Can I tell you a secret?
I possess the ability to travel to other worlds. I have travelled to lands with sorcerers, witches, and dragons; alien planets with technology beyond my wildest dreams; and to far-flung towns in this world. Along the way, I’ve made new friends who taught me about love, loyalty, friendship, betrayal, conflict, and everything in between - and I did it all with the flick of a page and the turn of a hand: through the pages of books filled with powerful stories. And you can do it too.
Each time I delve into a new story, I become Digory Kirke from C.S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, who discovered a "Wood between the Worlds" filled with pool upon pool, each leading to a separate universe. Except in my case, instead of the trees in a wood, I had the pages of a book; and instead of pools, I had the worlds created through the words within them. When I was a child, whenever things around me felt like too much to handle, it was my favourite way to escape. As I grew older, it became more than just a refuge: it was where I'd travel to when I needed to be inspired, or when I craved new ways of making sense of the world around me, or my ever-changing self - and it still is to this day.
I think that's why I became a writer.
I love stories that encourage us to ponder: "What if...?"
When I began writing my first novel, I promised myself that I would do my very best to write books that would be worthy of enrapturing my younger self, and anyone else who is gracious enough to read them - and that promise still stands true today. My novels are both as-yet unpublished, and I am currently seeking representation. If you'd like to get in touch, you can drop me a message through the contact page!
"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."
― E.L. Doctorow
The Children of Numen
I am extremely proud to have been named an award-winner for my debut novel, The Children of Numen: a Young Adult Speculative Fiction story with Science Fiction elements, which is set in a futuristic utopia where negative emotions are outlawed. The award involved a place in the ELF Seddiqi First Chapter Fellowship, the first-ever global standard writers' fellowship in the Middle East for aspiring locally-based fiction writers, run by the Emirates Literature Foundation.
The year-long programme included one-to-one mentorship from internationally acclaimed authors, and I am very grateful to have had the best-selling novelist and screenwriter Patrick Gale as my mentor. It also included workshops with industry experts and renowned authors including Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, Nnedi Okorafor, Greg Mosse, and Annabel Kantaria.
The manuscript is complete at approximately 100,000 words, and I am currently seeking agent representation. The image to the left isn't a cover - it's a moodboard! If you are interested in learning more, please get in touch via the Contact page.
The Casting Season
The idea for this Young Adult Fantasy novel (my current Work-In-Progress) began with the question, "What if we could stay young and beautiful forever - but at the cost of the memories that we gain along with the wrinkles on our skin?"
As a half-Asian third-culture-kid, I grew up with a healthy dose of my culture by learning the basics of the language and through regular visits back to Taiwan. Part of me was fiercely proud of this half of where I came from, while part of me still always felt like an outsider. This novel was also a chance for me to explore those parts of myself, feeling a little closer to my heritage but in a way where I'd never have to decide whether I belonged enough or was authentic enough: I created a world of my own, using elements of various parts of Asia I'd connected with over the years. This fictional mythopoeic island - one with its own mythology - is where this story takes place.
The image to the left isn't a cover either - it's also a moodboard!
I am extremely proud that this novel won first place in the prestigious Emirates Literature Festival Writing Prize in 2023.