Wednesday, 30 May 2007
Popular invited me to speak at their Bookfest. My topic was Roti Canai for me – On reading, writing and being Malaysian.
Though I had been informed that the talk would be held at the stage in Hall 2, KLCC, it was still a minor shock to see that they had arranged a table up on the big stage for me. My audience was seated way over yonder, separated by a big space and VIP chairs for the next event.
I began by taking my place at the table. I felt so lonely up there, speaking to the few people on the floor. My heart sank. Only two rows of chairs were occupied. Grace and her little brother as well as two of my kids were there to lend support.
After five minutes, I decided to make my way to the floor. Good thing I had told the organizers that I wanted to get close to the audience as I had prepared a quiz for them. With the cordless mike perched on my head like a superstar singer, I got nearer to the audience and got them involved in the quiz. Passers-by came in to listen and to nab the small token I’d gotten for them. Just before the event, I purchased 30 pieces of 30 sen stamps and gave away two to each correct answer. Towards the end, I only doled out one stamp per answer to make them last. After the Q&A, two elderly ladies promptly walked away with their stash of stamps. Ah, life’s like that lah.
Though it was a weekday, this talk was the best I’ve had in terms of audience number and number of books signed. I signed 8 + 1 books (a foreign worker at the Bookfest grabbed a children’s book and asked me to sign it for him). Either he thinks I’m a celebrity or he was that impressed with my talk.
I'm so glad Khim (third pix) came to see me. She has read Honk! and written a nice encouraging email to me. She has finished her first book, California satay, and is looking for an editor.