Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Daunt Books

So we left for Daunt Books at around 6pm for our 7pm panel discussion. Paul Tan of the National Arts Council of Singapore was moderating the panel which included poet Alvin Pang, novelist  Colin Cheong, playwright Rosaline Ting and myself, of course.

On the way there I received a message from Kenneth asking if I was on my way. You know does Tom Cruise ever show up on time for his movie premieres? I was thinking of showing up fashionably late, but since the store wanted us out of there by 8:30pm I knew that wasn't going to go down well.

Daunt Books

When I got to the Daunt's, it was cocktail hour with wine being served. I was about to grab a glass to calm my nerves when Kenneth and Shiuan snapped "No"!  I suppose it's because I get an uncontrollable fit of the giggles after a few sips. I also finally met Jonathan who I had been in touch with via email with regards to selling my books there that night. Thanks, Jonathan, now I can say I sold my books at Daunt's.

They steered me towards the podium. Gee Yung, bless his heart, was there early straight from work and my old primary one classmate who I haven't seen in decades Maninder Gill turned up as did Kelvin who writes the Singaporean in London Blog. Award-Winning Author Candy Gourlay, Anita Loughrey and Chitra Soundar also came to offer their support.

Anita, Candy and me

I entrusted Enrico to take the pictures, I don't know why because he didn't do a very good job the night before with James McAvoy, but I decided to let him have a second chance. Once again he proved why he is an illustrator and not a photographer.

Ok, wondering where I'm going to sit

Paul facilitates. And Enrico can't take a proper photo.

Paul did a great job facilitating the session. Colin was up first and after a brief intro into his writing career he read a bit of his work, before Alvin did the same. Both were witty and entertaining and I wasn't sure that I was going to measure up in any way. Next Rosaline a UK based playwright spoke at length about her writing career and read a monologue from one of her plays. Then it was my turn.

Now here's where my mind goes blank because I can't exactly remember everything I said - nerves - but I guess the audience found it entertaining enough. The evening ended with a quick Q & A before we had to high tail it out of the shop before it closed.

Old friend Maninder Gill and me.
After the talk I managed to meet Tracy, an Irish author based in Denmark and her agent Jay, from Jacaranda literary agency and managed to take a snap shot with her. The photograph below is evidence of a binding contract, practically signed in blood. 

Jay and me signing our blood contract.

Gee Yung suggested going to the Italian Restaurant Carluccio's for dinner so we headed there for a post talk meal. One of the patrons from Daunt who was at the talk recognized me and asked me to sign my book-I felt like such a celeb. Later our server asked if I was on TV or had my own show. Pretty funny if you think about it.

Signing an autograph at Carluccio's

We ended the evening with desert and laughs and of course we had to have a bit of birthday cake as it was Candy's birthday that coming Friday. Then we headed back to our hotel to rest up for the last day of the fair.

Kenneth Quek, Gee Loong and Candy Gourlay

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