NOTE: Don Bosco is the author of the award-winning LION CITY ADVENTURES series, about a society of children dedicated to exploring Singapore, making new friends and solving mysteries. This post is part of a series about the creative inspiration behind the books, the publishing process, etc.

After we released Lion City Adventures, Book 1 of the series, we heard from lots and lots and lots of parents and children. They wanted to know when the next book would be available. More than that, they wanted to tell me their suggestions and story ideas for subsequent books. That’s when I knew that it was time to start on Book 2, Secrets of the Heartlands.

Follow the story

It feels like there’s a whole community of people who want to get involved in developing the books. And that’s such a joy. I know what its like to be a big fan of books. Of stories. Especially those that are exciting and funny and full of amazing surprises. I’ve been reading a lot since I was ten years old. I was always carrying a book. On an excursion to the zoo, I would pack a big heavy book in my bag, so I could finish a few pages while waiting for the tram that took us around.

When I had to attend a wedding dinner in some hotel, I’d have a book with me, so I could go deeper into the story while waiting for the next dish to be served. I would be more than happy to tell people what was happening in the story. I was a bookworm, a story lover, and very proud of it. I still am. Does that describe your children? Or maybe even you? If so, HIGH FIVE!

When we meet

One wonderful thing about this is that it’s always a huge thrill to meet another book lover. Someone who has read the same books that I have, someone who enjoyed the same stories, someone who has spent considerable time putting themselves in the same imaginary worlds.

We are like fellow citizens of some special kingdom. We’ve imagined what it’s like to live with the wonderful people and places that exist between the covers of these books. Imagine Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. The world of the Lion City Adventuring Club is a little like that. Fun and exciting and full of old secrets to be uncovered.

You only need a spark

Not everyone wants to be a writer, but we all like to collaborate on stories. Have a part in creating this make-believe world, which sometimes feels more exciting and real than the one we actually live in. As I met more of the young readers who enjoyed Secrets of the Heartlands, I saw that they feel like one day they can do something to contribute to this storyworld too. Perhaps they can write something. Or draw something. Or work on a similar book. It’s all an exciting possibility for them. They start to realise the value of having a creative talent.

It’s a powerful feeling, deep inside you, that inspires you to share your awesomeness with others. That’s why being part of a fan community can be such a heartwarming and inspiring experience.

Awwww, group hug!


Book 1: Lion City Adventures

Book 2: Secrets of the Heartlands

Book 3: Island of Legends

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Yes, SECRETS OF THE HEARTLANDS (Lion City Adventures, Book 2) has been nominated for this year’s POPULAR READERS’ CHOICE award. Please take some time to vote for your favourite books, and you might win a $50 voucher plus 1 year Popular card membership. For readers in Singapore only.

Vote and win here:

For updates about Don Bosco’s new book projects, visit the Super Cool Books website here.