I’m giving A TEDx talk guys!

We’re coming to the end of February already? Where did all that time go? Seriously, I want to know.

Some news first. I finished the first draft of my Kayangan novel in a record 25 days! But it is a first draft and looking at it now there are so many holes in it that you could *insert suitable metaphor here. So I’m entering into the hard part of the process which is the second draft. In this part, I pretend to know what I was writing about in my first draft and try to bring everything together. It’s a slower process but deeply satisfying because it reveals a lot about what I was thinking and I find that without actually planning it, some things just kind of flow into each other seamlessly. When this happens, I and very happy. However, the opposite can happen too and I end up scratching my head wondering what possessed me to write this rubbish. Such is life.

Anyway. Revision has been delayed slightly due other work like Grin, my short animated film project which is plodding along nicely. I like talking to my animation team because they use technical terms like ‘comp.’ and ‘masking’ and it’s all very mysterious to me. I have no idea how they manage to translate what I’ve written and what Emila Yusof has drawn onto a screen. It really is like magic and I love it.

In other news. I’ve been asked by Universiti Malaya to give a TEDx talk next month. On 17th March at Universiti Malaya to be precise so if you want to catch me, go to the Universiti Malaya TEDx website and buy your tickets there. I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly I want to talk about. I knew I wanted to talk about fairy tales of course but what about them? After tossing and turning the thing in my mind, I think I’ve got a topic that will be informative, entertaining and will hopefully inspire you all. Haven’t got a snazzy title yet but once I do, I’ll post it here in the journal.

And that’s me for this month. Have a great March.

Happy New Year!

Happy new year to my friends, family and readers. After a hectic December filled with school holiday shenanigans, work and travel, I am so relieved that January is finally here. This is because the kids are safely ensconced in school and I have my eight hours to write again. In fact, I hit my keyboard with a vengeance this week (on the first day of school and the day after we got off a 13-hour flight). It felt so good to have a huge chunk of time to myself to write again and after a month and a half, I was ready for it.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I’ve started a new novel set in a mythical place called Kayangan. I don’t like talking about my current work in progress simply because I discovery write and sometimes I change things along the way, but I’m really excited about this project and glad that it’s coming together.

In other matters, we have finally locked down our script for Grin (my short animated film project) and now she is in the capable hands of my illustrator and the animators, Tudidut who are working on putting the film together. I have to admit I was a bit anxious about this project since hey, I have zero experience in making an animated film, but I’ve got a good team and everything’s coming together like magic.

So the year has started off well and I’m feeling positive it will get even better. This year is going to be all about writing more great stories. I hope that it will be a great year for you too.

Welcome to my World



2017 is coming to an end and here I am starting a journal. After resisting for so long (I wasn’t sure I could commit to a journal) I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Why not? After all, this year was all about jumping into new adventures. I did all sorts of things I never knew I was capable of. I finished my first novel, THE STORYTELLER’S MOUNTAIN and feel immensely proud of this achievement. I know now that I can finish a whole book. I started Papermoon which was launched at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in April this year. We are still in the process of ironing things out, but we have plans to bring our stories to the world in all sorts of different ways. This year, my team and I won the IPCC Award for two of my stories, GRIN and BATIK GIRL. I’ve also published my first picture book, CHICKABOO THE RUNAWAY OSTRICH and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am about this.

As the year draws to a close, my head is bursting with even more stories to write next year. The fifth book of the DOOR UNDER THE STAIRS series which should have been released this year (but for various reasons has been delayed), will be launched by early next year. THE CASE OF THE MISSING ELEPHANTS is about how tin ore was discovered in the Kinta Valley in Perak. And what does this have to do with elephants? Well, you shall have to wait for the book to find out. I also hope that we can launch the sixth book in the instalment which is all about Tun Fatimah and the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese.

There are plans to write a fantasy book inspired by Malaysian and Asian mythology. I’ve been wanting to do this for a very long time and 2018 is the year I’m going to go ahead and write it. There is an outline, the plot has been sketched out and all the characters are ready to go. Speaking of Malaysian myths and folktales, I’ve put up the original artwork from Amin Daud here in my first post. We have been working on a fairy tale project together and this illustration is of course from the story of Bawang Putih Bawang Merah.

So that’s my plan for now. As for this journal, I’ll write about my work (although I refuse to bore you with my daily word count and I probably won’t discuss my WIP), updates on new books and launches, and anything that takes my fancy really. I’ll probably throw in a short story from time to time.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading my words.