'Inspector Singh' is as sharp as author Sharmini Flint

Inspector Singh author opens up about writing, her famous Sikh policeman, and why readers aren’t that enthusiastic about Malaysian novels.

She's a goddess in her own right. With her proverbial pen, she wields the power over life and death. Like a master weaver, she weaves the thread of events and circumstances, leaving the people with no choice but to endure their set fate. However, she cannot run away from one fact. Much of herself, her personality, her ideals and her dreams, are poured into her creation.

“I used to think that Singh was that famous literary device, the composite character who nevertheless bears no relation to any person living or dead," asserts Shamini Flint, the writer of the Inspector Singh series, in an email interview. “Indeed, he is in part lawyers I have known, family members, strangers who left an impression. But recently, I have noticed that we are not entirely unalike, the plump policeman and I. I have started putting on weight and he has developed opinions that bear a strong resemblance to mine. For the avoidance of doubt, I would like to state categorically that I am not Mrs Singh!” 

The series, now in its sixth book, revolves around a fat Sikh Singaporean murder investigator renowned for catching the bad guys.

Shamini Flint.

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