Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Talking About Books in Singapore

After arriving in Singapore that morning and finding a place to stay, I made my way to the MPH bookstore at Raffles City.  Not wanting to be late, I found it a lot faster than I expected.  In fact, I arrived an hour earlier than requested.  Everything was already set up, with large poster greeting visitors near the entrance, plus two smaller posters (one on the table, one on the opposite shelf at eye level) that announced "Calling All Fans of Robert Raymer!  Promotion valid from 9-15 October, 20% off on Lovers and Strangers Revisited and Tropical Affairs!"  Tiffany and the store manager did a great job to make sure everything was perfect.  In fact, I would be the first author speaking in this store, so they were keen to make it an success.  The location was less than ideal and they had poor window exposure to display books.  In fact, you can't see the store unless you walk right by it and if you're not paying attention, you could miss it entirely!

Here's me with a poster of me.  Visitors would glance at the poster, then at me, and give me this double take.

This shot with the MPH sign was taken at the beginning, as I was testing the mike.

Because of the narrow entrance and where I was standing, it was hard to focus.  I had people to the right of me, inside the store, those in front of me, and then people started to gather to my left.  Plus further away, people would linger outside the bookstore as they passed by, curious to hear someone speaking about turning their experiences into books.  To make eye contact, I had to swivel around 180 degrees from left to front to right.  All in all it went fine, signed a few books.  One Australian was so keen to see me that he came a day early on Friday, not realizing until too late that I wouldn't be speaking until Saturday.  He came early on Saturday, too, so we had a long chat before my talk.  He was keen on writing about his experiences living in Singapore, but didn't know how to start. I was his perfect solution.

While I was there I picked up A Warrior's Life, a Biography of Paulo Coelho by Fernando Morais, which I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend.  It shows you what is possible once you make the commitment to actually do some writing as opposed to merely wishing for it to happen.

***Here the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.

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