HIS 22 years of experience as an entertainment journalist has given Abie Abdullah direct access to the juiciest gossip in town.
The former entertainment editor has written, shared and digested some of the biggest celebrity news in the entertainment industry, which were personal, shocking and scandalous.
Some of his scoops had made national news and what better way to share all this than to include it in his first fiction novel titled, Yuya Yuya.
The name is derived from the Kelantanese colloquial huha huha (which loosely means ‘havoc’) but Abie decided to change the initial ‘h’ to ‘y’ to make it sound catchy.
The name sums up the state of the entertainment industry, media fraternity and celebrity gossips.
“Yuya Yuya is relevant to our current entertainment scene.
“Simply put, it is about the hype surrounding the entertainment industry but truth is, there is little to be proud of,” said Abie at the novel’s soft launch recently.
Abie worked around the idea of writing the novel three years ago.
He worked hard on his novel, but often got distracted by his work as an editor.
“I know some might take to heart what I wrote but the most important thing for me is to write from my heart, something which I have always done throughout my writing career.
“There were some subjects, that I left out after getting feedback from my close friends.
“When I started, the major forms of communication the characters used were BBM, simple text messages and emails.
“But to keep it current, I altered the storyline and the characters now utilise social medias such as Twitter and Instagram,” he said.
Only 3,000 copies of Yuya Yuya have been published.
“Believe it or not, I cried when I saw the novel going to print. I am prepared for any feedback,” he said.
The novel is cynical, and the characters are inspired by the many local celebrities.
The novel’s main antagonist is drawn from nearly five different local celebrities that he has interviewed.
Some characters might ring a bell to readers who follow the entertainment scene, especially during the 1990s.
“Like the antagonist Marissa Malik, a celebrity who is hungry for publicity and will do anything to get her name in the papers.
“This is about a particular celebrity and this fictitious character was derived from five different celebrities, which I have studied their attitudes,” said Abie.
The novel also touched on the media practitioners, TV sponsors and TV stations.
“Media personnel can be quite unprofessional, for instance, some journalists will bring along their big entourage to a celeb’s press conference, and this is disrespectful,” Abie said.
He said the action was not only disrespectful to the artistes but the profession, as well.
Abie has included this in an episode of Yuya Yuya, where the character, who is a celebrity, reconciled with the media who once tarnished her name. These are just few of the topics covered in the novel.
Abie said that there was also a part where a television award show sponsor went overboard with their demands.
“This is a common issue these days. There is a part in the novel, where a particular sponsor demanded an outrageous design of the trophy just because her kid fancied it,” said Abie, who heard the complaint from some producers.
To give this book a true grip of its ‘journalism fiction’ genre, the POV (point of view) for this novel is from a media personnel.
“This would give me a clearer vision on how to craft the story.
“Yuya Yuya is a mix of facts and fiction. I am not an imaginative person and I write based on facts and my experiences and it is bound to sound narrative.
“Some parts of the novel are based on true events while some are fictional and just a bit exaggerated,” said Abie, who was joined by his actor-friend turned entrepreneur Fizo Omar.
Fizo was indirectly involved in the creation of the novel.
“Abie sought my opinion sometimes. I think it’s a daring and brave approach.
“I have only read it halfway, but what I can say is, it does reflect the entertainment scene,” Fizo said adding that Yuya Yuya might be adapted to a television series if the offer is right.
Yuya Yuya is available online via the Facebook page Yuyayuya Publications, at RM25.90 (Peninsular Malaysia) and RM29.90 (Sabah and Sarawak).