Posts Tagged ‘books’

A short update that I’m currently working on the (improved) outline of Book02 in this series (The Heiress; Gluttony).

Cupcake | Image from

I’ve had a VERY busy past couple of years (2012 – 2013)…lots of changes in life as well as perspectives. I think I’ll be approaching future projects with a renewed sense of focus, which is probably a good thing :)

Book01 (Lust) — The Intern (completed; 2010)
Book02 (Gluttony) — The Heiress (outlining; 2014)

*** Future Books in SINS07 Series (I will work at these in batches of two, so that the publication doesn’t drag on for too long) ***

Book03 (Sloth) — The Gamer (tentative title/concept)
Book04 (Envy) — planning
Book05 (Greed) — planning
Book06 (Anger) — planning
Book07 (Pride) — planning


One of the reasons I like love Vladimir Nabokov’s works so much is the attention he gives to “the details,” such as the names of characters. Now while I’m not making any comparisons between 1: The Intern (first book in the SINS07 series) and Lolita, I did spend some time tweaking the names of characters and places (as I always do with all of my writing material — if the names aren’t right, nothing is).

1. SUZIE Q (Intern #1)

Yep, directly as a result of listening to “Suzy Q” on repeat — I like the song, I like the beat, I like the guitar licks. I just wanted the girl’s name to be musically/lyrically linked to a rock-n-roll song :) [it’ll make more sense once you link the lyrics to the first page in the book].


Because I was playing around with his name being “Chester T., and his nickname being “Chas-ti-ty” (he’s referred to as “Chester” mostly, throughout the book), since the theme/concept of Book 1 in the SINS07 seven deadly sins series is “lust” after all.

I changed his name to Chester Evans (based on feedback that the last name “Adamski” was “too weird”), then I changed it back again. I thought it sounded more interesting / better suited the character (no offense to any “Chester Evanses” out there).

3. JO.ZEE (21 year old dance instructor/choreographer)

A.K.A. “Josh/Joshua Zee” — I thought adding the dot in the name was a contemporary touch, like and Linkin Park’s song, Figure.09. Probably subconsciously influenced by a dance student I knew, whose name incidentally, was Joshua. Damn, he was really hot.

4. FUNKY FUNKY (night club)

— Image from Atlanta Exchange.

A dance battle takes place at a club called Funky², in the book (the club is first mentioned in Chapter 2, when the interns are on their way to their hotel). There’s a real club in Seoul called Club Funky Funky (a small club which combines a live band with a DJ who plays anything from rock and funk to hip-hop).

5. TRESOR ACADEMY (Hairdressing Academy)

— Image from Toni & Guy HK.

Trésor means “treasure” in French (mentioned in the book too). This is really a fictitious version of the Toni & Guy Academy, which I practically visited on a monthly basis during my late teen years. They were/are really good.

6. ROXETH (Setting / City)

City Nightscape
— Photo by MARKNKL.

Roxeth is actually a real place (in the UK / 5 seconds’ research on Google will tell you where exactly). I liked the sound of the name (something cool, and a little bit edgy). The cities in my writing projects tend to be generic/fictitious cities, instead of the actual names of the real places. I feel there’s more room for variation/reader interpretation, that way.

P.S. I grew up in Singapore (the picture above), so every urban city is always going to have an element of “familiarity” to me, heh.

7. LYSISTRATA MUSEUM (Site of Internship)

I had to always check the spelling of “Lysistrata” at first. It’s a play written by Aristophanes.

* Side Note: The whole idea of the museum internship was influenced by some blog posts I read by a museum intern.

The dedication in 1: The Intern reads:

“For dance enthusiasts everywhere, Rain, and Def Dance.”

In no particular order, here is a list of people/artistes who directly influenced and inspired some of the material in the first book of the SINS07 series, 1: The Intern (the dance portions/sequences, specifically!). The YouTube videos showcased are worth checking out not once, not twice, but multiple times.

I’ve included short excerpts from the book, when suitable.

1. MICHAEL JACKSON (R.I.P. King of Pop)

Everybody in hip hop/pop music right now has in one way or another, been influenced by Michael Jackson. This is just one of the most awesome-tastic videos of all time.

2. BI RAIN (Korean Pop Star)

Rainism was the first dance which I absolutely *had* to learn how to do (here is a YouTube link to my solo Rainism attempt). The start of the superliciously hot video features males pole dancing (Bi Rain’s, not mine!).

3. BEYONCE (one of the most talented + hardest working R&B professionals in the industry)

Excerpt from 1:The Intern, Chapter 4:

“You’re a Beyoncé fan?” Jo.Zee’s tall enough to be holding onto one of the handrails. “I saw Monika showing you that move with the hand.”
I feel like I need to lean my whole body against the pole. It might help me feel more steady on my feet.

“I like her songs,” I reply. I hope I looked all right when he was watching.

“She does all her choreography in heels, too.”

4. DEF DANCE (Korea)

Def Dance is the #1 dance school in Korea.


