Tag Archives: author interview

Ronreads interview: Lysley Tenorio

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I feel like I have to start this out with an apology.

Lysley Tenorio is a nice guy, who was very accommodating even after a day full of interviews. He answered every question I had, and they were great answers too! He would often be quiet for a few seconds, really digesting the question in his mind, I guess, before replying.

What I feel I need to apologize for is that could have done better. I feel like I could have asked better questions and dug deeper, but this was an off day for me. Everybody has them, I guess.

In this interview, Lysley Tenorio talks about growing in a multicultural neighborhood in California, getting the emotions rights, and why he loves working with the short story.

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Ronreads interview: Gregg Olsen

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I was too busy puking my guts out to actually finish going through the transcript. I may have caught a little something-something, because even as I type this up now I have snot literally dripping from my nose.

This interview with Gregg Olsen happened about a month ago. Going into the interview, I quite honestly expected something else. If you do a Google image search of Gregg Olsen, you end up with pictures of a stern-faced man with a rather impressive moustache, and I was prepared to interview someone with no sense of humor at all.

Happily, Gregg Olsen is far from being someone with no sense of humor. In fact, meeting him in person, you’ll quickly find no one likes laughing more than Gregg Olsen. In this interview, he talks about making the move from non-fiction to fiction, the humor he tries to put into his work, and what he really thought about the Philippines before coming here.

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Ronreads interview: Jennifer Hillier

Most everybody here in the Philippines knows that September is quite the busy month for bibliophiles. Because it’s the month when the Manila International Book Fair happens, September is the month where most of the local publishers bring out the big guns. It’s also the month where National Book Store brings a lot of foreign authors over.

One of the two authors that National Book Store brought to the country last month was Canada-based Filipino author Jennifer Hillier. The author of “Creep” and “Freak” was here for almost a month, squeezing in a vacation in between media interviews and a signing at the Manila International Book Fair with fellow Filipino author Alex Gilvarry.

Thanks to National Book Store, I got to spend a bit of time with Jennifer and ask her about making male readers uncomfortable, her writing playlists, and why you can’t have too much sex in a thriller.

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Ronreads interview: Alyson Noel

The crowd at Alyson Noel’s signing!

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been remiss with the blogging the past few weeks.

In my defense, work has really been hectic, and there was the matter of those pesky monsoon rains. Me and my books are safe, but a lot of people everywhere else could really use some help. Anyway, here I am trying to make amends and decongesting my backlog of blog posts.

A few weeks ago, bestselling YA author Alyson Noel graced the country and signed a few books for all of us fans. And thanks once again to National Book Store, I managed to spend some time with her and ask a few questions about writing petulant teenagers, the many careers she had to go through before becoming a writer, and just a little tease about what’s coming the next books of “The Soul Seeker”series.

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Ronreads interview: Kate Evangelista

If you haven’t done so already, the story that I did on Kate Evagelista came out yesterday on the paper that I work for. It outlines the journey she had to publication, and some advice she’d like to share with other young writers looking to break into the scene internationally.

But just like a lot of the interviews that I do, there’s also quite a bit that doesn’t make it onto the printed page — damned space constraits! So here’s the entire transcript of that interview, with all the other parts left in!

(Warning for spoilers!)

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Ronreads interview: Junot Diaz

Unless you guys have been living under a rock lately, you probably all know that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz was in town recently for the second Manila International Literary Festival organized by the National Book Development Board and co-presented by National Book Store.

Getting to interview him for my newspaper job wasn’t just a big honor, it was also stressful beyond belief. See, I have this thing of melting down right in front of really established foreign writers. Since I know that these authors have done a lot of interviews before, I try to think of the most unique question that I can – which really just end up in disaster, as evidenced by my interview with Neil Gaiman.

For this interview, I tried not to do too much research lest I end up psyching myself out like I did with Neil Gaiman. Aside from reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and a lengthy interview he did with the Harvard Advocate in 2009, I pretty much tried to go into the interview with as clean a slate as possible.

I don’t really know if that worked out in my favor or if it relaxed me any, because I was still very, very nervous on the day itself. If it weren’t for the fact that Junot was such a nice guy and such an enthusiastic speaker, I feel like I would have made quite an ass out of myself yet again.

Anyway, under the cut is the complete transcript of my interview with him, while you can find the article I wrote for the newspaper here. And if you guys stick around, I might even announce a little giveaway later on!

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Ronreads interview: Alexander Yates

The huge crowd at the MIBF book signing for Alexander Yates and Samantha Sotto.

Alexander Yates was one of the many wonderful people I met at the craziness that was the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). The onetime Manila resident was brought back to Manila by National Book Store to promote his debut novel, “Moondogs”, as well as to participate in a forum alongside fellow first time novelist Samantha Sotto.

I know I said the same thing about Lauren Kate and Samantha Sotto, but I can’t help it if the authors I get to interview are really nice people! I’m sure it would make a far juicier story if I said Alexander Yates was mean during the interview, but the meanest thing he probably did was insult Sookie, and Sookie isn’t exactly making it hard for people not to insult her.

Anyway, since my article on him already came out today, I thought it would be great to put up the full transcript of the interview with him. A lot of stuff got cut out of the article because of space constraints, so here’s a chance to read about everything we talked about!

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Ronreads interview: Samantha Sotto

The insane amount of people at the launch of 'Before Ever After'.

This interview should have gone up last Saturday, when my article on her finally went up. But since FAILDT had other plans for my internet connection, I’m only getting to put this up today.

I actually got to interview Samantha Sotto about a week before, and I have to say that it was one of the more stress-free author interviews I’ve ever done in a while. She is just a big nerd in the best sense of the word and is totally down-to-earth to boot.

I still haven’t finished reading “Before Ever After” I’ve had a busy week!, but so far I’m still having fun with it. Almost as much fun as I had interviewing Samantha!

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Ronreads interview: Lauren Kate

The sizeable crowd at the Lauren Kate event at Glorietta 5

Now that my article on Lauren Kate has come out, I’m free to talk about how this particular interview went, especially when compared to the festival of awkward that was last year’s interview.

For one thing, Lauren was in incredibly high spirits when she sat down for this interview. Not that she wasn’t last year — she was incredibly gracious and fun — but this year it seemed she was even more gracious and fun. It was great because it immediately put me at ease; for some reason I am not rattled when interviewing politicians, but authors always make me feel like I’m on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Not that I wasn’t awkward. Throughout the interview, I kept on banging my chair against a window, and spent about several minutes trying desperately to open a shrink-wrapped copy of “Passion” for Lauren to sign. I think at one point my flailing resulted in a pencil flying off the desk to her bemusement. Hopefully.

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Ronreads interview: Gerry Alanguilan

Another thing that Gerry Alanguilan is famous for.

Anybody who follows the comic book scene here in the country probably already knows that our very own Gerry Alanguilan was recently awarded the Prix Asie-ACBD 2011 for “Elmer”, which tells the story of a world where chickens have become sentient and are now fighting for equal rights with humans.

Even before winning the Prix Asie-ACBD, “Elmer” was already garnering acclaim, earning an Eisner Award nomination, probably the highest honor awarded to comic books.

This new set of honors is only the latest for the popular Marvel inker, who has worked on such titles as the “X-Men”, “Wolverine”, and “Fantastic Four” and who has come out with critically-acclaimed local works like “Wasted”, “Timawa”, and “Humanis Rex”.

I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions for an article that came out last week, and under the cut is the full transcript of the interview, with some answers that never made it to the final copy.

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