Sunday, November 8, 2009

Print, The Writers Festival, Neil Gaiman & Best-Selling Magic Hand Sweat

After months of anguishing over TSOMF, it's finally going to print. Paying the illustrator this week, paying the printer after that. Anxious, nervous basketcase is basically my current state of being. Just wondering if anyone else out there is equally as frazzled when they've just completed a project, or is it just me?

I remember when I was in school, I'd make long distance calls home, convinced I had failed a course or an exam, only to find out that I aced it when the results came out. Needless to say, Mom and Dad weren't too amused. Does anyone else set themselves up with low expectations so that they don't jinx themselves, or is it just me again?

Anyway, working on my next book, Blow A Kiss.  It's very different from my previous stories and it's basically about one child's wish. This one's going to be somewhat challenging as I'm illustrating this one myself. Time to step out of the comfort zone. The book is scheduled to be out by February next year.

Oh, before I forget, I met Neil Gaiman at the Singapore Writer's Festival. Terrific speaker, who would have thought someone who writes such such dark and macabre stories could be so  funny? Got in line right after his first talk so that I could get a book signed for my nephew and myself. Then I was told everyone could get only one item signed. Fortuitously, I spotted one of my Sunday School students attending another talk, and his mother graciously agreed to lend him to me so that I could get my other book signed.

As  his current project is based on the Chinese classic 'Journey to the West", I  brought along a copy of my book 'Monkey the Classic Chinese Adventure Tale"in the hopes of presenting it to him. I didn't know if it would be possible as the ushers were ushing people along at NASCAR pace. Soon I was in front of the great writer himself. 'Mr Gaiman, I thought you might like this. I wrote it," I stammered. He looked at me and smiled, and then he did something quite unexpected--he asked for my email or my business card.

I stood there motionless like a blithering idiot before scrummaging my pockets for a name card. "You can write your email down on the book," he suggested. The people behind me started to sigh in frustration; the ushers rolled their eyes.  I finally produced a rather earmarked one from my wallet, trembling I handed it to him.  "Thank you for the book, he said, shaking my hand firmly, before signing my book.

All the while I was thinking, may your best-selling magic hand sweat rub off on to me. May your best-selling magic hand sweat rub off on to me! Then with another handshake I thanked him and I was ushered off.

And so now, I wait most anxiously for Mr Gaiman's email. Maybe he didn't like the book, maybe he lost my card, maybe he's using the book as a door stopper. Oh well, no use specualting what will be will be. That's all for now folks.

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