AFTER four years of living by her pen, Singapore-based Malaysian author Shamini Flint was on the verge of returning to her former career as a corporate lawyer.
But then British publishing giant Little, Brown bought the worldwide rights to her three crime fiction novels for a five-figure sum.
The books, which follow the sleuthing adventures of Inspector Singh, are scheduled to be released in April, June and September next year.
Other Singapore novelists who have been published by major British houses include Catherine Lim, who has been published by Orion Books and Allen & Unwin, and Tan Hwee Hwee, who received a two-book deal with Michael Joseph, an imprint of publishing giant Penguin, in 1997.
Flint, 38, a mother of two, says: 'I thought the time was running out where I could sit at home pretending to look after the children.'
She is married to a British economist and they have lived in Singapore for 10 years.
Her feat is even more impressive considering the fact that she has written largely children's books, which she self-publishes through her own company, Sunbear Publishing.
She is best known for her Sasha series of picture books which feature her daughter, six, visiting various places in Singapore and other cities.
She self-published 3,500 copies of her first crime fiction novel, Partners In Crime (2005), and 1,500 copies of the second book, Criminal Minds (2007), before bagging the Little, Brown deal.
The third book, yet to be titled, has not been published yet.
Read the full story in Thursday's edition of The Straits Times' Life!