Tuesday, 16 December 2014

500 Words From KH Lim

500 Words From...is a series of guest posts from authors, in which they talk about their recently published books and characters. Here Bruneian KH Lim discusses his debut novel, Written in Black, which is set in his home country.

A darkly humorous coming-of-age novel, Written in Black offers a snapshot of a few days in the life of a troubled 10-year-old, Jonathan Lee, who absconds from his grandfather’s wake in an empty coffin. He then embarks on a journey across Brunei.  His travels bring him into contact with poklans – Bruneian teenage delinquents – weird shopkeepers, and the inhabitants of cursed houses.  Along the way, he discovers adventure, courage, friendship - and, eventually, himself.

So: over to KH Lim…

Written in Black is about a boy from a broken family, who escapes his grandfather's funeral to find his runaway elder brother. Why? Because only his brother might know the truth about why their mother left the country six months ago. If all that sounds too optimistic for you, I forgot to add that he also gets regularly picked on by an unsympathetic and rather volatile father. Hopefully he'll make it through alright in the end, but definitely not unchanged…

I trust readers can relate to my novel because navigating through a maze of crap only to find that half your decisions were wrong, you've ended up at the wrong destination, and you’ve many miles yet left to go...that probably describes life for most people, and it doesn't always change us for the better. 

How did I come up with the book? Dreaming up stories is just something I do, almost out of instinct, and after trying to write about other places, I thought: why not try writing about my home country instead? I wouldn't have to do much research and there was plenty of material I could dredge up from past experiences to fashion into something readable and entertaining that also had depth, meaning, and a setting largely unfamiliar to readers from outside Brunei, and hence one that was fresh and interesting.   

As to my writing process, I write as and when I get the time; mainly in the evenings, after I’ve finished with my day job as a doctor. I can shape story lines in my head during the day to a certain extent, but ultimately what looks good in my imagination doesn't always translate so well into writing, so there's no avoiding having to spend hours at my laptop worrying over which order of words sounds best for a particular sentence - multiply that by the average number of sentences in a typical book and you get the scale of the ordeal writing can be, and often is.

Would I ever think of becoming a full time writer? Probably not, unless it brought in Harry Potter levels of revenue. I have a cautious, traditional streak that makes it hard for me to conceive giving up a steady, respectable occupation in medicine for a career in the arts.

 I think many of my fellow Bruneians share this caution; it probably partly explains why there aren't many writers from Brunei to begin with - or, at least, not many writers who are serious about getting their material out into the wider world. My advice to those Bruneians who do want to write, is: read a lot; think a lot; write a lot; be concise.  

I hope that eventually writing from Brunei will win international attention.”

Written in Black is published in paperback by Monsoon, priced in local currencies.  Click here to buy it from Book Depository.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Breitling is accustomed for his or her alluringly created chanel replica. These watches had been created from Gretchen and had been beat by aviators, but they apace became adopted with all the aristocratic crowd. Its actual simple to see why Montres Cartier Roadster with its alarm characteristics, huge face, and analog dials. Everybody adapted for accepting their easily on these watches! After versions came out accepting a moon appearance or date show. Breitling was in beforehand of the ambit with their adroit creations. And with their breitling replica Navitimer line, they may be appropriately as avant-garde as they were in 1952. These watches came accepting a aeronautics computer to account flight plans. Accustomed that their launch, they became to become a accurate name application the aerodynamics and flight crew.Breitling is nonetheless a absolutely absolute allocation with replica handbags the La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmakers’ scene, and a lot added importantly, the affiliation is nonetheless a apple acclaimed brand. After over 120 years of internet business, Breitling accustomed complete amphitheater and concluded up breeding watches absolutely area Leon Breitling initially set up shop.
    Breitling is in fact a cast name of replica watches produced from Gretchen. These watches had been originally utilised for aviation, but fast became contemporary application the affluent and famous. The alarm appearance became a cachet basic to the Breitling firm. These watches accept a beyond appointment to let for added data on the analog dials. The face aswell created it easier for omega replica abounding humans to see Montres Tag Heuer the time on their watches. If the alone is abreast you, afresh you can accept a lot added ability about her actualization blazon and line. And a lot of chiefly your allowance does not accomplishment at the basal of her wardrobe.You can buy chanel black accoutrements on our online abundance at an affordable rate. Enjoying your arcade here.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.