BY RACHEL MINA
KUCHING: In his latest sequel of Diary of a Rich Kid ̶ Secret of the Sea, Sarawakian novelist Malcolm Mejin seeks to provide readers an escape amid the pandemic.
Due to be launched in the middle of this month, Secret of the Sea features an adventure where its characters take refuge from the Covid-19 pandemic by going under the sea.
“The book revolves around this group, and it takes place during the Covid-19 pandemic. Because they come from very rich families, they are able to escape the pandemic with a submarine, venturing beneath the sea.”
As the country went into a lockdown, Malcolm had to postpone his book tours and school visits, both of which were scheduled to happen in 2020.
With those plans suddenly on hold, the 35-year-old author finally found himself the time to focus on the book.
“Being stuck at home during the pandemic with nothing much to do actually gave me ample time to work on the book.
“Before the pandemic, I was busy going on my book tours and with the marketing projects going on, I didn’t have the time to focus on my writing.”
Secret of the Sea was completed in three months, introducing new mythical characters such as mermaids and merboys.
“It was kind of a sudden inspiration to me. I’d never thought I was going to write about mermaids or merboys, because all the while, I was only focusing about going under the sea.
“I am very proud to introduce fantasy characters into the story. I find this a very interesting experience for me.”
Malcolm debuted with his book series Zany Zombie around 2010, which then released several other books, namely Cool Diary, Cinderella Charmed, Diary of a Rich Kid, Diary of a Rich Kid: Road Trip and now Diary of a Rich Kid: Secret of the Sea.
Questioned on his favourite, Malcolm declared the soon to be published, Secret of the Sea, without hesitation.
“Mainly because it was written during a special moment ̶ the pandemic. We all had our own struggles during this time, but I am happy I am able to turn things around. This book feels personal to me.
“Also, I am happy I am able to write something that people can enjoy, like a fantasy escape, but at the same time they can relate to the current situation we’re in.”
He, like any other writer, would encounter writer’s block at times.
“Whenever that happens, I’d just go out for a walk near my neighbourhood just to refresh my mind or I would watch Netflix to relax.”
Malcolm is delighted for the third sequel to be released because the first and second books in the Diary of a Rich Kid series did so well and are now considered national bestseller series in Malaysia.
“I’m hopeful that readers will discover some silver linings in Secret of the Sea, that there is hope that we can turn things around.
“The story also emphasised on sea pollution, which inspires us to do our part in preserving the ocean and marine life. I’m hoping with this book, readers will have the sense of responsibility to protect our ocean.”
For those who are interested to get their hands on Diary of a Rich Kid: Secret of the Sea, it will be available in stores and online at MPH and Popular bookstores and websites nationwide beginning mid-September.
It is also available online on the author痴 official website at www.malcolmmejin.com