Wednesday, December 6, 2017

100 WRITERS _____ Meet ANDY CHEN, he just published a picture book featuring his two young daughters

NOTE: This post is part of my 100 WRITERS project.

On this blog, I've featured a number of parents who were somehow inspired by their kids to get creative and write their own books. Check out these earlier interviews with Melanie Lee, Kristi Wientge, Jo Furniss and Simon Chesterman. And now here's Andy Chen, one more parent-author who has turned his reflections on fathering into a funny picture book. You can find out more about it here. It's a book that parents and grandparents will appreciate too. If you're thinking of creating your own book too, our 100 WRITERS resource list will help you along. Here's the link. Thanks to Andy for taking the time to do this interview.


— D




=================
MEET ANDY CHEN
=================

Tell us about yourself, and your new picture book!
I’ve been a writer and editor at newspapers and magazines for almost 20 years. In comparison, my journey as a father has been only half as long. My book, The Swing Of Things, is inspired partly by my two daughters’ love of the swings at playgrounds and also by Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.


What aspects of this book are you most proud of?
My wife jokes that she likes how shapely her body is in the pictures. I’m just happy the book found a publisher.

For the benefit of readers who want to create their own picture books, what was the most interesting lesson you learnt here? 
The key lesson I learnt is that writers of picture books who are not also illustrators have to act like a film director to the artist, who’s like the cinematographer on the film set. A writer must convey a vision for the artist to grasp.


How will you promote this book? 
I’ve had a launch at Woods In The Books as well as been a part of the Singapore Writers Festival. I’ve been most touched by readers of my parenting columns in The Sunday Times who turn up at these events and who buy my books.












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Join this special gathering of book lovers 
at the 2017 Book Fair @ Armenian Church 
— 10 December 2017















From Armour Publishing:

Customise Your Christmas Gift Box
With every $50 and above spent, Armour Publishing 
will package your books in a Christmas Gift Box, with a 
free bottle of STICKY Sweets and a Christmas Card 
for you to write your personalised message 
to your loved ones. Selection includes

This promotion ends on 20 December











100 WRITERS _____ Our special holiday video, every story you publish makes this planet a more interesting place




NOTE: Find out more about the 100 WRITERS project.

It's been a great year. Thank you for being part of this journey. We created new stories, made more friends, experienced moments that really filled our hearts with wonder. Take care, have a good holiday break. What you can imagine, you can create!

— D








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Join this special gathering of book lovers 
at the 2017 Book Fair @ Armenian Church 
— 10 December 2017












From Armour Publishing:

Customise Your Christmas Gift Box
With every $50 and above spent, Armour Publishing 
will package your books in a Christmas Gift Box, with a 
free bottle of STICKY Sweets and a Christmas Card 
for you to write your personalised message 
to your loved ones. Selection includes

This promotion ends on 20 December








Tuesday, December 5, 2017

100 WRITERS _____ Join this special gathering of book lovers this Sunday, at the 2017 Book Fair @ Armenian Church


NOTE: This post is part of my 100 WRITERS project.

Christmas is the season for love. If you love books, or if you need gifts for your loved ones, or if you're just looking to hang out and meet new people, come join us at this very special book fair organised by Booktique Where Writers Shop. You'll get to chat with authors, publishers and lots of fellow book collectors with diverse interests. Full event details below.

I'll be there from 12:30pm to 2pm, to meet readers, sign books and catch up with friends. Do say hi!


Our publisher Marshall Cavendish is running a stall featuring my books:

Sherlock Hong Adventures series

Lion City Adventures series

Superkicks series

Magicienne

Imagine All This: How to write your own stories

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

:)


— D






EVENT DETAILS

2017 Book Fair at the Armenian Church

Sunday, December 10, 2017
11:00 AM  7:00 PM
Armenian Church
60 Hill Street Singapore, 179366 Singapore

Official Facebook event page, for updates


Info from organiser:

Celebrate this Christmas with us at the Armenian Apostolic Church Of St Gregory The Illuminator Singapore Built in 1835, it is the oldest Christian Church in Singapore and was gazetted as a national monument. 

Booktique is the first to sell books in the Church's history when we organised our Christmas book fair there in 2013. This time, we've invited other booksellers and craftmakers to join us. The book fair will be held outside the chapel and under the pavillion. 

We have curated over 100 titles and our vendors, too, have uniqie Christmas gift ideas for you. The migrant poets and Wesley Can will also be there to sell their books. So come and shop for gifts in a peaceful garden surrounded by sculptures. Save the date now for a once-in-a-lifetime book fair experience. Photography enthusiasts, don't forget to bring your camera to capture the experience and art around you! Start inviting your friends now! 

Visitors please note that the Church does not allow parking on its ground. Unauthorised vehicles will be towed away. Strictly no foods and drink, and smoking in the Church compound. 

Booktique accepts both CASH AND NETS payment. Bring enough cash because other vendors may accept CASH only. And bring your own shopping bags to save the earth.


~ Vendors in a glance:
Bleak illustration - craft
The Stressed Ball - book
Booktique Where Writers Shop - book
Wesley Can (Welsey Wee) - book
Jamie Sews (http://www.jamie-sews.com/) - craft
OverDough Cakes (home-based bakery) - cookies
Jiaceramics (https://www.instagram.com/jiaceramics/) - craft
My Quiet Adventures (http://www.myquietadventures.com/) - book
Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) - book
Saurus Series - book
Migrant Tales পরবাসীকথা - book

~ Special time for meet-and-greet:

12 pm to 1pm - Peh Shing Huei, author of children's book, Dream Island: The Mad, Mad World of Philip Yeo, and two bestsellers, Neither Civil Nor Servant and When the Party Ends.

