Hello! I thought it would be a good time to update where to find my books, and writing a post about it forces me to organize my thoughts and put them down so that I know the answer to this myself (lol). Continue Reading
The past few years for me have been the era of the short story. Because the usual novella lengths proved extra challenging to write. And because I’ve had the opportunity to be part of anthology projects and writing prompts that pushed and encouraged me to come out with short kilig work.
I wrote ‘The Right Answer’ from a prompt for serialized fiction, and it was initially published in Philippine Daily Inquirer‘s mobile app, Inquirer Plus. Amazingly too, the story is required reading in teacher Ines Bautista-Yao‘s romance elective. Sounds like a fun class to me.
‘How Can I Help You?’ and ‘You Belong With Me’ were in the Tropetastic Kindness bundle, the RomanceClass initiative for charity.
I had so much fun going back to these stories and writing new epilogues for this book.
‘Yes to You’ is brand new. Recovered from the depths of my files where it had been languishing for years and brought back to life. This one was created out of a prompt too–fake wedding date. I’m super happy I finally got to finish it and share it with you.
More about the stories below:
Forced (thesis) proximity. Fake wedding date. Flirty, younger guy. Sibling’s best friend and the one that got away. No matter the journey and pitfalls, it all leads to happy-ever-after.
The Right Answer
29-year-old Yvonne Manlapas has plans. These include earning her MBA degree, if she could survive the toil and agony of her final paper. These do not include asking 32-year-old overachiever Bram Coronel for help. The young hotel boss seems to be cruising through his degree, which is frustrating for Yvonne to behold.
But plans change and the professor is the one who makes the rules. Forced to spend time with Bram, Yvonne may just find that asking for help is okay and support can go both ways. And smart guy Bram with his cocky, dimpled smile may not be that annoying after all.
Yes to You
28-year-old Jiji Lopez couldn’t have been more thrilled when she received the invitation to her friend’s wedding, if only it didn’t come with the challenge to bring a date. Office heartthrob Ruiz Lorenzo volunteers to her aid—not as a real date, of course. Only as a good work friend going on a nice weekend getaway to beautiful Cebu with her. Because really, what could happen?
How Can I Help You?
When Yael Sicat’s business partner hooks her up with the much younger Jun Constantino, it’s purely for work. She is planning a promposal at Nomnom Commons and he can help. But to her that means music contacts and booking artists. Not roof-deck dinners, mouth-watering food, and gorgeous serenades. Her no-play-at-work rule is solid, and she will not cross the line. Right?
You Belong With Me
Mira Banzon’s older brother promised she could stay the night, but the address he gave her leads to his best friend Johan Antonio’s condo. Just the man she’s long had feelings for, feelings she’s taught herself not to pursue. But could it be that all this time, Johan has felt the same for her too?
More retailers and complete buy links here.
Thank you for supporting Filipino romance authors!
Hey hey my books are nominated for the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 (FRCA). FRCA is back after seven years and it’s super cool to have my books and more RomanceClass titles among the nominees.
Here are my nominated books! You can vote here until September 23, 11:59PM Manila time.
Romance in English
- 13 – Songs of Our Breakup (Playlist #1) (2015)
- 14 – Songs to Get Over You (Playlist #2) (2016)
- 20 – You Out of Nowhere (2017)
- 42 – Songs You Come Back To (Playlist #4) (2020)
More about the books and where to read them in the links.
- 47 – Summer Crush by Jay E. Tria, Six de los Reyes and Tara Frejas (2017)
- 103 – Tropetastic Kindness Bundle by Ana Tejano, Angel C. Aquino, Angeli E. Dumatol, Ines Bautista-Yao, Mina V. Esguerra, Bianca Mori, Carla de Guzman, Dawn Lanuza, C. P. Santi, Suzette de Borja, Jay E. Tria, Katt Briones, Georgette S. Gonzales, Celestine Trinidad, Chris Mariano, (Mina V. Esguerra, 2021)
- You can read my story on Wattpad.
