If you’re a Singaporean teenager and have not heard of Low Kay Hwa, where have you been?
This writer is no joke though, having published and sold up to nine Novel Titles since he started at 18. Low Kay Hwa is one of the few writers in Singapore who is writing fiction full-time.
This being his inaugural book launch, Avarielle and I decided to head down to the Earshot Cafe at The Arts House.
It also being my first literary event of the year, I did not really have that high an expectation, mostly because most book launches I ever went for usually took the literary fiction, heavily cultured root. Hence, it was a change in experience to finally attend the launch of an author who writes something more relatable – okay I don’t read THAT much of Romance but it’s still good fiction.
So the usual happened, author introductions and all that. But what really struck me with this launch was Kay Hwa’s refreshing honesty in his writing. It’s like how Nigella put it, “It’s just <insert adjective here>.”
No need for high-fluted answers, no need to sound “authorised” (yes, this word choice was deliberate).
What I really liked was that as a writer, I could relate to why and how he wrote. Writing is both an Art and a Discipline, our creative energies may be different but the fundamentals will definitely overlap. Things like extensive research on getting the perfect the scene, reading to get that perfect tone, watching television and movies to get that perfect line – it spoke very well to many writers.
What I really liked as a reader or as a member of public was how down-to-earth and innovative Kay Hwa was. The other key aspect to a successful business relationship is trust and honesty within the two parties. Audiences do not like to be deceived, not in that overly-PR way we’ve had too much off now. So a relatable, honest person already makes me one step closer to feeling, “Yes, I want to read this person’s work.”
So yes, that was pretty much it. I really liked it when he said, “I hope we can see more local genre fiction. I think we have more than enough cultural and literary fiction from our local authors.” (Genre Fiction FTW here! – Ok, I’ll shut up now)
The only thing that probably irked me really badly through the entire session was probably Kay Hwa’s emcee from the Book Council (who was struggling to pronounce his name thrice). No offence, Book Council, but the emcee should at least ask the author s/he’s presenting about stuff she may not be sure about. People will know if they’re trying to smoke it through without at least some background knowledge.
That aside, I thought it was something differently good.
If you would like to know more about Low Kay Hwa’s works, click here. Goody Books was actually founded by him to allow him to concentrate on writing purely.