Chapter 14 in 1: The Intern features a hip hop dance battle.

6. BHANGRA EMPIRE / Bhangra is a folk dance from Northwest India (Punjab)

Excerpt from 1:The Intern, Chapter 2:

Four people are hanging around outside a music club called Funky² (so says the neon signboard). If I’m not wrong, the DJ booth is right at the entrance. I take a quick look…one of them is doing a vibrant mix of folk and hip hop type moves on the street!

7. SHAKIRA (Colombia)

Chapter 3 of the book is titled “Hips Don’t Lie” ;).

8. 2NE1 / Hip Hop Korean Girl Group (Korea)

Chapter 14 (the dance battle chapter) is titled “Fire.” Very catchy song, especially if you like electronica/dance music.


“Dancers aren’t born, they evolve.” — very inspiring videos + tutorials from this dude.

10. DAFT PUNK / Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (France)

* An insane video (by King Julian from France) to a song by the excellent French electronic music duo, Daft Punk (here is a YouTube link to my solo Daft Punk Body attempt).

Excerpt from 1:The Intern, Chapter 3:

I guess my random prancing about in the privacy of my own room has served me well. I’m gonna go on a mission to thank all the people who uploaded their videos onto YouTube. How else would I have learned what I already know?

11. SE7EN / Korean Pop Star

One of the best videos of guys dancing. Beautiful choreography (by 26 year-old choreographer, Shaun Evaristo).

* Book #1 (Lust) in Jess C Scott’s Sins07 “seven deadly sins” series—a teenage version of Dirty Dancing meets Punk’d.

One-line summary: A 17-year-old intern must choose between trusting an irresistibly suave dance instructor—or her instincts.

Summary: Suzie Quinn, smart kid and closet dance enthusiast, travels with a classmate to a world-class city for an internship program. She finds herself undeniably attracted to the suave hip-hop instructor, Jo.Zee, who recruits her into a dance fitness DVD he is producing. When Suzie sees (or thinks she sees) the real Jo.Zee, she has to decide if she will trust him…or her instincts.

Genre: Young Adult / Humor / Contemporary / 65,000 words.


1: THE INTERN: First Chapter

“Hey—check out the first song on the list.”

I glance at the catalog Chester Taylor Adamski, my internship partner, is showing me. The page lists the radio channels provided by the airline. There’s the Top 40s channel, Adult Rock, Blues/Swing channel, and so on. The one he’s pointing at is Classic Rock, and “Suzy Q” is the first song.

“Your all-time favorite?” I wink.

“Right on,” Chester says with a mighty grin.

His chin rests on his hand that’s propped up on the armrest between our seats. A couple of fingerprint marks smear the lenses of his black, plastic-framed glasses. His dusty blond hair is neat as usual, and pretty much unstyled.

I smile. I’ve gone with “Suzie Q” after Chester introduced me to that rock song. It has more flavor than “Suzie Quinn” anyhow. Chester told me about the song when we were thirteen or fourteen. I was surprised he listened to hard rock. I thought he’d be more into something like classical music.

Once in a while, in moments like this, I almost think Chester might be the one.

But then I get real. Not Chester. He’s more like a brother to me.

“Oh, and take a look at this.” He points to a small image—a close-up shot of a woman’s mouth with bright red lips, with the caption: Devil or Angel.

“What’s that?” I enquire.

He speed-reads the rest of it, then turns the page.

“Nothing important?”

“Yep,” he concludes. “Just another bunch of silly people, brought to you by yet another brainless reality TV show.”

We both laugh. I’ve always had a love-hate kind of relationship with reality shows. There’s something addictive and entertaining about even the worst of them.

The kid behind starts kicking the back of my seat, adding more distress to the slight migraine and blocked ears I’m experiencing during my maiden flight.

“Are you excited about the internship?” Chester asks suddenly, rubbing his chin lightly. He does that sometimes, when he’s deep in thought.

“Are you?” I ask in turn.

“Sure, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” I lie. “It’s a privilege we made the cut for the Spring Break internship.” While the internship is the highlight of Nova Academy’s junior year, I was half-hoping I’d be thrown into an exotic location, like India or Japan. I’ve lived all my life in Essex, Vermont, a quiet and scenic region in the northeast.

“We’re Nova Academy’s finest.”

“Wear your t-shirts with pride,” I reply, imitating the shrill voice of our advisor, Mrs. De Sousa.

Chester’s wearing the shirt right now, and he points to it. The t-shirts have our school crest and school name emblazoned on the front.

“You are the crème de la crème, the best of the best!” Chester raises his chin up slightly, the exact way Mrs. De Sousa does when she’s drilling it into our heads that we’re from a super school.

I hate it when they say such things. I think it’s too elitist. But Nova Academy is one of the finest high schools in the country. It’s a school for gifted and talented students, and has spawned some prodigies and now famous people.

“I still remember Pixel Wallace.” Chester continues flipping through the pages of the catalog. “Accepted into Harvard at the age of fourteen.”

