Friday, 13 July 2012

The great man behind the TSGS books

I've always loved horror stories whenever I was a little kid. They just fascinate me to a large extent, especially movies that are of the horror genre, too. Yes, I can get pretty scared at times but curiosity always gets the better of me. (Ever heard of the phrase "Curiosity kills the cat" ???)

Nonetheless, what remains a fascination of mine will still be.
I remembered that I received a very special gift from my sister during my primary school days. It was my birthday and I was presented with:

(Photo in courtesy of Google images)

Yes, a Book 7 of the "True Singapore Ghost Stories" (TSGS). (My first book didn't begin at Book 1, but Book 7!)
Since young, my sister had always encouraged me to read more books and I guess that was one of the reasons why she got me one. 
I remembered being afraid of the "ghostly face" on the book cover during those times. *laughs*

It was, however, a juicy read... And I was engrossed in no time!

We had "Silent Reading" sessions in my primary school, in which everyone was expected to bring books of our choice and read them during the 20-minute period. It was an attempt by the school to improve our English Language, I guess.
My best friend had TSGS Book 1 which she brought along, and I remembered borrowing it from her. 
(Coming to think of it, did I just forget to return it to her? It's still lying in my cupboard now, after a good long 10 plus years! OH DEAR!)

Probably its good fate that I would lay my hands on TSGS books. One of my favorite aunts from Malaysia came to Singapore back in the early 2000s and she bought TSGS Book 2 during her trip. She eventually gave it to me after reading it.
My collection of the books grew unknowingly along the way, although I hate to say that I do not have the complete series yet. I was a reader, but not really a "hardcore" one as I had the habit of not buying books myself in the past. Interestingly enough, my relatives seemed to love giving me TSGS books, even though I've never mentioned anything to anyone about it. Probably it was due to the fact that I loved horror stories.

My bro-in-law gave me a "vintage version" of the very first TSGS Book 1. It is surprisingly still in tip top condition, considering the fact that it has been kept for so long.

I found this photo online, in courtesy of RememberingSingapore. It looks something similar to the book on the top:

It was not until my mum stacked all of my books away during a house-cleaning session and I "lost touch" with the books for years.

Aside from being a horror fan since childhood, I am a Michael Jackson fan as well. As time went by, a fan club - King of Pop Fanatics Singapore- was set up together with a good friend of mine, Marie. Simply put, it's a fanclub that's dedicated for MJ fans in Asia. 
Through the common love for MJ, I have my fair share of interesting encounters as I met new people along the way, and experienced things that I never expected I would.

And yes, that includes knowing the awesome author behind the classic TSGS series, Russell Lee.  You've read my entry regarding the TSGS books in the beginning, and here comes the man who is behind them.
 He shares a great love for MJ as well, and I am glad that somehow a friendship was bonded along the way.
Russell is truly a man with a genuine heart. 
Despite the fact that there are many people questioning the reason of his masked face, I don't see the point in probing it as it's the heart of the man that matters.
I believe in knowing people through beyond the soul.

When I first got the opportunity to meet him during a book signing session, I was touched by his sincerity and appreciation for every single reader. As jovial as he is, I could see that all the children who came by loved him. 

I searched through my archived photos and found a pic of my very first meetup with R.L (It has been so long! I had already outgrown my bangs.):

Met him yet another time during his Book 21 signing event 
(Photo in Courtesy of the TSGS fanclub):

And here I am at it again, following the recent release of Book 22. I seldom smile like that, so I guess I must have felt really ecstatic. Haha.


It has always been a great joy meeting Russell and his TSGS staff during the book signing events. To me, it's a blessing to meet them, and I will always make time to head down whenever time permits.
Thanks for taking time to talk to me and autographing the books with sweet personalized messages!

I wish Russ and his team every success in the upcoming TSGS series! Of course, like many other readers, I'll be staying tuned for more. 

If any of you are interested in the "True Singapore Ghost Stories" series too, do keep a lookout in Popular Bookstores!
The great Russell Lee will be visiting bookstores near you for his book signing events, and that includes a short Malaysia tour as well. (I'm sure Malaysian fans can't wait to meet him too!) It's really heartwarming to see Russell making attempts to visit all his readers. God bless him and his great heart.

 For more information or simply to be kept in the loop, do feel free to join the TSGS Facebook page at:

P/S: This blog entry isn't an attempt to advertise. I'm just posting this as a part of my "life journey".)

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