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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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