Joelyn's Book Bites

Joelyn’s Book Bites: #1:46 – Wena Poon Special

Book Bitse

Okay, it’s not EXACTLY a Wena Poon Exclusive but it revolves around this wonderful lady. She’s back in Singapore for a bit and on Thursday (18th Nov 2010), she was at Books Actually doing a reading of The Proper Care of Foxes (SIEGFRED!!!) and a background on how she came to write her novel on Spanish bullfighting, Alex y Robert.

Wena speaking to the crowd on the third level of Books Actually
Discussing The Proper Care of Foxes on the third level of Books Actually

So I arrived with MizHalle and Avarielle with Jolantru already on-site. Raven came in later. This time, it was held on the third storey of Books Actually, three flights of steps but at least business for the first level won’t get that much disruption as before. With Coke bottles and potato chips, a table was set up with Wena’s books for sale.

Apart from the various International fans, fangirl-y people (US!!!) and people from the Spanish Embassy, there were a lot of boys sitting at the front, apparently on Library Training for Raffles Institution. MizHalle and myself were at the back going, “Damn, can’t curse.”

So yes, the first half of the event was of Wena talking about her inspiration for The Proper Care of Foxes, mostly centering around the main story of Edward the Banker and Siegfred and Regina (FTW!!!), which is very much like how we get our inspiration – Write what you know, write what you wonder. She topped off this half with a reading from The Proper Care of Foxes.

By the way, The Proper Care of Foxes is being nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize this year. Hope she gets it!!

The boys from Raffles Institution

The second half of the event was interesting, with the Cultural Attache from the Spanish Embassy coming to talk about bullfighting and the culture of bullfighting in Spain together with Wena. Beatrice Chia, yes the theatre director/ actress/ personality, came as well. Turns out that she and Wena go way back because they went to the same schools.

And thanks to Beatrice, we now have a new phrase to describe our past years, it’s called being busy with our “inner lives”. HEE.

Wena with Emilio, the Cultural Attache from the Spanish Embassy
Wena and Beatrice talking about the development of Alex y Robert

So pretty much, Beatrice gave Wena the idea to write Alex y Robert, which is a novel about a girl wanting to become a bullfighter with the help of a long lost distant family friend. A novel which started off as a joking remark that Wena should write a story that would capture the other side and magnificence of Spanish Bullfighting. Not bad, a nice tip for all of us Happy Smiley Writers. Excuses to travel when we have le cash. HAHA.

But yes, after everything and everything, people were getting their books signed and what not with all of us waiting until she was done before asking her to sign our novels. We told her about the non-incident in the midst of book signing and debating on how “Harkow” should be spelt (the other alternative was “Hargao”, used in HK).

Her reaction?

I thought it was going to be more scandalous than that?!

See! We engage in crazy stuff but it’s not THAT crazy. HAR.

Unfortunately though, Alex y Robert did not make it to Singapore in time so we had to pre-order it from Books Actually. To find out more about Wena Poon and her works, click here. And get her books! They’re great stuff. Something different and a nice change from what we are so used to from Asian Authors.

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