This story took me seven years to write.
I got the idea for it sometime in 2006, and I knew I wanted it to have a crafter protagonist and I wanted the crafting aspect to be the heft of the story. I knew I wanted it to be a “big” story –I wanted to grapple with big ideas. Naturally, it took me that long to be satisfied with it. When I packed up to go to Brisbane in 2007, I promised myself it would be my Brisbane story. And so it was. I traveled with it. It made me brave. It took me to my first indie gig, it made me walk through Fortitude Valley alone at night, it had me travelling to various markets on the weekend. It had me walking across parks close to midnight because I wanted to find the best place for the fights.
It changed some more when I returned to Malaysia.
In 2013, it became the story I submitted repeatedly. It became the story that nearly broke my will to write more.
But it remains the story I love best. As I just told a friend, I knew I wanted to write about the big ideas in this story, I knew it had a concept, but I wanted to give it heart and heft. I’m still not sure if it’s there, but a lot of work and sweat and love went into this tale. With huge thanks to the very awesome editor Rashida J. Smith with whom an invigorating conversation about the story took place, which helped me smooth some of the transition issues. I learned so much just from the very incisive questions she asked me.