Mahirap maging maganda.
It sucks to be beautiful.
- Diary ng Panget -
Diary of an Ugly Girl
1We have a lot of international readers who might get to read your interview and would love to know more about Diary ng Panget (roughly translates to Diary of an Ugly Girl). Could you give us a blurb for it?
Hello! Thanks for the interview! Diary ng Panget is a light rom-com novel about a girl who thinks she's ugly, it's one of those cliché stories about an ugly girl meeting a hot and rich boy. It's really a very simple story but I think what really caught a lot of people's attention is its "humour" and it's a book that's very relatable to teens having confidence issues.
Ooh! Just that one line has me hooked. No wonder your book's super popular! Now, I love how your writing career skyrocketed from Wattpad, but it's best I leave the honor of talking about your path to publication to you. Could you let us know when / how you started writing and how you eventually found yourself published?
I started writing when I was 13 on a used school notebook then when I was in 3rd yr high school, a friend of mine introduced me to online writing. I wrote in various forums and sites, using different usernames and then I somehow landed in a website called Wattpad, I registered there and posted Diary ng Panget and other stories of mine. I received an email from PSICOM publishing last 2012 inviting me to publish Diary ng Panget and that's it!
So I've just started reading Diary ng Panget - one thing I can say for sure - you write in Filipino amazingly well for someone who's living and studying in Italy! Why did you choose to write in Filipino and not English?
Thank you for reading! Well yeah, a lot of people are asking me how I can still write in straight Tagalog when I'm already living in Italy and I'm just like "Why? Just because I went abroad, I should already forget my own language? Dr. Jose Rizal will not approve that!" Even though I'm already having problems with Filipino grammar and using Google translator just to remember a few Filipino words I still try my best to write in Filipino, I feel comfortable with it. I don't really like writing in English, my grammar in English is bad and I don't know how to express myself in English, I rarely speak and write in English. It's either Filipino or Italian.
Any chances of Diary ng Panget being translated to English so that non-Filipino readers could enjoy it as well?
I don't know because Diary ng Panget has the Pinoy humour in it so I don't really have any idea how it will turn out in English version. I will bet on my other stories like Voiceless and She Died to be translated in English.
Now, about the sequel...personally, I hate writing sequels because readers' expectations can be so tremendously high. But maybe that's just me. How was it writing the sequel? When will it be out? And maybe you can share with us even the shortest teaser from Book 2?
Well, book 2 is just really the continuation of book 1, it's the whole story cut into series because if the whole online story is published in only 1 book, it will be thick and very expensive. We thought that maybe we can cut it into series and release a book per month so it'll be less expensive and my teen readers (who are only hoping to buy the book from their school allowance) will have a month to save up for the next book. Diary ng Panget book 2 will be out by late June or 1st week of July, same price with book 1 (150php) and it'll also be available in bookstores nationwide.
Last question - what are your future goals? Any new books coming out after the sequel?
Future goals? Ahh, I don't know, I only know that I have to finish school and find myself a good job after. :P
Yes, my online story She Died will be having a manga adaptation. I am collaborating with Filipina mangaka Enjelicious (who has already published other Filipino manga). Our target date of release is September, our target book price is 150php (not really sure, but hoping) It'll also be available in bookstores nationwide. :)
Denny is a 19-year-old Filipino author currently studying in Italy. Diary ng Panget, her debut novel, started as a story on Wattpad. You can learn more about her at her site.
Other ways to keep in touch with Denny: Author Page and Book Page on Facebook, Wattpad, Twitter, and email at firstname.lastname@example.org