Sunday, November 2, 2014

Filipino Friday 2014 #2: Have You Ever Wanted to Write a Book?

Catching up on some blog posts. I'm beginning with Filipino Friday #2 that was scheduled last October 24, 2014.
  • As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfil this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?
My desire to write my own books began in high school. I read S.E. Hinton and Judy Blume and dreamed of putting into words my own stories, getting published and seeing my name after the "by" line. It didn't happen until 2011 when a book I co-authored with Dianne de Las Casas was published, Tales of the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories, by ABC CLIO in the US. It is not a novel for young adult, but a collection of folk tales. The proposal for the book project came in 2009 after my traumatic experience with Ondoy The book and my experience of writing this along side Dianne de Las Casas is a given grace. I am forever grateful.

By 2013 and 2014, I have published two illustrated storybooks under Lampara Books: Tale of Two Dreams with Bernadette Solina Wolf, My Daddy, My One and Only with Jomike Tejido and Dear Nanay with Liza Flores. Last September, Lampara Books launched my first series for early readers, Start Right Reading Series, Kindergarten Level. Again, I collaborated with Bernadette Wolf on the illustrations and design of the series.

My journey from reader to writer is a long one. I think the journey will never end. Readers will forever read. Writers will always write. The reading and writing connection continues. I have to thank my friends in KUTING (Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting) for accompanying me in the journey.  Other than my writer friends, I remember with fondness the critiquing sessions I spent with the LitCritters, a group of working writers led by Dean Francis Alfar. Writing may be an isolated act, but it should be a social and cultural endeavor as well.

I suppose it is the same with reading. When we talk about the books we read, we develop a deeper understanding of the reading experience.

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