Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Meeting with Kyle Chandler, a Book Festival and an Award Nomination

Kyle Chandler and Me
Hey, everyone, I met Kyle Chandler today, but first let me tell you about the Asian Festival of Children's Content where my books There's Soup on My Fly! and Blow A Kiss were vying for the Hedwig Anuar Award, which carried a $10,000 cash prize that was to be shared between the author and illustrator.

The Hong Kong & Singapore  members of SCBWI
  Top L to R: Janet, Kathleen, Sue. Bottom L to R:  Resham, Pooja, Me, Kenneth
Not pictured: Catherine
Well,  they didn't announce the shortlist until the awards night and I was pleasantly surprised that There's Soup on My Fly was one of the eight books shortlisted for the award. Well, you know I didn't win, of course,  because if I had, this post would have started very differently.  I did, however, meet the night's guest of honor, President Jose Ramos Horta of Timor Leste, but as you can tell from the photo, he looks like he'd rather be doing something else than posing with me. 
This is what the Prez must be thinking: Why am I posing with this goober?

As you know, I was also a finalist for the Crystal Kite Award so this is shaping up to be a pretty great year. Would have been better if I won the award though, hahaha. No, seriously, it would have.

Cheif Judge of the Hedwig Anuar  Award Ken Spillman announces the short list

Kimi 's seated in black jacket in the front row and Kate's right behind her.
Trevor's the only dude in the photo.

Nominee Sue, SCBWI Singapore leader Kenneth and lovely Lynda
who was so supportive

I also met some wonderful people at the festival, who also happen to be great writers, some of whom were shortlisted for the Scholastic Asian Book Award. 

Kimi Takazawa who hails from Hawaii was nominated for her book about some very unusual chickens - watch out for it!  Kate Whitehead from Hong Kong is another name to look out for. I've got a gut feeling, and my gut is rather sizeable, that both ladies will make it big in the children's lit soon.  You heard it here first!

It was fantastic meeting Janet and Lynda, who were so wonderfully supportive and encouraging! And BTW, Trevor Kew, you're a teacher and author and that's kewl! Auntie Susanna Goho Quek, you're such an amazing artist. Thanks for working with me for FREE!! ha ha. 

Clockwise from the middle: Sarah, Catherine and Kate
Before I forget, I have to add that I'm so proud of my friend and long-suffering editor Sue Flotow who was among the elite list of Scholastic Asian Book Award finalists for her story Kam's School Fish Rolls. After reading it I knew she would be shortlisted, and guess what, she was!!

Special thanks goes out to everyone who were great during the week, especially my fellow SCBWI Singapore members Resham, Pooja, Catherine, Sue, Qian, and of course, our fearless leader and all-round good guy Ken, who puts up with a lot of ***** mostly, ok, no, all of it, from me.
Kyle  Chandler and Me( David Seow)

So you might be wondering how I met Kyle Chandler. Well, I found out that J.J. Abrams and the cast of the movie Super 8 flew in town  to promote their movie and I was lucky enough to meet Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Early Edition, Homefront) who stars in the movie along with Elle Fanning (Dakota's kid sis) and Joel Courtney, who plays his son.

I've been a fan since Early Edition and Kyle was really great.  He's such a nice down-to-earth guy and listened to me babbling about Friday Night Lights and he waited patiently as the contents of my laptop bag fell out as I tried to fish out my books to give him as a souvenir. Of course I had to do the fanboy thing and ask for an autograph and he graciously obliged.  Let me just say he's not one of those celebrities who has the handwriting skills of a doctor, his signature is legible!  I apologized for being a bother, and he kindly assured me that I wasn't. 
Kyle Chandler and my friend Ray

I told him that 'Fly' was recently nominated for a book award and he offered his congratulations. He then asked me to pose for a pic  with him using his camera, not mine, but his! What a thrill! At first my friend Ray couldn't work his camera and told him that he'd take the pic with my camera and then we would email it to him. Ray's attempt to get the personal contact details of a Hollywood star was an epic fail! 

The pic was eventually taken and with a firm handshake, and a smile thanks were exchanged and he was off to his next appointment. I said it before he's a very friendly guy. Thank you, Mr Chandler!  Go see Super 8, people! 

And before I forget, head on down to the bookstore to get Adeline Foo's latest book Whoopie Lee, Almost Famous and Shermay Loh's Archibald and the Blue-Blood Conspiracy. They're fantastic authors. Oh and you might like to get my books too if you haven't already. Ta for now. 

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