Now, as for this week's topic - this may come as a surprise to some of you, but I wasn't born knowing I wanted to write a book. Nor did it come to me as an epiphany - I didn't just wake up one day and knew that I wanted to write. I started reading at an early age because I was prohibited from playing toys at an early age. Also, I've always been an introvert and rather than ask other kids to play with me, I was good with just reading.
Most of the books we had at home back then were educational - Childcraft, Discovery books, encyclopedia for kids and adults (oh boy, you should have heard me beg my mom to buy the Grolier Encyclopedia set. We couldn't afford Britannica back then :D).
I enjoyed reading those books a lot - I devoured them every day, but I never got the feeling I wanted to write something like it.
About fourth grade I started reading fiction. Fifth grade, my group of friends had this idea of passing around a notebook where we wrote fictionalized versions of our lives. I was too shy to write my part, so another classmate wrote it for me. Sixth grade, however, I gave it a try and I found out that I liked it. I haven't stopped writing since then.
As for wanting to write an actual book? I hadn't even considered it. Back when I was in high school, there weren't any romance novels written in English by Filipino authors. There were Tagalog ones, but I'm really sorry to say this but I struggled to relate to them. I was okay with Filipino or Taglish for dialogue but not for the narrative - not for the rest of the book.
When I was in college, I accidentally stumbled upon books by Katrina Ramos Atienza from Psicom and Summit's Breakup Diaries and Drama Queen. I was so surprised that there were books like theirs and that's when I had the idea - hey, I could write something like that, too!
So I unearthed the story I wrote when I was eighteen, polished it, printed the full ms then queried PSICOM with it. Ta-da! My first book deal here in PH. And so far - the last.
I would never have thought it was possible to write a book for international readers until I read and watched Twilight. I loved that book - that series, mostly because I was thinking all the time, I could create characters like this. I would love to create characters like this. And that was that. What followed was a tumultuous journey into publishing, but eventually I found my way home. A place where I really belonged: indie publishing.