My name is Georgette. Many know me also as Edith Joaquin of My Special Valentine Tagalog romance pocketbooks. ^_^ I’m a Filipina residing in the United States (California).
Before I went into novel writing, I worked as a marketing and public relations executive. spent about ten years in the field beginning as a public relations secretary with a production and public relations company called Maxi-Media International (1995-96). I left after a year and a half to be a freelance writer, working with a friend who’s also a PR freelancer. In 1998, I was employed at BMG Records (Pilipinas), Inc. adding marketing on to my professional experience. Much later, after a fruitful three and a half years working with the known and sought-after artists like The Eraserheads, Lea Salonga, Ariel Rivera, Rivermaya, The CompanY, and more, a brief stint (like less than a year) with a multinational insurance company that really put me in a different world from what I’m used to (corporatey stiff, you know?). And then, I was with PETA.
PETA, the theater company, not the animal rights group. 😀
Yep, all those years, I honed my capabilities in business writing, technical writing, profiles, news articles. I dabbled a bit in poetry and short stories but well, those were more wildmind offsprings than anything.
One time in early 2003, bff Queng (recognized by avid Tagalog romance novel enthusiasts as Carla Giopaolo of MSV and Angel Bautista of PHR), in our search for something lucrative but not too demanding, suggested we go into novel writing.
“We’re both writers,” sabi niya, “why don’t we try this? How difficult can it be?”
She had a point there. I agreed. I had two bookshelves full of Mills & Boon romances, hundreds of plot ideas we could learn from and adapt in Philippine setting.
Our first move, though, was to buy plenty of Tagalog romance books to see the format, get a feel of the tone, see the guidelines for submitting manuscripts. I don’t remember anymore whose book it was I read. Neither could I recall the story. What I remember was my reaction after reading.
Magaling pa ako diyan sumulat, eh. [insert extremely smug smile here]
So, we began writing. It was difficult at the time as I didn’t have a laptop of my own and just had to wait my turn to use the PC (both at home and at work, err… when we’re not busy). I had a small notebook where I would write down thoughts, conversation pieces, possible scenes, not necessarily in chronological order but something for me to put together later on. After a few months of working, I finished my first novella which, fortunately, was approved on the first submission.
It had been years since that first try. I went through countless rejections, revisions, tears, depression. Almost lost faith that I actually had any talent. But here I am. Still writing, still trying. I overcame the difficulties and the heartache of a wannabe novelist. I learned from the rejected novels and became better in developing stories. Thankfully, I have been able to cultivate a following who do love my work. So now, I can proudly say…
Am a romance writer.
Leave me a comment, or email me at jette1013[at]yahoo[dot]com.
EJ on Illustrado Magazine
EJ on HerWord
EJ by friend and colleague Reev Robledo on reevwrites
on EJ and Tagalog Romance by friend, artist Aiken Quipot