They say there’s nothing but sex on a man’s mind. I’m here to prove them right.
2001: Welcome to my irreverent and hypocritical world of lust, love, religion, satire and philosophy; all to chase that ever-elusive high. Frank’s on death row and I’m about to fall in love. She’s a carefree sanguine and I’m a complicated fool. Ai Leen inspires me to dance my darkness away.
Frank’s my best friend. Well he used to be, until the day he broke down and cried. I never expected him to; I imagined he’d go down strong, face death like an unflinching stone; `cos in a perverse way I admired his grotesquery against the laws of society. He was my idol, my superhero; he lived the life I desired but feared. I was he in my mind.
That was yesterday. Today I despise that little cocksucker. Now I’m one up while he mopes in his little cell waiting for his time to die. Even as my relationship with Ai Leen blossoms, I naturally find myself drawing away. But I cannot deny a dying man his last wish. Frank wants to see his estranged wife before the end of his life. And in this sick and sweet tale, spastic yet sexy, not even death can refuse new life as it laps like waves upon the shoreline.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 above
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
I am Malaysian Chinese for one. The slang of my book differs. I try to be as honest to the characters as best as possible, give them the Malaysian twang of English when they speak, where appropriate. Then I contrast with the Queen’s English to the best of my ability.
I don’t just tell the story; I try to speak to the reader.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Listen to that voice in your heart and head.
Kit Yan is Malaysian Chinese and, author of Deathrow High and God of the Game.
Born in the Pearl of the Orient, grew up in the ex mining capital of the world, I now spend most of my time in the city that houses the tallest twin towers in the world.
Writing is a love I developed over the years. Deathrow High is my first book.
Written in 2001, it’s a contemporary Malaysian tale (in English and Manglish – Malaysian English) revolving around the relationship between the narrator and his best friend on death row, Frank. Wrought in love and guilt, Deathrow High deals with a religious upbringing the narrator tries to shake off, a new love of his life and an old one he can’t forget, and his gradual but in-mollifiable loss of respect for Frank as the man deteriorates in his cell wanting nothing more than to be reconciled with his wife before the date of his demise. O’ yes, and the narrator discovers the joy and liberation of dance.
I was not happy with it for a long time; but I think I have improved as a writer over the decade. Deathrow High was published in 2007. But the deal was rushed and I was inexperienced and glaring grammatical errors came rushing out of the pages. In retrospect, it was premature to have the book out; I’d not matured as a writer. Ecstasy overtook rationality when the manuscript was wanted. I was given free rein, the publisher trusted me, and I did my best. But it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t ready. Thankfully Deathrow High was only released in Malaysia, and soon it set sail into silent obscurity. Perhaps I can blame local reading habits or my risqué content or even bad marketing, but I’m glad it didn’t make a splash and instead, died a quiet death. However, I’m looking forward to its resurrection having recently reedited its body. I’m proud of it; don’t get me wrong, the prose needed tinkering, that’s all. The mistakes, unless intentional, have been obliterated. Story wise, it remains the same.
In tandem, God of the Game is an abstract continuation of Deathrow High set in the afterlife. To surmise the two, Deathrow High gives insight of the narrator as a man, and God of the Game after, when he is god – how would (everlasting) life be if anything and everything was possible?
They’re both part of the Dreamstate Series – a collection looped round life on Earth and slung-shot across infinity and eternity to return to the Third Rock once again, culminating, or rather coinciding, with the Second Coming (whatever that may be).
Currently, I am more than halfway through my third novel. Hope to see it out in 2014, or latest, I promise, by 2015.What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
A mixture of fantasy, real life events, stories I heard and friends’ situations.