Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Joan Hon Book Talk: The Scoop

I'm so glad I took leave from work today to attend the Joan Hon Book Talk at Precious Ones Collections. It's an honor to meet with Joan Hon, a scientist and published author from Singapore. I first found out about Joan from Jo Lau whom I met for the first time at the Blogfest Asia 2010 event. I'm glad Jo found me through my blog, which eventually led to such a wonderful opportunity to meet with the author. By the way, it is Jo's idea that Joan come give this talk, and together with the lovely folks from WomenBizSENSE, they organized the event.

It's FULL house!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Joan and she has a good sense of humor too. I was laughing hard when she said Han May is envious of Joan Hon who sold more books than her during a book fair. Han May is the same person as Joan Hon, mind you, because that's the pseudonym Joan use for her novel, Star Sapphire. I also had a good laugh when she said her identities—Han May for fiction, Joan Hon for non-fiction, and Joan Fong for academic publications—give librarians nightmares.

Joan's books that are on sale at the book talk

I am already half way through Star Sapphire and loving it. Honestly, I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I thought I would because I hardly read local authors (I consider Singapore to be local), but now it is clearly not the case. SS is good—no, scratch "good"—SS is great. I didn't expect to love the characters, but now I am eager to know what would happen to Yva Yolan (the female protagonist who is half human, half alien) and the important people she crosses path with when she accepted the job onboard spaceship Star Sapphire. There is an element of romance, too, and it is sweet. Joan has a way of drawing you into the story and make you feel for the characters. Between the two main male characters, Tim Huha and Adam Zear (also known as the Registrar), I like them both, but it is the Registrar that won my heart. There's a part that made me cry because I feel for Yva so much that it hurts. OK, enough raving about the book for now (will rave more in my book review)...

Here's a teddy that's made of tiny beads. I think it's very cute and artistic.
There are lots of artwork by children and I think these are really beautiful.
My personal favorite is this one: cats in all shapes and colors. Very cute!

Oh yes, speaking of cute, I am excited to see Chris again! Chris is Jo's 5,000-year-old boy. He's a maths whiz and not only that, he has perfect manners. Watch him work his magic in this YouTube video. He is the Atta Boot of Penang (you'll have to read Joan's novel to know why I said that *grin*).

Chris came to the book talk with his Mommy, and he's a "grass-orphan" just like Atta Boot. Well, initially Jo painted him blue (to look like Professor Jay in Star Sapphire, but Chris didn't quite like the ickiness of the paint, so...)
Can't get enough of this fine young man. My camera loves him.Meet Joan Hon! She's a wonderful, wonderful person. If I have half her genius, I'd be a happy, happy girl.
One of the attendees taking notes
This husband-and-wife pair participated actively in the talk. The wife is a librarian and the husband reviews books; I didn't quite know his actual profession.
As you can see, they're all ears, listening attentively
A snapshot with Joan. Notice how hungry Chris is. He was busy noming the karipap (curry puff)... From left: Nigel, Jo with her 5,000-year-old, Yours Truly, and Joan
And a (mini) group photo
Joan autographing books. I got mine, too, as a gift from her! (Thank you, Joan!)

I had great fun and totally enjoyed meeting with so many book lovers and bloggers. They're all very interesting people. There's only one minor glitch on my part. I FORGOT TO BRING MY NAME CARDS! *smacks self*

One final note: Don't miss out on the Interview with Joan Hon on my blog tomorrow! Meanwhile, you can also check out her interview with The Star newspaper published on October 7. And... catch Krista's story of today's event here too. Happy reading!

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