Thursday, January 20, 2011

Karen says Thanks!

It was December 14, 2009 when i got solid confirmation that Naermyth was going to be in print. Though I've been in contact with Nida, Visprint's wonderful editor, since May the same year,  December 14 was the day she sent me an email with news that Naermyth was going to be mentioned in the Sunday Inquirer magazine. Having told my mother, I woke up Sunday morning with her singsong, soprano announcement "It's here!", and groggily watched her as she chacha-ed to my bed. (if you want to check out the article "Booked in Advanced by Ruel De Vera, click here). Reading through it (shamefully skimming through the paragraphs without the capital "N" in it), I spotted my one sentence debut. It was one sentence, but it told me that Naermyth was going to be published. The word was out there, with millions of Inquirer readers witness to it, and there's was no going back.

So i want to thank Visprint, Nida, Mr De Vera for mentioning Naermyth and everybody who worked hard to spear this dream into reality. You gave me this opportunity as you do to all would-be writers out there who just want to tell a story.

I also want to thank my mother - for being the first in the Magazine stalls, pestering the bookstore clerk weeks before the Naermyth's release and hounding every bookstore in the Luzon area. Oh yes, if you happen to find Naermyth on the International Best Seller's table, sitting right on top of a pile of Percy Jackson books, or haphazardly thrown into the display window, be sure that  my mother was behind it. No one's been more supportive than my Mumsy, going so far as to have my little sister distract the guard so she can access the small gap between the glass and the holiday book suggestions. Now that's motherly love! If it was some other gracious  individual who in all spy flourish placed the book knowingly or unwittingly somewhere other than the Philippine Publication section (say, he/she picked up the book, took it around while going over some other titles, and then set the book down somewhere else - maybe the shelves near the door where everybody could see it?), then I thank you too for the exposure! (heee :D  ). But seriously guys! walk through the Phil Lit area (slowly)! Support Filipino authors!

--> and a quick thank you to that adorable little boy who, in an attempt to reach for my book, toppled down the entire wooden shelf. No books were harmed and the boy was on his feet in an instant, unfazed but maybe a bit frazzled. 

At this point, I want to encourage writers out there to go beyond the boundaries of what's already available on the shelves of local fiction. Through high school and college (and many unmentionable years after that), it's always been a quick walk through the local publications, hoping for something other than anthologies, memoirs or history books. They're good reads if you've picked up a book that's really in your niche. But as a reader, i want MORE. VARIETY. FICTION! So I challenge you writers (and myself)! There's a market out there for your work even if it's totally out there, so just keep at it.

What surprises me, though, is that I'm not the only one thinking this. Friends and bloggers  have all lamented that Filipino books are either limited or under exposed. And who is that really up to? Is it because of writers like to play it safe and write books for the genre that usually get published? Or is it because readers don't care for stories made by kababayans? Their books don't sell and therefore don't get as much coverage and good discussion time in reading groups (Maybe I should open this questions up to you guys. Post it on Facebook, eh? Give us your opinion!).

So, the larger portion of my "thankie hugs" goes to the readers. It's 2011, and though it's 21 days too late to offer my gratitude for the blessings of 2010, I want to extend my thanks to everyone who picked up Naermyth, thought it was worth the while and read through it. Thank you for giving this local writer a chance, for talking about it, blogging about it, EVERYTHING.

You know... maybe I do have an answer to that previous paragraph. What makes a book worth something (whether it's for the author, the reader or Tito Bing) is not for the bookstores or the sales to say... it's the tandem of the readers and the story. When those two meet, shake hands and form a relationship, then I know I've done my job....

Till next time!

:D -K


Ivan Bookworm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivan Bookworm said...

You're welcome! I'm one of the readers who bought your book. Thanks for this article and encouraging writer-wanna-be to continue.

Actually, I have a story in my mind, and it's how I found your book. I was reading a novel, just this month, and then a sudden story pop up on my mind. It is a dystopian story. I stopped reading and think about it. I wrote the details I want to recover in the future. Then I searched for a dystopian Filipino book, then your book appear in the searches. I then bought it. I want to write the story but I think I still need time to make the story in my mind.

Thank you for your inspiring words.

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