Sunday, December 17, 2006

Author Blogger

How lovely to see Malaysian author Yang-May Ooi's blog, Fusion View featured inStarmag today in a piece by Elizabeth Tai.

Yang-May is a fairly recent blogger (she began in April) but her space online is a great place to go for useful insights into the writing life and the low-down on getting published.

And for a good read about all things Malaysian written by an expat in London.

I can echo her sentiments about blogging being a great way to connect with people from across the world (how many good friends has it sent my way?) and I find it particularly interesting that she says that blogging has helped her to write in a more relaxed manner.

Yang-May plans to put up extracts from the new novel she is writing, Tianming Triavata "a quirky family drama" set in small-town Malaysia, as well as podcasts of them.

I gotta podcast soon or burst!

Related Posts:
Getting Published: Advice from Yang-May (28/5/06)
The Real David K.T. Wong (5/6/06)

21 comments:

The Visitor said...

isn't she the one who wrote The Flame Tree?

that's a terrible, terrible, terrible book.

Ted Mahsun said...

But she's a terribly, terribly, terribly nice person.

Bibliobibuli Podcast? Sounds exciting! If you can get to interview book celebs on your podcast... even better!

The Visitor said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Visitor said...

what does the quality of the work have to do with how nice the person is? we're talking about the WORK, not about the person. we're not making a personal attack. we're making an evaluation of the work the person has done. we're talking about the person as an AUTHOR.

no doubt she may be the nicest person in the world, but if the work sucks, it sucks. it's called "objectivity."

i'm sure i would like her as a person, but i just don't like her book. it's terrible.

Ted Mahsun said...

Wow. I was just saying, man... no need to blow a fuse. Chill! Sheesh.

Anyway, you may have been talking about the work, but I was definitely talking about the author, as per Sharon's post.

The Visitor said...

who's blowing a fuse? why u terasa?

Ted Mahsun said...

No, not really. Just wondering why anyone would want to act like a mean-spirited dick.

Oh. The internet. I forgot. Carry on! :p

The Visitor said...

what's so mean-spirited about having an honest opinion about a book?

are we not to criticise a work just becos the person who created it is "nice"?

Preencess said...

Sharon: I stumbled upon(yeap that Add-on)your blog last month and liked it immediately and yes,I have the same addiction.Bookoos!

The visitor: Can't agree more with you.

Malaysians tend to euphemise their opinion because the writer's their friend OR because she/he is nice!

But what to do loh?Talent is quite sparse here, hence the celebration of mediocrity...but that's just MY opinion... *hee*

Sharon: Podcast away!

Greenbottle said...

yes we could do with a bit more 'fighting' in here. I feel good when sharon said that she didn't like 'snow' and she told us why. and though i think the visitor is probably right, i'd be interested to know why he/she said YM ooi is terrible terrible terrible...

bibliobibuli said...

folks - you are within your rights to say you like or don't like something, but positive criticism is better than just rubbishing, especially as i'd like us to see ourselves as part of a larger community of people who care about books and want to see a writing community grow.

i haven't read either of yang-may's books - i remember seeing them in the bookshops years ago and feeling very happy and proud that a malaysian author had been published overseas. but i didn't buy them at the time because i wasn't really interested in genre fiction. now i would like to read them. whether i will like them i don't know of course - i'm a fussy lific fan with snobbish bookerly pretensions. but i fully support anyone brave enough and self-disciplined enough to finish novels and have them published.

visitor - tell us why you reacted so vehemently. would you have reacted so strongly if i'd mentioned a novel written by a british or american writer you hadn't liked?

i was in any case talking about yang-may's blog which has a lot of very good posts - and very good advice about getting published which will be of use to local writers and wanna-be publisheds. this information is often hard to come by and i feel it is very generous of yang-may to share it with the world.

greenbottle - you like a fight, huh? i mostly say nice things so i must be disappointing. (ted is even nicer .. )

i bet you loved "snow"!

The Visitor said...

