New Book and New Look!

To answer your question, I did fall off the face of the earth. And now I’ve managed to scramble back on. Things have been hectic to say the least, but here’s a rundown on the more major accomplishments: I finished The More Known World, the second novel in The Oddfits series, and am really pleased with how it’s turned out. (I hope readers are too!) I completed the English translation of The Birdwoman’s Palate, working in close conjunction with the novel’s author – the inimitable Laksmi Pamuntjak. And I’ve signed a contract with Penguin Australia for a novel wholly unrelated to The Oddfits, which I’m in the midst of revising, so stay tuned for updates once details are a bit more finalized.

Oh yes. And I’m due to give birth to a second child in early to mid December. The pregnancy this time round was, frankly, quite awful. Constant nausea. Thyroid problems. Followed by being depressed and overwhelmed at the thought of having to raise two. (My hat off to those who have two and more. Seriously.) But I think I feel better now. And I hope it stays that way with only minor dips.

By way of apology, I’d love to share the cover for The More Known World! (See above.) Before you break my heart by saying you hate it, I should first warn you: it makes me really, really, really happy. As in sometimes I’ll be doing whatever it is I’m doing, and suddenly think of the cover and smile. The focus of this novel is more on Ann, and my editor and I agreed that the cover should reflect this. My deepest fear was that the cover designs they came up with would exoticize Ann and make her look “Oriental” pretty. You know: flawless porcelain skin, sensuous red lips, perhaps a bare shoulder or a slender neck or a tiny waist. Readers of The Oddfits know that Ann may wear high heels, but is also gruff and tough as nails. And that I’ve tried to playfully confront and complicate the conventions that often shape how race and “foreignness” are depicted in books. Hence my immense pleasure that the design the AmazonCrossing team came up with made Ann look like she’s ready to kick some ass.

The significance of the mosquito and the upside-down umbrella will be revealed upon reading. You can pre-order the novel from the Amazon website here. It will be unleashed upon the world on December 19 later this year.

You will also notice that I’ve changed the layout for this blog. I feel less like I need to “pad my resume” these days. So I’ve made things a bit more streamlined and easier to navigate. I hope this helps!

Until later.

Yours faithfully,








  1. Fan here, I’m your biggest spouse!

    1. *simultaneous eye roll and smile*

  2. Pre-ordered a year ago and am so looking forward to reading this next installment!

    I’m on the fence about the cover because it feels a tad close up and claustrophobic (though I suppose Ann would be unapologetically in your face if she had to tell you something) but I absolutely agree with your thoughts behind it! I know family and friends who were teased or complimented as children and as adults for looking “exotic” and how it can hurt in any context, to feel comfortable in your skin in one moment and in the next be reminded of your otherness. And the startling moment in childhood when you realize it’s the first identifying feature others will see when they look at you and not all the parts you feel and think make up your being.
    I can’t tell you how often I’m frustrated and dejected by depiction of race and foreignness in media. Wish there were hundreds of books (or hundreds of books I was aware of) with that guided approach.

    1. Yes, I agree. Depictions of race and foreignness in the media can be frustrating! Sometimes I feel like so much progress has been made. But at other times I wonder if any has been made at all. And of course, there’s the fact that the range of what people find acceptable in terms of portraying race varies so widely. As someone who used to teach postcolonial literature and theory, I sometimes question the conscious decision I made to make the protagonist of The Oddfits “white,” even though it’s more complicated than that; or the decision I made to have characters of different ethnicities, even though I felt it was the best way to accurately reflect the multiracialness of Singapore. There’ve been a lot of discussions in Australia about whether one has the right to tell the stories of people who come from different cultural and racial backgrounds than oneself. At the very least, I think it’s important to try to be aware of how problematic it may be and to avoid reducing characters to racial stereotypes.

  3. My wife and I are so very excited about the release of “The More Known World”, and can’t wait to read it! We’ve been looking forward to it since… about 2 seconds after we finished “The Oddfits” way back in late January or early February 2016 (we bought it as our “Kindle First” selection).

    Congratulations, and best wishes to you with two kiddos! It gets tough sometimes, but their cooperative cuteness and care for each other make those moments all worthwhile, like when the older one tries to soothe and comfort the baby or tries to find ways to help, such as for diaper changes, or bath time.

    For example, my daughter (oldest) wanted to make her little brother happy and have something to play with when he was about 2-3 months old. So she brought him toy after toy into his swing for him to have to play with, and he was amused at watching her come and go over and over! Or the first time she met him, he was crying in the bassinet at the hospital as she came in the door. The first thing he did was gently pat the bassinette and told him “It’s ok baby, it’s ok”. She wasn’t even quite 2 years old!

    And finally, congratulations on the contract with Penguin Australia! Can’t wait to see and read more about it, and its resulting work!

    1. I’m honored! I really hope you and your wife enjoy The More Known World! And thanks for the congratulations and well wishes regarding the Penguin-contracted novel and the impending second baby. It’s been very encouraging to talk to people who’ve had two or more children and who are also alive and happy and have good stories to share.

  4. So glad to see this title on amazon! I was hoping you were just exploring the more known world. I️ can hardly wait to read more of this series. Congratulations on your new baby too!

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