Today we begin a multi-part interview with Vannead Horn, the self-published author of The Spirit of a Fighter: From Cambodia, Victim of the Khmer Rouge Genocide, to France Then USA. The book, his first with AuthorHouse was the recipient of a Pacific Book Award in the “Best Biography” category.
Vannead, please tell us about your background.
I was born in Cambodia, and was a victim of the Cold War, civil war, genocide and the Vietnamese invasion. The loss of my parents and siblings was the result of those painful conflicts. Then, as the sole survivor of my family, I married and succeeded in getting out of Cambodia. In January 1981, with our first baby boy, my wife and I were adopted by France as political refugees. There, I started my life as a gardener but ended up by becoming an engineer with a French master’s degree.
Afterwards, in September 2004, we immigrated to the America as small business investors. Last but certainly not least, with the help of God, recently we have become permanent residents of our second adoptive country: the USA, the land of our dreams.
Concerning my literary background, I would say that I did not have one! However, there were a few things that influenced me to love literature. My mom started teaching me how to read and write at a relatively young age. She encouraged me to read my first series of 27 short books when I was five years old. The series was a war story, which my mom had bought before I was born. She told me that I was named Vannak after the audacious and ingenious military chief in the story.
As a result, it may be because of these things that a love of literature just popped into my head a very long time ago.
We’ll present the second part of our interview with Vannead Horn next week. His award-winning book, The Spirit of a Fighter, is available at Amazon and the AuthorHouse Bookstore.
For a complete list of Pacific Book Award winners, check out their website here.