Sunday, October 19, 2014

Title page appreciation: My Summit Books designed by Studio Dialogo

So this is what I learned over the years: When people say they love a book, but refuse to get the ebook, it means what they really love isn't just the author's words. They also love how the book was made.

They love the decisions your publisher made. Which paper to print on. The font used. Glossy or matte lamination on the cover. Cover paper stock. The skill of the artist/designer who put the pages together.

That has almost nothing to do with me, the author! 

This is a post in appreciation of the designers of my Summit Books, a firm called Studio Dialogo. I love the little details they pick up from the stories, that show up within the book pages and the covers.

Title page appreciation #MyImaginaryEx Book design by Studio Dialogo Cover by @abigoy Summit Books

Title page appreciation #NoStringsAttached Book design by Studio Dialogo Cover by @abigoy Summit Books (Dante's cellphone move! Don't try it unless you can live without it.)

Title page appreciation #ThatKindofGuy Book design by Studio Dialogo Cover by @abigoy Summit Books

Title page appreciation #FairyTaleFail Book design by Studio Dialogo Cover by @rommeljoson Summit Books

Title page appreciation #LoveYourFrenemies Book design by Studio Dialogo Cover by @abigoy and Frances Alvarez Summit Books

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sola Musica book launch on Oct 25!

Ines, Marla, Chinggay, and I are launching Sola Musica's paperback edition on Saturday, October 25! And you're invited. 

We will be at O2 Space Solutions in Milelong Bldg, Makati (near Makati Cinema Square) from 10 AM to noon. Those who ordered their paperback at will be able to pick up their copies there and also have them signed. We'll sign any of our other books that you bring along too!

If you happen to join this giveaway below and win, you'll be able to pick up your prize pack at the launch too! (Or we can ship it to any Philippine address, no problem.)

See you on October 25!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spotlight series: We're growing up a bit

It's time to say a little something about the next few books I'm releasing. I have seven (seven!) book projects all laid out, one after another, and they can all be classified under NA contemporary romance.

What it means: They're going to be hotter. Way hotter. There's always been mention of sex in my chick lit and NA books, but for reasons that would require a long discussion about bigger things, I kept it all "closed-door" and "fade to black."

For reasons that will still require a long discussion about bigger things (and possibly fancy drinks?), I've decided that my next few books will keep the door open, a bit, so to speak.

Also, while I'm still focusing on romance (so you'll find the style and writing familiar), I'm adding more variety to my usual sandbox. We'll be going to California, New York, Texas. We'll play rugby, defend reforestation projects, date actors starring in hit cable shows.  

If this is not your thing, and you still want to read my books, don't worry -- I have at least ten titles that can be considered "sweet," or "non-steamy," with characters and stories set entirely in the Philippines, and you can find them here.

This Spotlight experiment begins with The Harder We Fall, out this month. Thank you for the support you've given me so far! Now let's see if we can have more fun with this thing. :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Kitchen When It Sizzles: Interview with author Chrissie Peria [Blog Tour + Giveaway!]

Welcome to my stop on the #KitchenSizzles blog tour! This is author Chrissie Peria's second solo novella and she's on a roll this year, also being nominated for a 2014 Filipino Readers' Choice Award (no big deal...)! Here's my interview with Chrissie:

1. Let's get this out of the way -- how awkward was it to write the "steamy" scenes? (And I don't mean cooking.) 
Writing steamy is not as awkward as I thought it would be. I had a clear idea of how I wanted to handle the steamy scenes, so it was just a matter of tapping into the characters' emotions and getting the words down.

Truth be told, it's owning up to writing the actual prawn-y bits that I found more awkward than the actual writing. How do I tell people I wrote this? I even considered using a pen name, but in the end, I decided to stand by what I wrote and take credit for it. I slaved over this book, damnit, I want my name on the cover.

2. How did you decide to write and publish something a bit more adult as your next book?
Following All's Fair with a more mature book wasn't a conscious decision. Kitchen Sizzles was supposed to be a short story for #steamyreads. In fact, my first draft stopped somewhere halfway the current story. But it didn't feel right, so I kept writing.

In the end, I fell in love with the characters and I wanted everyone else to get to know them, too, even if it wasn't part of the plan. Kitchen Sizzles takes me out of my comfort zone, but it also feels so rewarding to broaden my horizons, so no regrets.

3. Would you have featured more food in the book, if you could? Were there dishes that didn't make it through the edit? 
Yes! There was supposed to be an elaborate dessert (with bacon) that was going to be a plot device but as I was writing it, I realized that I didn't need it. I had Sticky Chinese Ribs from the start! So bye-bye dessert. I'm more of a savory dish person anyway, so I don't feel bad. 

4. Did you encounter any resistance from yourself or readers to casting a chef as your love interest? 
None from me since I've been wanting to feature a chef LI for the longest time. I haven't gotten any complaints from those who've read it either. (Except maybe from a certain fictional art director / photographer named Jesse, but we know he's biased.) I think we can all agree that a hot guy who can dish out a mean creme brulee is a keeper.

