Monday, February 24, 2014

Lesley-Anne's debut as a public speaker

Lesley-Anne has just started lessons for JC1 and already, her schedule is crazy packed. She finishes late most days and on top of that, has to fit in CCA, ballet classes, school talks for Danger Dan, meetings with Epigram Books, media interviews and photo shoots. Phew! And it's gonna get worse when homework and exams are in full swing. It's like trying to juggle full-time studies with a full-time job.

On the plus side, she seems to be enjoying school tremendously so far. She's in a fun class with many lovely people and she loves her subjects. Still early days yet but a good start nonetheless!

On Saturday, she gave her first speaking engagement at the All In! Young Writers Media Festival, held at the Arts House. Her session, Young and Published! was held in the historic Chamber, where parliament sessions used to be held.

She was part of a panel with two other young writers, Munirah Jaafar and Gabby Tye (seen here with the moderator, Jamie Nonis).

Despite this being her first public talk, Lesley-Anne spoke confidently and clearly. This is no mean feat as I know how nerve-wrecking these sessions can be for introverts. After the talk, a few guests came up and told her that she spoke very well.

I'm one proud mama!
Signing autographs after the session.

Danger Dan for sale at the foyer.

If you missed the session and would like to catch Lesley-Anne in action, she'll be speaking again at the Arts House on Wed 5 March under the New Word Order series. By then, you'll also be able to buy Book 2 of Danger Dan! More news on that later.

Meanwhile, there was a mention of the Danger Dan books in the Sunday Times yesterday. (I won't reproduce the article here to avoid copyright infringement).

And here's a wonderful feature of Lesley-Anne and me on the Mums@Work Singapore blog! Among other things, I talked about how we wrote Danger Dan.

Stay with this blog or like our Danger Dan Facebook page for more upcoming Danger Dan news!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mums@Work weigh in on The Good, the Bad and the PSLE

Mums@Work is an online career portal for working mothers and mumpreneurs, set up by dynamic mumpreneur Sher-Li Liew, who wanted to empower mothers to find flexi work, work from home or set up their own businesses.

I take my hat off to Sher-Li - she gives seminars and workshops, negotiates with the authorities for support for working mums, counsels women while at the same time raising two young kids. Truly a living example of the empowered mother!

Mums@Work wrote a review of The Good, The Bad and the PSLE in their recent e-newsletter:

Our Review:
Enough has been said about the ill-effects of our stressful education system on our children in Singapore, therefore it was truly enjoyable to read a book that accurately depicted the trials & tribulations that a Singaporean mum might face. Parts of it made me laugh out loud, while other chapters were thought-provoking. Ling (the lead character) is both charming and engaging. Reading her adventures of adapting parenting styles to suit her 2 children's different personalities was entertaining and heartwarming. A must-read for parents of school-going children in Singapore. It certainly helps to know you are not alone!

Epigram Books told me that the book is the most borrowed book in the library among their catalogue of books. I had mixed feelings when I heard the news. On one hand, it means people want to read my book (yay!) but on the other hand, it means they're not buying it (nooo!)

If you've yet to read the book, I hope you will take the time to do so. It's now available on Book Depository at a pretty attractive price. And free shipping to anywhere in the world! You can't get a better deal than that :)  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Danger Dan is going places!

Happy Horse-picious Year, everyone! How did you spend your CNY? Ours was filled with way too much eating, as usual!

First piece of news: the first issue of Danger Dan is now available at bookstores! A kind reader sent me this pic from Kino Ngee Ann City.

Popular bookstores has been dragging their feet in getting our books on their shelves. Bah. Support Kino, you guys!

Apart from that, Lesley-Anne and I have been busy. What we didn't expect was that the launch of Danger Dan would generate so much interest from all quarters. I mean, the launch of my first book, The Good, the Bad and the PSLE, was a relatively quiet affair.

But Danger Dan, true to his character, created a buzz the moment he was officially released. Maybe it's the novelty of a mother-daughter writing duo. Or the fact that Lesley-Anne is only 16. But the excitement started rolling from the get go!

First, we received full-page coverage in Young Reader Club - a magazine subscribed by students.

Then out of the blue, Lesley-Anne received an invitation to be a speaker at the All in! Young Writers Media Festival organised by the Book Council. Her session is on 22 February 2014 and she will be part of a panel with two other young writers. For the event, she was interviewed by Straits Time IN (the newspaper for students). Here she is being photographed with another of the speakers, Munirah Jaafar.

And that was just the start! Lesley-Anne has also been invited to speak at the New Word Order series at the Arts House on 5 March 2014, again with two other young writers.

In addition, we've begun to receive requests for school talks and other even more incredible invites which I will reveal in due course. All this, in addition to starting JC orientation, has kept Lesley-Anne super busy. In fact, her schedule is crazier than mine at the moment! My priority right now, is to ensure that she doesn't overwork herself and maintain a good balance.

Due to the positive response to Danger Dan, Epigram Books has decided to release Book 2 earlier than initially scheduled. So I'm pleased to announce: Danger Dan Tackles the Majulah Mayhem will be hitting the bookstores sometime in March!

Meanwhile, if you or your kids would like to hear from Lesley-Anne and the other panelists how they became writers, feel free to sign up for the above talks. The All In! Festival costs $30 to attend the full day seminar on 22 February (sign up here) and the New Word Order event is free (you just need to register here).

For someone who tends to shy away from the limelight, all this is a little overwhelming for Lesley-Anne so I'm keeping a close watch. But I'm glad that for now, she seems to be enjoying this new path that has opened up. How proud am I of her? Proud as heck! And this introvert is delighted that she gets to do the talks instead of me :D

Afternote: I just had to show this picture cos it makes me laugh! Lydia from Epigram Books (who designs all the graphical elements in the Danger Dan books) had collected the standee and decided to pose for some photos. I'm sure she and her cool dude attracted some attention! 

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