Radio presenter Shan Wee moves on from writing 'funny dad parenting book' to launch first novel

Writer and radio presenter Shan Wee and his newly published crime thriller novel, The Short Life of Raven Monroe.

SINGAPORE - Radio presenter Shan Wee has a new book, and it is not a sequel to his tongue-in-cheek guide on fatherhood, 99 Rules For New Dads. Instead, it is a dark crime thriller.

"My marriage broke down in 2017, the same year that my 'funny dad parenting book' was published.

"I felt like a big fraud promoting a book about being a good dad, when I couldn't keep our own family unit together," the 38-year-old tells The Straits Times.

Wee hosts The Sweet Spot on weekdays from 10am to 1pm on Kiss92 FM, where he is also the music director.

He and his former wife Artika Sulaiman have been divorced and co-parenting for three years. The couple tied the knot in 2011 and have two sons, aged eight and six.

"Now 2017 feels like a long time ago, as does that parenting book, and I am happy to leave it consigned to the past," says Wee, adding that he does not plan to write parenting books again.

But he has always dreamed about being "a real writer" and publishing a work of fiction. This dream comes true on Dec 8 when he launches his new novel, The Short Life Of Raven Monroe.

Set in America, the crime thriller revolves around Annabelle Collins whose six-year-old daughter dies in a school shooting. The killer is atypically a female - 16-year-old Raven Monroe.

Collins pleads for the answer to "why did you do it?", until finally the horrific motive is revealed.

Wee recalls reading a lot of legal thrillers by John Grisham during his teenage years. "I suppose that is my closest comparison to having a 'crime thriller inspiration'," he says.

Asked what his kids say about the novel, Wee says: "My eight-year-old son Ciaran seemed somewhat tickled by the fact that I had a book with my name on it, and he wanted to bring it in for his class to read."

Wee had to tell him the book is not exactly child-friendly.

"He asked if I had written the F-word in it, and I sheepishly had to admit 'Yes, it did appear'. He was outraged."

Why not write children's books that his sons could relate to?

"I have zero artistic ability, and I think organising the graphics of a kids' book is 80 per cent of the battle," says Wee, although he does not completely rule out the idea.

Till then, he is waiting for the day when Ciaran and his younger brother Ruan would readily pick up books over digital devices.

He says with mock exasperation: "I have spent many, many moments reading novels in front of them and doing crosswords. I read the newspaper every day. I read bedtime stories with them every single night. But not once in their entire life has either of my boys said, 'You know what I want to do? I want to read a book.'

"Everything comes back to their base DNA and unfortunately neither of my boys seems to have reader DNA".

- The Short Life Of Raven Monroe ($19), published by Atmosphere Press, is available at Kinokuniya and

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