronicles of Elliot Chan.

Here is the first episode:

Here we encounter a landslide:

And here we visit an elementary school in Bayombong, Philippines:

The trip was exactly what the 22-year-old me needed. I learned more about myself in those five weeks than I did in my five years of high school. Sparked with new inspiration, I wrote Ben, a novella about a boy who finds himself alone in a foreign country, clinging onto a friendship as strange as the culture and landscape. Far from autobiographical, the novella was an exploration to seek out all the things I hated while traveling. It’s hard to confront the same challenges back home, and I miss those minor/major inconveniences of living in a place where I was ignorant to the directions and languages. My trip was hard, and I regret giving up when I really could have kept on going. This story was my way of facing my disappointments head-on.

Ben is available for purchase on Amazon. 

 

Highlights of 2012-2014: Memories of a young writer

10261738_10100261539296113_907550627_nHere are a few of my proudest work from 2012 to 2014. Enjoy!

The art of being alone
Nothing in life is permanent
A love letter to the capital cursive G
As POF Eliminates Intimate Encounters, Ashley Madison Makes Them Easier Than Ever
The calm before the glitter storm: profile of Top Less
Got too much on your plate?
Curse those cussing kids
The boomerang generation
What is love? Baby, don’t hurt me

Flash back to 2012: It has been five years since I graduated high school and four years since I graduated film school. The momentum I had after graduation in 2008 had faded, and I was still on the perimeter of the entertainment industry.

Sure, I have successfully landed a few auditions, got myself an apprentice status in UBCP and written and directed a few short films that I couldn’t help but be proud of, but realistically I was just fooling myself into thinking that I actually wanted to climb that ladder.

First rung: I worked as a background performer. Second rung: I did two years of stand up comedy. Third rung: I acted as production assistant for multiple companies and productions for literally four days. Fourth rung: I performed in some student films. Nope, it wasn’t a stepladder I was climbing—it was a Stair Master. I was going nowhere and I needed to get off.

Bam!

It happened all in one single night. I might have been in bed, but for dramatic reasons lets have me pacing through a rainstorm. I was drenched from head to toe and the only sign that I was still alive was the streetlights illuminating the next few steps I was going to take. There in the depths of my quarter life crisis I asked myself: What do I still want to do? Acting, Directing, Standup, Kitchen Prep, Writing.

It wasn’t an epiphany—I don’t get those—it was more of a “duh!” moment. Writing was the fuel that powered all my other previous passion from directing to standup. It was something I did without ever taking credit for because it was a mean for something else. I took it for granted. And it was a bit upsetting to realize all that wasted time was for not.

I don’t know what it’s like to have a divorcé, but I do know what it was like to call it quits on a dream and start all over. I know what it was like to say bye to a childhood passion and welcome a slightly more mature (but not really) alternative.

I still wonder what I would be doing if I didn’t make that conscious choice to become a writer. But I like to think that I haven’t given up on being a filmmaker. Life, after all, is quite long—or it could be—I’m just taking another route, an elevator. And it’s one that I’m currently enjoying. A lot.

I have spent the past two years with some of the most inspiring and generous people. Attending Print Futures at Douglas College and working at the Other Press has introduced me to a world of writing I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. It took me out of my comfort zone, introduced me to new challenges and presented me with opportunities I could not have found from the comforts of my own home. It gave me confidence and made me adventurous. Failure was inevitable, but I wasn’t doing it alone anymore. More important than my education and my skills, I now have supporters. People whom I can turn to when I mess up a line or miss a grammatical error. I’m safe now. I’m on the right path… the climb continues.

 

– Elliot Chan, April 17, 2014

The Past in Between by Elliot Chan

Buy it here!

pastinbetweentitle2

Book description:

Some people get second chances, but Constable Seth Southgate and Van Vuong are much luckier, they’ve got many more—unfortunately chances aren’t privileges, they aren’t measurable, and they aren’t always acknowledged. From a hospital bed and a prison cell, the two men face the repercussions of their choices, recall the chances they received, and wonder when the trigger was pulled and their fortunes faded.

Origin of the book:

In 2010, I didn’t have much going on. I bounced around different jobs, while still trying to hang on to some hope of becoming an actor/director. As I waited for Hollywood to call, I did a lot of writing and developed a love for it—a love that didn’t leave me feeling jilted, unlike my love for film. I entered the 3-Day Writing Contest to motivate myself to write something, just to get it done from beginning to end. Well, I did it—and I left it on the shelf for 3 years. Why I abandoned it for so long, I don’t know, but I do know that I don’t believe in building a boat and never sailing it. So here it is now: The Past in Between is a novel about second chances… which is fitting, because I gave it a second chance to be read, just like how writing offered me a second chance to create artistically, in addition to making a living and pursuing a passion. It really is nice looking back sometimes and seeing where I’ve come from. This book allowed me to do that. Now let’s look forward.

The Past in Between is available on Amazon for ebook.