Event Recap: The 2018 Manila International Book Fair + Book Haul

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Last Sunday, September 16th, marked the last day of this year’s Manila International Book Fair, and I was lucky enough to drop by SMX, not just to haul books but also to speak in a panel about international publishing! I had the most amazing time catching up with my friends, and getting stressed about what books to buy from National Bookstore’s Book Binge Bazaar, and even though I came home with a headache, sore arms, numb legs, I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. Read on to know just how  much I enjoyed #MIBF2018!

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Event Recap: #BookwormsUnitePH: Year 4 + Marauders Dispatch Giveaway


Bookworms Unite, as I’ve said countless times, is one of the most anticipated bookish events for YA lovers who live in the metro. And last Saturday, July 21st, I, together with my amazing team of hosts Hazel from Stay Bookish, Miel from Bookish and Awesome, Inah from The Bibliophile Confessions, Bianca from The Ultimate Fangirl, and Danica from The Hogsmeade Reader, once again hosted this lovely event, this time at the Rizal Library at the Ateneo de Manila University.

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[Mini Event Recap #10] The #GreenIsland Twitter Chat

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Last Sunday, book lovers from all over the world had an hour to ask Green Island author, Shawna Yang Ryan, some questions about her book, her work, and her personal life. I was actually one of the many people who waited for the #GreenIsland chat on Twitter, and I am beyond delighted to have asked Shawna some of my questions.

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[Event Recap #8] #CTCinPH


Last September 13, I got the amazing chance to attend a private Q&A with authors Christine Brae (Filipina author of The Light In The Wound, His Wounded Light, etc.), Tarryn Fisher (New York Times bestselling author author of The Opportunist, Dirty Red, Thief, Never Never, etc.), and Colleen Hoover (New York Times bestselling author of Confess, Ugly Love, Maybe Someday, Slammed, Never Never, etc.). After months of intense anticipation, the day of finally meeting these lovely women have arrived! If you’ve been following me and my blog for some time now, you would be aware of my reader-author friendship with Christine Brae. She’s actually the one who got me an invite to the private Q&A. This post wouldn’t have been as awesome without her. Christine, I love you!

Before I ramble on and on about what went down in the private Q&A, I’m offering you a short version of this recap:

I fangirled so hard all through out the day!

I’m not even kidding. I did. Not only did I get the chance to meet the lovely authors, but I also met some wonderful Philippine YA Bloggers. Getting to know those with whom I share a passion for is indeed a very satisfying feeling. Some of the bloggers I saw, I already met during the #BookwormsUnite event last July, and some I just met that day. Wow. I can’t even describe how it feels right now. Well then, I should probably get this started.

Everyone was all cheers and smiles as the three ladies arrived. Not a single mouth was left unopened. Either the people were screaming with joy and excitement, or they were basically mesmerized by the three. God knows I was both. Afterwards, the Q&A immediately started and it was hosted by Sir Chad Dee of National Book Store. Listed below are the notes I took as it happened.

Photo grabbed from Chyna Go of Lite-rate-ture.

Luckily, I got the opportunity to ask my good author friend, Christine Brae, while I was at the private Q&A! My question was:

For Christine: What made you want to write about an elite for a protagonist? I am aware that Isabel, from your books The Light in The Wound and His Wounded Light, is a high profile character. What made you want to tell your readers about her? Is it something you have first-hand experience in? (You may read her answer below.)

Photo grabbed from Kate Manalo of The Bookaholic Blurbs.

Christine Brae

  • Christine wrote about an elite protagonist because it’s something she has first-hand experience in. In addition, being a US-based Filipina author, she wanted to give the US a glimpse of what life was like here in the Philippines.
  • As of now, if given the opportunity to co-write with an author, Christine will say no because of her busy schedule. Being a full-time mom and business woman isn’t easy and she just writes while riding public transportation, while staying at a hotel, and such. She actually wrote The Light in The Wound while travelling.
  • According to Christine, writing and trying to get published is a very lonely process. You need your own publishers, editors, and you basically have to do everything by yourself. On the plus side, however, you get to publish any time you want. You can avoid deadlines. And in a nutshell, self-publishing is all about you.
  • As for her writing process, Christine uses her feelings and emotions as basis in writing stories. She needs to feel something and write a story out of it. It’s a simple process for. Write, then publish!
  • Christine’s character names all have their meaning. Like Alex’ last name, Ailey, means “light”, which signified that she was the light in Isabel’s life. (I fangirled so hard when she said this!) She also sneaks in names from her street team every once in a while.

Tarryn Fisher

  • For Tarryn, co-writing Never Never with Colleen was a very easy experience. They get along perfectly fine, even if Colleen pretends that they don’t. They actually wrote it for fun and decided to share it with their readers. They completely avoided dreadful deadlines while writing Never Never, and it’s part of what made their writing experience enjoyable.
  • The self-publishing process is so badass for Tarryn. The hardest part for her is people not taking her seriously and they make you feel like you’re not good enough and it’s a satisfying sensation when you prove them wrong.
  • For Tarryn, she just waits for the emotion to come to her and once it does, she runs with it to write. She actually has a different writing schedule with Colleen and Christine. Also, she puts herself in the mindset of her characters which makes her stories more authentic.
  • Tarryn’s writing style is a combination of believable characters, good story, and beautiful words. Style is important too. She writes about bad people because that what she is. (Or what she at least thinks she is.) It’s a new perspective on something that has beend done millions of times before.
  • The names of Tarryn’s characters just fall in her head and it has always been this way ever since she started writing. She never thinks too hard about it.

