Monday, June 22, 2009

Tunku Halim Abroad

Author Tunku Halim is profiled in the Malaysian Abroad column of The Star today, and talks about his love of hats, his history books, and his writing of what he terms "dark fantasy" novels.

Something I entirely agree with him about :
He credited Hobart, and Australia in general, for providing a conducive setting for writers. ... “In Australia, they have many writers’ centres which offer various writing courses and also guide you on how to get published,” he said, lamenting the fact that Malaysia lacks such resources.

12 comments:

BorneoExpatWriter said...

I've yet to meet Tunku Halim though I've had the pleasure to work with him and Lydia Teh (whom I've also yet to meet) on our short story, "The Merdeka Miracle" that the three of us wrote (and just submitted) on a tight deadline of 25 days, for the August issue of Going Places (MAS). He does seem to get around a lot -- London, Paris (while working on our story), and Tasmania!

Congrats on all of your success and it was a pleasure working with you, when we could find you with Internet access!

Hopefully, we'll eventually meet in person, too!

bibliobibuli said...

and he's really not at all the scary monster type i thought he would have to be to write those stories!

Chet said...

I saw him on the NTV Breakfast Show last week. He speaks in a very gentle tone.

Kak Teh said...

Sharon, I met up with Tunku when he was in London and interviewed him for my podcast. And yes, he is not at all the scary type at all.

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia, no one needs a writing center. People are generally more independent here.

bibliobibuli said...

discuss.

('cos it sounds like the topic for adebate)

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Disagree with that! Independent or clueless? Most writers starting out don't know where to turn to for even basic information about writing, let alone publishing -- that's what I often hear from my students and those who contact my website and blog. In US, most communities have a college or community center that runs programs in writing for anyone who wants to join (you don't even need to be a full time student at a univerity to take a univeristy class!). Then there are plenty of writing groups or writer's clubs. It was easy for us, and that was 25years ago -- that's how I got started. I was guided to various magazines and guidebooks where to market my work, and it was enough to get me started and submitting my work to magazines and journals in the proper way.

A litle education can go a long ways! If such writing resource centers were in Malaysia, everyone would benefit, even those who are extremly independent!

The best part, it was the easiest way for unpublished writers to work with and learn from published writers and get feedback on their own writing.

LJ said...

Ah, there is no stupidity quite like pro-Malaysian stupidity. Only in Bolehland can the lack of education be called a virtue.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Why would anyone need a writing center? I cold-called editors, walked into editors offices. Sometimes I got escorted out again by security, but eventually I sold enough to survive.

All the best, most well-known writers in the world, the ones that have stood the test of time -- George Orwell, J. M. Barrie, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, even James Clavell, or J. K. Rowling, or erm.. Dan Brown -- can you imagine any one of them in a writing club? why would anyone WANT to be a writer anyway? it sucks, the work is hard, and the pay is stupidly low and inconsistent at that. You're only a writer because you have to be one. People ask me why I'm a writer, what I usually say is :

Hold your breath. Now keep holding it, how do you feel? you want to breathe, right? you want to breathe like I want to write. You ask me, why do I write? I ask you, why do you breathe?

So, do people go to breathing groups so that people will help them breathe? walking groups so that people will help them walk? eating groups so that people will help them eat? sitting groups to help them sit? saving groups to help people save money? that's the best one, people who tell people to spend money on them so that they can tell people how to save money :)

Anyway, as always seems to be the case, no one wants to be the one to bell the cat. If you can find the people, I can find the staff and premises. Animah wants a library, you want a writing center, but no one wants to do anything other than talk. Sure we can set up a "Robert Raymer Writing Center" in West Malaysia if you want, all we need is enough people. If you believe in it, you have to make the effort. If you don't, all the writing clubs in the world will not make a difference.

So it all depends on what you want, and how hard you're willing to work to make it happen.

Any time you want we can set one up, just let us know.

Incidentally there are tons of writing groups and forums on the net, why don't more people use them?

(Sorry about the late reply, I was involved in other projects.)

Anonymous said...

Oh and LJ :

The fact that you call independence "pro-Malaysian" must mean that you think it's a good thing for the country. So what was your point again ? :P

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Thanks, but how about an Anthony Burgess Writing Center. The Anthony Burgess Society has a foundation and the funds to set up a center and this would be a nice legacy for him and for Malaysian writers since he got his start here in Malaysia. Others, myself included, could give workshops there. It's a good idea; perhaps the time has come...

BorneoExpatWriter said...

Thanks, but how about an Anthony Burgess Writing Center. The Anthony Burgess Society has a foundation and the funds to set up a center and this would be a nice legacy for him and for Malaysian writers since he got his start here in Malaysia. Others, myself included, could give workshops there. It's a good idea; perhaps the time has come...