Last Thursday evening was fantastic. I would say that it marked my first foray to The Garden Slug, an excellent place-to-eat that I’ve been dying to go to for months thanks to the rave reviews from the portion of my Twitter list that seems to be perpetually entrenched there.
But that was not even the most exciting part of the evening. For the best part was that I was there to attend a book launch party for my friend Joyce!
The short of it: at the start of April, Joyce had her urban fantasy tale Wolf At The Door released by Lyrical Press as an e-book. It’s a tale about Chinese werewolves in Singapore– not the traditional European manwolf concept currently perfusing the market, mind you, but wolf spirits that have taken on human form as per Asian tradition (see the legend of Madam White Snake, and huli jing, etc.) Really fresh stuff, a nice UF take on tradition & cultural clashes.
To celebrate the release of her book, Joyce had readings, quizzes (with prizes!) and signings! Good times all around.
Joyce & a printout of the gorgeous book cover!
More pictures & deets of the event after the jump!
The party was hosted at The Garden Slug, which does delicious eats at affordable prices. I’ve been hankering to go for ages, but I’ve always found its location–in Eunos, halfway across the country for a Westie like me–to be a major hindrance. The cross-island trek was definitely worth it, though: the food was every bit as scrumptious as my friends (including 4sq Mayor & my former Thursday-Afternoon-Girlfriend Sook) had told me it would be.
The next time I go, I am definitely having the dessert platter all by myself because it is that amazing. Who needs proper food when you have cinnamon-stewed pears and brownie popsicles?
Oh look at all that sinful deliciousness. I have this picture as my desktop wallpaper right now. And I have a 27″ iMac. Imagine that.
It was a small, intimate gathering, with about 15 people in attendance. Joyce, armed with her iPhone, held a mini-quiz with book- and Singapore-history/culture- related questions. Prizes included signed copies of the cover, the prologue (which I won! Hurray!), chocolate, and… astronaut ice cream? Well, this was the week we celebrated 50 years of humanity in space, so I suppose it was relevant!
And is a author-graced book event without a signing session? Joyce signed printouts of the really lovely cover…. and then did a digital signing of the cover off Avariel’s iPad.
When we’d more or less finished our battle with the food (it was very good, but there was a lot of it and I’m rather afraid we over-ordered on our part), we adjoined to the next section of the cafe where Joyce read us an excerpt from the second chapter, introducing us to the world of the lang (as the wolves in her book call themselves). I liked what I read very much, and it made me pret-ty thrilled about getting my hands on the book & reading it.
She also shared some insights with us about the writing process behind her novel, and the difficulty she experienced in getting a story based in Singapore published, just based on the fact that it’s perceived as something that is not saleable. That’s something I think is extremely unfortunate, given the richness of the culture & tradition here that’s just waiting to be mined. Especially for urban fantasy! Singapore is such a bloody mix of sharp modernity & smoky traditions, it’s basically begging to have UF written about it. Pity. This has just strengthened my resolve to write more novels & short stories based in Singapore– I believe in the Apple model of telling customers what they want.
(Also, I promise that, despite all the Apple product namedropping I’ve done in this post, I am not a shill for them! Just an… appreciator of their fine wares.)
Watch out for a review of Wolf At The Door soon– I’ll post it once I’m done reading the book, which you can purchase from Lyrical Press!
Buy Wolf At The Door: From Lyrical Press (multiple formats including pdf, epub, Kindle, html etc. Only US$4.50! Esp. now that the S$ is pretty strong against the greenback. Costs less than a meal at McDonalds’! BUY BUY BUY)
Joyce’s website: http://awolfstale.wordpress.com
The Garden Slug: http://blog.thegardenslug.com/ <– their food is seriously amazing, check them out
Full photoset on Flickr: Right here (yep I took them)