First Singapore children's fiction series to enter North American market by mid-2016

Sherlock Sam will enter the American market by the middle of next year.
Sherlock Sam will enter the American market by the middle of next year.PHOTO: EPIGRAM BOOKS

SINGAPORE - The locally published children's series Sherlock Sam will be the first Singapore children's fiction series to enter the American market.

It has been picked up by big-time American publisher Andrews McMeel Publishing, which publishes mainly comics and books targeted at middle-grade readers, such as Peanuts and Calvin And Hobbes.

Written by husband-wife duo Adan Jimenez and Felicia Low-Jimenez, the Sherlock Sam series traces the adventures of child detective Samuel Tan Cher Lock and his robot sidekick Watson.

The series was launched in 2012, and has since sold over 24,000 copies in total. It is managed by Singapore publisher Epigram books.

Two titles from the series, Sherlock Sam And The Missing Heirloom In Katong and Sherlock Sam And The Ghostly Moans In Fort Canning, will be published in the United States next June. A third title, Sherlock Sam And The Sinister Letters In Bras Basah, will be released in 2017.

In a press statement, Epigram Books' managing director Edmund Wee said: "This gives the local literature community-at-large much hope. It is a milestone for Singapore-based stories to gain international awareness."

Singapore-published books have been making waves internationally. In the past two years, more than 17 locally published books - from graphic novels to children's series - were either translated by foreign imprints or bought for translation and sale in markets from Taiwan and South Korea to Turkey and Germany.

These include The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, the story of a Singaporean artist, written and illustrated by Singaporean artist Sonny Liew, which was bought by American imprint Pantheon Books. The international edition will be out next year.