Greenbottle,

i didn't say Yang-May is terrible. i said her BOOK is terrible.

why? becos it's full of cliches, in terms of story, settings and language. i can't remember details anymore becos i read it when it first came out, and that was a long time ago. i, too, was quite proud that a local author had gotten so far. but boy, was i disappointed after that.

another annoying thing about it was how every local word was explained and translated like an encyclopedia. but then this may be becos her editor demanded it. but when i read books that have French or other terms, those words are almost never explained. maybe if Miss Ooi is reading this, she could help explain this.

i think Preencess is absolutely right. euphemisms and the celebration of mediocrity! that's what makes me very tired of the local scene sometimes, be it music, books or films.

Sharon: ah, that's not fair. you're assuming i'm being hard on the book just becos it's written by a Malaysian. but i've stabbed and sliced Da Vinci Code more than once and even more "vehemently"! btw, i didn't think three "terrible"s are quite so vehement!

anyway, you should read and hear the kinds of reactions my fellow film reviewer gets for his honest and hard-hitting critiques of local films! yes, criticisms should be constructive, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be hard-hitting (or "vehement"!) where it's appropriate.

and lastly, Greenbottle: welcome to Fight Club. first rule: we do not talk about it.

Ted Mahsun said...

In case someone intends to label me a "Celebrator of Mediocrity", let me just state I have not read either of YM Ooi's novels either, though I do have an unread copy of The Flame Tree in my bookpile.

I'm just saying she's nice 'cos of all the advice she gives in her blog and in her podcasts.

...and for that I get flamed... sheesh.

The Visitor said...

har har har!

who asked you to call me a "mean spirited dick"?


btw, my name is not Richard.

Ted Mahsun said...

Ok la ok la... I take it back. I actually meant to type "duck".

bibliobibuli said...

wasn't assuming visitor, just asking!

agree with you that we should take a stand against mediocrity. and a malaysian writer's work must be judged on the same criteria we judge any work.

i remember years ago (in the 80's) i used to get angry with theatre reviewers in the sunday papers because i felt that they were being unfairly critical of local productions which i felt were equivalent to amateur (i.e. in the sense the actors were part-timers and probably not paid) productions at home in the UK. amateur productions in the UK were never criticised in the way professional theatre was put under scrutiny. (there was no professional theatre in malaysia in those days anyway)

my heart went out to the cast and all involved in local productions. how did those poor actors feel?

but what happened? the theatre scene has grown much stronger and healthier - due in large part i'm sure to the criticism practitioners received.

two things need to happen - support for writers and constructive criticism of their work - to help not just them, but everyone do a better job in future.

Greenbottle said...

ted;

you didn't take it back much...

i don't know which will offend 'the visitor' more...'mean spirited dick' or mean spirited duck' ...probably he'll be really offended if you said 'mean spirited duck's dick?'

ok the visitor you've explained your reasons well, but sometimes a book can be so bad that it actually becomes a good bad book.

Yvonne Lee said...

Howdy Sharon!

I don't know how.....but I'm enjoying this blog and laughing out so loud, I nearly tumbled off my seat!

Mwahahahahaha....

Preencess said...

So how does one write a good bad book? With the wrong right words?

Just jive-up some bad cliches and you get your photo on the inner flap of the dust cover. Shweeeet!

Visitor: I share your vehemence oops!Sentiment.

John Ling said...
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John Ling said...

"i didn't say Yang-May is terrible. i said her BOOK is terrible. why? becos it's full of cliches, in terms of story, settings and language. i can't remember details anymore becos i read it when it first came out, and that was a long time ago. i, too, was quite proud that a local author had gotten so far. but boy, was i disappointed after that."

If Yang-May Ooi irks you so, then perhaps you should consider writing and publishing your own bona fide Malaysian thriller. It is far easier to criticize a book than to write one.

"So how does one write a good bad book? With the wrong right words? Just jive-up some bad cliches and you get your photo on the inner flap of the dust cover. Shweeeet!"

Yes, you would know because you are talented and you have successfully published a book abroad. Or are you just talking the talk but not walking the walk?