So last January 17, me and my book friends, both old and new, attended the book signing event of one the prettiest authors I’ve ever met, the author of the New York Times Bestselling Mara Dyer Trilogy, Michelle Hodkin. Naturally, we camped out, and here’s my event recap for the book signing.
Note: This event recap is going to be filled with pictures, and not only will I post the happenings from the signing. I will also post the things we did, the places we went to to kill time and feed ourselves. Beware. 😀
January 16, 2015 – A day early.
So I met with ate Mary Joy and kuya Adrian at TriNoma at around 4:45pm of January 16, Friday. We rode the MRT going to Guadalupe station to wait for Anne and Lency. Upon meeting up, we then went straight to the jeepney terminal that will bring us to The Fort / Market! Market! area. Upon arrival, we then walked over to the venue of the book signing, Fully Booked BGC to meet Mia. (She’s the first one there, arriving hours before we did). We also met with Cedie and Luigi there as well. Once we were all together, we thought of ways on how to hold our places in the line, since the management of Fully Booked BGC advised us to go home because gates will open by 10AM the next day for registration. Persistent and determined as we are, we talked to the security guard instead and made sure that he knows us so we have our place in the line secured. Afterwards, we ate dinner at Market! Market! and went straight to our hotel room at F1 Hotel Manila where we met Feather.
Once we got our big bags and books settled inside our room, we went back to Fully Booked to rightfully claim our right to the front of the line. And there, we met Charm. A co-book freak we met at Marie Lu’s signing last November 2014. That was around 9:30PM already. Bored as hell, Luigi and I decided to roam around the premises of Fully Booked BGC in search for my next favorite book/s. They were on sale that weekend, by the way. That urged me to put The Infinite Sea by Ricky Yancey on hold until the next day.
After scouring Fully Booked, we then settled outside to stay put in the line. We played games, and made lots of conversations about different kinds of books, fandoms, authors, past book signings, and everything else in between. It is at these circumstances where friendships are truly made. 🙂
Hungry, we went to the nearest McDonald’s to grab a bite afterwards. Another thing we all have in common is our love for food. You can never deny your love for food, right? Haha!
The comfort room was on our list on what to find next. Since it was already past 12AM, there are barely any establishments left to find comfort rooms. But we easily found them right around the stretch of Lane O. We continued playing games and talking right after we flushed our bladders. We didn’t really sleep that night. We were all sleepy, tho. Below are some photos.
January 17, 2015 – The day of the signing!
The next day was indeed filled with excitement, anticipation, and much more feels. Beyond the sleeplessness, hunger, immediate need to sleep, rest, and take a shower, we were still very eager and excited to see Michelle Hodkin. So whatever negative thoughts and instances that came our way, we disregarded it and we made the necessary actions just to maintain our place in the line, and be the first ones to have our books signed, and have our pictures taken with the gorgeous author. Below are some photos. You can plainly see the glow and excitement in our eyes as we wait in anticipation to register. Haha! ♥
Right after registration, we went back to the hotel to take a shower and really get ready for the day’s worth of fun and new activities. By then, my feet and back were extremely sore because of all the walking and standing I’ve been doing the previous day. Oh, and next time, I won’t be wearing boots to events like this. It was a dumb mistake. It will never happen again. I swear on the depths of Tartarus. (Percy Jackson fans, see what I did there?)
Once we were all clean, and massively presentable, we joined our friends over at Market! Market! for yet another meal. Afterwards, once we were all full, and satisfied, I can’t believe I’m sharing this but we slept. Yes. Just like pigs (I’m sorry for the comparison, but it’s just the way it is), after we ate, we slept at the food court of Market! Market! Almost all of us were that tired and chose to spend some time sleeping right after we ate. Please don’t judge us.
We went to SM Aura once we woke up. (Photos above are evidence that our whole BGC adventure was well documented.) We opt to spend our remaining time taking pictures at the rooftop of the establishment. But before anything else, we went to the food court. Can you guess whet we did there? Yes. We tried to sleep. Again. But unfortunately, we weren’t able to because some security personnel told us to vacate the seats for they are reserved for those who will dine. Understandable. Poor us. 😦 We chose to dine at Magnum Cafe, Manila instead. (The first time experiences just keep on coming!) For the amount of 100.00PhP, we got to make our own Magnum creation.
We spent the remaining hours having photo shoots at the rooftops of SM Aura. The views were absolutely breathtaking and I would like to personally thank my buddes, Mary Joy Mola and Mia Garcia, for such spectacular photos! Below are some more photos. (I told you I’m going to bombard this post with pictures. You have been warned!)
I’ve never been this happy, you guys. I can’t even express my feels without bursting to tears. And there’s this last photo which displays genuine happiness:
After the amazing time we spent at SM Aura, we once again headed for Fully Booked BGC to acquire our seats and wait until Michelle arrives. We arrived there a little late and we had to pull some strings to get seats. Our group of 10+ people had to get separated just to get a seat. 😦 But the feels still felt the same, if you know what I mean. Haha!
When Michelle arrived, we were all stunned by her simple yet elegant beauty. Oh my God. Can you imagine my struggle? I’m gay but I felt like a man for a few minutes when she arrived (I hope that doesn’t creep anyone out). But seriously, tho. She’s absolutely breathtaking. Indeed, she is one of the most beautiful authors I have ever met.
She read the first chapter of her book, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Her voice was angelic. She was like reading for the screens. She could’ve been a great singer if she hadn’t been an author all this time. Haha! And afterwards, she answered a few fan questions about her personal life, her career, and everything else in between. She gave rather concrete answers and one that I loved was this quote:
“Authors are the writers who never gave up.”. – Michelle Hodkin
She also gave tremendous writing tips! Some of them are really good. I’ve compiled some of them below:
“If you’re afraid to show your writing to anyone, you won’t be able to handle rejection from agents, publishers, readers.”
“Don’t let a single page of your book be boring. There has to be tension every page. Conflict plus desire equals tension.”
“You’re competing with every other book in the bookstore, so think about what makes your character interesting.”
“If your character doesn’t want to engage with the plot, why would a teenager want to read about them?”
“Novels are fueled ultimately by life experience. So get out there and live!”
“If writing is your passion and you want to share your words with other people, you have to take the risk.”
She was dynamic. She was like a breath of fresh air. Oh, I can’t even begin to express myself as to how perfection came close to Michelle. ♥ Below are some of my photos with her. Thank you, Fully Booked, for making this event, and bringing Michelle here to the Philippines! 🙂
I had an amazing time! Other than the great and fun things I experienced with my friends, I also enjoyed meeting Michelle Hodkin. She’s just amazing. And I look forward to reading her next work. 🙂
Thank you so much, Fully Booked, for, again, bringing Michelle Hodkin here. And I hope you enjoyed your time here, Michelle. And I hope to see you again soon. ♥