Sunday, March 16, 2014

            I’m home and the feeling is surreal. This weekend has been a dream. I can attest to the fact that one of the best experiences in an author’s life is a book launch/signing. The positive energy alone fills you up with so much love.

            As writers, by virtue of our chosen career, we often become isolated from others. The bulk of what we do is behind closed doors. But, once in a while, we get a gem of an opportunity to interact with what should be some of the most important people in our lives: our readers. They are what truly bring our stories to life. Their devotion to our characters and the worlds we’ve built is unparalleled.

            March 15, 2014 will forever live in my memory as one of the best days of my life. Leading up to this day, I was nervous. Thoughts like “what if nobody comes” plagued the already cluttered spaces of my head. But by Friday, my nervousness was replaced by giddy excitement. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that it’s taken seeing my book on the shelves of a bookstore to really drive in the fact that I’m a published author. I take ownership of this now.

            My Saturday started early with preparations for the event. I won’t bore you with details of hair and makeup, although I do have to thank Lita from Bench Fix in Glorietta 4 for all her help. If you ever need someone to fix you up, look for her.

            I arrived at the venue at a little before 3pm for an interview with Kaye Robles from Candy Magazine. Til Death will be featured in their June issue so make sure to mark your calendars and grab a copy. When Kaye walked into the room I immediately knew I liked her. She has a quiet confidence that I admire in a person. And, of course, I loved the questions she asked me. I’m a talker by nature, so most of the time I found myself needing to hold back or she wouldn’t have gotten a word in edgewise. I’m looking forward to the feature. Yet another wonderful thing to be excited about: Til Death in the pages of a magazine. That’s legit awesome, peeps!

            Once the clock reached 4pm, Chad, one of the many behind-the-scenes heroes that made this event possible, escorted me to the ground floor of the National Bookstore in Glorietta 1. During this time I also met JB and James. All of you truly helped make a dream come true for me. Thank you!

            Another person I’m forever indebted to is Mina Esguerra. She graciously hosted the event and did a damn good job of it too. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else with me on that stage. Did you know she’s an awesome writer too? You’ve got to check out her books.

            Mina got the ball rolling by introducing one of the best people in my life. I call her Ate Loyce. She’s watched me grow up and now she’s an avid reader of my books. It’s so unreal how life turns out. I was honored to have her introduce me to the attendees of the event. Then we moved on to a one-on-one session. Mina asked me questions and I was delighted to answer all of them. I think it’s the teacher in me. I love sharing what I know, no matter how little of it is, with others. If my experience so far can help someone during their own journey, I’m all for it.

            One of my favorite parts of the launch was having a student from my Alma Mater read an excerpt from Til Death. I got goose bumps. Having someone read your work aloud and it actually makes sense? I can’t describe how good that feels. It solidifies my dream of having audio versions of my books. That would be so awesome. So, thank you Chloe for showing me what it’s like to listen to my words. 

            Of course, we can’t have a book launch without a couple of giveaways. Before the signing portion of the event, with the help of Mina, I raffled off three prizes. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, you would have seen what these prices were: an ultimate swag pack, a copy of Savor with swag associated with it, and a copy of Taste with the accompanying swag. I love the feeling of giving stuff away. Congratulations to the winners!  

            Now comes my favorite part of the entire event: the signing. I hugged each and every person in that line. My pain my thighs are currently in is evidence of that workout. The smiles on their faces and their excitement at having their books signed are forever seared into my memory. There aren’t very many things on this earth that can compare. I felt the love and support and it fueled me to keep honing my craft, to keep getting better at what I do. I am humbled by the experience.

            So, I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who came. To the bloggers, you are all beautiful individuals. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the work you do. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and love for reading with me. I love you all.

            To the readers who came and lent their support, I wouldn’t be a writer without you. We write to be read. It’s one of the most fundamental aspects of this career besides loving the craft. Thank you for picking up a copy of Til Death and I sincerely hope you enjoy diving into Dillan’s and Selena’s world.

            To my family and friends, you are forever my cornerstones. Having you bear witness to one of the most important days of my life truly fills my heart to the brim. Thank you for all your continued love and support.

            To the Momager whose quiet strength keeps me going, I love you. She is the provider in every sense of the word. She feeds. She makes sure everyone is comfortable. And her closing remarks during the event is short yet the sweetest words I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. I am honored to be the daughter of such a magnificent woman.

            To National Bookstore and everyone who made this event possible, I’m forever in your debt. Thank you for making a dream come true. Thank you for providing opportunities for writers and readers to interact. You perform an invaluable service.

            And last, most important part of this day, everyone at Entangled and Macmillan responsible for bring Til Death to readers. Without your unwavering belief in the talent of writers, moments like the Til Death Book Launch would not be possible. Thank you for showing me it’s possible for dreams to become reality.

            Okay, my recap of events has turned into an acknowledgements section of a book. Oh well. I’m still buzzing from yesterday. I never knew it’s possible to wake up with a happiness hangover. Here’s to many more mornings like that in my future.

            Now it’s back to work, back to work!

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Kate Evangelista is a young adult writer, creative writing teacher, and a mother to six rambunctious cats. Born in the Philippines, she attended college in De La Salle University – Manila and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Literature and a Master’s in Creative Writing. She got her start in publishing with small presses like the now-defunct Crescent Moon Press until she moved on to medium presses like Entangled Teen and eventually being selected as part of Swoon Reads’ third season of authors. Her debut novel, TASTE, even became an Amazon bestseller. Her latest novel, THE BOYFRIEND BRACKET (Swoon Reads, 2018), was well-received by NPR and is now in the running for a movie adaptation with the A&E Network. She is represented by Jemiscoe Chambers-Black at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
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