POETry in motion
Let your spirits soar thanks to the pages of the l atest book by young Malaysian author, Charissa Ong.
Starting young, Charissa Ong had always written, and used to write fantasy stories in primary school. She said ,“I didn’t know that I liked writing at the time, I just daydreamed a lot .” The 26- year-old is aU I/UX Lead( User Interface and User Experience Designer) by day, but her passion lay in writing and she published a book, and has done it again. When asked about her experience, Charissa Ong revealed that there were definitely challenges leading up to it .“I was discouraged, ignored and rejected. Long story short, I ended up opening up Pen wings Publishing in 2016 to publish myself .” Printing her first anthology of poems and short stories, Midnight Monologues in 2016 which went onto win MPH’s Best Book of 2016, Charissa opened up about the journey of publishing Daylight Dialogues which was released in August this year. Can you tel lusa little bit about what readers can expect from Daylight Dialogues? Prepare to have your hear t broken, perspectives shifted, and your imagination run wild. I’ ve compiled and writ ten an array of poems, prose and short stories that would leave you asking for more. What was your process/ headspace when you were writing it? Poetry and prose pieces are written whenever I get inspired throughout the day by daily events. The short stories , however, are more planned occasions where I would sit f or a couple hours until I complete writing it from start to end, then go back and edit it 10 more times until I’ m satisfied. In a digital age that has overtaken the demand for the printed word, what made you want to pen books? I ’m a designer by profession and a marketer by heart. I’ m also a collector of books and appreciate vintage works of ar t . So, no matter how digital the world is, my hypothesis is that people would still want something to break away f rom all of t hat. Who are your writing influences? Khaled Hosseini and Neal Shusterman. How did it feel to have your personal feelings and emotions on paper and online through your poems? Was it something that was tough at first? It was pretty easy for me because I can easily detach myself from it by saying” Eh, it was from along time ago, la .” However, many people still seem to associate me with it and I don’t really min dita tall. The Asian stigma of not being honest about your feelings is the one thing I de test most of all. It’ s worse for men. What does it feel like to know that your poetry speaks to so many people out there? Amazing and humbling.