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The Rejected Bio

A symbolic first post.

For the longest time since I created this blog – two years and seven days long, to be exact – I let it sit here, like a placeholder for something significant I had hoped would come.

This was once the sight that greeted readers who made their way here before this.

And because I’m someone who values symbolism to the extreme, I often wondered what would make for a, well, symbolic first post. Would it be an announcement that I’ve secured a book contract for my first manuscript? Or an indulgent essay detailing the emotional rollercoaster ride of my quest to getting a book published?

I thought about this space that I had reserved, intermittently – while I was stuck in traffic, in the shower… Sometimes, I let random ideas lull me to sleep, only to wake up with no memory of any late-night inspiration that might have struck in the seconds before my brain powered down.

Time passed.

I thought I might publish one of two short stories I’d written for an anthology (Pulp Toast/Roti Bakar, #1). Or both of them. Or write something new. Just to breathe some “life” into this space and to keep my writing going.

But time was the only thing that kept going.

@matthewcustar on Instagram

Even after I got offered a book contract, and my manuscript had undergone a round of structural edits and copyedits each, and then a couple of rounds of proofreading, and I can almost imagine holding the physical book in my hands.

So today, I bit the bullet. I put away my e-books and dramas. I ignored the temptation to scroll through my social media. I shoved away the excuse that typing a proper post on my mobile phone might blind me.

… all to address the title of this post, which is the author’s bio that I wrote that did not manage to make its way into my upcoming book:

leslie w biography

It now seems that there’s nothing more apt than having this blog begin with something that’s been rejected. After all, getting rejected is an oft-stated job hazard of being a writer.

And oh, remember the part about me being big on symbols? Well, 10th December 2019 was supposed to be the launch date of my first novel “The Night of Legends”. I say was because, of course, it’s not out yet.

PS: I’m publishing this post a little past midnight but I did start writing it on 10.12.19. Deadlines are the bane of a writer’s existence.

Today’s The Day I Became A Legit Author

All the cliches are true. The one about how surreal everything feels when you’ve realised your dream. The one about how, when you find your true calling, that you’ll know in your gut that it’s what you’re meant to do for the rest of your life. Even the one about how one should have enough courage, determination and persistence to pursue your dreams and not give up.

And it is on the back of these cliches, like those wobbly stepping stones in an American Ninja Warrior course, that I managed to be where I am today – opening a nondescript cardboard box with 10 copies of my first novel packed neatly into it.

The Night of Legends Leslie W
Author’s copies of The Night of Legends

I won’t deny that from the moment I decided that I wanted to write a book – to actually writing it under the mentorship of Dave Chua, to self-editing it, to cold-querying Penguin SEA’s executive editor if she was open to reading an unsolited manuscript, to being offered a book contract by one of the biggest publishers in the world, to working with editors to present the best version of the story, to proofreading the layout, to approving the cover – every step I took had been tentative, filled with false bravado and to an extent, plagued by impostor syndrome.

But since today’s the day my status changed from “aspiring novelist” to “published author”, I have to mark this milestone down, despite the niggling thought that beyond the cliches lies luck, the one wild card that people can’t quite agree on how it chooses its beneficiary.

‘The Night of Legends’ by Leslie W

The Night of Legends Book Cover Leslie W

Cover design and illustration by Saurabh Garge

The Night of Legends

Who can you trust if you found out that everything you’ve been taught is a lie?

Keix wakes up in an underground prison—weak, emaciated, and battling partial memory loss. Her rescuers and long-time friends, Zej and Pod, tell her she’s been put in a coma for two years. Her captor: Atros, the organization she had joined as a trainee soldier since she was fourteen.

Keix doesn’t want to believe them but the evidence just keeps stacking up. Vile beasts called Odats, engaged by Atros as mercenaries, attack her as she makes her escape from the prison. And she finds out that Atros is also keeping her best friend Vin locked up.

Keix’s ancestry (her father is a Kulcan, a fierce race of warriors) helps her regain her lost memories and strength quickly under her friends’ care. Soon, she gets handed proof that Atros is building a ghost army—the very enemies the organization has been tasked to protect the people from.

To make matters even more complicated, Ifarls, a race with mysterious magical powers, try to influence her to attempt a
dangerous mission to break Vin out. They also tell Keix they want to close the portal between the living and the dead, to end
decades of misery that the underworld has brought.

Swept into the undercurrents of distrust and differing agendas between the races, will Keix, who considers herself as an outsider because of her mixed bloodline, be able to walk her own path?

www.penguin.sg

RRP: S$24.90