Billed as "Crazy Rich Asians meets Bridget Jones' Diary", Malaysia-born Lauren Ho's debut novel will hit the bookshelves next week. The following is an excerpt of our interview with Ho, who is currently based in Singapore:
Tatler Malaysia: From law to literature, how did that transition unfold?
Lauren Ho: I harboured dreams of being a published novelist, but being pragmatic, decided that going to law school and getting a degree was safer. Nobody incepted the idea that law or medicine should be my only choice—my parents never pressured me to pick either—but I didn’t know better. I also blame Ally McBeal for glamorising a hard life.
I went on to work in one of the largest law firms in Luxembourg before becoming a legal counsel with the central bank of Luxembourg. Despite the prestige of my position, I was bored and unhappy. And there was so much work, cascades of it. I started writing a novel around that time but had to abandon it.
It was only after I moved to Singapore and returned to the humanitarian sector did I have the breathing space to write again. I had also matured as a person and had more stories to tell, and the discipline to tell them. Friends advised me to kick-start my writing, so I started writing flash fiction and short stories again. Being shortlisted in a few international competitions gave me more confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a published novelist. In late 2016, I got the idea for Last Tang Standing and finished the first draft in a year.