An Interview with Author, Musician, and Journalist Joe Henley Ep 64

10 February 2020

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

I conducted an interview with author, musician, and journalist Joe Henley, about his latest book, Bu San Bu Si, and his first book, Sons of the Republic. In writing Bu San Bu Si, Joe (who is Taipei-based) clearly drew upon his multi-disciplinary background.



The book after all is about a Taiwanese punk band and the struggles that the musicians face in reconciling their punk personas with Taiwan’s societal expectations. Joe, incidentally, has sung in punk rock and metal bands, and much of what he’s written in Bu San Bu Si was inspired by what he experienced in the Taipei punk and metal band scene.




We also talked about what motivates people with creative pursuits and how important money and fame might be in that pursuit. I asked him about his writing process and to offer advice to aspiring writers. Joe was unabashedly frank about what motivated him to write his first book, Sons of the Republic and talked about the subject of his next book.

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

• Joe’s latest novel, Bu San Bu Si
• What the phrase “bu san bu si” means
• Joe’s writing process
• How Joe ended up in Taiwan
• How Saskatchewan (where Joe is from) compares to Taiwan
• How Joe adjusted from moving from Saskatoon to Taipei
• What motivated Joe to write his first novel, Sons of the Republic
• Joe’s career as a musician and freelance writer
• The topics of Joe’s future books
• Joe’s advice for aspiring authors
• Being a journalist vs. a novelist/author
• Joe’s two bands: Stench of Lust, and Revilement



Related Links:


Anthony Kao of Cinema Escapist Recommends Films About Taiwan Ep 117


An Interview with Charles Yu, Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction Ep 114


Jazz Trombone Player Peter Lin: A Mix of East and West Ep 73