Experiencing humaneness through words
As a primary four child who took his books from home to sell to classmates, Adam Tie knew he was pretty good at recommending stuff. Selling each book at a dollar, he knew nothing about profit margins then. Now he sure does, after bringing The Novel Encounter to fruition.
He used to be a journalist, but one day he decided to start his own business.
Two things mattered – low capital and passion, and he was happy with both. Like the then Primary four child, Adam continued his recommending, selling mystery books – giving readers a novel encounter with stories.
If you have heard of The Novel Encounter, what comes to mind would then be poems created by three given words, coming to life on a typewriter.
This typewriter idea sparked when Adam chanced upon typewriters at a vintage fair. As he was typing on one, a customer came by and paid him to type a poem for her. Then the inspiration came – he adopted the idea and monetised it.
Beneath the dreamy vibes from the poems’ vintage aesthetic, lies the ultimate drive for the business – passion vs profession. Since his publisher was interested in the poems and he had both the interest and skill to write them, he kept them coming and regular orders streamed in.
Also, he may be no Hemmingway (though many of us secretly hope to be, I guess), but writing on a typewriter makes him feel like a writer of a different era altogether. It comes with more breathing space between each word and idea.
Other than the gritty details of a business, writing and words are special to him as it was his way of connecting. Could you believe that this outgoing storyteller today couldn’t even look at people in the eye in the past?
He now connects people, and the human interaction he has with customers at fairs is extremely precious to him. It still amazes and humbles him – the trust complete strangers have to come up to him and reveal their secrets and stories.
Once, a girl came up to him while her mother wasn’t looking; and gave him three words to write, as a break up note to her girlfriend.
Another encounter he had was with a mother whose daughter stopped speaking, and she hoped that words could be her avenue of expression.
Having started off writing for himself, he now finds a shift in his purpose – as he writes for people now.
Even as writing is his a skill that earns his bread and butter, the passion and humaneness in it is always felt and expressed in Adam’s work.