You can find the full list of nominees here. Go go vote for your faves and support Filipino authors!
Reminder that voting is only until September 23, 11:59PM Manila time 🙂
Hellooo first post of 2022 and first post in a while (wew). Definitely long overdue. Just like this book!
I first started writing Love To Meet You in 2019, finished the first draft quickly by October 2019, and then surprise, a pandemic. It’s been struggs city ever since, and really really slow going, but I’m surrounded by people who love to create and who choose to create despite unprecedented dark, trying times. I’m grateful for the continued push of accountability buddies (always RomanceClass!), and now we have this book.
At 33, career woman Sol Trinidad wasn’t really looking for anything other than a fun evening when she attended the fan meet of hot Korean celebrity Nam Jihun. She certainly wasn’t expecting to get up close and personal with the actor—like rolling-in-the-sheets-until-dawn personal. It was just one night after all. She will never see him again and he’ll forget about her soon enough. Right?
Manila was supposed to be just one of the many cities in 30-year old Nam Jihun’s work itinerary. Just like in any other city, he was excited to greet his fans. Then he met Sol, someone who had a knack for throwing all his expectations out the window. Romance wasn’t in his schedule, but he wants to keep seeing her again, if only she and his celebrity trappings would let him.
This book is fan-meet meet cute, noona romance where noona is a Filipina chocolate sales executive and the younger man is a hot, fast-rising Korean celebrity. There’s travel and city-hopping landian across Metro Manila, Seoul, and Sydney.
I daresay you will like this book if you like Korean dramas, competence porn (women who excel!), travel, oh, and a bit of heat. This book is level 3 according to RomanceClass Heat Levels.
Cover design by Tania Arpa with background art by Miles Tan. Cover photography by Alexandra Urrea featuring Mela Serranilla and Dae Lee. Thanks to Mina V Esguerra for the cover models. Book layout by Carla De Guzman.
Edited by Layla Tanjutco, with beta reading by KB Meniado and Katt Briones.
In print soon!
May I suggest a walking tour of Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, South Korea, and a relevant HONNE song before you go 🙂
Episode 4 of the RomanceClass Podcast got us talking about K-ent influences in our books and it was just one of those conversations that could go for days. So much fun and just so much to talk about. Super thrilled to have been part of this panel.
If you missed it, it’s up on RomanceClass YouTube and will be in your favorite podcast places soon.
Sharing my notes and some additional thoughts that came after (because 2 hours to talk about Kdramas and Kpop, clearly not enough):
- Origin story. My first K-ent consumption was the movie My Sassy Girl, got into the angsty Kdramas (Spring Waltz, Endless Love, Winter Sonata), finally landing on early romcom faves (Full House, My Girl).
- Influence in writing. Competent leads, soft boys, found family! Kdramas are really great at writing squads and squad dynamics, which I enjoy writing as well. Also small moments that, as author Chris Mariano said in the chat, made the grand gestures feel deserved.
- “Fixing” things seen in Kdrama in your writing. No wrist grabs, no toxic alpha leads, no love corners. Definitely no truck of doom and no inexplicable plot devices, i.e. sudden death/illness/horrific past reveal/horrific turn of events.
- Favorite actors/actresses influencing characters you’ve written so far? Wrote books pegged on Park Seojun x Park Minyoung, Lee Minho x Kim Goeun (books coming up!), and Jo Jungseok x Jeon Mido (You Belong With Me from the Tropetastic Kindness Bundle).
- Recommend a KDrama. Let me drop a few faves: Hospital Playlist, The King: Eternal Monarch, Healer. We’re watching Vincenzo now and so far it’s amazing! *lighter emoji*
- Origin story. Sister 1 was a fan of Super Junior, Sorry Sorry era and needed a concert buddy which is automatically me. I came in not knowing anyone, experienced ‘why are there so many cute boys’ panic, and came out a stan.
