Author: Charles Chiam

Tunku Halim and 20 years of writing Malaysian horror fiction

The Stephen King of Malaysia, Tunku Halim. Image credit Remang.  “Don’t you know a bomoh when you see one?” That’s what author Tunku Halim, touted the Stephen King of Malaysia, said jokingly, upon being asked to describe himself during the MYWritersFest 2017, where he launched the 20th Anniversary Edition of his first published novel, Dark Demon Rising. It is a feat not many other writers can claim to achieve. Tunku Halim originally intended for it to be a short story, but after having so many rich ideas within it, he decided to put it aside and focus on other...

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74-year-old publishes his debut novel, Strings, 34 years later

“All of my characters come from my head, and parts of the protagonist is based on myself. Many novelists create characters that way.” That’s what author and musician Peter G. Brown has to say about his characters in his over 800 page long historical novel, Strings. Peter, or Hassan Abdullah (a name he received from a Sufi sheikh in London, to marry his wife Markiza) started writing his novel in 1985, and finally self-published it in 2017. That’s a whopping 32 years! Even our editors are a year younger. “During the 80’s I couldn’t find a publisher willing to...

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How do you stage a dark play such as Macbeth for children? Here’s how!

From left; Lim Soon Heng, Nave VJ and Rachel Chin provide a children friendly take on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. All images by KL Shakespeare Players “William Shakespeare wrote great stories. So why only the adults get to appreciate them?” director Lim Kien Lee wonders. Using minimal props such as coloured boxes and blank dolls, KL Shakespeare Players; Lim Soon Heng, Nave VJ and Rachel Chin recently staged an interactive performance catered towards a younger audience in conjunction with the DiverseCity KL International Arts Festival at Studio Ramli Hassan. Titled, A Tale That Must Be Told: Macbeth, children were allowed to participate...

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“Poetry is a form of prayer,” Sheena Baharudin says

All images by Charles Chiam “Prayers come from within and to articulate it is to share your soul. You beautify language to reach out, to spread good energy, and express hope that things will turn for the better,” spoken word poet Sheena Baharudin says to me. We were talking to each other at a multidisciplinary spoken word poetry performance held to celebrate the release of two poetry books by Sheena and fellow poet Alana Azlan. While Sheena’s All the Bodies We’ve Embraced was released in June this year, Alana’s A Female Called Psyche got its release this month. Published...

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How effective is Virtual Reality in addressing human rights issues?

Image credit: Tribeca Is Virtual Reality (VR) the way forward in communicating ideas, opinions and providing facts and figures especially on human rights issues? Programme director of One World Documentary Film Festival, Ondřej Moravec apparently believes it is. “Virtual reality brings you closer into the scenario, from all sides. It enhances your experience in a way that doesn’t feel artificial,” Moravec testified at the recently held FreedomFilmFest (FFF) 2017 at PJ Live Arts. Moravec explained that the technology has already been widely available in many parts of the world, at affordable prices. Heck, devices such as Google Cardboard – customised via fold-able...

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