Monthly Archives: July 2015

Tan Twan Eng: What Malaysia means to me

Twan IMG_2492-03Tan Twan Eng, author of The Gift of Rain and The Garden of Evening Mists, appears in the Malaysian edition of Elle magazine (August 2015).

Five acclaimed writers share with Elle readers just exactly what Malaysia means to them. For Twan, it was the small things in life that he remembers with clarity. The kindness of his mother, and the gratefulness of those less fortunate than himself, come across in this short piece of reminiscence.

‘… perhaps, every day all over KL, all over our country, people are doing such similar acts of unsolicited kindnesses, these small things, for complete strangers.’ 

If you’d like to read the full piece from Elle then please click here.


How history informs fiction

tigerhuntThe Japanese character in this picture is typical of many Japanese in Malaya before the surprise Japanese invasion like the characters Aritomo and Endo in Tan Twan Eng’s books The Garden of Evening Mists and The Gift of Rain – performing all manner of seemingly innocuous roles while secretly spying for their country.
This was one of the factors leading to the rapid sweep of Japanese forces down through the jungles and plantations of the peninsula and the swift capture of Singapore.
The Malaya campaign and its ferocity is captured in the forthcoming illustrated autobiography from Myrmidon: And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder, a republished work by war artist and prisoner of war, the late Leo Rawlings. This revised edition contains over 160 illustrations, many of which are published in full colour for the first time.
For more information about this book please click here. Or to pre-order your copy, please click here.


And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder

And the Dawn... copyLeo Rawlings

And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder is the experience of an ordinary soldier captured by the Japanese at Singapore in February 1942. Leo Rawlings’ story is told in his own pictures and his own words; a world that is uncompromising, vivid and raw. He pulls no punches. For the first time cruelty inflicted on the prisoners of war by their own officers is depicted as well as shocking images of POW life. This is truly a view of the River Kwai experience for a 21st Century audience.

The new edition includes pictures never before published as well as an extensive new commentary by Dr Nigel Stanley, an expert on Rawlings and the medical problems faced on the Burma Railway. More than just a commentary on the history and terrible facts behind Rawlings’ work, it stands on its own as a guide to the hidden lives of the prisoners.

Most of the pictures are printed for the first time in colour as the artist intended, bringing new detail and insight to conditions faced by the POWs as they built the infamous death railway, and faced starvation, disease and cruelty. Pictures such as those showing the construction of Tamarkan Bridge, now famed as the prototype for the fictional Bridge on the River Kwai, and those showing the horrendous suffering of the POWs such as King of the Damned have an iconic status. Rawlings’ art brings a different perspective to the depiction of the world of the Far East prisoners. For the first time the pictures and original texts are printed in a large format edition, so that their full power can be experienced.

Click here to read an extract from this book


Hardback 240 pages
ISBN 978-1-905802-94-4
Release Date 3rd September 2015
Price £25.00
Ebook 978-1-910183-05-2


Leo Rawlings

Leo Rawlings 1939 2Leo Rawlings (1918-1990) was a private in the 137th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. A budding artist living in Blackpool, his life was changed forever by the war. Fighting from December 1941 to February 1942 as part of the headlong British retreat eventually leading to defeat in Singapore, he chronicled in pictures and words the campaign and the events that followed from 1941-1945. He drew what he witnessed around him, leading him to be unofficially commissioned to keep a visual record of the prisoners of war’s lives.

Deaf, peevish old beast – Laura Purcell discusses her latest heroine

Henrietta_HowardAhead of the release of Laura’s forthcoming novel, Mistress of the Court, she gives an insight into the life of her book’s heroine, Henrietta Howard, and the affliction that haunted her life.

Laura discusses Henrietta’s deafness and how it was perceived by those in her court, and by those closest to her.

To read Laura’s full blog post please click here: You’ll also find an extra treat towards the end of Laura’s blog as she includes an extra snippet that she wrote to help her explore the life of her character in more depth.

Mistress of the Court will be published on August 4th 2015 and can be pre-ordered here.

Fancy a free copy? We’re giving away 20 copies of this extraordinary book via Goodreads. Please click here: to enter the giveaway competition.

Gov. LePage takes centre state in ‘craziest politicans’ book


FAT_BOY_LepageAnn Wood, Staff Editor at the Sun Journal, chats to our very own Brian O’Connell about his recent book, The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 more of the World’s Craziest Politicians.

Brian discusses how he chose his top 300 from an incredibly large list, how he originally wanted the book to be about American politicians only, and which American politician he believes is the craziest of them all.

To read the full article please click here:

The Fat Boy with the Bomb and 299 of the World’s Craziest Politicians can be purchased at: