KINDA HOT: A book about Saint Jack

Info, news and a kind of diary covering the publication of a book about the making of the film Saint Jack in Singapore...

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Location: Bedok, The East, Singapore

Author, Lecturer, Screenwriter, Film Critic & Historian... Email me!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

the wanderer returns

(PT enjoys a refreshing glass of Tiger minutes before talking to a packed-out crowd at the National Library, last thursday.)

Crazy week man. On Thursday I spent half a day with Paul Theroux, author of Saint Jack, who was in town as part of his research for a 'sequel' to his famous travel-book The Great Railway Bazaar. In 1973 he came back to Singapore for a few days and promised he'd never return - but here he was larger than life and in very good spirits.

My official account of our time together was published two days later in TODAY newspaper, and you can get the pdf of the article here, or check a text version here.

There was much I didn't or couldn't include in the article - because we did speak in some detail about Saint Jack, the book and the movie. It made me really wish I'd done a phone interview with him for my book, rather than email exchange. In person he is irrepressibly expansive, frank, funny and full of insights and information. Watching him with other press and public it's clear that he has the same smooth-as-silk people skills as the main character from Saint Jack.

He told me that Frank Sinatra was also considered to play the part of Jack Flowers at one point, which sounds likely... Theroux himself was flown out to Bogdanovich's house in Bel Air to work on the script for a week, and he has quite a few good stories about the director and Cybill Shepherd...but I guess I should keep these for a second edition.

To others he said lovely things about my book, but mano-a-mano he told me I'd done "quite a good job", which I think is high praise indeed.

I'll post more pics from the day at a later date.

ALSO: Read an interview with me on the Singapore National Library book blog. Thanks Sarah.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

and then what happens...

(Robby Mueller lighting Ben Gazzara for a scene in Saint Jack: continuity polaroid by Patricia Kirk)

Well, the book is on the shelves of some bookshops in Singapore (not as many as I'd like), and I continue to get the occasional sms or email of praise from friends, family and crew members who have read it. No one has beaten me up for my mistakes (and there are a few) or printing anything terrible - although one crew member did tell me that he might not receive christmas cards from certain friends this year.

After the Straits Times article, some keen folks set up a wikipedia page for Saint Jack, which didn't mention my book at all (because it had been so painfully sidelined by the article), or certain key facts about the 'controversy'. So I actually joined wikipedia in order to correct a few things... although it's still got certain inaccuracies that bug me.

I guess the big news is that by odd serendipity Paul Theroux is coming to Singapore next week. The plan is for us to meet up, and since he's not been here since the 80s, it will interesting to do a bit of urban exploration. Not sure whether this will pan out, but will update as it comes in. For those in Singapore (or nearby) - watch the press for details of a public event. He seems keen to do press and meet his readers.

Coincidentally, next friday (the 28th), the good people of Bukit Batok Community library Book Club will be discussing Saint Jack at 4pm! I wonder if he will be up for making an appearance...

And what of the film itself? Well I am hearing rumblings all over about those who are seeking to organise screenings. It is only a matter of time. I just hope they let me be around to flog my tome.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

and Amazons...

I'm back from my travels around the UK, where I played my part at the Lovebytes festival (entirely non-Saint Jack related). In London I visited the UK office of my publisher and had a really positive meeting about having *proper* British distribution for Kinda Hot - watch this space.

Back in Singapore I am going to make some moves to organise an event in May where I will give slide and video presentation about the book, my research and more. Again, all details of this will appear here first.

For those impatient to buy... here, at last are fully illustrated Amazon links

American site

UK site (No books till June I'm afraid)


Direct from publisher

I'm staggered to find I have an Amazon US sales rank, it may be exceedingly low, but it means someone has ordered it...

I also received an email from someone in Prague who was an uncredited extra in the film during the R & R scenes, I'm hoping that this will be the first of many crew and cast members to get in touch.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Straits Times responds:

My relationship with Singapore's oldest and biggest daily paper The Straits Times over the book and the film has been slightly fraught - basically they seemed uninterested in the story of what I was doing both before and after the book was written. So imagine my surprise when on the day before I'm leaving for the UK I get a call from them urgently wanting to interview me for a BIG feature about the book and film (Saint Jack not Kinda Hot). Of course I co-operated to the best of my ability... but the final piece was somewhat different from what I'd been told to expect... there's not much about me here, but quite a bit of my research, and the article strangely seems to leave out all the things that make Saint Jack so fascinating.

You have to pay for it online at the official website:
but here's a version that was blogged earlier