Sunday, March 15, 2015

Singapore Writers' Festival 2015 - Writer Romain Puertolas at Words Go Round

Pic by Eric Clement
The Singapore Writers' Festival (SWF) held a schools' programmed called Words Go Round (WGR) recently, with various invited locally-based and overseas writers that include Catherine Lim, Dave Chua, Drewscape, Matt Dickinson, Ken Spillman and Romain Puértolas.

Red Dot Diva has to admit that she had not heard of French writer Romain Puértolas until one morning during Words Go Round, just before she headed to work. In mid-sip of her morning caffeine requirements, Red Dot Diva's Mom had poked excitedly at a page from The Straits Times' Life! section. "See! This author is very handsome!" she declared. It was a feature on Romain Puértolas, accompanied by an eye-catching photo of the man. Romain's dramedy book entitled "The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe" has been making waves around the world.

Now, Red Dot Diva's Mom always had fantastic taste, and Romain Puértolas turned out to be very .... oooh lala ... indeed. That first visual encounter on print spurred Red Dot Diva's curiosity, and she is glad to say that she has met the very interesting man in person while he was here for Words Go Round.

Still, her "Romain" experience cannot beat the one relished by her geeky friend Jas - who was the writer's local "bodyguard" while he and his family were making their rounds during the festival.

Here is Jas' brief pictorial rundown of her couple of days being Romain Puértolas' liaison officer:

As a regular volunteer with the SWF, an annual literary event held every November, I was offered the opportunity to return for their schools-orientated event which took place early in the year, the Words Go Round.

With SWF, I did front of the house stuff like ushering and keeping time, but this time, I decided to try the role of liaison officer, where I basically accompanied an author around to his various WGR talks.

I was assigned to the lovely Romain Puértolas, a French author currently living in Spain. (Sorry, all I know about Spain is Barcelona and Madrid. Guess why. :P)

I was thoroughly entertained by both his school visits, where the students apparently felt the same way too!

Romain Puértolas at Hwa Chong Institution

Romain Puértolas at Stamford American Intenational School

There was also a public event at The Arts House at The Old Parliament, which is an old government building that has been converted into an art gallery now, on Wednesday night. This crowd was entirely adults, but they were no less entertained! Yes, he’s just that good.

That was my last night as his liaison officer, but my live updates throughout the days on Facebook did attract the curiosity of my friends, who then showed up to his Meet-The-Author session at the Kinokuniya bookshop on Saturday.

I must say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a volunteer liaison officer, but I think I will also go back to doing front-of-the-house duties for the main festival. WGR isn’t really centralized in any one location, so accompanying my author gives me an opportunity to experience something which I would have missed out on, otherwise, but for the festival, I do LOVE that bring Front Of The House gives me ample opportunity to interact with BOTH the speakers, as well as the audience! Really feel happy and lucky to have this opportunity as I wouldn't have had the chance to attend any of these if I weren't a volunteer! Why volunteer when it doesn't pay in (a lot of) money? It pays in HAPPINESS! BONUS! When you ask for an author hug and get a kiss on the cheek instead! ENDORPHINS!!!!!!!!!


Thanks to Jas for her quickie article. Her full piece and more pics can be found in this link.

Do look out for more on the handsome Romain Puértolas' and his book, based on his Kinokuniya Meet-the-Author session on March 6. And yes, there were biceps! :D

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