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Fay is the founder of Rhino Press, a boutique publishing house whose maiden project was the critically well-received Black and White series featuring emerging Malaysian writers. Rhino Press has also published such non-fiction endeavours as the Asian Parenting Today guides and best-selling Best Eats titles. Fay also accepts commissions to undertake turnkey book projects for clients, with many of them winning awards, the latest of which are Happylicious (Best Food and Family Cookbook in 2015) and Legacy, which won the prestigious Best Local Cookbook in the World title in Paris in 2014 at the Gourmand Awards. Apart from publishing, writing and producing books for clients, Fay is also committed to educating children about environmental issues, and the Eco Kids series was launched specifically to help children understand the impact of their actions on the environment through strikingly illustrated, vividly scripted stories.

Asian Parenting Today

Definitely one of the more interesting projects I’ve undertaken—if only because the topic is so far from my normal realm of subjects!—I worked on this parenting guide, which was the first guide to cater specifically to Asian parents’ needs, with three very well-regarded midwives. Covering all the areas of a baby’s needs during the first year of her life, the book crucially also deals with superstitions and myths that tend to be integral to the Asian parenting experience. It has done phenomenally well, and has enjoyed two print runs for the English edition and is almost at the end of the first print run for the Chinese edition.

Fruitastic

Commissioned by a client who had seen my work on Table, this single-themed book on the myriad gastronomic value of fruits has been one of my most challenging projects to date, as I ended up being responsible for so many aspects of the book, from research, writing and content direction to styling the shoots and overseeing the design of the book. It was a milestone in my career in terms of what I was able to achieve—the book ultimately won a prize at the Gourmand Book Awards for best single-theme book—and galvanised me to take the plunge and embark on more projects under the Rhino Press imprint.

   

Best Eats

Following the success of—and demand for—my Penang food guide The Good Food Guide to Penang, I decided to do one for the Klang valley as well, using the template of my Penang guide as the framework for the book. Best Eats was the first and only dedicated food guide to the Klang valley with a comprehensive, unbiased, un-advertiser-driven perspective of the best places to eat at around KL, from kerbside casual to five-star gourmet restaurants. It did extremely well, and was followed by a second edition, in 2009, which I am happy to say was as irreverent, good-looking, comprehensive, impartial and eminently readable as its predecessor.

Happy Times Together

This beautiful children's activity and cook book was commissioned by a client who had dreamt of producing such a book for ages. Together, we massaged her initial ideas into a concept of a book that would visually be a treat for adults and children alike, and be written in language that would enchant young readers. Most importantly, this book inspires little ones to use their hands and imaginations to learn valuable life skills, all whilst enjoying quality time with their parents, siblings and friends, far from the insidious television, tablet and computer! The book was not surprisingly a best-seller in Malaysia and Australia.

   

The Eco Kids Book Series

On a mission to save the world and help humanity become more environmentally aware, the Eco Kids are true modern day crusaders. Each beautifully illustrated book takes the Eco Kids on a new adventure to save the environment and teach kids how to go green.

Suki is an aspiring writer but buy does she go through the paper! The Eco Kids introduce her to Sanchez the Snake who has lost his home because all the trees have been felled, and show her how to become an Eco Hero.

Happylicious

More than ten years after I first produced Fruitastic! for her, the client commissioned me to do another book, this time it would be one that would inculcate healthy eating habits in children. I focused on creating compelling visuals through the use of illustrations, gorgeous photos of children eating, and inspirational quotes, and the recipes that were easy to prepare with or without the assistance of an adult made the book very accessible, whatever your level of expertise in the kitchen. It has just been won Best Food and Family Cookbook at the Gourmand Book Awards.

   

A Little Book Of Love And Loss

I wrote this book of short stories as part of the Black and White series of ten books by emerging Malaysian writers that was Rhino Press’s maiden project. Apart from writing the book, I also worked with the writers on the designs of their covers, and did the layouts of each book in its entirety, before working closely with the printer on their production. Although I had done ample magazine work prior, this was the project on which I ‘cut my publishing teeth’. The subsequent media coverage and positive feedback was hugely encouraging, and I think it’s fair to say the books were a factor in launching—or furthering—each writer’s respective career.

From Peking To Paris

This coffee-table book commemorating the participation of Prince Idris Shah and Richard Curtis in the Peking to Paris vintage car rally was truly an adrenalin-charged rollercoaster ride as I was given very little time to turn the project around (edit, design and print). Because both clients were so helpful and trusted me unequivocally with the project, we completed the book within the necessary time frame and more importantly, produced a book that has stood the test of time.

 

   

From Peking To Paris


Ten years after they first participated in the 1997 Peking to Paris motor challenge, HRH Sultan Idris Shah and Dato’ Richard Curtis decided to undertake the rally as part of the centenary celebrations. Happily, they charged me with the task of creating this follow-up book for them, and it was every bit as enjoyable to produce as the first publication.

Indispensable Qi Gong For People On The Go

I wrote and designed this book for a client who wanted to share the magic of qi gong after it healed her of a debilitating illness. During the course of the project, I also met and worked with Hong Kong qi gong master Mak Chung Man in order to correctly describe all his moves. The book, which came with a CD-rom featuring Mak, was eventually marketed as a pocket qi gong book for time-poor individuals with a concern for well being and it was a best seller, not just because of its ease of use and lovely illustrations, but also because it was underpinned by a superb media and publicity campaign.

   

1990-2014: 25 Years Of RMSIR

I was commissioned to produce a publication to commemorate 25 years of the Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta (RMSIR)—Malaysia’s oldest and longest running regatta—by the Royal Selangor Yacht Club. I spared no efforts in tackling this gargantuan task because I race yachts competitively and have participated in no fewer than 15 RMSIRs over the years. In order to give it sentimental value, I collected quotes from past and present sailors, and created a book that was as much a treasure chest of memories and anecdotes, as it was a fitting tribute about one of southeast Asia’s foremost sailing events. The feedback and enthusiasm I have since received from sailors has been incredible, to say the least.

Table Food Frangipanis And Flair

This book has a special place in my heart as it was one of my first publishing projects that was commissioned by a client in which I undertook multiple tasks: co-writing, editing, overseeing concept and editorial direction, and styling the food shoots. It is heartening that we succeeded in creating a book that had considerable personal significance for the author and which also had commercial merit. The book won an award at the Gourmand Book Awards, and enjoyed great sales.

   

Legacy Cookbook

When the Sarawak Eurasian Association approached me to do a book for them, they were uncertain what they wanted. Together with the chairman, we discussed the concept and decided to honour the legacies of all the families that have been part of the association. By sharing their individual stories and their family recipes, they would give readers a valuable insight into their lives. The project was massive as it involved so many people, but to date remains one of the most rewarding for me, not least because I got to know and love Kuching, but also because the book won Best in the World: Best Local Cookbook at the Gourmand book awards in Paris, taking out the ‘best in world’ title after it first won the country title.

Best Eats

Following the success of—and demand for—my Penang food guide The Good Food Guide to Penang, I decided to do one for the Klang valley as well, using the template of my Penang guide as the framework for the book. Best Eats was the first and only dedicated food guide to the Klang valley with a comprehensive, unbiased, un-advertiser-driven perspective of the best places to eat at around KL, from kerbside casual to five-star gourmet restaurants. It did extremely well, and was followed by a second edition, in 2009, which I am happy to say was as irreverent, good-looking, comprehensive, impartial and eminently readable as its predecessor, although it far surpasses the first edition in quality, content and style.

 

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Fay Khoo © 2016
Fay Khoo