- Sister 2 was a fan of SHINee and made me watch the Ring Ding Dong MV. I remember asking wtf is ‘rocka rocka fantastic fantastic elastic elastic’ until I saw Taemin drinking milk and my heart went ‘mom, I love him.’ I also loved Onew’s voice (thought he was the maknae) so it was OnTae from the start for me. Kind of slipped away 2013 thereabouts and came back late 2017 which is a painful time to come back 🙁 but am glad to be here.
- Influence in writing. One of the hooks of idols for me is how they seem to bare their souls to their fans, and it’s refreshing specially coming from mainstream alpha males with communication issues and mangst. Kpop idols openly tell you their dreams, their struggles, how they approach sadness and happiness, and it informs how I write my fictional boys, at the very least how they process and communicate their emotions.
- Will you ever be too old to be influenced by KPop? Never. I need them even more these days.
- Case in point: SHINee’s comeback in the midst of this pandemic is a much needed space for joy and grief, literally keeping me sane and alive.
- Fun observation: Watching Taemin in Nagoya, I met some lovely J Shawols who were in their 40s thereabouts, and they were asking me how many more stops in the tour I was attending. Made me think how wonderful it is to grow old with your idols, and how growing old with them means you have less fucks to give and more money to spend on concerts and merch.
Hope you’re enjoying our panels as much as we are! Catch up on YouTube, Spotify and all other places you get your podcasts.
Episode 1. Tropetastic Kindness Bundle Launch
Episode 2. Rockstars!
Episode 3. Fanfic
Episode 4. Our Kpop/Kdrama Influences
Episode 5. Fancasting Our Books
RomanceClass podcast is produced by Mina V. Esguerra and Tania Arpa. This episode was hosted by Tara Frejas, with panel composed by me, Chi Yu Rodriguez, Tara Frejas, Katt Briones, Six de los Reyes, and Danice Mae P. Sison.
Listen to the #RomanceClass Podcast everywhere fine podcasts are available.
Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on upcoming shows: https://romancepodcast.com/kilig
We wrote happy endings for charity! <3 The Tropetastic Kindness Bundle is available on Gumroad until April 14, for $5 or the price you set.
It started with talk of what if there was one condo (thank you Carla de Guzman), and what if we let the Roleta of Fate choose our tropes (thank you Dawn Lanuza), with visual guidance of a proper floor plan (hail, CP Santi!) and viola, the Tropetastic Kindness Bundle is born.
15 Filipino authors and 15 short stories of romance, set in a fictional condominium building in Ortigas. The roleta gave me enemies to lovers (also known as the Six de los Reyes special), which turned out to be un-write-able at present. I thank the love and friendship of Ines Bautista-Yao for willingly swapping her sibling’s best friend trope, hence I was able to meet the funlines with my story contribution.
You Belong With Me (Heat Level 3) is about 33-year old Mira Banzon, recently home and “retired” after years of working in Dubai. She asked her kuya for a place to stay the night in the city but somehow ended up at the door of Johan Antonio, her kuya’s best friend. The same man she may have had feelings for since way back, feelings she’d decided not to pursue. But what if he felt the same way about her too?
Writing in these pandemic times have been weird such that I am only able to write in response to an overflow of K-drama feelings. The brick wall comes after the first draft though. Energy to revise and finish the work has been non-existent.
For this story, the trigger was Hospital Playlist, and the muse was the Ikjun-Songhwa ship that is yet to sail. The difference this time is this is a project with friends, for a good cause, and there were funlines to meet. I respond to due dates (no one is surprised), and I am grateful to the RomanceClass community for helping me push a completed work out there.
If you’ve purchased our bundle (thank you!), you’d have gotten an email on our first payout and the charities we were able to support. If you haven’t picked up our stories yet, The Tropetastic Kindness Bundle is available on Gumroad only until April 14, for $5 or the price you set.
ICYMI: Season 4 of the RomanceClass podcast premiered with the Tropetastic Kindness Bundle launch. Catch the episode on the RomanceClass YouTube and Spotify.