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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Monday, 10 December 2007

A touch of colour with self-publishing

Singapore Writers' Festival 2007: I discovered that Singaporeans are a sophisticated people when it comes to the art of self-publishing. They excel at a job, painstakingly cut out for them.

Their books whether a children's picture one or an adult novel, are professionally produced and tinkled with a fine polish, that you'd be forgiven for thinking, they were snapped up from the window display of a European bookshop. It's no exaggeration to say that one gets the impression of a tight classy finish.

"Don't get into it," warned my lovely new friend, the author, Shamini Mahadevan-Flint, "...not unless you can afford the time for marketing and publicity. There's a lot of work involved. Like, a lot..."

Flint, 36, a former law lecturer and barrister-at-law with an international legal firm, gave up her career to write and produce books and also act as a stay-at-home mum to her 2 children, aged 5 and 3. She is married to an expatriate.

The recent Singapore Writer's Festival saw the launch of Flint's first paperback thriller (for which she has planned an Asian crime series) called Partners in Crime. It borders on a murder mystery conducted in the vein of a British sleuth's sly questioning and is reminiscent of Flint's own passion for wit and subtle comedy.
Several fans/friends from Singapore's expatriate community turned up for the evening at the Earshot Restaurant in the Arts House on Old Parliament Lane last Saturday. It was a pleasant few hours with Flint being very much in demand for signings and conversations and aside from the entertainment produced by a well-humoured speech, the books were quickly sold out.

In the coming days, I'll be featuring a question-and-answer interview with Shamini Flint on the pro's and con's of self-publishing. At the moment, she appears to delight in her new venture, promising to start her second thriller on New Year's day as a resolution.

Flint formed Sunbear Publishing to publish her own children's books. One of the newest hardbacks talks about a cheeky dinosaur called T-Rex who eats up a little boy's homework. Beautifully illustrated by Sally Heinrich, it appears to be suitable for toddlers and children up to 5.

Another delightful hardback title is Ben's Friends from the Rainforest, written by wildlife lover Adeline Foo. Foo who loves rambles in parks and rainforests with her 2 children, aims her funny sunny story on the educational aspects of a monkey, at older children. The tale is accompanied by a series of comic pictures, illustrated by Miel.
All books are available on Amazon Books UK.

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