Thursday, April 25, 2013

My next project: A YA paranormal novella

Photo by Sam Ramos-Zaragoza

We're doing this.

My next project is a YA paranormal novella, and we're calling it Spark. I'm writing it with Katrina Ramos Atienza.

More details soon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hanging out with young authors

Spent a lovely afternoon with young writers (and an entire row of family member cheerleaders) this weekend. The Author at Once workshops have always been about telling a writer how easy it now is to be published -- so start writing, there's no excuse to delay. We hope that they went home remembering that, at least.

I mentored roughly half the group on writing romance/YA, and helped some nonfiction writers on the benefits of using a fiction/narrative structure in their work. I listened to story pitches, read some of their work aloud, and also read some of mine.

An afternoon is never enough, of course, but it looks like we might be offering more of the creative writing activities in the future. With the help of iAcademy, which hosted this event (we were in the same room where they shot season 3 of Project Runway Philippines), we might have more in store for writers soon!

Email if you want in on future workshops and classes. :) For now, will rest a bit!

Group photo is courtesy of Bronze Age Media intern/UP Diliman student Joana B. Read her post about Author at Once.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Featured Reader: Jennylyn Suguitan

To celebrate the upcoming release of Icon of the Indecisive, I asked some readers for their thoughts on the Interim Goddess of Love series.

Source: via Mina on Pinterest

This is from Jennylyn Suguitan.
DISCLAIMER: I can be foul-mouthed sometimes.

When I first heard about Interim Goddess of Love, I didn't believe in its premise. I'm a fan of Greek and Roman myth but I don't know much about Pinoy myth. So in one of my random trips in NBS, I decided to give it a shot and I think I can say that it was worth the it.

I think it's very brave of you to actually try and write (and PUBLISH! :D) a book about a pinoy myth fanfiction. I love the characters and the story so now I'm hooked. :D

Hannah was great because she wasn't a whiny bitch. Hannah reminded me so much of Nam from Crazy Little Thing Called Love and I think both Nam and Hannah are adorable.

I liked it that Vida is actually such a Diva (That's an anagram!) with a reason why (she's a goddess, enough said!).

It's a good take on Pinoy mythology and hopefully the other two would include more gods and goddesses.
Do you have thoughts on Interim Goddess of Love that you'd like posted here? Send them to Prizes like Kindle copies of Icon of the Indecisive and other random things are up for grabs!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Author at Once (High School), April 20

Where I'll be this weekend:
It's our writing/publishing workshop, but this time for young writers. We specifically invited high school students, but we're actually going to have a few from college (and even grade school!). Which is great, and we welcome them. What we want to do is answer questions young writers may have about their options, their possible future in writing, and what they can do with this hobby.

So excited! See you on Saturday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Featured Reader: Charmie Saligumba

To celebrate the upcoming release of Icon of the Indecisive, I asked some readers for their thoughts on the Interim Goddess of Love series. 

I've chosen Charmie Saligumba (@chamiepop on Twitter) as the first featured reader. Not because she sent her thoughts first (there will be a future post on who made the first five) but because she actually lives in Bacolod/Negros Occidental and thus had the Creepiest Cool Coincidence while reading the book. :)

Charmie's copy and its post-it bookmarks
I found out about Interim Goddess of Love because I've been a follower since I first laid my hands on No Strings Attached. Since then, I've always looked forward to your work... and I think the only books I haven't bought are My Imaginary Ex and Queen of the Clueless. Haha. :D 
I think that IGoL is such a fresh breath of air. I've read so many Filipino chick lit books and (as far as I am concerned) I've never encountered a story that touched on the topic of Bathala, et al.. the Philippine mythology, which included some "magic" feel into it. It was like eating dark chocolate, it got better as I got into the characters' world. And what's funny and weird was that while I was reading a part about Silay's ancestral house, I was also passing by SILAY, actually passing by a friggin' Ancestral House. That was probably Bathala, telling me, "Told ya!" HAHA. I really found it amazingly-creepy.

Since I haven't read the Queen of the Clueless, I'm on Team Quin. Though that might change if I get to read QotC. :) 
I liked the fact that you made references on Philippine mythology because, sad to say, I honestly can't remember them anymore and it somehow sparked some interest... and the result was a little bit of research on my end. Which I think is great. Since we often forget about our very own mythology when we get into high school.
 Do you have thoughts on Interim Goddess of Love that you'd like posted here? Send them to Prizes like Kindle copies of Icon of the Indecisive and other random things are up for grabs!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Why the short novel

All my published novellas are between 25,000 to 35,000 words. If you look at most how-to pages for novels and what word count will get you published, you likely won't see that number, because US publishers traditionally don't invest in the novella as a format. Why write a novella anyway?

Publishing is different in the Philippines. The reason why all my books are novellas? Because they were intended to be short. Printing over a thousand copies of each book is a considerable expense. My publisher gave me a maximum word count, so I had to learn to create a world, characters, and have things happen to them all in that space. I knew that each page should count. (They have since upped the max word count and I think it's evaluated on a case to case basis now.)

It's easy to finish writing one. That's the thing with focusing on just a main plot and a handful of characters -- you can write that fairly quickly, if you stick to a schedule.

It's easy to sell it, if you're self or indie publishing. You'll be able to competitively price a novella in a print or ebook store, and get a chance to be bought by people who are browsing for impulse reads.

People who don't regularly read might just pick it up anyway. I love it when I get this comment! Some college students I met recently told me that they preferred the novella because they can buy it, read it quickly, lend it to a friend, and talk about it the next day. Novellas are what got me started on reading, and I'm happy to return the favor by writing books that serve the same purpose.