Stuff like that makes me wonder what I’m doing at Nova.

Pixel and I had some classes together. She was discussing “projective geometry” with the teacher, at the speed of a bullet, while the rest of us worked on some algebra. Math whizzes like Chester T. (a.k.a. “Chas-ti-ty”) understood “projective geometry,” but not me. I tested into Nova’s program because of my high score on Languages and Linguistics. It’s probably due to my interest in cultural studies.

“Did you get a chance to check out The Lysistrata online?”

“A little bit. It looks posh.” I am halfhearted about the fact that we won’t be getting paid as interns though, as with many other interns…

“It does look posh. It’s about the number one museum around!” Chester must have sensed my lack of enthusiasm. “Come on, I know you like history. It’s going to be fun.”

Suddenly, the seatbelt signals above start to flash. My ears hurt. The pilot’s voice comes on. There is some audio static before anyone can hear what he’s saying.

“Ladies…and gentlemen…”

But the static takes over again. I feel like lurching. My hands are freezing.

“You look stressed,” says Chester. He’s right about that.

“I’ve heard about horror stories, where passengers’ cups and saucers went flying,” I mutter to him.

“During turbulence?”


The plane jerks. A baby starts to cry somewhere. I stare out the window at the surrounding dusky, gray skies. We will be landing at night.

“Maybe it’s the wind,” Chester says flatly. He gazes out the small square box of a window. “Unless a bird got in the engine.”

I wish he had not said that. I stare at the motion sickness bag in front of me.

Then, Chester holds my hand. “It’ll be okay in a bit.”

My other hand clutches the edge of the seat. I think he notices.

“Think happy thoughts…” he says, taking a look out of the window too. He lets go of my hand to put his seatbelt on.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

I’d like to rest my head against his shoulder, just to feel safe, but I don’t. I think it might give him the wrong idea. Everyone already thinks we’re a couple but we’re just good friends. Of course people will believe what they want to believe.

I recollect some fun incidents with Chester over the years. Way back in the fourth grade, he got me a lime green pencil box for my birthday, while I got him a giant chocolate bar (our birthdays are a few days apart). I remember being taller than him until around eighth grade when he suddenly shot up, and now he’s a lot taller than me. He’s also been working out these last couple of years, so his name has popped up in “girl talk.”

We’ve been on group dates but never just the two of us, so I don’t know why people think of us as an item. I never give that impression. Like I said: you can’t stop people from believing what they want to.

The plane shakes a little again and I am jolted out of my memories. As I try to think about more “happy thoughts,” I realize how much of a life I am lacking, and how much I am missing out on. Apart from maintaining good grades, reading lots, and going on the once-in-a-blue-moon “date,” what else have I actually been up to? Yes, I’ll be in the world-class city of Roxeth for a fortnight—and work starts on Monday, tomorrow, oh joy—but two weeks isn’t going to make a magical difference. Besides, cities are busy, crowded, and noisy. And I hear public transport in Roxeth is expensive, so I’ve brought extra money for that. If not, there’s always the good old plastic card (thanks, Dad).

I start to fantasize. Something straight out of a romantic novel or movie, with me in the starring role, of course. I dream of someone sweeping me off my feet, someone that would show me something “new,” something that I never knew existed…I will melt in his arms and he will show me what passionate love can be.

Ah…happy thoughts.

The plane lands smoothly. I didn’t know we had been so close to landing.

Chester hits his head when we stand up to get our bags from the overhead compartment. I laugh because he looks cute when he cringes.

It is nighttime now. Everyone’s standing up and getting ready to step out of the airplane. Everyone seems to be in a big rush.

I look outside, and see the bus waiting for us. It’ll take the passengers from the plane to the airport, which is a short distance away.

“Thank you for flying with us,” the poised stewardess at the exit says. Chester and I smile politely. We must look disheveled next to the cabin crew. I’m just about to point out Chester’s dark rings under his eyes to him, when I notice something else when we step out of the plane.

The temperature.

It is a little warm. The air isn’t frosty, and doesn’t bite at your fingertips.

It’s nice and humid.

seven deadly sins, lust

1: The Intern (cover version #2 | Jess C Scott)

1: THE INTERN — Book#1, Seven Deadly Sins

* Book #1 (Lust) in Jess C Scott’s Sins07 “seven deadly sins” series—a teenage version of Dirty Dancing meets Punk’d.

SUMMARY: Suzie Quinn, smart kid and closet dance enthusiast, travels with a classmate to a world-class city for an internship program. She finds herself undeniably attracted to the suave hip-hop instructor, Jo.Zee, who recruits her into a dance fitness DVD he is producing. When Suzie sees (or thinks she sees) the real Jo.Zee, she has to decide if she will trust him…or her instincts.

ISBN: 145368493X

GENRE: Young Adult / Humor / Contemporary.

* SINS07 is a series featuring lighthearted tales that explore each of the seven deadly sins in order, beginning with lust.

EXCERPT: First Chapter