Went to Xeus's talk at MPH MidValley yesterday. Finally got to meet Lydia Teh and Yvonne Lee, and along with Xeus, we chatted a bit before Xeus started her talk. It was great meeting you guys!
Xeus talked about the ways of making money from writing (query newspaper and magazine editors because they're always up for interesting stories or features for their lifestyle or expertise sections), her experience writing Dark City (took her two months to finish the first draft), and what she has in store for the future (a children's book, of which a synopsis is available on her blog).
I also got for myself a copy of Diane Setterfield's Thirteenth Tale, which is absolutely amazing. I wasn't planning on reading this just yet, but while I was waiting for Xeus's talk to begin, I read the first page... and well, I couldn't stop reading it. Have had to ditch Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies aside for now 'cause I've been totally sucked in.
The book is a love-letter to books and reading; the protaganist is the daughter of an antiquarian bookstore owner, and she's an amateur biographer who admits to a preference of talking with dead people by reading the books written by them. Throw in a prolific writer with a mysterious past - "the Dickens of our time" - and is famous for publishing a much-publicised book called "Thirteen Tales" but strangely contains only twelve, and have her request the protaganist to interview her out of the blue. That's the premise of The Thirteenth Tale.
Setterfield's prose just grabs you and you just want to go along for the ride and not wanting it to stop... and... well, you get the picture. The book's just good.
Check out the official website, or the Amazon page.