Sunday, July 08, 2007

Kam the Cover Boy!

Kam Raslan is today's cover boy in Starmag, interviewed by Dzireena Mahadzir. The book is doing very well indeed for a locally published work of fiction. (I believe that it has sold about 4,000 copies to date and is still on the best-seller lists.)

The secret of its great sales? According to the publisher (Marshall Cavendish) the blog-coverage has a lot to do with it! Yipee!

But Kam has also worked incredibly hard to promote the book through readings in bookshops and writers' gatherings (the most recent being the readings Bernice organised at No Black Tie last Sunday) and he's about to launch the book in Singapore. (The bookshops down there seem to feel the book belongs in the social anthropology or history section!)

His new website has been brought into being by Reza and Chet, and I'm sure you will agree is excellent. (As I was saying, every author needs web-presence.)

Kam's response in the article to a question about whether non-Malays were equally well able to relate to the book interested me:
... Kam says the book isn’t just popular with the Malays. ... “One of the reasons why non-Malays get annoyed with Malays is because there is actually something very attractive about the Malays – they are graceful and gracious people, very likeable and civilised.

So when non-Malays see Malays acting ugly and aggressively, it’s a double disappointment. So I wanted a character who, in many ways, embodies the very civilised traits and qualities that non-Malays find attractive.”

Still, non-Malays see their own versions of Datuk Hamid, and many have told him so. “There are a lot of Indian and Chinese Hamids too, because back in that time, due to the education system, people had the same values and tastes, regardless of their race.”
It was really nice to see the family photos accompanying the piece.

I think Kam looks like his father (Mohamed Raslan Datuk Abdullah, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1971), and I love this photo of the brothers together as kids in London 1969. (From left to right, Karim, Johan and Kam.)

21 comments:

Ted Mahsun said...

Nice to know my review is linked on his website!

Chet said...

Time to start working on yours, Sharon. Please take some time to think about the content, and let me know and I'll crack the whip on Reza about the design.

bibliobibuli said...

ted - but mine isn't!! :-(

chet - yep

Chet said...

Sharon - a thousand apologies for missing out the link to your review! Reza has gone missing on me (or maybe he's still sleeping) but we'll get it linked soon. PROMISE!

So, we get started on your site now, right? I have all the time in the world now that I'm happily unemployed.

bibliobibuli said...

no probs chet

the website yes ... must get my lazy self into gear

Chet said...

Your review links have been added, both the one here on your blog and the one on amazon.com, too.

Madcap Machinist said...

goodness, how could have your reviews get left out?

it was an oversight. a thousand apologies!

bibliobibuli said...

small potatoes dears. it didn't worry me, but is some more useful ammo in the fight for hearts and minds and wallets

Giant Sotong said...

I managed to catch the interview. Doesn't Kam look so Harry Potter?

And I have an autographed copy!

bibliobibuli said...

sotong - i knew he reminded me of someone ...

my copy is autographed too and kam was kind enough to give it to me ... i felt guilty when i spilt a glass of red wine all over it but kam said datuk would have approved!

Kam Raslan said...

Dear Sharon et al,

Thanks for the kind words. It's kind of strange seeing the article in Starmag but I'm glad they added the photos. Sadly as a consequence I've been getting a few too many Harry Potter references. I'm trying to work out a way of capitalizing on it. Maybe I could sell my book to unsuspecting children, or maybe not. Or maybe I could write a story where Dato' becomes a bomoh. There must be a way. Anyway, the blogosphere is really helping writers, and more especially, readers in Malaysia these days. Where would we be without Sharon, Ted, Chet and others? Thanks again.

animah the lable said...

Kam, link up with party planners and hire yourself out as Harry Potter. You could earn a few hundred each weekend.

You know you've made it when you're on the cover of Starmag. But onto world domination - you've got to get onto TIME.

Me, I'm just basking in the glory of being a Bibliobuli Lable...

Chet said...

Yes, in that class photo, Kam definitely looks like Harry Potter.

lil ms d said...

congratulations kam! :D

Kam Raslan said...

Thank you for your suggestions, by the power of grey skull, or whatever it is that Harry Potter says.

K.Kim said...

Congrats Kam! Now go "Apparate" into the cover of TIME! Poof!

Penanak Nasik said...

“One of the reasons why non-Malays get annoyed with Malays is because there is actually something very attractive about the Malays – they are graceful and gracious people, very likeable and civilised."

Thats a very interesting perspective. I have never thought that Malay qualities are seen as attractive. I always thought of it as a curse because it makes us more acquiescent compared to other races. The desire to accomodate and understand by the Malays are seen as weak qualities to have. Kam's perspective is interesting indeed. This may be because he had the best of both worlds; he is a Eurasian. Maybe he could see better because we sure need glasses to see our own qualities.

Penanak Nasik

bibliobibuli said...

the british referred to the malays as "nature's gentlemen" ... there was a lot of admiration for the "adat" and the natural politeness of the people.

this was one of the first things i was told on my orientation course when i came to work here!

Penanak Nasik said...

Where can i find more information about this newfound perspective? Apart from Wikipedia of course. I would really appreciate it.

Penanak Nasik

Madcap Machinist said...

penanak nasik,

i suppose you can email kam and chat with him about it.

"I always thought of it as a curse because it makes us more acquiescent compared to other races. The desire to accomodate and understand by the Malays are seen as weak qualities to have."

I'm curious where you might have gained this opinion... have you read 'The Malay Dilemma' first-hand?

Penanak Nasik said...

Madcap Machinist,

Yes, i have read the Malay Dilemma. Maybe the thought was formed due to reading the book. But i think my observations on my surroundings might also contributed to the development of the thought. But it's quite thought provoking to know that the same qualities are appreciated.

Penanak Nasik