Ann said she and her siblings developed their skills in English writing at an early age.
Her father, John Chan, a former divisional education officer, laid that foundation for them.
were nine of us and because dad had so many children, he couldn’t
afford to take us for holidays. Every day, during the holidays, he would
give us each a title for our composition. We all had to write our own
stories and dad would correct them in the evening.
“I think that was how he instilled the love of writing in our hearts and it made our English really good,” she said.
got her first material published when she was in Form Two and she was
paid five dollars for it. Since then, she has been writing all her life
and many of her works can be found online.
Unlike her first book
whose only input was herself, her second contained contributions from
her siblings. She started writing the manuscript in 2006.
father died in Kuching in 2006, I went back to Singapore and I couldn’t
sleep, so I started writing. I then wrote to my siblings and they said
it was good.
“We did like hundreds of emails. They encouraged me
and offered me some recollections and reminiscences, so it was everybody
contributing. That was the first manuscript,” she recalled.
The book was intended as her brother’s 60th birthday gift.
explained the people in Sarawak, especially among the Chinese
community, could relate to the book as it traces their roots and
“From China to Borneo and Beyond kindled a lot of
interests in the state. I am very happy to hear a publisher is going to
print a Chinese version of it.”