Responding to the Filipino ReaderCon invitation to share thoughts, am doing the second week’s discussion/sharing point:
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?
Before I went into any kind of writing, I must admit I wasn’t really much of a reader. Not until I was, I think, in my late teens. I didn’t think nor dream of writing although I loved to imagine, and sometimes even play out (secretly, when I was alone) dialogues the protagonists would have exchanged had the heroine been me. 😉
I loved reading contemporary pieces, mostly in English. Romance, definitely, as I matured surrounded by an aunt’s massive collection of Mills And Boon. I liked comics too. Then I got introduced to Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, Richard Bach, Erich Segal, mystery-thriller writers. I wasn’t (still am) very appreciative of classics.
I went into the Tagalog romance publishing industry out of financial need, really, and without any sort of plan. Then, I had become quite an accomplished public relations person, designing publicity campaigns and churning out article after article that were mostly features or profiles. But of course, writing as a publicist is different from writing stories.
I didn’t know what to expect when I began composing my prose. I’d never written anything longer than essays and my articles before but like my friend said, a writer is a writer and we had nothing to lose by trying.
So I wrote, and submitted to a publisher (Bookware, which publishes My Special Valentine), got accepted, next few tries got rejected, tried again and again until I got the hang of the formula. And from my 6th approved manuscript onward, there had been no more rejections.
I’d been able to publish 30 novellas from that first try in 2003. I hope to be able to publish more, still through Bookware, and hopefully, I hope to venture into English publications and wider genres that include mystery thrillers, military espionage and gothic fantasy.