Author Archives: Ronald

Author interview: Gayle Forman

Gaze upon Gayle Forman and the eldritch horror to her right.

Gaze upon Gayle Forman and the eldritch horror to her right.

(Regular reader numbering in the Ones, if you haven’t noticed it yet, my blog went through a snafu that resulted in all the posts from October 2013 onwards to vanish into the ether. So I’m just uploading all of these transcripts without any garnishing because I barely remember what I wrote back then.)

RONREADS (RR): Is it your first time in the country? I know you’re well-traveled.

GAYLE FORMAN (GF): It’s not. I’ve been here before, in 1996 or 1997. It was a long time ago. I used to work for Seventeen magazine and when I was there, UNICEF contacted us and they were sending a bunch of journalists from youth magazines to write articles on youth activism. I met youth activists changing the world in different places.

RR: What was your impression of the country back then? I think I was in sixth grade back then.

GF: Thank you. Thank you for that.

RR: Sorry.

GF: I remember that I had an immediate sense of the Filipino people being incredibly friendly. People are generally friendly, but there was a particular warmth, which now that I’ve made a lot of Filipino friends back home, I get it. It’s like the Brazilians, there’s just something warm.

As for the country, I thought it was incredibly diverse. We also went to Leyte, so I got to see the rural aspect of the country. There’s so much US history embedded here. We went to a base when we were in Leyte. I also remember some excellent shopping — I have some clothes from that trip that I still wear. I remember that the traffic was legendary.

RR: (Laughs) It still is!

GF: And the food was fantastic.

RR: Is this your first time back?

GF: Yeah. It’s such a short trip. I’m in Manila until Sunday and I’m in Cebu until Monday night.

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Author interview: Kate Evangelista

1898007_10152009212331914_1530310742_n(Regular reader numbering in the Ones, if you haven’t noticed it yet, my blog went through a snafu that resulted in all the posts from October 2013 onwards to vanish into the ether. So I’m just uploading all of these transcripts without any garnishing because I barely remember what I wrote back then.)

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Author interview: Becca Fitzpatrick

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(Regular reader numbering in the Ones, if you haven’t noticed it yet, my blog went through a snafu that resulted in all the posts from October 2013 onwards to vanish into the ether. So I’m just uploading all of these transcripts without any garnishing because I barely remember what I wrote back then.)

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Book review: Miles Tan’s “Finding X”

geologyTaken 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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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.

“All’s Fair in Blog and War” tells the story of Five Cuevas, a travel blogger who finds herself invited to an all-expense paid familiarization tour to the special administrative region of Macau, along with four other bloggers. It’s something that Five has been looking forward to doing, and has even enlisted the help of her sister to help her explore the less touristy side of the region.

However, her tour is off to a bad start when there is immediate friction between Five and photo blogger Jesse Ruiz. Five finds Jesse insufferable, and things begin to look even more dire when the two become each other’s designated travel buddy.

But something happens on the way to Macau. It begins with small things, and soon Five doesn’t find Jesse as irritating as he was back home. Five begins to notice that Jesse is much more attentive to her needs. Despite how they first met, Five begins to consider the possibility of being more than just friends with Jesse.

After getting to know Macau and each other over the course of several days, Five is ready to take a chance with Jesse. But when an unexpected twist shakes up Five’s plans, will she be able to get back on track and still find love along the way?

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Book review: Kesh Tanglao’s “The Real Score”

Several months ago, chick lit author Mina Esguerra conducted a romance novel writing class for dozens of aspiring romance writers.

The numbers were whittled down as the months progressed, until five aspiring writers managed to finish — and self-publish — their own contemporary romance novellas.

One of those five authors is Kessica Tanglao, who debuts with the novella, “The Real Score.” Set in the Philippines and in England, it tells the ups and downs of the friendship that develops between Filipina Caitlin Tan and Brit boy Marcus Wayans.

Senior media planning executive Caitlin Tan thinks she’s got it all figured out. Her whole life is organized and synced on her phone, Outlook, and her Starbucks planner. Her meticulous planning and dedication to her work has helped send both her siblings to school, and throwing all of that away for an adventure isn’t something she isn’t keen on doing.

But it’s adventure that comes her way when her colleague Lorin manages to score the two of them tickets to meet and greet Gezellig, the latest boyband to take the planet by storm. Despite going into the meet and greet not knowing anything about the group, she ends up catching the eye of Marlon Wayans, the band’s de facto frontman.

From there, Caitlin and Marlon develop a friendship, one that manages to survive being separated by continents, nosy fans, and the occasional drunk call or two. But when a trip to London results in a misunderstanding that could change the dynamics of their friendship, will Caitlin and Marlon be able to come out of it intact?

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Book review: Alissa Nutting’s “Tampa”

Alissa Nutting’s debut novel “Tampa” certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to publicity.

As soon as her book came out on bookstore shelves last July, public opinion was immediately split. While The Daily Beast branded it a “modern ‘Lolita’” and the New York Times gave it a favorable review, The Telegraph called it “fatiguing” and some bookstores in the United States and Australia have refused to stock the book because of its controversial sex scenes.

Here in the country, “Tampa” quietly appeared on bookstore shelves, with copies on display at the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair. While the buzz is yet to arrive here on Philippine shores, I took a look at Alissa Nutting’s debut to see if it really lives up to the hype.

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Author interview: Kiera Cass

I know, I know, it’s been several weeks since Kiera Cass was here in the country, but the past month has been hectic, what with my day job and the Manila International Book Fair and Margaret Stohl, Melissa dela Cruz, and Alyson Noel all stopping by at the same time. I’ve barely been able to keep up with my paying job, much less this non-paying one!

Anyway, this interview with Kiera Cass was really fun. She was very bubbly and energetic, and it’s kinda hard not to be infected by that just a little bit. Also, we’re both One Direction fans (What? what? DEAL WITH IT.) so obviously we were speaking to each other on the astral level.

Read the interview under the cut!

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IT’S A MOTHEREFFIN’ SALE

Poster - Cut Price 2013

National Book Store’s biggest book sale of the year is here!

Get up to 70% off on your favorite books in National Book Store’s Cut Price Book Sale. Enjoy huge discounts on bestsellers, sequels and new releases from August 30 to September 8, 2013 in all National Book Store and Bestsellers branches. Read more and spend less with the Cut Price Book Sale. See posters for more details. Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 8368 Series of 2013. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on events, promos and contests.

 

Author interview: Marivi Soliven Blanco

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Right from the very first paragraph, I was already sold on Marivi Soliven Blanco’s “The Mango Bride”. It was just the kind of humor that I liked, and as I continued reading the book kept on winning me over again and again, either through its humor or the peek into Philippine high society that Soliven Blanco gives us.

That was why it was so exciting for me to actually talk to her during her (still ongoing!) visit here to the country. I was able to sit down with her before her book signing event at the National Book Store flagship store at Glorietta 1, and she talked about the long road to publication, her fondness for Manila, as well as whether the workshop process is something all aspiring writers should undergo.

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