Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Personal rules that I broke while writing Welcome to Envy Park

Welcome to Envy Park is my new chick lit/contemporary romance novella. I "let go" of it last night, meaning I wrote "The End", re-read some parts and made minor edits, and then said it was done. Done! This was written so differently from everything else I've come up with. I broke a lot of my own writing rules, such as:

1. Don't rush.
I wasn't even planning to write a contemporary romance this year. I wasn't! But I finished that YA/NA fantasy romance novella in record time, so I might as well start on this project while I had the time. And then when I started writing it, I couldn't stop -- nearly every time I sat down to write, a thousand words would come out. I think I found the right motivation and method finally.

2. Don't let people read early chapters if it's not finished yet.
The first 10,000 words or so of the book are already up on Wattpad and Figment. I normally don't do this, because I have a thing about planting everything in the first act. If for any reason my ending changes, I usually go back and re-do my first few chapters. I'm happy to report though that any changes to my outline happened in the middle, in the parts that no one has seen, so the published book version of Welcome to Envy Park shouldn't be that much different from what's up on Wattpad.

3. Don't introduce too many characters.
This was a rule I imposed just because I write short novels, and too many characters would inflate the story unnecessarily. But strangely enough this story needed people, so I kept adding them.

There's another personal writing rule I broke (regarding certain types of adult scenes) that I'll reflect on when people have actually edited/commented/read those, because no one has just yet. I'm sure I will have more to learn and discover when they do.

Welcome to Envy Park will be published on Amazon soon. Thank you for being part of this!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Interview: Chrissie Peria (All's Fair in Blog and War)

Chrissie Peria was part of #romanceclass and Bronze Age Media's Author at Once. She wrote and published All's Fair in Blog and War this year and I got to ask her a few questions about it!

Cover art by Clarissa Ines
Is this your first published book ever? What took you so long?
Yes, All's Fair in Blog and War is my first book. And yes, it took a long time from conceptualization to actually being published because I was lazy! That, and I found the idea of writing a book daunting. While I've always wanted to do it, I didn't know where to begin. Add to that my doubts on whether I had the willpower to see it through to the end. But hey, look! It's here now. Yay! *waves imaginary pompoms*

What made you decide to finally write something and publish it?
The realization that if I don't get started, nothing's going to happen. A writer friend of mine suggested that I begin by making an outline for one of my story ideas. That was how All's Fair began. Then #romanceclass came along. It's the real catalyst in getting this book out, not just for providing lessons and insights, but mostly because it gave me a tangible goal to aim for.

Did/do you have any fears about going indie?
Oh plenty. I ask myself the same questions everyday, about whether this was the right thing to do. Is my book legit? Is it good enough to sit on a shelf beside conventionally published ones? Was it worth all the resources I poured into it? Will it sit there, forgotten and unread? But fortunately, a few happy words from people who tell me they enjoyed reading it makes the emo go away. Those are the times that I'm happy I went through with it.

What was the most surprisingly pleasant part of the process of writing and publishing your book?
Learning that it can be done. Realizing that I've done it. And telling myself that I will write and publish more books in the future.

What's the part that you'd prefer someone else do for you?
The nitty gritty bits: proofreading, composing press releases, formatting and reformatting the manuscript to fit different submission parameters for different retailers. It's not that I hate doing them, but they're time-consuming and free time is a luxury I can't afford.

What has been the most awesome response to your book (by a stranger) so far?
Aside from the complaints about triggering uncontrollable egg tart cravings? I'm happy to hear how people relate to the characters. I love hearing that they enjoyed reading it (complete with kilig-feels). And it puts a smile on my face when readers tell me they want to visit Macau after reading the book.

What's the next book going to be about?
The next book will be about books, boys who like books, and a girl who likes collecting them. Books I mean, not boys. But that might work, too.

Get it from Amazon
Get it from Smashwords
Add to your Goodreads

Monday, July 15, 2013

NAmazing Adventure: Fairy Tale Fail

Welcome to my stop on the NAmazing Adventure, a blog hop featuring over 60 New Adult authors, and prize packs that include ARCs, signed books, gift cards, swag, and more! If you’re not sure what the NAmazing Adventure is, please click here to start from the beginning and read the complete rules on the NA Alley website. Now let’s get this journey on the road!

Welcome to the stop for Fairy Tale Fail! This is NA set in the Philippines, with Filipino characters...hopefully a peek into the lives of new adults in this side of the world. Head on over to NA Alley to find out what exactly this quest is about, and the amazing prizes that you can win if you participate!

Fairy Tale Fail
Of all the twenty-something women who are hopeless romantics, Ellie Manuel is more “hopeless” than “romantic.”

Even after her Prince Charming broke up with her, she just won’t give up … because fairy tale heroines don’t live “happily ever after” right away, silly, they’re tested first!

Determined to pass the test, she spends the next year restoring herself to the girl Prince Charming had fallen in love with in the first place.

Until she discovers that life without him might not be so bad after all: her career is taking off, her confidence is back, and the cute guy at work is no longer a stranger.

So when is it okay to quit on a fairy tale?

Thanks for visiting my blog! Fairy Tale Fail also has a Philippine print edition with this lovely cover. 

Got that jotted down in your quest scroll?

Great, because you’ll need it for the quiz at the end of this quest! And remember, you must complete ALL SIX quizzes to be eligible for a prize pack.

Thanks for stopping by. Ready to move on?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Well Played by Katrina Ramos Atienza

It's another happy day for followers of Filipino-authored contemporary romance! My friend and fellow "chick lit" author Katrina Ramos Atienza has a new book out, and guess what? It's a retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Yes, that one. Set in the present day, at a university that looks exactly like UP Los Banos.

Patrice Reyes is starting her junior year at the University and she's convinced it's going to be the best semester ever. For starters, it looks like this is the year her team will win the regional football (soccer, for you Yanks) championships. Her subjects are looking good, and there's even a chance she might finally get somewhere with her rock star crush. But a new classmate—arrogant, cold math nerd—is seriously throwing off her groove. Will she ever get rid of him and have the awesome semester she deserves? Or is there truth to never judging (math) books by their cover?

Get it on Amazon

Katrina is independently publishing this, and I was happy to help her on that last stretch so she could release this book. I hope romance readers and supporters of Filipino authors out there go and get it!