Colleen Hoover

  • For Colleen, the publishing process is a life changer for a lot of people. The best part for her is not having a boss, and it feels less like work. And in addition, trying to get publishers to notice you is probably the hardest part for her.
  • Regarding the plot twists in Colleen’s books, she usually doesn’t have an idea as to how she will incorporate the twists into them. She first lets her characters speak to her before developing the plot line, which may sometimes get difficult because her books usually falls on the same genre.
  • Colleen didn’t know what genre her first book was when she first published it, and it really doesn’t matter to her. And to add humor, she told everyone that she thought that the “NA” acronym meant “Not Applicable”, when it actually stands for “New Adult”.
  • Colleen spends days locked up while writing. She doesn’t want to end her books in a sad or depressing note because it will, in turn, make her feel that way. That’s why she incorporates humor into her books: to take a break and end it happily.
  • Regarding the characters for her books, Colleen said that she can’t write a book without having an idea as to who the characters are. She currently has a writer’s block because she can’t think of an idea for her next set of characters. She feels that the characters are most important in a book. Her vision in naming guy characters is to give them a name that no one else has to make him recognizable and unique.
  • With regards to the importance of music in her books, Colleen actually spends hours driving to nowhere while listening to certain songs. Afterwards, she spends hours writing. She’s actually in to 21 Pilots right now.

The Signing Proper

The signing came up right after the Q&A and at this point, my hands were sweating like a sinner in church! I was very excited about meeting these ladies and I didn’t want to seem weird around them so I composed myself very quickly and just kept my cool.

Before standing up to finally have my books signed, Christine approached me and gave me a very tight hug! I’ve been waiting to meet her for 9 months and I think it’s safe to say that we’re both so happy to have met each other finally! She was the first one to sign my books. Since she’s already a great friend of mine, we talked about a lot of things as she signed my books! I asked how her homecoming was going, and she was as sweet as I expected.


Signed and dedicated copies of The Light in The Wound (with a very sweet message), His Wounded Light, and Insipid.

I approached Tarryn next. After I introduced myself, I was completely honest and straightforward with her. I confessed that I, unfortunately, haven’t got the chance to read her books yet, but told her that I’m trying to grab a hold of her other books, mainly Mud Vein, and Marrow. She was stunning, just like Colleen and Christine. Also, her dress? Simply breathtaking!


Signed and dedicated copies of The Opportunist and Never Never parts 1 and 2 (also signed by Colleen Hoover)

I went for Colleen last. I had lots of her books and I am more than lucky to have all of them signed by her. I was able to talk about her books with her, and she was happy to know how much I loved Confess and Slammed. She also told me that Point of Retreat is her favorite, and she’s not a big fan of This Girl. She also told me that she was so flattered to have been told so much compliments. I love her accent and she was very, very sweet! Also, I asked her to write her favorite quote from Confess and she chose my most favorite quote!!!


Signed and dedicated copies of Confess, Maybe Someday, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, and Ugly Love.

After having my books signed, I got the chance to say hi to some of my blogger friends and talk about some books with them. I also met a lot of long-time bloggers and I am so honored to have met them yesterday. They were very friendly to a new face and I hope I could meet them again next time.

We took photos with the authors afterwards. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have photos taken with these stunning ladies so, of course, we wouldn’t let that chance pass us by.

Philippine YA Bloggers with Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover, and Christine Brae. Photo grabbed from Kai Agito of Amaterasu Reads.

Here’s a thank you message from the 3 lovely ladies for their Filipino readers!

Video grabbed from Kate Manalo of The Bookaholic Blurbs

Once the private Q&A was finished, I went to SM Megamall for the public signing event. I have to say, I really am more than lucky to have been invited to the forum, because there are hundreds of people waiting at SM to have their books signed! My friends were there waiting for their turn to meet the lovely ladies and have their books signed as well.

Photo grabbed from Queenie Josol from Facebook

At this point, I would like to send my sincerest thanks to Sir JB, Sir Chad, and National Bookstore for inviting me to the forum and for accommodating me with open arms. It was my first time to attend this forum and I’m hoping I could attend another one soon. You guys are heaven sent! Thank you!

And to the bloggers who I’ve met, thank you for making my first forum memorable. I am so happy to have met you guys and am looking forward to reading more books with you!

And to Christine, who I’m sure I will see again, I love you! I owe you another hug! I really am so happy to have read your book way back, and your friendship means the world to me! I love you!

I know a lot of people went to SM Megamall to have their books signed. Were you there? Tell me all about your experience! Also, tell me who’s your favorite among the three and what’s your favorite book by her!

Before I end this post, you might want to check out these recaps by some of my blogger friends! You know you want to!

Until the next one, folks!