I just realised that I have been delinquent in updating this blog on the happenings concerning A Fickle and Restless Weapon since my previous post in June. I’ve been more regular about posting on Facebook, but some of y’all don’t follow me there. So, for posterity’s sake, here’s everything that’s happened since (with photos!):
1. On 24 June, I made a special trip to Books Kinokuniya’s Main Store to sign their entire stock of Fickle, which had just been delivered that morning. My thanks to Kenneth, Douglas and Pearline for their assistance in coordinating the signing and taking photos during the busy time of the store’s Phase 2 re-opening, as well as to Kenny Chan for putting me in touch with the right people and for his continued enthusiasm. What you see stacked here is the second half of the copies, as I realised halfway through signing that I should probably get photographic evidence. (Click to embiggen.)
2. On 26 June, I was interviewed by Doretta Tan, Epigram Books’ Marketing Executive, for the long-running Doing the Write Thing series on the Epigram Books Blog. The questions were great, and were helpful in getting me to articulate much of my reasoning behind writing the novel in the first place.
Later on, I took the same questions and recorded video answers for them, which differed slightly from the written responses. The video was uploaded to the Epigram Books YouTube channel on 12 August:
3. From 29 June – 5 July 2020, Fickle was the Epigram Books Book of the Week, and was on sale for a 20% discount (though you’ll have to pay full price now, sorry).
4. On 13 July, I was gobsmacked to discover that Fickle was a featured title on the front page of the Books Kinokuniya website, displayed right next to the 2020 International Booker Prize Longlist.
5. On 16 July, I was informed that in Epigram Books’ internal bestseller list for June 2020, Fickle debuted at #1 in Fiction and #4 in all genres released that month. For a speculative fiction novel released with very little fanfare during a global pandemic (aside from all the flailing about and jumping up and down I was doing myself), without any prizes or critical adulation attached, this was extremely heartening.
6. Also on 16 July, my essay “What’s It All About Then?” was published at Mackerel, detailing the thought processes that went into writing the novel, as well as the frustration that arose when trying to boil down what exactly it was about. Many thanks to Marc Nair and Carolyn Oei for letting me burble on in their webzine.
7. On 3 August, Fickle was featured on the Singapore Shelf at The Straits Times as one of 10 local reads to look out for in August.
8. On 6 August, I was interviewed by the English department of my alma mater, North Carolina State University, for their Wolfpack Writers series (which was then reposted at NCSU English Dept News). It was an honour to be given attention by the university department that has been such a big part of my academic and professional life, and to share a space with other such distinguished NCSU faculty and alumni as Dorianne Laux, Christopher Ruocchio and Elaine Neil Orr.
I’ve been very pleased to hear from a number of people how much they’ve enjoyed A Fickle and Restless Weapon, as well as to note how well it’s disseminating at the National Library of Singapore (it’s listed as On Loan at most branches right now). If you’ve been generous enough with your time and attention (and possibly finances) to pick up the novel and see something in it to like, I’d like to request one more kindness: please rate and review it on Goodreads and wherever you ordered it from online (if you in fact did so). Thanks in advance!