I thought it would be nice to share some photos from the Singapore launch of The More Known World in March, as well as pictures from other events I did there. It ended up being a pretty busy trip!
The launch went wonderfully! It was held at the Books Kinokuniya main store on Orchard Road. My longtime friend and learned teacher-librarian Boey Wah Fong agreed to play moderator. You can see her on the far left in the lefthand photo! And the righthand photo is of me signing books! It was a great turnout, and lots of family and friends were in the audience, which was lovely!
But what made the launch especially cool was the fact that the Singaporean ice cream parlour Tom’s Palette agreed to a collaboration in celebration of The More Known World‘s debut! Not only did they create an ice cream flavour based on one of the passages from The Oddfits, they very generously served the flavour free of charge to attendees at the book launch and at a school talk I gave at Saint Joseph’s Institution.
On the left are Chronos and Eunice, the genius couple behind Tom’s Palette. Chronos used to be a mechanical engineer and Eunice used to be a media designer. Then they quit their jobs to pursue their love of ice cream making. And they’re pretty darn amazing at it. They make all the ice cream in the shop themselves (you can follow their culinary experiments on Instagram (@tomspalettesg).
The flavour they created was Sunrise. Here’s the relevant passage from the book: The colour from the tub bathed their faces in a soft orange, red, and purple light. “This flavour is Sunrise. A lot like Sunset, but backwards and with coffee beans added.” Tom’s Palette’s interpretation: a forest-berry base with a cream cheese swirl, sprinkled with raspberry white chocolate shards dusted with pulverized coffee beans!
I think what touched me most about collaborating with Tom’s Palette on this ice-cream flavour was Chronos’ and Eunice’s passion for their craft and their generosity. They insisted that they really enjoyed taking the opportunity to rise to the challenge of recreating one of the novel’s flavours! And they insisted on providing the ice cream free of charge because they just wanted people to enjoy ice cream and have fun. So let it be known that there are real live Uncle Yusufs among us who have made it their mission to spread joy through whimsical frozen treats!
I also gave talks at two schools: one at my alma mater, the Singapore American School (which unfortunately I didn’t photograph); and the other at Saint Joseph’s Institution, pictured below:
Lefthand photo: me signing books and fielding questions from students after the talk. I look very anxious for some reason. Top right: Wah Fong (my teacher-librarian friend who arranged the talk and did the moderating at the launch a few days earlier) and I having a conversation. Bottom right: students queuing for Sunrise ice cream!
I also taught a very small seminar on revision to a handful of students, hosted by the nonprofit literary organisation SingLit Station. I think it went well, despite me being nervous. (I’m always anxious before teaching the first iteration of a class. And it’s been a long time since my teaching days at university.) Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of this too.
In other news, my non-Oddfits-related novel is scheduled to be released on July 2nd! The publisher is Viking Australia (an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia), and it’s titled Under Your Wings. I’ll post more on this front soon. The novel is currently only going to be released in Australia because the publisher is Penguin’s Australian wing. Territorial rights are still a thing in the publishing industry, and it often means that books that are available in one country may not be available in another unless a publisher in that country has bought the rights to publish and sell it there.