"Literary arts is a form of art where we use words, like painters."
Sometimes I read what I wrote a few years ago and feel embarrassed. It's not necessarily bad - it's just that my priorities have changed. I look back and am relieved I didn't publish it. You've studied numerous books. What is the trend that you've noticed between an author's earlier works and later works?
I have worked with many authors who are amazing writers but get stuck when it comes to dealing with the commercial side of publishing. It's a sentiment I understand all too well. I was once in those very same shoes - wondering how in the world I was ever going to achieve my lifelong dream of publication. I've learnt it all the hard way so others won't have to.
Welcome on board The Great Father of Time, the best teacher of life and the de facto co-ruler of the Solar System—Saturn, the only planet in the Cosmos who can stand up to the Sun as its equal. Surprised, are you? I was too when I was first introduced to him while reading The Little Light by Dipa Sanatani.
Traditional publishing is a long time-consuming process. Big publishing houses are highly selective when choosing content. If an author doesn’t have an existing audience, it becomes even more difficult to crack a deal. On the other hand, self-publishing favours the author in many ways. The author has full authority to decide when to publish the book. He or she also retains all rights relating to the book.
The genesis of fairy tales can be traced back to tradition of oral stories told by wandering storytellers. Such stories, which were passed on from mouth to mouth for long years without being written down ever, fascinated the children for centuries and kept their imagination alive. These stories remain in their memory along with their deep underlying moral streak, even when kids grow up. Such is the power of folklore and fairytales.
As I made my way down Jonker Street, I found myself at The Royal Press - one of the world's oldest surviving polyglot letterpress museums dedicated to preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Located in one of Melaka's many shophouses, I was immediately hit by a sense of nostalgia when I walked in. As a descendant of Southeast Asian merchants, I am all too familiar with the concept of the shopfloor on the ground floor and a living space on the second floor.
"Spirituality is faith and experience based whereas science is fact and observation based. I don’t see why the two can’t coexist. We humans have a great capacity for imagination and compassion. We’re also incredibly analytical and rational. It’s how our brains are wired – to live with these two contradictions and still function."
As a former teacher, I really wanted to write a book that my students could understand, appreciate and relate to. For my work to have relevance to the modern reader, it had to be accessible. I often asked myself, “If I had to explain this concept to one of my teenage students, how would I explain it in a way that they would understand?”
We may call it ‘mythology’ but even modern storytellers are using this age-old formula.