My Ideal Book Conference

August 21, 2017 at 9:48 PM | Posted in Books, Writing | Leave a comment
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Are you a bibliophile? Have you ever gone to book launches by your favorite authors and lined up for hours just to get an autograph? How would you react if you meet your favorite author in person?

I was lucky enough to meet my favorite local author Jessica Zafra years ago. I used to work for a company before and we had to organize a book launch for her latest book. Of course as a fan, I was excited – and also nervous. I admired her for years and loved her writing. I have her Twisted book series in my collection. It would be my first time to see her in person. And so I did. It was a thrilling experience.

Unfortunately, since I was part of the team that organized the book launch, I wasn’t able to get an autograph from her. I remember being caught up in a flurry of activities during that time, basically just making sure that the launch ran smoothly. I didn’t even get to thoroughly enjoy watching her read passages from her new book nor was I able to fully listen to the Q & A portion where she answered questions from the fans. I was backstage most of the time. The opportunity to come up to her and ask for an autograph didn’t happen.

All the same, that was still an enjoyable experience for me. It’s rare that you get to meet your favorite author in person, much less organize a book launch for them.

Wouldn’t it be nice, though, to see your favorite authors gather in one roof? If I were given the opportunity to plan a book event myself, it would be a gathering of authors, editors and publishers. I think it would be interesting to have a mix of experts in the industry as part of the conference so that the learning is not limited to the field of writing only.

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For the panel, I would imagine my favorite authors to be part of it. It would be awesome to see Anne Rice there in the panel. I know she often gives writing tips on her Facebook page but I think seeing her talk in person would be an immersive experience. It would also be interesting to see Neil Gaiman talk about his writing process, especially when he’s writing the TV or movie adaptation of his books.

Gaiman has already been in Manila twice but back then, I never read any of his books or comics and wasn’t a fan. But I heard he was super nice to his local fans. Now that I’ve read some of his books, I’ve become a fan. If he ever comes back to Manila, I would definitely want to meet him in person.

As a book writer wannabe myself, I know there is much to learn when it comes to publishing your work. That’s why my ideal panel for a book conference would involve editors from major and independent publishers. It would be good to hear tips from them on their editing process, or how they pick fresh material to publish, what kind of stories they think readers would want to read, etc.

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I’m particularly interested to hear people from Quirk Books. I think they attracted quite an attention with their Quirk Classics line. Did they ruin the classics by injecting humor and horror into them? How did that idea of reimagining the classics come about?

My ideal book conference would be in a casual and informal setting. I think it would be great to have a Mad Hatters Tea Party as a theme for the conference. Imagine authors and editors sitting next to fans and interacting with them at a long and lavish table in an al fresco setting. I think that would be more fun and lively than the usual traditional conference set up. Throw in other notable authors like Pablo Neruda or Umberto Eco (yes, I know they’re dead but they can always appear as ghosts!) in that panel and you have an interesting mix of people. And who would be perfect as moderator in the panel than the Mad Hatter himself? I think he can share his nonsense poems and riddles with the authors.

Of course, these are all just wishful thinking. I’ve had enough experience organizing corporate events myself and some conferences can be pretty boring. This imagined book conference would be my take on how I would want an interesting event to go.

Organizing events can be fun but it can be stressful too. It’s a good thing that there are helpful online tools out there such as Eventbrite that make an event planner’s life easier. And there’s nothing more satisfying than to see your events turn out to be as successful as you hope they would be.


One After the Other

February 14, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Posted in Books, Musings | Leave a comment
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Currently reading two books now – Sylvia Plath’s Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams and Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before. I started reading Johnny Panic last month but it gradually bored me. Plath kept talking about the mundane (her domestic life, her childhood memories, etc.) and I have yet to like any of her stories. I eventually decided to put the book down unfinished and proceeded to read The Island of the Day Before. Now this I’m liking so far. Spent a few hours of my free time last weekend poring over it at the rooftop of my apartment building, where I found my new little corner of the earth. I enjoy hanging out there, especially during these humid days. I find myself spending more and more of my free time at home there just enjoying the cool breeze, gazing at the clouds and the city skyline, and reading a book.

XOXO, Gossip Girl

February 13, 2008 at 11:48 AM | Posted in Books, TV | Leave a comment
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The local airing of Gossip Girl finally premiered last night on ETC channel. I must admit I was curious about this show so I tuned in last night to see if it’s any good. I’ve never ready any book of the Gossip Girl series so I had no idea how the story goes. But according to the fans of the book series, the TV version of Gossip Girl still has the same characters but the stories have changed — to what extent I really don’t know.




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Anyway, I found the show entertaining. It reminded me a bit of Sex and the City (the book not the TV show) as it has a narrator who gives the low-down on the latest juicy gossip about the well-known characters (in the case of Gossip Girl, the narrator is an anonymous blogger who dishes out rumors about the prominent students of an exclusive prep school on her blog aptly named Gossip Girl).

The show’s two lead stars, Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, fit the the roles perfectly — with Blake playing the “it” girl Serena and Leighton as her best friend (more like frenemy) Blair. I love the classic, elegant beauty of Leighton. I like watching her face, especially the way she talks. Blake, though beautiful, looks like the typical blonde.

Gossip Girl is a promising new show and from the looks of it, I predict it will stay longer on air than the short-lived The OC.

How Embarrassing for Penguin Books

July 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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You would think that a big publishing company that publishes classic novels would instantly spot a plagiarized work of one of the world’s best known English authors. But apparently, this was not the case.

Penguin Books and several other publishers failed to recognize that the manuscript recently submitted to them by a certain David Lassman contained Jane Austen’s most famous line in her classic novel, Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

The Guardian newspaper reported that Lassman, who is the chief of the Bath-based
Jane Austen Festival, intentionally submitted the manuscript to check if the famous author could have landed a book deal nowadays. The said manuscript contained thinly disguised portions of Jane Austen’s three famous works including the famous line from Pride and Prejudice (Read the full story here.).

How could the major publishing houses missed this? The editors who reviewed the manuscript must have been so embarrassed by this error. It is laughable indeed! Austen’s most famous line was blatantly plagiarized and they didn’t even notice it! And I’m amazed that even J.K. Rowling’s literary agents were not able to recognize the plagiarized work!

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