Thursday, May 31, 2012

Asian Festival of Children's Content: Local Authors, International Audience

For weeks, Ken had been asking me if I had finished my PowerPoint for the Local Authors, International Audience panel discussion with authors Emily Lim and Shamini Flint. My standard reply was "more or less". And when I say more or less, that usually means more on the less side; however, I wasn't going to tell him that! Thankfully I finally finished my PowerPoint presentation on the morning of our panel discussion.  How on earth was I going to measure up to the two powerhouses of local children's literature. Talk about PRESSURE!!! So I figured that I would basically use attention grabbing tactics. Sad and pathetic? Yes. Shameless? Most definitely!!

Leonard Marcus delivers his address

So the day kicked off with Leonard Marcus's engaging keynote address  Children's Books for Education and Entertainment. I really wish I had an opportunity to listen to him when I first started writing; it would have saved me a lot of grief when I was first starting out in this industry.  Getting Your Books on  Bookshelves Across South East Asia was a session I would have loved to have attended but I had to put my finishing touches on my presentation.

Catherine and Sarah were already at the Bookaburra perusing the books on sale. Dragging Sarah to my makeshift workspace, I ran through my PowerPoint and she gave me the thumbs up. That was a relief until I realised that Internet access was practically out of the question. I'm kind of a dunce when it comes to these things, but I finally managed to figure it out in time to head over to the next session:

Crossing Borders: Taking Our Books Out of Our Home Country with Vatsala Kaul-Banerjee of Hachette-India and Adeline Foo.  Inspiring as always, Adeline, inspiring as always.

Local Authors, International Audience
At 1:45pm I headed down to the Earshot Cafe to meet with Phan Ming Yen, the moderator Local Authors, International Audience, and my fellow panelists, Shamini Flint and Emily Lim. I literally bumped into Shamini--Sorry, Shamini, I'm a klutz, while she was talking to Ken Spillman  before Ming Yen and Emily arrived to run through the sequence of our talk. Shamini was all set and she didn't even need a PowerPoint presentation!  Emily was all ready to go and as for me, well I could only rely on my cheap attention-grabbing tactics. We agreed that the ladies should start off the panel discussion: Emily,  Shamini, then me.

The Gallery, the venue of our panel discussion was packed! A. Susanna was there to take pictures and to offer support...I mean.  Emily borrowed my computer for her PowerPoint presentation. Dang she was well prepared! It was brilliant! I suddenly had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Next, it was Shamini's turn. She's brilliant and she makes it seem effortless.  Shamini  left everyone in stitches with her sense of humor on how she went from high flying lawyer with a sports car to a mum and a writer. And she didn't even need a PowerPoint presentation and I was next. Beads of sweat began to dot my brow and I felt an acne outbreak coming on. There was no way my presentation could compare to these two ladies.  Oh boy. Thankfully I didn't mess up my presentation! And before I knew it, the presentation was over and I was exhausted.

Shamini Flint, Emily Lim and me!

I headed straight over to the launch of  Neill Laurenson's aka Sabian Lau's  book The Prince and the Merlion which was moderated by AFCC Board of Advisors Chairperson Claire Chiang. 

Neill Laurenson aka Sabian Lau and Claire Chiang at the book launch
of the Prince and the Merlion

Stacey Zolt Hara

This was quickly followed by Stacey Zolt Hara's app launch of her book Bella's Chinese New Year

I had a few sessions to attend before the SCBWI dinner at the Pod at the library which I was really looking forward to and I managed a quick chat with Sarah Odedina. It turns out she's not a fan of scatalogical books so I'm glad I didn't talk to her about my latest book-"The Farting Forest".
exchanging autographs with Naomi Kojima

On my way out, I exchanged autographs with  Naomi Kojima. She signed   her charming book Singing Shijimi Clams for me and I signed my book  Monkey: The Classic Chinese Aventure Tale for her. After a quick stop to the library, I headed to the POD where SCBWI members from around the world were already gathered for a buffet dinner. I was beginning to feel my gut expand.

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