Between you, Yunisa KD, and her novels

Submitted to Singapore Literature Prize 2014

Yunisa KD • May 5, 14 • NewsNo Comments

It started on 30 Apr when I received a personalized email from Jade of Singapore Book Council. Well, I submitted my first novel, Sakura Bersemi di Yokohama back in 2006. That time, fiction and poetry fell under the same category.

This year, SLP (Singapore Literature Prize) has 12 categories! And I was surprised that the committee spent the effort to email personally participants from previous years… So I told my husband, I’ll submit #SepotongKataMaaf – and he mailed it last Friday.Singapore Literature Prize 2014

Why Joining SLP
Well, I think the committee will put one copy in Singapore National Library? I had my first novel Sakura Bersemi di Yokohama and Schoolaholic Princess 2: Romansa Singapura archived by National Library. My second novel, Sydney Darling Harbour was acquired by Sydney Library.

Why Sepotong Kata Maaf and not Obsesi dan Deja vu
I had two novels published in 2013. But I only have enough stocks for Sepotong Kata Maaf. In any case, Sepotong Kata Maaf is not a usual novel. It was a chosen few of 630+ manuscripts submitted for Grasindo’s Publisher Seeking Authors in 2013.

For the plot, I was inspired by Steins Gate – whereby the main character travel back-and-forth through time. And I use 3 different perspectives in different chapters to picture how that character feels. (Please look for small asterisk * in the chapter titles).

Those first-time readers of my works claim that they love it so much, saying that this book is easy to read, they can feel the emotion, they can laugh and swear against the antagonist when reading it. While those haters keep complaining and cursing: they don’t understand, I am despicable etc, especially when some of them did not win Grasindo’s PSA2 and Heart Actually was selected again for PSA2 😉

Well, those who love my works keep looking forward to my books. Some even “terrorize” my editors in a regular basis. Some always leave their contact numbers to the bookstore staff. However, those who hate the facts that I am published by major publishers – they also buy my books only to derive satisfaction from criticizing it. Not unusual, huh?

Fun Facts
1. Some of my loyal readers are still in high school. Some are mothers in their 40s-60s. Most of the haters are in their late 20s-mid-30s (around my age).

2. There was an epic “online war” in Goodreads Indonesia back in 2012 when this high school student attacks the haters because she loves Memory & Destiny so much. I only knew about this when one of the haters mentioned me in Twitter. Funnily, I agree with the comment she made to one of the haters whose English is very poor. Sigh. Even at work, I keep complaining that recruiting a high-quality linguist is darn difficult.

3. The haters club is very dedicated. Whether they read or they don’t read, they always give ALL of my books 1-star rating. Some even created a fake account just to rate my books 1-star!

4. I was headhunted to “replace” the haters club’s coordinator as lead linguist. She created hate-blog and hate-twit account back in 2010. The late Mr. Harry Suhartanto was very mad when he saw the hate-twit posts and asked me to take firm actions.


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