5. What's next for you?
A little of everything! I'm juggling stories right now, letting a bunch of story ideas gestate before choosing one to be fleshed out fully. There's a contemporary YA retelling of a Filipino classic, a YA fantasy, a new #LunaEast story, and a few NA romances, some sweet, some steamy. I'm leaning towards this sweet NA romance featuring characters from a kiddie show, but I'll have to see what the universe throws at me.

About the book

Olivia Nadal is an almost perfect girl with an almost perfect life. She has stunning good looks, an exciting job that pays well, men lining up to date her, and a homey little condo she calls her own. The only thing keeping her from perfection is her utter inability to cook.

Enter Nate Olivarez, a hotshot chef who's filling in for Olivia's cooking instructor. Sparks fly when they meet, but a fling with the visiting hottie is the last thing Olivia needs. But as things keep heating up in the kitchen, she can't help but wonder. Can things work out between her and Nate? Or is the sizzle all set to fizzle?

Purchase links: Amazon | B&NSmashwords | The Book Depository | iTunes

About Chrissie Peria

When not obsessing over fictional people doing fictional things, Chrissie obsesses about food: the eating, the cooking, and the procuring of it.

An advertising copywriter in her past life, she now spends most of her time writing, taking photos, cooking, and babysitting a tiny human and a curly-haired dog. She still plays with dolls and she thinks that bacon is the answer. Her first book, All's Fair in Blog and War, is a finalist in the 2014 Filipino Readers' Choice Awards.

Follow Chrissie: Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads

And oooooh join this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

What's next for #romanceclass: Ayala Museum workshops!

We had the free online version, the textbook, and the monthly talks...and then we tried this:

I worked with Ayala Museum this year to come up with a three-session version of #romanceclass. We had our final class on September 23 (not the 19th because we got typhooned out). Here's my quick evaluation of it:

As the facilitator, this format works for me. It doesn't take up too much of my time. I had participants read their work aloud, and I think it was good for the authors to hear their fellow authors react to their work. (A giggle here, a kilig squee there.) I also feel that the direction and advice for one usually applied to more than one author in the room, and at least everyone got to learn from each other, even if they weren't necessarily writing the same story.

The museum charged a fee (P3,800) for the workshop, so the group was smaller (free online #romanceclass had 100 participants!) and I really got to know them and their work. I didn't even realize this until I felt a bit sad at the end of the last class, haha.

One new addition to #romanceclass that I thought worked well was an idea borrowed from Steamy Reads: the "alpha male" guest speaker. Kelvin Yu, bass player for the band Itchyworms (and also a friend from college), was a good sport and talked to our author participants about love, relationships, dating, and what it's like to be in a band these days. I invited him in particular because more than one author had a "part-time rock star" character. :) I loved the authors' questions!

We're doing this again next year. Looking forward to it already!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Once Upon A Player Blog Tour: Interview with Agay Llanera

Welcome to my stop on the Once Upon A Player blog tour! This is Agay Llanera's second contemporary romance and I'm glad I got the chance to ask her a few questions about her new book.

Interview with Agay Llanera

1. Congrats on finishing your new book! How did you find the time to do it?
Thanks, Mina! Though I do work from home, I also have an active toddler so it's really a challenge to carve out time to write a book. So what I'd do is write for 1-2 hours a day, during my son's nap time. I'd try not to doze off along with him so I could squeeze in some writing time. In about five months, I finished the book!

2. How did you get around to deciding what your next story would be about? Was it something you had always intended to do?
Since I'm new at this novella-writing thing, I'm basing my first, few books on my interests and/or what I know. I really love watching the UAAP volleyball games and while I was watching one, I suddenly had this epiphany of writing a book about a popular volleyball player and her quest for romance.

3. What challenges did you go through, focusing on a main character that wasn't exactly the nicest person there?
I actually had fun writing about a bitchy character. My first novella's main character (Crissy from Vintage Love) was your typical all-around nice girl so I wanted my second MC to be different. I loved reading about antiheroes/heroines so I was inspired to create my own. All I had to do was channel my inner bitchiness. I also followed some popular volleyball players on Twitter just to get a sense of what they're busy with in real life.

4. You posted chapters on Wattpad before publishing. How did that change the way you write, if at all?
It changed EVERYTHING. I purposedly posted each chapter after I finished it so I'd feel inspired to continue the story. If people were reading it and voting on it, I knew I'd write much faster, knowing that people were actually waiting for me to finish and upload the next part. I was surprised at the amount of reads it got--even all the way from Brazil! I guess I'm not the only one interested in volleyball.

5. What's the next book about? :) 
I started two novellas, but I honestly don't feel compelled to finish either ASAP. Who knows? I might start a new one about a young woman traveling to Europe in search of love. Whatever the book's about, I hope to publish it this coming year!

Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She's the star spiker of her university's volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target--the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she'll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.

Add to your Goodreads

Purchase links: Amazon | Smashwords

About Agay Llanera

Agay Llanera is a freelance writer for television and a published writer of children’s books. She is a member of KUTING, a private, non-stock, non-profit organization, which aims to be the Philippines’ foremost writers’ organization for children.

Her first romance novella, Vintage Love is available on e-bookstores (Amazon, Kobo, Buqo, Smashwords).


a Rafflecopter giveaway