Saturday, September 28, 2013

#romanceclass talk at UP Diliman

So when Dr. Lorie Santos asked how much time I needed for my presentation, I said, "Twenty minutes." And then I talked nonstop for more than an hour. Whoops!

I talked to her English 198 (Reading the Romance Novel: Critical Approaches) class and said stuff about:
- My books (in order of publication)
- How I wandered into self-publishing and digital publishing
- That annoying thing about being years ahead of a trend or years behind it
- Becoming a "hybrid author" - self published and also traditionally published
- How #romanceclass happened, and what I asked people to do
- Why they shouldn't write arranged marriage/falling for gay best friend/death ending stories (but there are exceptions)
- Short description of each published #romanceclass novel
- Ebooks, how many of them read them, bought them, how much would they pay for them, and why this is important if they plan to be writers/authors

Despite blabbering for over an hour, I forgot to say stuff about:
- My 3 types of love interests in romance
- The different plot structures and tropes (because while I made #romanceclass stick to the monomyth, that's not the only way to go) 
And man oh man I really wanted to blabber on about that. Oh well.

I did get to answer questions though, like:
- Do you think research is important in writing a romance novel? Yes, because it's fun, and also since I've written more than five books, I've run out of careers/locations/other things I've actually done or know well. 
- What about your books has made them sell well internationally? They haven't yet, actually. Even though most of my ebook sales are likely international, I don't think my books have become "mainstream" yet. More work needs to be done.
- How do you get inspiration to write romance novels? Other people. I like to think that I write "RPF." I start with an idea based on something real, but then I write a middle and ending that deviates from canon.
- In dialogue, do you make women more indirect with what they say, and men more direct? No, because I think there are people who speak their minds and people who don't. It's not a sex/gender thing, but a character thing. I've had guy characters who are indirect or in denial, and girl characters who are direct and to the point.
- How do you write "kilig"? I don't know. I have an idea, but sometimes what works for me doesn't work for you.

I really appreciate the opportunity to talk to readers about this. This was a fun afternoon. (Yes this is what is fun for me.) And then I was given cake and a copy of Jane Austen's Emma from Dr. Paolo Manalo! (Who reads my books, he admitted as much right there.) Just awesome. :)

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