It’s hilariously fitting that my panel with Felix Cheong about handling rejection, at the All In! Young Writers Festival on Saturday, was rejected by all but two of the event’s attendees.
Had I been on the panel with anyone else, I might’ve been upset. But Felix and I had a good laugh about it, and carried on with a relaxed session that hopefully helped (or at least entertained) the students that joined us. A huge thank you to the Book Council; our moderator, Dom; and everyone who made All In! a blast for me again this year.
On a personal note, I got to discover that Felix is as warm and friendly as his books are wonderfully crafted and well-written. Thanks, Felix, for sharing your eye-opening stories, being a great partner during our session, and paving the way for a Singaporean literature culture that allowed me to publish my own books.
Get VANISHING POINT by Felix Cheong from Books Kinokuniya.
We’re less than $800 away from covering the printing costs for LONTAR: THE JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN SPECULATIVE FICTION #10. As I mentioned before, this issue will feature Satay, a brand new short story by yours truly.
Satay originally started life as an idea for a novel that I wanted to do a while back, set in a future world where Singapore was mostly submerged, and kampungs were set up in the remains of surviving high-rise buildings. I eventually decided to shelve the novel, but not before wanting to see whether the world had legs, so I wrote a short story set in it. It’s the most Singaporean of any of my short stories – something I never thought I’d be able to do convincingly – but I’m actually very proud of how it turned out.
If you haven’t already pledged your support for the issue, you can do so at the journal’s Patreon page
It’s official – I can now announce that Project: Icarus is actually Satay, a brand new short story that I’ll be contributing to the final issue of LONTAR: THE JOURNAL OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN SPECULATIVE FICTION.
Aside from my contribution, the issue will also feature short stories, comics and art by several prominent creators from around the region including Sonny Liew, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, Drewscape, and Cyril Wong.
You can help with its printing costs – and get your name mentioned on the acknowledgements page, as well as other rewards – by contributing to the journal’s Patreon page.
Let’s start off with a quick update for Project: Lazarus first.
I’ve got a back cover quote from a very prestigious creator – and I mean, a very prestigious creator. It honestly blows my mind how lucky I am that this person agreed to say some very kind words about my book.
I’ll be at the All In! Young Writers Festival this Saturday, as part of the panel, TRUTH BE TOLD: HANDLING REJECTION IN PUBLISHING. Here’s its official description.
The publishing landscape can be harsh and terse with what it wants and what it likes. How does one handle rejection from publishers, agents and writing competitions? This session tells you how.
This is my second year at All In! and I genuinely love what Book Council’s doing with this event. It’s a great opportunity for students, with the kind of access to professionals I wished I had when I was a kid.
If you’re a parent whose child has an interest in writing or if you’re a teacher that would like to sign your class up not just for my panel, but also for the other fantastic talks at the festival, you can register for the event here.
(I did an interview a little while back, in support of my appearance at All In!, with National University of Singapore’s Radio Pulze. I talked about my books, writing, and finding a balance between work and my projects. You can listen to it here.)
Does anyone anymore? I mean, obviously Warren Ellis does, because of course Warren Ellis does.
Anyway, this is going to be short-form blogging. We’ll start with just a little of my personal life and mostly my projects, but see how things go over time.
I have a few projects due out this year – two unannounced for now and the fourth issue of PULP TOAST / ROTI BAKAR. I’ve codenamed those first two projects Project: Lazarus and Project: Icarus.
There are a couple more things to settle for Project: Lazarus before we start looking at stuff like design. This one sees me reuniting with some fine folks that I’ve worked with before. There’s no release date just yet.
The contract for Project: Icarus has been signed and we’re looking at an April release date, so proper announcements relatively soon. My editor for Project: Icarus is someone I’ve wanted to work with for a while, but things only really aligned last year. Here’s an excerpt.
At five o’clock every morning, the halls of the fortieth floor would be thick with the grey smoke emanating from the grill, a queue having already formed an hour earlier. One at a time, people from every level would climb up or come down to the old man and give him a reverent salaam. It didn’t matter if they were from one of the most respected families of the upper levels or the lowest scavenger, Rafi’s father treated everyone equally and they would show him respect in kind.
PULP TOAST / ROTI BAKAR #4 is scheduled for an August release date. More info about that here.
I was in Bangkok last weekend, living a life of leisure while my girlfriend worked. It was excellent. I definitely recommend it. Here’s my “white girl on holiday” shot.