Calista Chua (calxwriter) - Super Secret Interview #6
Updated: Feb 13
1) Introduce yourself!
Hi! My name is Calista and I’m a writer. I enjoy reading books, and I rate and review books on Goodreads and The StoryGraph. I also have a bookstagram, which is basically an Instagram account where I post the books I read and occasional writing updates.
2) Why do you do what you do?
I write because it helps me express myself, and I love putting my ideas into words that others can enjoy. Seeing my readers express their enjoyment in reading my stories makes me happy. To many people, reading is their favourite hobby and a convenient form of entertainment, especially with e-books and online reading platforms like Kindle and Wattpad. Being able to contribute to their daily dose of dopamine makes me feel like I’m doing my part in making the world a better place. Writing is also a good distraction from my studies, allowing me to relieve some stress.
As a writer, I would like it if people rate and review my books when I publish them someday, so I do my part as a reader to do that for the books I read. I also enjoy doing it; it's like I'm recording my reads and my thoughts on them. Managing my bookstagram is also very fun, especially when I get to connect with other readers and authors around the world.
3) Who or what inspires you? I get inspired by the things that happen around me and the people I meet. Everyone is different, and meeting people with such different personalities and lifestyles allows me to develop my characters better and make them more 3-dimensional. Sometimes, when I look at something, I can picture a whole scenario in my head, and I would write it down to insert into some story I write. I think it’s quite interesting. 4) How is your experience being a creator in Singapore? For now, I write on Wattpad. It’s not exactly “in Singapore” but rather on the Internet. I get readers from different parts of the world such as India, South Africa and the United States. It’s been quite a pleasant experience so far. I haven’t faced much negativity on the platform, and I have gained much helpful feedback that has helped my writing. The encouragement and positive comments also motivate me to write. Nowadays, I'm not very active on Wattpad because I'm hoping to publish my books, but I still use it from time to time. It's nice to see my books being read as well.
I'm also active on Instagram, but most of my active followers are either my friends or from the United States. In real life, however, my teachers and friends who know about my writing are very supportive and want to read my books. I think that’s sweet. They often ask me how my writing is going and tell me to inform them when I publish my books so they can show some support.
5) What do you wish would happen in Singapore to help creators?
I wish that Singaporeans can read more, especially Singaporean literature. That will surely help local authors a lot. The same can be said for other forms of creators. I know that’s tough, as most Singaporeans are very busy trying to make ends meet. They have to study or work, or maybe even do both! Additionally, reading is not an ideal hobby for many (some people just don’t like to read!)
For those who enjoy reading, I hope they can give books written by fellow Singaporeans a shot. They can be as good and professional as books published in the US or UK, and they need not have Singlish. I'm talking about novels here, by the way. I know a lot of Singaporeans are fans of short story collection writers like Russell Lee (True Singapore Ghost Stories), and I enjoy reading those as well. There aren't many popular Singaporean authors who write novels or novellas. I've read books by Singaporean authors that are very good, and people should give local authors a chance.
6) What are your goals? Writing is just a hobby to me, and I don’t intend to make it my career (or at least, my only one). I think that’s also what most Singaporean authors do. Even as they write and publish books, they have another job that provides them with a stable income. The cost of living here is high.
It would be nice to be able to publish books and share my stories in paperback format. I’m sure being able to hold your book feels different from having it on the screen. If I could get an income from writing, it would be very fulfilling. It would be nice to win some writing awards as well, but my main goal is to be able to share my stories and make people happy. 7) Where can people find and support you? As of now, you can find me on Instagram @calxwriter and Wattpad @calistacyq! My username for Goodreads and The StoryGraph is @calistacyq. I also have a Telegram channel @calxwriter where I post reading and writing updates. I might open more social media accounts, so just check out https://linktr.ee/calxwriter for them. Thank you for the support :) 8) Anything else you want to share? Read "The Super Secret Book" by Tian En! Support local creators!
9) Give a shoutout to other local creators!
There's a popular Singaporean Wattpad author, and her name is Noelle. Her Wattpad username is @hepburnettes, and her Instagram username is @hepburnetteswp. One of her books "Slow Dancing" was adapted into a 6-episode English series on meWATCH in 2020, starring Tay Ying and Zhang Ze Tong. It's quite inspiring to see a fellow Singaporean writer on Wattpad gaining success.