11am onwards - Md Mukul Hossine, Bangladeshi poet of Braving Life and Me Migrant.

12.30pm to 2pm - Don Bosco, author of Sherlock Hong Adventures series and the Lion City Adventures series. He is also the founder of Super Cool Books, a publishing studio that produces thrilling fiction for young readers.

1pm onwards - Wesley Wee, inspiring author of "Finding Happiness against the Odds". He typed out his story using his big, right toe and took him 5 years to complete.

2pm onwards - Gwee Li Sui, bestselling author of Spiaking Singlish. Gwee is also a poet, graphic artist and literary critic.











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LION CITY ADVENTURES FAN CLUB

Join the adventure!
Published by Marshall Cavendish














MAGICIENNE
by Ning Cai and Don Bosco

Synopsis: Fifteen year old Angel Morning Lee grew up in a children's home, never knowing her parents. Her only escape is performing tricks with an old magic set. One day she is given a scholarship to Modern College, an elite school for girls. There, she becomes close friends with Pammy, a strange schoolmate who has a disturbing secret. To fight the abuse of power all around her, she must find the courage to follow her own heart.









Monday, December 4, 2017

MY BLADE QUEST _____ Parents who read with kids are really preparing them for a lifetime of awesome literary adventures


What inspired me to start Super Cool Books, back in 2011, was that I realised how much my two sons loved to read. Sharing books with them was a terrific way to develop an emotional connection. Reading stories made them curious, creative and excited about the world of books. Every public library, every bookstore, became a place of anticipation and wonder. What fantastic reading adventures would they come across next? This question was always on their minds.

It was a natural progression from there. Soon my sons started to ask about making their own books to share with others. I tried to convince them that it was easier said than done. There would be so many obstacles. Countless hurdles along the way. It was risky, possibly disappointing. Even for grown ups. But they couldn't be persuaded. And so I started Super Cool Books as a small publishing studio, to let them try making and selling their own books.

I thought we would last maybe six months. At best, a year. Well, I was wrong. After six years, we're still putting out new books. Thanks to all the support from our publishing partners, libraries, schools, retailers, parenting support groups, reading advocates, and of course all the young and enthusiastic readers.

You can read about our early publishing adventures here:

Interviewed by middle grade author Felicia Low-Jimenez 

Interviewed by SG picture book author Melanie Lee

Interviewed by Malaysian author Tutu Dutta

I’m always inspired when I meet the many other parents who share a similar passion for encouraging their children to read. We all know it's enriching in so many ways, too many to even start discussing here.

Photo from LilBookworm blog, read her full post here

You can imagine how thrilled I was to read local mommy blogger Jenn's recent post on her Lil Bookworm blog, about discovering our My Blade Quest series:
"AJ was told to read them only after exam. But, you know, KIDS. He couldn’t contain the excitement of having new storybooks to read. He secretly sneaked them into his bag to read during pockets of time or bring one to the toilet to read while doing his business." (Full blog post here)

Photo from Owls Well blog, read her full post here

Also, Owls Well, active mommy blogger and My Blade Quest reader, recently shared her son's review of the My Blade Quest series, along with great insights on the kinds of books that her family appreciates. Read her full blog post here.

To help promote this spirit of reading at home, the fine people at Armour Publishing, who publish our My Blade Quest series, have put together a special Christmas Gift Box package. With every $50 and above spent, your order will be delivered with a free bottle of STICKY Sweets and a Christmas Card, for you to write your personalised message to your loved ones. Besides our My Blade Quest series, you can choose from their many other children's titles. This holiday promotion will run until 20 December. You can place orders here.

I'd also like to thank all the parents and young readers who have written to me over these years. Recently, one young reader, Maya, submitted a thoughtful article about how to promote reading at home. Thank you, Maya! Here's her article below, with some really good tips for readers of all ages.

I wish you all Happy Reading this holiday season!

:)


— D


================




READING AT HOME
By Maya

Today I will be sharing five tips that have helped me develop a love for reading. I wrote this post because I used to hate reading and found it very difficult, but then my mum shared a few of these tips and my love for reading began magically. Now there are books I can’t put down.

TIP 1
You need to know which genres you like. Start by reading different genres and then pick a few that you like and try to read those types of books. I tried reading what I saw my friends reading and never really found the interest but then someone gifted me a novel which was about a young detective girl. I couldn’t put it down. 

TIP 2
Once you select your book, read two to three chapters and then decide whether the book is your type or not. At the start all books feel like a maze. But just give it a try.

TIP 3
Try and set a goal to finish your book. If I have a book which has 200 pages and I want to finish the book in ten days, I try to read 20 pages a day. It is ok if you can’t read 20 pages at first. I started with 2 pages a day only and grew that to 20 pages. 

TIP 4 
Try and read in your pocket times (times were you are waiting for something or someone). I always read when my parents say, “ Let's go out”, and then they take so long to get ready. 

TIP 5 
When you are reading, give the book your full attention. Avoid places like the dining table and living room. I like to read in my room because there’s not much movement around me 

TIP 6
Give your reading habit a fixed time slot. I see that both my parents have very specific times for reading. My mother always reads first thing in the morning with her coffee, and my father always reads before falling asleep in the bed. 

I hope these tips are helpful for you!




Read another contribution by Maya here.











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From Armour Publishing:

Customise Your Christmas Gift Box
With every $50 and above spent, Armour Publishing 
will package your books in a Christmas Gift Box, with a 
free bottle of STICKY Sweets and a Christmas Card 
for you to write your personalised message 
to your loved ones. Selection includes

This promotion ends on 20 Dec.











Free creative writing exercises for young writers!
Created by Don Bosco