Joannes Rhino: in a Search of a Place called ‘Home’
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Joannes Rhino: in a Search of a Place called ‘Home’

Born in Jakarta, Joannes Rhino was educated at the local Catholic state school until graduation in 1998. He then continued his study in a hospitality university, Sahid University, majoring in Hotels Management. After graduating in 2005, he started his career as a banker in Citibank and managed to survive until 2010.

At this stage of his life, he built his career perfectly by receiving many awards related to customer satisfaction; Fast-track Trainee to Junior Level, Best Sales in 2007, Best Service in 2008, and Best-in-class Service Asia Pacific Region in 2010. At the time, working with Citibank was indeed his greatest achievement in life, or so he thought. 

Having been working the same routine for years, he started to write a novel to kill the time. Finally, he managed to finish his first novel and got it published. His first novel “Etzhara” was published by the biggest traditional publisher in Indonesia, Gramedia, and sent him to be one of the best young writers under thirty at Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2009.

Feeling confident with the writing skill he had, Joannes Rhino published the second novel, “Dream”, in the same year by another Indonesian traditional publisher, Dastan Books. Starting from then on, he began to receive many invitations to attend book signings, talk shows, radio interviews, and other literary activities. This second novel made him an overnight success.

Feeling secure in terms of financial and social life, Joannes Rhino felt something was missing. The turning over point of his life had occurred when he stumbled on a novel by Paulo Coelho “The Alchemist” and a motivational book by Rhonda Byrne “The Secret”. Those books really changed his perspective about life, and that was when he decided to change his course to pursue his dreams. 

I have to see the world!

Therefore, his six years’ service in Citibank had come to an end. He was 30 at the time, and in the same year, he published a collection of poetry “As The Rest Come To My Heart” in the United Kingdom by Authorhouse. This poetry collection was made during the most troublesome moments of his last 10 years of life when dark clouds enveloped him after the loss of his parents. Anger, anxiety, emptiness, guilt and lost love coalesced into a single, unbearable emotion. 

With all the savings he had from Citibank and book royalties, he decided to let go of the glamorous life of Jakarta and hit the road. Bali was the first place he could think of. In 2010, he travelled there and got a job in a timeshare company; The Karma Royal Group as a Holiday Consultant. Despite the fact that he loved working with The Karma Royal Group, but it felt to him that it was not what he was looking for in this journey. He needed to find his inner peace.

In March 2011, he travelled to Thailand and got himself a spot to volunteer in a local school in Phuket. I survived there for 5 months before headed back to Bali.

Realizing how he was deeply in love with writing, he always wanted to work in a publishing company. The opportunity finally arrived in July 2011. He was employed by The Bali Weekly as Junior Editor. Starting from then on, he moved from one publishing company to another. He was the Editor-in-Chief at Zee Magazine for a year and the Head of Creative Team of Kamar Desain Indonesia for 6 months.

As much as he loved dealing with words and all the extra activities that he did, his passion to see the world kept haunting him. Finally, in March 2012, he decided to travel to Australia. He hitch-hiked from Darwin all the way to Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with a very limited budget. Having a limited source of funds, he was required to fit in with a new lifestyle. And in the sake of getting as much experience for his writing, he lived his life differently; working from farm to farm and restaurant to restaurant, hitch-hiking from place to place, and volunteering from school to school. He went all around Australia and returned to Bali with tons of stories to tell in August 2012. 

During his journey in Australia, he had written two other novels and got rejected by several publishers in Indonesia because the content was too risky to sell. Therefore, he managed to self-published them with a USA publisher, Createspace. This huge change made him an international author. However, this achievement did not stop him from pursuing his literature obsessively. He was then starting to work freelance as a ghostwriter, copywriter and scriptwriter.

A week after he arrived on The Island of Thousands of Gods, he was hired by Exquisite Publishing as Editor-in Chief for a year before another opportunity arrived to be the Associate Editor of NOW! Bali Magazine. Travelling around Bali for 4 years with NOW! Bali Magazine, Joannes Rhino finally stepped up his game to be the Managing Editor of Bali News, while at the same time he also became one of the founders of Travel Treasures Asia.

In 2019, one of his novels, The Unseen Face, was selected as Amazon Best Seller in Psychological Fiction. This success led him to be one of the best Indonesian authors with international recognition.

Joannes Rhino is based at no place as he is still in search of a place called “home”.

Novel published by Joannes Rhino:

  • Etzhara (2004): Gramedia
  • Dream (2005): Dastan Books
  • Harapan Yang Terhempas (2007): Nulis Buku
  • Falling From The Sky – Volume 1 (2008): Createspace
  • As The Rest Come to My Heart (2011): Authorhouse
  • Aku, Dia & Kami (2011): Nulis Buku
  • The Unseen Face (2013): Createspace
  • As The Rest Heal My Heart (2018): Createspace
  • Weasel Out! (2021): Createspace
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