I met Joelyn Alexandra at a recent Matchbox Mayhem event and was intrigued to hear about the different writing circles that she's been involved with. She's launching a fantasy anthology this weekend, as part of the Singapore Writers Festival, and you're all invited to attend. Full details and links below. Thanks to Joelyn and her cool co-editor Sarah for doing this interview. Topics covered include writing fantasy stories, NaNoWriMo, blood sacrifice, an indie fiction zine, their coming book launch, the magic number "1,667", and a steampunk connection. Bet you can't wait to read this already. Over to them.
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Thanks to Seriously Sarah (left) and Joelyn Alexandra for all photos.
People wanna know. Who are you?
Sarah: Hi. I'm Sarah. Seriously Sarah or you know, Maisarah if you see it in the books here. I write young adult stories, or blog on my website at seriouslysarah. Sometimes I edit anthologies!
Joelyn: I’m Joelyn Alexandra, I mainly write mystery and dystopia, slowly seeping into the young adult audience, thanks to Sarah. I blog at http://joelynalexandra.wordpress.com and also coordinate and write for Pulp Toast / Roti Bakar, a zine featuring entertaining short fiction by local and regional collectives and writers.
You're part of the Happy Smiley Writers Group. Do you smile while you write?
Joelyn: The Happy Smiley Writers Group was formed after our 2008 run of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Sarah and Rosemary Lim, our Municipal Liaisons (MLs) for NaNoWriMo at that time, came up with this idea to form a group of genre fiction writers who wanted to publish something other than the literary works. We wanted to publish stories which were, first and foremost, entertaining (e.g. Harry Potter, Nancy Drew) and with happy endings just because.
What's your new book about, Escape from Reality?
Joelyn: Officially, it's an anthology of fantasy stories written by writers in Singapore and Malaysia. Unofficially, the gateway to a different parallel or universe without the need of your passport. Or blood sacrifice.
Sarah: There are some stories that you just want to not go in the typical route. This is the anthology for them.
Can we attend the book launch at the Singapore Writers Festival?
Sarah: It's free for all. Do buy our book though, it is set to be $20 (last check) at the official store there. Or you can say hi to us at the NaNoWriMo Kick-off on the 31st, 6PM, Level 5, Possibility Room of the National Library. We won't be selling our books there but you can just say hi first.
Joelyn: I’ll be having a showcase with the 2014/15 batch of Mentor Access Project (MAP) mentees as well! It’ll be on 4th November, 8:30PM, at the Hall at The Arts House.
Any tips for those trying out NaNoWriMo for the first time?
Joelyn: Remember it’s just to get something done – don’t worry about how “crappy” or “ridiculous” it is, editing will come and wash everything away anyway. So just have fun. Or try.
Sarah: Just do it. Keep to your schedule of at least 1,667 words per day and just write on! It's not a test, it's a marathon.
Where can we check out your other work?
Joelyn: I blog on http://joelynalexandra.wordpress.com, and I’m also spearheading this indie quick fic zine, Pulp Toast. We’re launching in December so you can check out more updates here: http://www.facebook.com/pulptoast
Sarah: For me: http://www.seriouslysarah.com/blog or http://twotrees.com.sg/AS%C2%A1FF.php, where you can find other works I’ve contributed to, including The Steampowered Globe (Steampunk).
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