Gayle Forman in Manila

Author Photo - Gayle Forman[1]

This weekend, I had the privilege of meeting New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman, who was on her Philippine tour.

Gayle Forman is the author of the critically acclaimed “If I Stay” and its sequel “Where She Went,” and a second duet of novels, “Just One Day” and “Just One Year.”

“If I Stay” features Mia, a seveteen year old with a happy family, the boy of her dreams, and a promising future in music when tragic accident strikes. Mia finds herself caught in the in-between, contemplating the choice between life and death. The story continues in “Where She Went,” told from the point of view of Mia’s boyfriend Adam who grapples with life in the aftermath.

In “Just One Day” good girl Allyson Healey is on the last day of her European tour when she meets Dutch street actor Willem and goes with him on a whirlwind tour of Paris, twenty-four hours that irrevocably change Allyson’s life. The companion novel, “Just One Year” chronicles how their Paris interlude affects Willem in turn.

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Manila Noir (Part 2)

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After the interview with Jessica Hagedorn, I headed over to the National Book Store flagship in Glorietta 1 for the “Manila Noir” launch.

Luckily, we got there early, as a huge crowd turned out for the launch that afternoon. Not only did the event showcase “Manila Noir” editor Jessica Hagedorn; a good number of contributors also graced the event, including Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Jose Dalisay, Lourd de Veyra, Angelo Lacuesta, and R. Zamora Linmark.

As promised, here’s Part 2 of my Manila Noir reportage:

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Jessica Hagedorn on Manila Noir (Part 1)

Book Cover - Manila Noir

I’d been looking forward to the launch of the anthology, “Manila Noir” for weeks, not only because I enjoyed reading the book, but also because a good number of the contributors were slated to appear, and it was a rare opportunity for a spectacular gathering of Filipino writers.

“Manila Noir” is a collection of stories depicting the city as an ideal setting for the noir genre. It is one volume of Akashic Books’ Noir series, an acclaimed series of original noir anthologies set in different cities all over the world, locally published by Anvil Publishing. “Manila Noir” is edited by Jessica Hagedorn, with stories by Lourd de Veyra, F.H. Batacan, Angelo Lacuesta, Jose Dalisay, R. Zamora Linmark, Lysley Tenorio, Rosario Cruz-Lucero, Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, Marianne Villanueva, and many more.

Before the launch at the National Book Store flagship in Glorietta 1, though, I had a lovely chat about the book (and other things) with Jessica Hagedorn herself, over at the Writer’s Bar in Raffles Fairmont. Below is a transcript of the interview.

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Peter Lerangis in Manila!

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Forgive me for the unexpected hiatus. This summer has been busier than I anticipated, but there was absolutely no way I would miss Peter Lerangis in Manila!

Peter Lerangis is a prolific author of over a hundred books, including three (and a quarter) books in Scholastic 39 Clues series, “The Sword Thief” (my personal favorite), “The Viper’s Nest,” one story in “Vespers Rising” (with other stories written with Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, and Jude Watson), and “Dead of Night.” His new series, “The Seven Wonders,” ties in the Atlantis legend with the seven ancient wonders of the world, starting with “The Colossus Rises” and a second book, “Lost in Babylon” due out later this year.

What I found most interesting (and the cause of my excitement), is that before Peter Lerangis broke out on his own, he ghostwrote for many series for young readers — all the books I grew up on, in fact! —┬áThe Three Investigators (my all-time favorite kid detective series) Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley Twins, and The Babysitters Club!

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Meeting Andy Mulligan

I am so glad it stopped raining last Tuesday, because I got to attend the launch of “Trash” by Andy Mulligan at National Book Store Glorietta 5. I came from work so by the time I got there, a bevy of eager fans were already queued up to get their books signed so I was able to browse through the book while waiting for my turn.

Less than an hour later, I got to meet Andy Mulligan himself, and we were able to chat a bit about his latest novel “Trash,” a young adult novel loosely based on the Philippines, an adventure story featuring three dumpsite boys.

Check out what he has to say about the book!

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