Nazri Noor is a bestselling author about to happen — that was my thought when I was first introduced to him between 2005 and 2008. He has a way with words – they just seem to turn into magic spells that lure people into reading his articles.
The first of his work that I read of was probably done during one of his lazy days as a reporter at the New Sabah Times. I could tell he was lazy and probably wrote it just to make sure there was something with his byline published in the newspaper the next day. That is something we are all guilty off — once in a while, that is. Do it too much and you’ll have your editor behind your back all the time. And we don’t want that. No way!
Anyway, his story was about cockroaches – the much despised insect in the kitchen or anywhere else. It could have been a boring piece — after all, how much can a non-roach enthusiast can write about the creepy insect anyway? As it turned out, I think he used up 2,000 words or about 20 paragraphs. And the thing is, I finished reading it right to the end. Even more than that, I actually told him I enjoyed reading it, which was true. I did. Another colleague thought it was nonsense but she finished reading it too. That proved my point — we had a bestselling author about to happen, and we had him right in our midst. It is like having a prodigy right under your nose, and you see his light getting brighter and brighter, until at last, he has no choice but to shine and share his works with the world.
After leaving the New Sabah Times, he joined other establishment, and soon, I could hear other people praising his work. He became sought after as a food columnist because, as I said earlier, he has a way with words, and if he wanted to make you crave a food so bad, he could. I believe he could even make an otherwise ‘bleh’ food sounds divine, but he is one classy writer, that he is — all the food he wrote about looked as pretty as his definition of them. So his readers, or rather, his fans, which of course, included me, do believe that if he says something is a must try, we must try it — at least once because most of the eateries that invite him are expensive outlets that would blow-dry my already dry wallet.
That was years ago. And I hadn’t seen Nazri since. I heard he went to work in the Philippines as a writer, and then again, in one of the National newspapers in Malaysia. But it was all grapevines. Anyway, the reality was that he was making a name for himself. People in Kota Kinabalu, particularly those who craved his writing to promote their food, were missing him. How do I know? Some actually told me. One even said, “Nazri could make his reader salivate without even looking at the food or getting a hint of the food’s aromatic flavours in his or her nostril.” He was just that good.
Anyway, we haven’t kept in touch. But thank goodness for Face Book and Whats App. Now, people have no excuse to not keep in touch. It doesn’t matter that he has now moved to the US — he has been talking about moving there to be with his mother while we still worked together. It was his dream and I think he was missing her lots. And he finally did.
I also remembered him for his stylish cowboy boots, hence the reason why my children, who were tiny toddlers then, gave him the title “uncle cowboy”. He was one of the most stylish reporters in the entire Sabah, and there weren’t many of us around back then, or even now. Peering at his FB page, I could see he maintained his long tresses. It was like that when we first met and I developed a habit of pulling his hair (not painfully but I may have got carried away, once in a while..hehe) just to perhaps inform him he existed in my world. He was and probably still is (considering his writing style in his books) witty and funny and definitely full of life and very friendly. It was hard for him to be oblivious when he is in the room. At least, that was my recollection of him. He continues to be one of the people I won’t mind being stranded on an island with, and if that happens, we’d probably be stomping on roaches (kan, Nazri??).
So, for the last several years, he has been living in the US. And recently, I found out what I thought would be a possible outcome for him — that best selling author — has also come true. He is now one of Amazon’s best selling author with the Darkling Mage series.
I think he will become an icon, much respected everywhere for his works. He is still young though, but he has already accomplished more than any of us could ever imagine.
Hopefully, he will continue to produce more books. My next wish is for his books to be made into films — I crave all these flicks featuring magic — things that I can imagine in my thoughts, for thoughts take us to places unimaginable in reality. When that happens, guess who would be lining up to buy a movie ticket?
Check out his books below: