Tag Archives: book

Interview: Euginia Tan

Eugenia Tan

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi everyone, my name is Euginia and I have written two books of poetry entitled “Songs About Girls” and “Playing Pretty” respectively. I am working on a third collection which will hopefully be out by 2014. I am also a youth and woman advocate for mental health issues in Singapore.

2. How did you come up with the names of your books?

I came up with the names of my two books as I was inspired by women – all aspects of it; being a wife/daughter/mother, being a breadwinner, trying to be beautiful for people, trying to keep yourself together in spite of all the challenges one faces as a female, coming out as a grown adult… etc. Different women inspire me every day.

A lot of my poems are based on my experiences being a girl and growing into a woman.

Songs about Girls and Playing Pretty

3. What got you into writing?

I think writing (especially in the self publishing route) has been confined to mainly online portals these days, and not many young people want to maintain/preserve old traditions. Great work, especially writing, should be passed down and books should never go obsolete. I was tired of seeing everybody so obsessed with instant social media and that is why I decided to self publish my books.

I received a lot of criticism for it though, such that poetry is dying and that more people are looking to online applications such as e-books, and this is precisely why I want to do more of this so that future generations (and my future children or grandchildren) will not be unaware of books and literature.

I like selling my books personally outside rather than simply online because I get to meet people who then ask me questions and tell me stories about their own lives. I think that being a genuine person shows and people can see this when I talk to them face to face, so I prefer this outlet.

4. What do you write?

I write poetry because contrary to what a lot of people think, poems carry a lot of weight in them although they can be very short. As a poet I have learnt to say everything succinctly such that each individual word carries as much value as ten sentences.

This is a gift that I try to apply to in my daily life – of doing something small, but of worth and that can endure the test of time.

5. Where do you sell your books?

I try to sell my books almost every month at the Public Garden events which are usually held at the National Museum. Do catch me there!

These books are also available for sale at a cafe called Old School Delights in Upper Thomson Road. Do check them out over there as well.

Alternatively you can email me at eugtan@hotmail.com and I will be happy to mail the books out to you.

A message from Euginia

6. Are you a full writer? If not would you like to be?

I do write full time – but I have other things that keep me occupied too such as my tertiary education and freelance work I do for people now and then. I encourage everyone out there with a passion for being an artist to step out and make an attempt to let it be your life, but you must never forget equal combinations of drive and discipline.

7. Do you have any favorite blogs or resources that you can share to our readers?

I write and post interesting pictures on my personal website.

The HeartThrob Project movement has been very supportive of featuring work from local artists and anyone who just wants a platform to share their talent.

8. Do you have any discount codes or promotions that you can offer our readers?

“Songs About Girls” is currently sold for SGD $15 and “Playing Pretty” is going for SGD $18.

Get in touch with Euginia at:

Currently Reading: Calligraphy and Flourishing

I’ve been trying to learn Copperplate Script since last year and I felt like there was something missing to make practicing more fun. I couldn’t make my letters look fancier.

When I stumbled upon Calligraphic Flourishing: A New Approach to an Ancient Art by Bill Hildebrandt I was ecstatic, until I realized that not only was the book out of stock, it was also out of print. I even emailed the publishers to see if they had a copy they could sell me or point me to a distributor that had some copies left to sell, since I refused to buy the used copies that sold for more than $300 on Amazon then. They just told me that they are planning to release a similar title in the next two years.

Evey now I then, I would check out Amazon to see if the books I wanted to buy were significantly cheaper in the US than here in SG. I love reading books in print and in digital format but nothing beats a good book. There are just some books you have to own in print. When I checked Calligraphic Flourishing for the nth time, I was so happy that there was a $40 used copy of the book on sale. Bought it on the spot.

I was very much intrigued on the contents of the book. Why would a book cost more than 20 times it’s original retail price? Was it that good? Yes it is.

It has the basic instruction on the different types of flourishes and what practice methods are recommended. I’ve been reading this book for most of the day and it’s such a pleasure to learn from Mr. Hildebrandt. The instructions are clear and simple. There are recommended exercises which would help improve your technique quickly.

Even though the book was a second hand copy, it was in very good condition. It had nice soft cover which is very sturdy and cream pages in heavy stock. The text is written in a form of italic text which is ok to read in print but not so in digital format. I got a headache when I tried to read the excerpts of the book in Google Books which you can find here.

I hope they release more books on Flourishing. I’m not geographically blessed to be able to attend seminars that are usually held overseas.