Singapore’s Most Prolific Novelist

It’s so easy to be a best-seller these days. All you need to do is order a large bulk of your own books at odd hours of a weekday. Your title sales spikes and you’re instantly on the bestseller list [1] (of, may I remind you, a local stationery store that dismally masquerades as a bookshop). It’s all a matter of automatic snowballing after that, especially so in a market as puny and unsaturated as that of Singapore’s. You can then use the trite adjective of “prestigious” on the award you receive for being an unimpressive best-seller [2].

It’s so easy to be a pre-eminent and “highly popular” local writer these days. All you need is your own shell publishing company blowing your trumpet as well as an arsenal of social media pages you can establish instantly with a complementary 10,000 likes each as part of the package [3]. With a little more money, you could go a little further to supplement your sales – hire sycophantic school kids eager to earn a holiday season buck to enforce fawning and obsequiously cringe-worthy word-of-mouth peddling to all their fellow innocuous classmates [4][5]. Upon which, you may have the audacity to defecate and spit on the contributions to local literature by Arthur Yap, Edwin Thumboo, Catherine Lim and the many other local writers past and present that are in an entirely different league of talent and ability than you.

It’s so easy to reach critical mass on social media these days. All you need to do is start a website fuelled by gag-inducing listicles [6]. I mean listicles are formats of writing that require little or almost zero writing skills and creativity but yet you still never fail to come off as terribly colourless and insipid even with such a writing format. Wait, in fact you don’t even need to write your own listicles because you’ve already managed to procure a whole battalion of similarly banal writers to churn out a diarrhoea of faeces for you [7]. After which, all it takes is just a barrage of sponsored posts and shares with your arsenal of social media sites and then boast of astounding page views.

It’s so easy to be a novelist these days. All you need to do is churn out book after book of trashy romance novels and throw in a modicum of obliquely-referenced social issues and your credentials of a BA from a private university (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, just that the manner by which you flaunt your credentials is nauseating). Go a little further with a measure of self-aggrandisement about how your novels are such hard-hitting social commentaries of course ignoring the distasteful platitudes of your plots and themes as well as your severe grammatical ineptitude. No, it is entirely unforgivable to have such a terrible command of a language and then have the cheek to claim to be a foremost novelist [8]. Even Vladimir Nabokov had the humility to master English before embarking on his English writings.

You call it sophisticated writing, I call it a really bad attempt. You call your books a sleeper hit, I call it savvy and unethical marketing. You call yourself Singapore’s foremost prolific novelist, I call bullshit.

I have not an issue with your entrepreneurship, just your ludicrous self-aggrandisement and its encroachment on public decency.

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