Author interview: Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, and HUNDREDS of fans of the 'Hush, Hush' series.

Becca Fitzpatrick, Xandra Ramos-Padilla, and HUNDREDS of fans of the ‘Hush, Hush’ series.

The lone reader of this blog knows that I haven’t had the best relationship with the “Hush, Hush” series by Becca Fitzpatrick. Here is Exhibit A, and here is Exhibit B. I wasn’t exactly nice about it.

So getting to interview her when she came here last month was a little bit exciting for me. I was interested to see how I would interact with her, since I’ve had a couple of experiences where interaction with the author has made me change what I thought of the book. I’ve met two award-winning local authors who were just complete assholes, and I’ve never been excited about any of their books since.

As it turns out, Becca Fitzpatrick is an all-around nice person, and I may be a bit of an asshole. I still stand by those earlier reviews, though. It’s just that maybe I should have been nicer about it. Anyway, full interview transcript under the cut!

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Book review: Miles Tan’s “Finding X”

Comic from XKCD

With more than a dozen students finishing contemporary romance novelist Mina Esguerra’s #romanceclass in the middle of last year, it’s not surprising to see the variety of stories that these fledgling authors have now made available on different platforms online.

Readers looking for an international romance between a plucky Filipino and a Brit pop star can get their fix with Kesh Tanglao’s “The Real Score,” which tells the ups and downs of the friendship that develops between exec Caitlin Tan and boybander Marcus Wayans.

For a story with a dash of social media and a tour of the lesser known attractions of the city of Macau, readers can look to Chrissie Peria’s “All’s Fair in Blog and War,” which chronicles the attraction that blossoms between bloggers Five Cuevas and Jesse Ruiz.

Another #romanceclass product that offers something different from the norm is Miles Tan’s novella, “Finding X.” Set in Tagaytay and Manila, “Finding X” brings together IT frontend developer Carlisle Santiago and Matteo Villegas in a story replete with humor, adorable interactions, and bad geology puns.

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Author interview: Kate Evangelista

Kate Evangelista at the 'Til Death' book launch

Kate Evangelista at the ‘Til Death’ book launch

Back in 2012, I interviewed Filipino author Kate Evangelista about her journey towards publication — and international publication at that! She talked all about finding and losing an agent, her being accepted by three (!) publishers, and the inspiration for her debut novel, “Taste”.

She’s certainly come a long way since then. She’s written five more books — “Savor“, “Reaping Me Softly”, “Unreap My Heart”, and “Romancing the Bookworm”. Her newest book with Entangled Press, “Til Death”, also managed to fulfill another dream of hers — to actually have physical copies of it sold at National Book Store, the country’s largest bookstore.

Under the cut is the full transcript of my interview with Kate, where she talks about how she’s evolved since “Taste”, how being immersed in social media has helped her, and all about her future plans.

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Book review: Jennifer Nielsen’s “The Runaway King”

Back in the first half of 2012, Jennifer A. Nielsen came out with “The False Prince”, the first book in her new series named “The Ascendance Trilogy”. In it, we are introduced to the young orphan Sage as he finds himself drawn into a plot that intends to install an impostor on the vacated throne of the kingdom of Carthya. Along with two other orphans — Roden and Tobias — Sage is made to live in the residence of the nobleman Conner, who molds them to look and act like Jaron, Carthya’s lost prince.

With its blend of political maneuvering, interesting characterizations, and the witty, wisecracking, and wonderfully fleshed-out voice of Sage providing the narration, “The False Prince” became a runaway hit. The New York Times called it “a page turner”, while Publishers Weekly called it an “impressive, promising story” in a starred review.

It’s no wonder that its sequel, “The Runaway King”, was eagerly awaited for by fans. But with so much acclaim and goodwill attached to the book that came before it, will “The Runaway King” live up to expectations, or will it prove to be a victim to the sophomore slump?

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“Luna East Arts Academy: Kids These Days” book launch!

1521228_598954706850176_280889044_nThose who knew me from an earlier life know that I used to write fiction. Way back in high school, I used to write fanfiction (Hanson), which used to be up on Fanfiction.net. You’ll never find them now, because the site pulled out all of the Real Person Fic (RPF).

