“Full house!” were the first words out of my mouth upon setting foot in Pegi Waffles. It was April Feels Day, an event that was part book fair / part #romanceclass meet-up. I had just come from the sweltering heat of the Manila summer commute and I was hoping to step inside the cooling comfort provided by the cute little cafe.
Boy, was I wrong. First, it was hot inside the cafe, an effect of the weather and the airconditioning not being able to keep up with the number of warm bodies in the shop. And two, it was hardly a little meet-up. It was an honest to goodness romance convention and wow, it was an absofarkingtasticalutely wonderful surprise. Continue reading →
A couple of weekends ago, Kate Evangelista and I found ourselves sitting in front of TV cameras while being interviewed by prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. Say what? It was surreal on so many levels. We met Filipina singing legend Pilita Corrales—she was interviewed before us. We chatted it up with a Filipina ballet luminary. Heck, just the fact that I was in front of a camera and not behind it was surreal enough for me.
I was way more nervous than I should be, but thankfully, Kate was there to save the day. That woman is a pro, I tell you. It’s the second time I got to do an interview alongside her (the first time was during the our joint Spark Books launch) and I still get distracted when she starts talking because I end up all riveted, listening to what she has to say.
Anyway, we talked about writing, books, #romanceclass (which I stupidly forgot to mention by name) and Fifty Shades of Gray. So if you can look past the ghetto video quality (It’s literally a video of the show as it was screening on the TV; thank goodness for tripods), please do watch, especially if romance—and seeing you’re on my blog, I bet it is—your kind of thing.
Some time ago, #romanceclass did a shared world set of YA stories called Luna East. Luna East is a fictional arts academy set somewhere in Manila. We designed the setting, the surroundings, the school calendar—almost everything you need to create a story. We created our characters as we crafted our stories. Sometimes, they would even jump into other people’s stories. It was a fun project that eventually turned into an indie paperback and ebook anthology called Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy. It was a fun experience, and we even ended up writing more stories, some making their way into other anthologies or even as stand-alones.
Soon, Anvil Publishing will make the project more accessible by publishing a new paperback edition of Kids These Days. This is doubly exciting because (1), the anthology will reach more readers, and (2) this will introduce the shared universe to other writers who may want to take the plunge and write for Luna East, too! Exciting, yes?
And here’s the teaser icing on the cake: The new paperback cover!
The last weekend of October was an explosion of bookishness in my life as I attended two book launches in one weekend. It’s probably no big deal for big name authors who tour the world signing books, but for a little indie author in the Philippines, it’s insane nutso bonkers. Heck, I couldn’t even imagine having to do one launch, but two? IN A FREAKING ROW?
#StrangeLit Class Pic! And that’s not all of us yet
Saturday: #StrangeLit Book Launch at Recession Coffee
I went to the #StrangeLit launch with a toddler dressed as Alexandra Trese, a red poodle dressed as a bat, and a classic palengke bayong in tow. The bayong held packages holding 3-in-1 coffee, biskwit (choose from SkyFlakes, Marie, and Prima), and candies—your classic Pinoy wake fixtures. I labeled them Lamay Survival Kit as a nod to my story The Last Night of Her Wake. Saw what I did there, didn’t you? Continue reading →
If you haven’t gotten the newest Spark Books yet, please join us as we launch the newest titles on October 25, 4pm at National Bookstore Glorietta 1. You can pick up your copies, freebies, and get them signed. A lot of the local indie romance writers are dropping by too (because we’re a happy supportive community!) so aside from the formal signing, you can get your other books signed, too!
This announcement is a few days late, but remember that #StrangeLit workshop I took part in? The 41 stories that were finished during the workshop are now all live on ebook retailer Buqo. This mix of short stories, novellas, and full novels has been divided into four ebook bundles that contain a little bit of everything.
Confession: I have never been to the Manila International Book Fair. I never saw the need to troop there when I could be spending my money at the various bookstore sales that usually happen in September. Heck, I’ve been Cut-Price-Booksale-ing since I’ve learned to spend. But because I have a book out of personal reasons, I dragged my family so we could recruit new additions to our bookshelves as a team. Family bonding and all that shizz, right?
Personal reason – translation: Ogling books with her name on it
Turns out that my idea wasn’t so bright. Because a family that book hunts together…SPENDS MONEY FASTER! Our collective wallet is now afflicted with thinandemptyitis, but our hearts are happy. We scored a lot of good deals, a shitload of good books, and good vibes from a productive day. Continue reading →
My response was a resounding hell yeah. Because a little over a month ago, Mina started #StrangeLit, an online writing class for Paranormal and Urban Fantasy fiction. The goal was to come up with a paranormal or fantasy story in a month. Short story, novella, or novel, it didn’t matter as long as the participants finished. That’s the battlecry for most of Mina’s classes; finishing stories, because writers are a lazy bunch and we’d rather imagine than actually write. (True, writer friends, yes?) Continue reading →
What the title says, yes! I’ve been sitting on this bit of news since late last year, chomping at the bit to tell everyone. While there have been hints here and there, let me confirm it here for realsies.
Aside from Kitchen Sizzles, there are five other books coming out from Spark Books. You’re probably familiar with these. Like Kitchen Sizzles, Cla also designed brand new covers for them. Continue reading →
Hulyo 20 – 25: Wish List
Anong Pilipinong aklat pambata o pangkabataan ang gusto mong mailimbag? (Maaaring paksa, uri ng aklat, o ng isang manunulat o ilustrador. Maaaring maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)
– – – – – July 20-25: Wish List
What Filipino children’s or YA book do you want to see published? (It can be a topic, kind of book, or by a particular writer or illustrator. You can list down more than one.) Continue reading →