This interview was first published on the now deleted local blog on 2nd January, 2015
Zen Cho is the author of Spirits Abroad, published by Fixi NOVO, and editor of the imprint’s upcoming Cyberpunk anthology. She is also the self-published author ofThe Perilous Life of Jade Yeo.
This Q&A with Cho was carried out via email and was in danger of going on indefinitely as her answers raised even more questions and also gave me plenty of food for thought …Read More »
This interview was first published on 11th July, 2014 on the now deleted ‘local’ blog.
Shih-Li Kow is a Malaysian writer published by Silverfish Books. In 2009 her short story anthologyRipples and Other Stories was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
Previously, Kow’s stories had appeared in News from Home, a collection with two other Silverfish writers Rumaizah Abu Bakar and Chua Kok Yee.
This year, Silverfish published Kow’s first novel, The Sum of Our Follies. In the following Q&A, Kow talks to local about growing up in a small town, what needs to happen for Malaysian fiction to be more widely read, getting edited, and whyFollies isn’t ‘really a novel’.Read More »
First published on 23 April, 2010 in Star2
EMILY GRAVETT must be the most prolific picture book creator in existence. In five years, the 37-year-old Brighton-native has produced 10 books – nine wholly by her, the 10th, a collaboration with Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffalo and many other much-beloved picture books).
But when I speak to her on the phone, Gravett frets about being unproductive: ‘I don’t think I’ve published that many books,’ she said from Singapore, the final leg of her recent Asian tour to promote Cave Baby, her collaboration with Donaldson. ‘I could be publishing more – I feel a little uneasy whenever I’m between books.’
Gravett is inspired by everyday situations, conversations on the radio, things she overhears in shops and on the bus. She claims to work in a ‘very chaotic’ way.
‘I have a sketch book and I mess about with ideas. A book usually comes together in a bit of a mess. There’s a lot of reorganisation and sorting things out.’
Gravett’s books are either deceptively simple (like Orange Pear Apple Bear, The Odd Egg or Blue Chameleon) or extremely complex, full of subtle jokes, witty asides, and visual gags.
Read More »
A shorter version of this interview was first published on 27th September, 2009 in The Star.
MOST PEOPLE tend to associate picture books with simple stories, illustrated with simple, brightly coloured pictures. Of course, those with a more intimate knowledge of this medium of storytelling know that there is more to picture books than just pretty pictures that simply offer a visual description of a straightforward, basic text.
Picture books may deal with complex and difficult themes and subject matter, and this may be reflected in either the text or the art, or both.
Shaun Tan is a picture book artist whose work is definitely more complex than what the average person might expect to find in a alphabet or counting book. I know people who started collecting picture books after they read one of Tan’s. The Melbourne-based 35-year-old started his career drawing for science fiction and horror novels. His art appears in picture books written by John Marsden (The Rabbits) and Gary Crew (The Viewer and Memorial) and he also illustrates his own books (The Red Tree, The Arrival, The Lost Thing, Tales from Outer Suburbia).
Read More »
First published on 30th March, 2008 in The Star
SUFIAN Abas is a sulky young man who smells like freshly-pressed laundry. He takes stunning photographs … but (it is said) they are nothing compared to his beautiful, detailed work in cross-stitch.
He tap dances. He enjoys skinny-dipping. And climbing trees. He loves horses, especially unicorns. He dislikes children, but thinks they might be delicious curried, or roasted and served with carrots and potatoes.
Sufian claims that he was once nearly murdered by a witch.Read More »