What Can a Writing Mentorship Teach You?

What Can a Writing Mentorship Teach You?

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I’m excited to guest post for YA Interrobang today! I talk about what I learned from my Writing in the Margins mentorship. Go here to check it out.

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Work in progress: update!

Work in progress: update!

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As you may or may not know from following this blog I’ve been working on my young adult novel, The Other Side of the World off and on since 2015 (June 27, 2015 to be exact – I checked Microsoft Word). That’s approaching three years, people! During that time I almost gave up on the project, but am happy to report it has found life again. I recently completed the Writing in the Margins mentorship which really kicked my butt and helped me see the manuscript in a new way. I did some major rewrites and am now on the hunt for a literary agent.

You can read the full description of the project here. The novel has changed a ton and I’m happy to report it features a biracial main character (half Filipino, half white) like me 🙂

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What I’m Reading, Writing, and Watching This Month

What I’m Reading, Writing, and Watching This Month

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I haven’t done one of these updates in a loooong time. But here we go 🙂

What I’m Reading:

  • The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly. Just finished this MG novel the other day and WOW. I am impressed. Granted, I have a Filipino parent like the author does so I relate on a special level but still. Solid writing and an engaging plot about two Filipina sisters and their evil stepmother.
  • You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon. Not sure what it is with me and novels about Huntington’s disease (for another great one check out Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern), but this book is excellent. Two sisters are about to find out if they have the disease or not. And one of them is kinda evil, the kind of character you love to hate. All in all a great read.

What I’m Writing:

What I’m Watching:

  • The Greatest Showman. My god if you love musicals you need to check this out. The score is great. The cast is great. My sister and I bought the soundtrack right after seeing the movie. Plus Hugh Jackman. What’s not to like?
  • The Resident, Fox’s new medical show. Since ER went off the air (yes, I’m aging myself LOL) I have been dying for a great medical show to take its place. I hope The Resident lasts because I think it has a shot at taking the title. From hospital romance to the greed of insurance corporations this show has it all.

What are you reading, writing, or watching this month? Share in the comments.

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Where are all the Filipinos in books?

Where are all the Filipinos in books?

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I got the idea for this post from my new book blogger acquaintance, Kester. Kester is part of a team who runs Lil Book Lovers. Go check it out.

Anyhow, Kester is Filipino like me (full disclosure: I’m only half Filipino, and for those keeping track – half Filipino/half white characters are even rarer in books) and mentioned he doesn’t come across many books that feature Filipinos. I don’t either.

One of the reasons I made Ronnie, Thompson’s best friend in my YA novel One Night, Filipino was because of the lack of Filipino representation in fiction. According to census reports Filipinos are the second largest Asian group in the United States. There are over 100 million Filipinos in the Philippines and an estimated 10 million throughout the rest of the world. To which I say, why aren’t there more Filipino characters in books?

Looking at Goodreads’ list of Filipino writers there are twenty-one books listed. There are twelve listings for YA novels set in the Philippines. That’s one reason I set my project, The Other Side of the World, there. A Guardian article from 2015 features Filipino author Candy Gourlay. Her books are great by the way, check them out. The headline of the article is: Growing up I thought Filipinos weren’t allowed to be in books. I would argue that some kids today probably share that sentiment. For the amount of Filipinos in the world they don’t pop up in U.S. literature that often.

What’s the solution? Publishers need to give more Filipino authors a chance and readers need to spread the word about books with Filipino characters by leaving reviews online and telling their friends and others who like to read.

What about you? Any suggestions for getting more Filipino characters into books? What books have you read that feature Filipino characters? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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P.S. Besides Candy Gourlay other great MG and YA authors who feature Filipinos in books are Erin Entrada Kelly and Melissa de la Cruz.

 

What I’m reading, writing, and watching this month

What I’m reading, writing, and watching this month

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Okay friends, it’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this. My apologies.

What I’m reading:

  • House of Bradbury by Nicole Meier. It’s women’s fiction about a woman who buys Ray Bradbury’s old house in southern California. It’s a great read and can I give a shout out to Nicole here who graciously answered some questions for me recently about her publishing experience! Such a lovely person.
  • My Beautiful Life by Mina Dobic, a true story about a woman who cured her cancer by eating a macrobiotic diet. Fascinating. Thanks, hubby for the book recommendation!
  • Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum, contemporary YA about a girl who’s forced to live with her stepmother across the country. Just got this for Kindle on sale for $1.99.

What I’m writing:

What I’m watching:

  • We are binge watching Caribbean Life at my house. It is one of my greatest ambitions in life to live by the ocean one day. When I’m by the ocean I feel like I’m home!
  • I am sad and relieved that the first season of This is Us is over. Tuesday night has been my weekly cry session since this show started. I think it’s because the show feels too much like real life!
Five things you need to know know about One Night

Five things you need to know know about One Night

To celebrate One Night’s release I wanted to tell you five things you need to know about the novel.

  1. If you’re tired of all-white casts in YA this is a great book for you. As Portland Book Review states, “There are plenty characters of color which does not happen often in YA lit.”
  2. If you’re tired of books set in New York, Chicago, or L.A. this is a good book for you. One Night is set in Honolulu which is one of the best destinations in the world in my humble opinion.
  3. If you love music, especially old music, this is a great book for you. One Night has a lot of Elvis references that allude to his music and acting career. Even if you hate Elvis it might make you a convert.
  4. If you are tired of the absent/crappy parent trope in YA this is a good book for you. Parents aren’t perfect, but I think there are quite a few of them out there who are trying their best – a lot of current YA doesn’t depict this, but One Night does.
  5. If you still aren’t ready to buy One Night, you can try the first chapter free when you sign up for my email list.

Release day post

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