SFF writers in Singapore – interview with Joyce Chng

One of the great things about the internet is that you come into contact with people from all over the world and discover a great variety of fiction from writers who all share the same passion for SFF. Today I talk to Joyce Chng, whom I first met via Twitter. Joyce has recently had a novel released under her pen name J Damask.

You live in Singapore, and I know you are passionate about supporting local writers. Can you tell us a bit about the Singapore SFF scene?

The Singapore SFF scene is pretty nascent at the moment. There are people, groups and individuals writing SFF – yet, I have not seen a unified front. It’s a bit like herding cats or – as I have complained – trying to find the pin in the haystack.

So far there is a mailing list for SFF writers in Singapore:

And a website!:

Likewise, many SFF writers tend to lurk on the Singapore Nanowrimo forums. So I know they do exist.
I hope that with more and more people writing SFF, Singapore will finally make her mark on international SFF.
We are currently coming up with an anthology sampler of Singaporean SFF, with ‘hybrid’ being its theme.

Congratulations on publishing your latest book, A Wolf at the Door. Tell us a bit about the book, why you wrote it, and how it is different from other werewolf stories.

Thank you.
Wolf At The Door is basically a story about Singaporean Chinese werewolves, adapting, living and co-existing with the human population in Singapore. They are Asian werewolves (or wolf-weres – wolves who transform into humans, so to speak). The main protagonist is Jan Xu, a wolf who had an interesting past as a teenage vigilante. I wrote the story mainly as a challenge to myself. Why not Asian werewolves? Why not Chinese werewolves? Why not set the story in Singapore? There are so many urban fantasy novels set in the United States with stereotypical heroines and hunky heroes. So Jan Xu is now a mother, a daughter and a sister. We haven’t looked at the importance of family in urban fantasy and for me, family is important. The pack is family and it lends itself perfectly to the concept of family in Jan’s life.

The novel is available directly at Lyrical Press.

You’re a mother of young girls. Many women find it impossible to keep writing during the years that their children are little. How do you do it?

I have to admit it can be impossible. That’s why writing to me is a discipline. I have to write. I make it possible to write. I write, when the kids are asleep. Or that I simply make time – my husband is understanding and looks after my two girls when I write. Of course, the little one will ask me to stop and play with her.

Anything you’d like to pimp? Your fiction, your blog and website, whatever?

My blog is entitled “A Wolf’s Tale”: http://awolfstale.wordpress.com

You can find the list of fiction/stories I have published as well as blog posts where I talk about writing, photography and random things.