Felix Cheong, Author of 22 Books, Lyricist
Felix Cheong is the author of 22 books across different genres, including poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and children’s picture books.
Martin Luther has said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” If not directly changing the world, one can surely do it by changing one’s own life. We know the power of putting thoughts on paper through writing.
And, who doesn’t love their favorite authors who have the power to transport us to a different world? These writers enter our hearts as they relate with us through their stories. It is reading such relatable books that help us develop ideas, inculcate healthy changes, or just feel the emotions we want to feel.
Today, we have an award-winning writer, Felix Cheong, who talks about her view of relating with the readers.
[00:32]About Felix Cheong, Author of 22 Books, Lyricist
- Felix Cheong is the author of 22 books across different genres, including poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and children’s picture books.
- As a lyricist, Felix has collaborated with musicians such as Beverly Morata, Jonathan Shin, Tan Yuting, and Chen Zhangyi.
- He has been nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award and the Singapore Literature Prize.
[01:07] About the Books and the motivation behind them
When I was 14, I wanted to be a writer and wanted my name to be seen in print. I was an introvert, so that was a way to assert my personality.
In 2020, ‘In the Year of the Virus’ is a series of poems written about the pandemic. It is about how the pandemic has affected us and how should we look at it in a more optimistic light.
In 2021, ‘Sprawl’ was published, which is a noir detective graphic novel. It is written in poetry form.
[03:25] How do you manage writing so many genres?
The basics of writing do not change. Give details, create interesting characters, believable characters, and have a strong theme. It is just a matter of applying the writing skills to different characters, and understanding the genre well.
[04:45] What makes a good writer and a good story?
Three things make a good writer:
Three things make a good story:
[08:35] Schedule of a writer
I try to be a bit more disciplined. I am a freelance lecturer, so I try to write between my lessons. I can write anywhere. Each writer has to find his or her own space.
[10:44] Do you ever face writer’s block?
Writer’s block is a fantastical idea that some people have created to excuse themselves from not writing.
People encounter writer’s block for several reasons:
- You do not have anything to say.
- You have something to say, but do not know how to say it.
- Lack of time.
[12:34] How does a first-time author get published?
- You have to start getting published in e-journals, and literary journals.
- Take part in competitions and build a resume of writing.
- Publish on Instagram.
[14:09] Is self-publishing an option for new writers?
It is an option, although, I wouldn’t recommend it in the long term as you develop as a writer. So the first book that is usually self-publish tends to be indulgent. Because you don’t really have an editor to tell you. So you do need a third pair of eyes to take a look at it.
[21:12] Three life lessons
- Be a bit more observant about life.
- Read widely.
- Have the courage to put your word out there.
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Felix Cheong is the author of 22 books across different genres, including poetry, short stories, flash fiction and children’s picture books. His works have been widely anthologised and nominated for the prestigious Frank O’Connor Award and the Singapore Literature Prize. His latest book, Sprawl, is a graphic novel in collaboration with Malaysian artist Arif Rafhan.
As a lyricist, Felix has collaborated with musicians such as Beverly Morata, Jonathan Shin, Tan Yuting and Chen Zhangyi. His libretto, At One Time, won third prize in the New Opera Singapore Open Call for Composition competition. Another libretto, Panic Love, was released on Jan 31 as a music video.