This is Psychomilk’s second full interview with the good doctor. Our first interview tackles gay rights in Thailand and about his upcoming series, My Ride. This time, we dive deeper into Dr. Patrick Rangsimant’s ‘psyche’ in terms of how he manages his time and his insights into the world of BL.
– Edited by TheFNGee
Fans asked me to relay this question to you. They wanted to know how you could manage to be a Neurologist and a writer because both require time and a lot of thinking. Fans say you must be a superman. Can you tell us your secret or your routine in handling your medical and writing careers?
Hmm … This question is really difficult because actually I’m not good at managing my time at all. I am just good at prioritizing.
Every Sunday, I always make a list of things I have to achieve within the upcoming week. Then I categorize it to a 2 x 2 table:
- Urgent and Important
- Not Urgent but still Important
- Urgent but not Important
- Not urgent nor Important
Then, I calculate the total-free time that week, which is already minus working time in the hospital, time for family, time for drinking (online) with friends. Divided into three slots and put the first three tasks in that time box. Of course, the fourth, I have to cut it out. Come on. It’s not urgent and not important why do I have to pay attention to it.
You know what? People always have time for important things, and I don’t know why maybe it’s the secret of our universe. Trust me; the universe has its own way to provide the time enough for us to do the important tasks. The problem is we don’t recognize that we are spending the time on not-urgent-not-important things. And that is the reason people are stuck in a time-limited trap. All in all, no need to have a high ability of time management; just have the sense to aware of what is an important task to do. You will forget the time-limited problem ever.
How do you feel about the BL tropes and/or themes? The BL market was created largely by women and is dominated by women which makes a lot of the tropes not very realistic. Examples are:
- “I don’t like men, I only like you”
- Engineering students are always the ‘preferred’ target for Boys Love characters
- Almost always high-school setting
To be honest, I respect the tropes in this red-ocean-market which included all the clichés you mentioned, engineering school, high-school, romance scenes; I love only you, not any other man, blah blah blah. I respect all of those clichés.
To answer this question, we have to trace back to the other question, why we read the novel? Do we read it to understand the world more? Maybe yes, maybe no. Do we read for our own pleasure? Maybe yes, maybe no. Do we read to shift our perception? Again, maybe yes, maybe no. Most of the readers, especially preteens and teenagers, read for pleasure. So, we are talking about reading for pleasure; this is the golden rule, repeat after me, “what the author writes must be what the reader wants to read. Period”
I once heard RL Stine said in MasterClass, “If you write something you want to write, you will be a great writer. If you write something the market wants to read, you’ll end up being a rich writer. Now, choose your status.”
So if you want to stay wealthy in this red-ocean, you have to obey the market trend, not resist it. That’s why most of the writers compose the novels that contain plenty of tropes as you mention before, they are doing their job to make pleasure for the readers.
I, on the other hand, volunteer to do another small job, which is to write something that shifts the reader’s perception. I take the job to write the novel for the reader who wants to understand more about the world, life, and LGBTQ love life.
My aspiration is just different from them, not better than just different. Hence, I respect those authors for making the readers only enjoy while I’m never tired to make my reader understand more about life.
We feature Dr. Patrick’s upcoming series in a special report.
You said previously that rape and sex will not be part of your themes. Is that a decision based on being a man or you think Thai society in general uses rape in a romantic way?
You always ask the difficult question to me LOL.
OK, it’s just my personal taste. I don’t like sex scenes and rape scenes so that I won’t include it in my work. Sometimes I mention that the protagonist had sex, but I never explain it. It’s not my style; I have like more than a thousand ways to make my reader blush without using my protagonist’s genitalia to help.
Don’t take me the wrong way; I never discriminate against those authors who use these elements to enhance the temperature in their work. Again, I respect them. But this is the fact: raping is never romantic. My family raised me this way. I grew up in an environment that taught me raping is an unforgivable crime.
Can you provide us with a diagram of your fictional universe? Are the characters in your books related either they belong to a family or work together or any other connections?
- In Thailand if your last 4 digits in student number are same with the other, that’s your code-family, in your university.
- Tawan, Aim, Khang Han are in the same code-family. Aim is the eldest then KhangHan and then Tawan is last.
- Doctor Phai is not in this family. He graduated from another medical school but in his resident training, he came to this school. KhangHan is his mentor in the department, Phai is a bit older than Tawan. They walk passed in the hospital without knowing each other in personal.
Which of your books is the hardest to write and which one is the easiest?
The easiest is the first book of mine. Actually, for me, writing is never easy nor difficult; it’s just a simple task that I keep doing every day. However, the part that can be determined easily or difficult is self-approving. For the first book, I had no standard to compare; I didn’t even know that it would be famous. So it was very easy to approve my work and release it.
On the other hand, when I wrote the second book, I had the stat from the first one, I knew how the market really was. To be exact, I was pressured by the first book of mine’s standard, and I had to beat it, that’s difficult. I had spent two months writing, but I did spend three months to reread, rewrite, and edit it. I kept asking my editor every day, was it good? …was it good? …was it good? Finally, my editor told me you will never be perfect; everybody can’t be, though. However, you can be accepted. And the only one who can accept is yourself, not me, not the reader.
Moreover, the best book is a book that finishes before the deadline. I learned how to accept and approve myself from work that day. In conclusion, the first book was really easy to let it go, but all the laters were so, so, so difficult, I mean all. I hope this can answer your question LOL
Psychomilk thanks Dr. Patrick for this interview opportunity!