Saturday, April 6, 2019

Who is Russell Lee?

" Reality is more than what we can see and touch, and our timeline is not merely our lifespan but eternity."  

--Russell Lee

If you don’t know you are in for a treat. Russell Lee is a master at writing ghost stories.

Iconic "red eyes" are always
on Russell Lee's covers.
His first book in the True Singapore Ghost Stories series was written in 1989. Back then a book was considered a bestseller if it sold 3,000 copies. Russell’s book sold 30,000 copies in just three months.

In 2017, he wrote his 25th book in this series, by this time his books were a worldwide phenomenon, having sold 1.8 million copies. In Asia, four out of every ten people age 7 to 70 read and reread his stories. They are more popular than the Harry Potter series.

This in part is due to the fact he is a superb writer, his stories are entertaining as well as reflecting the rich history of the Singaporean, and Malay cultures’ belief in the supernatural.

As one reviewer of his books wrote, His stories are uplifting-- good always triumphs over evil.

National Museum of Singapore
A rare first edition of his Number 1 book is enshrined at the National Museum of Singapore—an equivalent to being placed in the Smithsonian.

Lee states his books are a truly collective effort, for people share their stories or their communities’ stories with him ensuring him rich material to source.

The Singapore National Library selected Lee’s series to be included in their exhibit entitled, “The People’s Collection.”

True Singapore Ghost Stories 25th
Year Special Edition
For someone who has never read one of his books, I recommend they start by reading the True Singapore Ghost Stories 25th Year Special Edition. This book can be found on Amazon etc.

It includes a variety of stories he personally selected from his series.

What I find fascinating about his stories is they are often similar to ghost tales told in other parts of the world. For instance, one of the first stories he shares in Book 1, as well as the anniversary edition, is the classic Hitchhiker story.

A young man gives a pretty young woman a ride home on his motorcycle. She leaves her sweater behind, and the next day when he tries to return it, he is told she has been dead for years. He then finds this sweater on her tombstone.

Russell Lee signing a book.
Russell Lee, himself, is a mystery. When he appears in public, he wears a mask and is completely covered. He has never revealed anything about his personal life.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

Russell Lee sounds like a really interesting writer, especially since he wears a mask. Thanks for the referral. 😎