After Fanfiction.net, I migrated to Fictionpress.com, basically changing the names on my fanfic and re-uploading them up there. If you know the names of my fanfic, then you can probably search for them there.

When I was in college, I entered a writing competition where, thankfully, my story won second place. There were no other winners named, so it was one instance when second best was good enough, ha ha ha!

But you’re only as good as your last story, and I frankly haven’t finished any fiction for almost a decade now. That’s why it’s with a little trepidation and nervousness that I invite you guys to the launch of “Luna East: Kids These Days”.

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Kung Hei Fat Choi, 2014!

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Friday is the Chinese New Year, and you guys better keep your eyes peeled for a bag like the one pictured above at your local National Book Store branches! It’s the bookstore chain’s latest Limited edition Ang Pao Bag, and it’s only going to be available in select National Book Store branches.

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Author interview: Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman, National Book Store's Xandra Ramos Padilla, and the HUNDREDS of fans at the National Book Store signing at Glorietta 1.

Gayle Forman, National Book Store’s Xandra Ramos Padilla, and the HUNDREDS of fans at the National Book Store signing at Glorietta 1!

Unless you were living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you and your fellow book-loving friends probably knew or heard about Gayle Forman and her recent visit to the country. If you were really lucky, you probably got to go to those two signings — one at the National Book Store flagship store in Glorietta 1 and one at the National Book Store branch at the Ayala Center in Cebu.

Thanks to National Book Store, I got to do something a little extra — interview Gayle Forman the day before all the madness happened. Under the cut is the full transcript of my interview, where Gayle Forman talks about the Filipino fans, the amount of swearing in her books, and even teases a little bit about the upcoming “If I Stay” movie!

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Book review: Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Dream Thieves”

When “The Raven Boys” came out two years, it was yet another feather added to the already crowded cap of young adult novel author Maggie Stiefvater.

Not only did “The Raven Boys” wow critics — who called it “compulsively readable” and a “compelling human drama” — it also hooked readers, who propelled it up the New York Times Bestseller list and the USA Today Bestseller list.

All this is in addition to all of the books in her “The Wolves of Mercy Falls” trilogy ending up on the New York Times Bestseller list and her standalone novel “The Scorpio Races” being awarded a 2012 Michael L. Printz Award Honor. The Michael L. Printz Award highlights works of literary excellence that are written for a young adult audience.

With so many accolades that came before it, it’s no wonder that “The Dream Thieves”, the second book in the planned for of Stiefvater’s “The Raven Cycle” series, has been so eagerly awaited by Stiefvater’s fans and readers. But will “The Dream Thieves” continue Stiefvater’s winning streak? Or will it spoil her so far perfect run?

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Book review: Kate Evangelista’s “Savor”

Way back in 2012, I interviewed Filipino author Kate Evangelista about her break into the international publishing scene and the release of her debut novel, “Taste”. As far as I can remember, it was her first time to be featured in a local publication.

Fast forward two years later. Evangelista has certainly gone a long way from her days as a debut author. After “Taste”, she came out with even more books, such as the paranormal romances “Reaping Me Softly,” “Unreap My Heart,” “Til Death,” and new adult novel “Romancing the Bookworm”. She’s even set to make her debut on local bookstore shelves this year, as Macmillan publishes “Til Death”.

I was lucky enough to be given a review ebook copy of “Savor”, Evangelista’s latest book with Crescent Moon Press. This review was supposed to go up a couple of weeks ago, but real life and my day job got in the way. But it’s better late than never, right?

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Book review: Chrissie Peria’s “All’s Fair in Blog and War”

Ever since contemporary romance novel writer Mina Esguerra’s #romanceclass concluded in the middle of last year, more than a dozen people who have taken the class have gone on to finish their own novellas and self-publish on different platforms.

One of the earliest to finish was food blogger Chrissie Peria, who came out with All’s Fair in Blog and War,” a romance that happens in the Philippines, in Macau, and on the world wide web.

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