Rubin Khoo : Diani is writing her first book. So, maybe you start this off by telling us how it came about?
Diani Lee : So, the book has been a project in my mind for the last three, four years. And it’s inspired by my father. And the concept of the book is A-Z alphabet book for children. But, instead of teaching them ‘A’ for apple, ‘B’ for ball, which are materialistic things, my book is teaching A to Z in values. We always talked about it and he is always on it. Telling me that children need this, and please write a book about it.
Rubin : But you did mention that you that you have a passion for writing. That it is something you enjoyed and wanted to explore?
Diani : Well, I’ve always like language and in our household, we’re brought up as a multilingual family. My parents always encourage us to learn. So from a very young age, I’ve always felt intrigued with learning a language. When I went into the university, the main medium that I was thought in was English and I was able to practice that skill. I don’t think I’m the best writer. But with this book I hope that it can give me a little bit of encouragement to continue, whether or not to pursue this calling.
Rubin : What was the process like? Putting the book together.
Diani : It’s been a bit harder than I initially imagine. I thought it was going to be like, I write something, somebody checks it, edits it before putting it to print. But it’s a lot more than that. It involves too many drafts, and lots of rounds of editing and checking with my illustrator to see if he can bring out the story of what I’ve written down. Going back and forth, it takes a lot of time. And I had to be satisfied with it.
Rubin : I think one of the hardest things about writing is that you put yourself out there. It’s a personal process. So how much of you is reflected in the book?
Diani : Very much. I think when you see it later on, it’s quite philosophical. It talks a lot about trying to be a good person. The title of the book is A to Z, My Grandpa to Me. It’s very simple. My inspiration was my father and the book is written in the voice of my young children.
Rubin : So what is your advise to those who had been wanting to do something they’ve been talking about for awhile?
Diani : Just go for it. If you fail, people will forget about it in two years time. But if you don’t do it, you’d be like, two years ago, if I’ve done it, I’ve gotten somewhere with it by now. But now I’m really happy that I’ve started it.