Back in 1998, I started writing a series of children's picture books, which featured my niece and nephews as the main characters: The Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series, the first of which was Sebbie's First Day of School. I started writing because I used to babysit them almost every Friday night and at bedtime they would pile me with stacks of their favourite picture books, insisting that I read each one.
|At my first book signing at the American Club with the stars of the books|
You can well imagine that more often than not, I ended up with a very hoarse throat. So instead of reading from their regular selection, I started making up stories about them. After I had written the first three stories, I approached a local publisher and they signed me up to do another three. I ended up writing 12 books altogether.
Both Singaporean and expat parents have told me that their kids love the books, which have been out of print for years. So it often surprises me when I'm told that even a new generation of kids like the books.. One young reader approached my nephew who is the inspiration for Di-Di-Di and said: "Are you Di-Di-Di?" and when my nephew affirmed the fact, the reader was gobsmacked and replied: "Then Sebbie must be a man by now!"
Recently, I signed a contract with Epigram to release revamped versions of the Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di stories. And while I'm thrilled that the books are being republished, I'm also kind of anxious about it. The stories were written so long ago when I was a newbie; my style has changed considerably since then and I'm wondering if people will like the new editions.
The first book scheduled to be released is At the Night Safari. The image below is the first incarnation of the book, which was published in 1999.
And the image below is the working cover for the new book. Again this may not be the final cover. It's very different from the original but I like the fresh new look a lot. I love it!
|At the Epigram Sales Conference|
The books are scheduled to be released sometime later this year. I guess they could have been out earlier if I had finished the edits on time!
Thanks to my incredible editor Sheri Tan for her patience, support and encouragement, my publisher Edmund Wee of Epigram for republishing them and the readers who actually read the books when they first came out all those years ago.