[Event Recap] Katie Cotugno, Melissa Kantor, and Robyn Schneider in PH

11037468_10152993529116914_8544726963738263617_nLast July 5, 2015, I attended a book signing event and got the chance to meet 3 absolutely gorgeous authors Katie Cotugno (author of How to Love and 99 Days), Melissa Kantor (author of Maybe One Day and Better than Perfect), and Robyn Schneider (author of The Beginning of Everything and Extraordinary Means).

As some of you may already know, Contemporary is my FAVORITE genre. I love realistic fiction and this book signing event is one of my absolute favorites. Some would say that reading contemporary books are exclusive to high school readers readers but I would have to gladly and proudly disagree.

So anyway, just like my previous event recap posts, this will probably be bombarded with photos as well. Read no further if you’re tired of seeing my face. Haha! 🙂

So I lined up early in the morning of July 4. I was at Shangri-la Plaza by 6:30am. I know. Too early, right? But again, these authors are the loves of my life so I had to commit to attending this signing. Right? Joined by my friends Camille, Cerise, Feather, and Lori, we were early birds waiting for our favorite authors.

IMG_4305We actually encountered a few issues due to our “too early line-up” but it was nothing we can’t handle. So we left the our too-early queue and spent our entire day inside Shangri-la Mall. We played Uno, Monopoly Deal, and we actually celebrated one of our friend’s birthday. Other than that, the day before the actual event was quite uneventful.

So, as the mall closed, we went back in line and endured a few unruly moms who were claiming that they were “the first people in line”. They told us that they were there since the night of July 3 which was impossible since we didn’t saw them until that night. But, what the heck.

To pass the time, we played UNO and Monopoly all night. Friendships were severed and some slaps were thrown all through out that time.

Afterwards, as the consequence of waking up early and being energetic all day got to us, we took some time off and took a nap. We went to one of our friend’s homes afterwards to take a shower and sleep some more and by 7:30am of the actual day of the signing, we were all there to line up for the official queue.

After taking lots of pictures, talking and bonding some more with my friends, we entered the premises of Shangri-la Plaza to register at around 9:30am. And unfortunately, I was registered as the 4th person in line.

After getting settled, arranging my things, and organizing my books for the signing, we took a picture at the stage of the venue as a tradition. And we ate lunch and  went for a stroll around the mall afterwards. Like the day before, as I’ve mentioned, it was quite uneventful.


The gorgeous authors arrived by 2:00pm. Fans were screaming like crazy, myself included, just by seeing Katie, Melissa, and Robyn. As always, the crowd of Filipino readers never fail to amaze me, and the authors as well, I’m sure.

11692751_10203880413202335_1296613349385215847_nThey were interviewed once they were settled and below are some things they said and some details about their books.

  • Katie Cotugno is a huge fan of imperfect people and imperfect stories. It’s what urged her to write about characters who made mistakes and went on life trying to change said mistakes and make their world beautiful again. She’s not fond of writing a story filled with perfection since she doesn’t know anyone with a perfect life.
  • Katie started writing How To Love when she was a sixteen year old girl. At the time, she wanted to tell people the story of two protagonists who were feeling and going through what she was. Being a teenager, she felt different emotions which caused her to make a few mistakes and such. Everything felt so intense, important, and relevant and this was what she wanted to write about. These are the stories she was a fan of.
  • Right after hearing Katie’s opinion, Melissa Kantor agreed and felt the same way about imperfect stories. She added that it (referring to imperfection) is what makes a story great and enjoyable to read.
  • Robyn Schneider writes Young Adult novels because she thinks that every book she writes about are about the boys she dated in the past and the first boy she ever kissed. It reminds her of the fun and excitement she felt when she was a young girl who dated these guys and it makes her memories be re-lived.
  • Melissa’s writing style and creative process was a traditional one. She had to first know what was supposed to happen before putting it in writing. She didn’t want to start writing and after a few chapters, would get lost in trying to make up something that was supposed to be endured by her characters. She wanted to be sure of what her story was all about first.
  • Katie and her husband has been together since high school and most of her portrayal of falling in love was based on her own personal experience just like many authors out there.
  • Robyn wrote about male characters and they were all a little bit like her. Ezra from The Beginning of Everything was like her when she was in high school and she was kind of like Sadie from Extraordinary Means when she was in college.
  • The names of Katie’s characters just came to her as she was writing How to Love and 99 Days. It was never a complication for her to write and invent names for her stories.
  • Robyn, on the other hand, first had an argument as to what the names of her characters will be, but won said argument, and thus, named a character Ezra.
  • Robyn classified herself as a Slytherin when she was asked as to what house she was in the world of Harry Potter. But when she was young and just started reading the classic, she classified herself, like any other reader, as a Gryffindor.

Right after the interview, the event continued on to the book signing process. Below are some of my signed books and Instax photographs.

IMG_4298Here’s a signed copy of How to Love and 99 Days and an Instax Photograph of me and Katie Cotugno. Out of the three authors, she is my favorite because her book How to Love is one of my absolute favorite YA contemporary books. She was absolutely pretty and she was such a classy woman!

IMG_4300Here’s a signed copy of Maybe One Day and Better than Perfect and an Instax Photograph of me and Melissa Kantor. As I had my books signed, I told her that even if she thought that Zoe was hard to like, I loved her either way.

IMG_4299Here’s a signed copy of The Beginning of Everything and Extraordinary Means and an Instax Photograph of me and Robyn Schneider. As I went over to her signing area and had my books signed, I told her the truth that I hadn’t read her books yet and she was sweet and told me that it was fine and now I can read a signed copy which was cool.

After the signing, went to SM Megamall and I went on a book haul (which I’ll be posting about later.), and we ate lunch and went home afterwards. I can’t believe that I was up for almost 48 hours and I’m proud to say that even though my back’s hurting right now and I’m getting leg cramps ever 30 minutes, everything was still worth.

Thank you again to the people of National Bookstore, especially Kuya James who I met yesterday for bringing these fabulous ladies to the Philippines! I can’t even begin to express how happy I am to meet these stunning women. My 2015 started out great with James Frey, Leigh Bardugo, and E. Lockhart. Please keep on making bringing our favorite authors here! 🙂FOOTER

5 thoughts on “[Event Recap] Katie Cotugno, Melissa Kantor, and Robyn Schneider in PH

  1. Fabulous recap, JM! That’s some serious dedication you have to line up the day before! YAY for being early birds. 🙂 Also, I’m so so glad to hear you’re a Katie Cotugno fan too! I have so much love for How To Love. ❤ Thanks so much for linking to my review btw- much appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my god!!! Thank you so much, Ate Hazel! You’re probably thinking now that I have nothing to do with my life, going to line up a day before the actual event. Haha! But yes! I had to commit since contemporary is one of my favorite genres. And out of the 6 books that they were signing, How to Love was my absolute favorite! I love the idea of falling in love with the same person twice! That was genius! 🙂 I hope to meet you soon, too, Ate Hazel! Your blog is such an inspiration to me! ♥


    1. Why thank you! And I agree. All of them were gorgeous both inside and out. However, I have to be honest and tell you that Katie was my absolute favorite among the three authors. She was such a pretty woman and her laugh was infectious! Were you there? 🙂


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