So last August 30, I had the privilege to join my bookish friends and attend the book signing by their “well-recommended” author, Matthew Quick. I have heard of him and his books, but I am yet to read one by him. However, I am familiar with Silver Linings Playbook, which I have watched as a movie adaptation. I wasn’t going to let my chance to meet and have some books signed by this amazing dude pass me by! I knew I had to go!
I arrived at Raffles Makati with two of my friends from my squad at around 6:00AM. We were welcomed by others who spent the night there for they attended the previous day’s signing event as well. We talked about what went down the day before and got settled in to play some UNO. Me and my bookish friends would never let a chance to play this game pass by, you know! After a round or two, people started lining up and as the time of registration came closer, I bought a hardcover copy of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock there at the venue. I was supposed to buy only a Trade Paperback copy so that I could also buy Silver Linings Playbook, but there wasn’t any, so I wasn’t able to purchase and have the latter, signed. *sighs* There were lots of titles available for everyone to purchase! Philippine Literature was the highlight of this event, and so, there were dozens of said books on display for purchase.I’m not gonna lie. The hardcover copies of Love May Fail and The Good Luck of Right Now were tempting! Good thing I didn’t have extra money to buy them, because you can just imagine if I did. Oh, and did I mention that these books are on sale with 20% discount? Yeah, cool, right?
Once I made my purchase, I went back in line to register for the event and claim my festival and signing passes. I was the 12th person in line, and I didn’t even spend the night! I was beyond excited at this point!
I also got to meet Justine of Bookwor Maniac and Jayvee The Misfit Writer again! We’ve been friends online and it’s great seeing my co-blogging friends here at the event! I also got to meet Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Kai of Amaterasu Reads, and Jesselle of The Lifelong Bookworm in real life!! I felt shy about saying hi and introducing myself to them, but I just had to! They are bloggers who I look up to, and they inspire me to do good with what I do here on Book Freak Revelations. 🙂 Unfortunately, I have no photos to prove that this wonderful experience did occur. 😦
Once we got the passes, we went out to eat our late breakfasts and we talked about our plans for the next signing events that we will be attending, mainly #CTCinPH and #KCinPH. (Christine Brae, Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover in PH and Kiera Cass in PH, all hosted by the amazing National Bookstore). Will you guys be there? Be sure to say hi if you are!
We went to Powerbooks Greenbelt next to browse some titles that they have on sale! By the way, did you know that they’re having their annual Power Sale? Discounts of up to 50% off, you guys! I suggest you go now, and haul your books for future signing events! You might also meet your next favorite book! It’s up until September 13! You have exactly 13 days to save up and purchase some great reads! I actually bought a copy of The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher which I will get her to sign this September 13! 🙂
We went back to Raffles afterward to rest, freshen up, and do some last minute outfit changes, and we were finally allowed to enter the ballroom area where the signing was held! Once we were settled, we took the remaining time to take photos. Who was I to say no to pictorials, right?
After tens of thousands of clicks and captures, we then (seriously now) sat and waited in anticipation for Matthew Quick. Thank the Gods for wireless internet connection!
Ms. Yvette of National Bookstore went on stage to introduce Matthew Quick shortly thereafter. Without waiting for anything at all, the program proceeded to the interview with the author, focusing on his stay here in the Philippines, his books, and his literary journey.
(Above photo snagged from NBS’ twitter account) Here are the things I’ve gathered from Ms. Yvette’s interview with the amazing Matthew Quick.:
- Matthew Quick views his characters not as mentally disturbed, but as regular people with problems. He writes more about characters with mental illnesses because it’s dear to his heart and his writing is his way to talk about this endearment.
- For him, Literature is another medium to talk about issues such as mental illnesses, depression, suicide, etc., and that it’s a great way to release tension and to just let everything out.
- His parents are supportive about his writing. They read his books and it actually makes their relationship better. He also mentioned that his Dad also hands out copies of his books to his clients.
- A reason why he loves books and writing is that “We get something in it that we don’t in regular conversation.” He also mentioned that people want to read about secrets, which people don’t usually put on for show.
- Rejections wasn’t a surprise for Matthew because in order to get published, you need to be thick-skinned because it’s hard to do so in the United States. He experienced being rejected 70 times by agents alone. But he believed in something, and so, he kept on pushing until it eventually paid off.
- He also mentioned that “Finding the right agent is like dating. It’s not about how great the date is, but it’s about finding the perfect match.”
- Matthew was a high school English teacher before he became a writer. With his previous job, he felt profoundly sad, trapped, miserable, and he silently resented his students.
- When he finally started writing, he lived with his wife and his in-laws for 3 years and a half. He felt embarrassed about it because “it is shameful in the United States, to make art with no pay.” But, that moment was when he felt like a true writer.
- His wife was very supportive and was always the first one to read his work.
- Mark Wahlberg and Anne Hathaway were originally casted for Pat and Tiffany’s characters respectively in Silver Linings Playbook.
- Matthew’s wife is also a writer who was less popular than him, and it caused tension between them at first.
- His newest book, Love May Fail, is actually about his wife’s publishing experience.
- He wanted to write novels that solely represented him as a person and there was no better way to ensure this than to let his wife read his work and wait for her approval.
- Clouds was the first title Matthew thought of for Silver Linings Playbook. Also, his wife’s comments about said book is that she knows that it WILL be published.
- His writing process involves writing the characters first. For him, it is imperative to start from there and he tries on and writes in different voices or perspectives, but it wasn’t always a success. It’s frustrating to write 40 thousand words and have everything be wrong, and start again from the beginning.
- He reads reviews of his books but even positive reviews don’t make him happy because he feels that reviews aren’t meant to be read by authors, but by other readers. It’s meant to build books up for other people.
- If there’s a movie about his life, it would be about a regular kid in a regular town where everyone doubted the kid’s abilities but turned out to be triumphant in the end.
Matthew also answered some questions from the audience but which I wasn’t able to take note of because my phone’s battery died. *sighs* But after the talk, the signing proper was next! The first 20 in line was called and we all lined up next to the stage.
When it was my turn to have my books signed, I asked Matthew a question:
Me: Hi, Sir! It’s great to meet you today! May I ask a question, though? What genre would you like to write about next and why?
MQ: I’m actually writing a screenplay right now, does that count as a genre?
M: Uhm, I guess? I will wait for updates about that screenplay of yours!
He was wonderful, you guys! He loves his fans and he seems really, genuinely nice! I’m looking forward to reading the books I got which he signed! Oh, and I can’t forget to put this photo here:
Those are my signed books, Matthew’s cute signature, and my Instax photo of me and Matthew Quick! (Special thanks to Sir JB for having steady hands and taking the photo!) I had a fun time with my friends, you guys! I really hope all of you could experience the same joy we did whenever we meet authors!
Again, dozens of thank you notes goes to National Bookstore for bringing Matthew Quick here in the Philippines! I’m so excited to see everyone again in 2 weeks for #CTCinPH!
Were you guys there at #PLF2015? What was your day’s highlight? I really want to know! Let me know down in the comment section down below!