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.

When you write a story, it’s always an exciting experience if you’re writing about the things you know and love. The words come faster, the feelings are more vivid, the ideas just soar right out of your head and onto the page. They take on a life of their own. Your book writes itself.

Secrets of the Heartlands, Book 2 of the Lion City Adventures series, is packed with so many things about old Singapore that I honestly love. Yes, it close to wrote itself. What you love is what makes you feel alive. And once you are inspired by this buzz in your head, it shows in your creativity.

Ask any involved parent, he or she will readily confirm that they spend a lot of time sharing stories with their children. You can tell stories about your grandparents. Your childhood. What you did with your friends in school. What you did during your school breaks and festival days. The places around Singapore that you looked forward to visiting, and the ones that you didn’t. Each one is massively fascinating in its own way.

Here’s one story in Secrets of the Heartlands that I love: the story of the Quests, Singapore’s very first pop star band. In 1961, some students at Queenstown Secondary Technical School started a music group to play rock ’n’ roll. Their school’s newsletter was called “The Quest”. This became the name of their new band. They eventually performed in packed halls in Malaysia, Brunei and Hong Kong. Teenagers turned up to scream and dance and sing along. What a great success story. Love it!

Here’s another story in the book that I love: the story of Singapore’s own Cinema King. In the early 1900s, Lim Nee Soon was a rich land owner in the north of Singapore. His son Lim Chong Pang loved movies, and ended up opening cinemas in this area. People were so amazed by his success, they nicknamed him “Cinema King”.

Also, Lim Nee Soon and Lim Chong Pang might be the most amazing father-and-son duo to have Singapore estates named after them. Love it!

Children really pick up on stories like this. When they see or hear about or read about people who are exceptionally passionate about a cause, they feel energised. They also remember the feeling afterwards. It helps to motivate them.

Once your children have the confidence to ask questions and develop their own talents, they’ll enjoy the learning process. They’ll develop into confident and clever people. And their schoolwork will get better. So it’s worth it.

In the meantime, just share with them these stories. So that they can grow to love the Secrets of our Heartlands. So that they can dare to create their own adventures. They’ll love it!


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.