This is part of my “Little Lit Author’s First…” series. This interview offers a sneak peek into a celebrity’s first children’s picture book.
Many people know Adrian Pang as the funny man on Mediacorp TV programmes. Sure, he has the knack of making people laugh with his deadpan facial expression; however many people do not know Adrian as a multi-talented, versatile and an award-winning theatre director-actor-presenter-screenwriter & playwright.
Recently, Adrian—currently the Artistic Director of Pangdemonium, a theatre company—has added another feather to his cap. He has teamed up with world-renowned Singaporean artist and Cultural Medallion winner, Milenko Prvacki, to create a surprisingly heartwarming Singapore fairy tale. Hansel and Girl Girl is Adrian’s first children’s picture book which has just been published.
I caught up with Adrian to chat about his latest endeavour. He shares his thoughts on his book with us, his writing process, his current writing project, and the multiple professional roles that he juggles.
~ ADRIAN LOVES LITTLE LIT~
Adrian Pang ~ Something we don’t know about you as an author ~
I am very sentimental, but I also love dark material.
Loves ~ Something that you’ve always loved since you’re a kid ~
My mum’s poh piah.
Little Lit ~ Your favourite children’s book ~
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
~ SYNOPSIS: HANSEL AND GIRL GIRL ~
In Hansel and Girl Girl, a brother and sister live in an Ang Mo Kio HDB flat with their stepmother who thinks them a nuisance. She keeps sending them out on errands, hoping they would get lost and never return. And one day, they really do not come home!
Hansel and Girl Girl costs $16.9. You can purchase it online or at major bookshops.
~ADRIAN PANG’s NEW BOOK & WRITING ~
Linn Shekinah: As a professional actor, you never acted or involved in a children’s play / TV show. So what motivated you to write a children’s picture book?
Adrian Pang: I’ve written short plays and short films and an entire tv series, and some songs before, but a children’s story is an entirely different challenge. I was approached some time ago, and I’m always up for a challenge, so I said yes!
Linn Shekinah: What is the story behind your picture book story?
Adrian Pang: Very simply, I was asked to choose among a few classic children’s fairy tales, and Hansel & Gretel appealed to me because it had a dark streak to it.
Linn Shekinah: You used “Hansel and Gretel” as a starting point. Can we expect the story to be close to the classic fairy tale?
Adrian Pang: In my version, I subverted the whole story and made it quite absurdist and satirical. But the publishers felt it would go over the kids’ heads and they wanted a proper and neat ending, so I left it to them to amend.
Linn Shekinah: What was the writing process like for you?
Adrian Pang: I usually have the germ of a idea, either the bigger concept for a story arc, or sometimes it starts with just a small idea, maybe a phrase or even a word that hooks me in. And then I make the difficult step of starting to write, and I find that once I get over that hurdle, I have to allow myself to just be spontaneous and let the words pour our, edit late when it’s all done.
Linn Shekinah: What did you enjoy most in the creation and writing process? What challenges did you encounter?
Adrian Pang: I do like writing, but I don’t like censorship. Well, after this experience, I know that I have to know my demographic when I’m writing.