Feb 15, 2015

Michelle Hodkin in Manila!

Last year, Fully Booked created a huge buzz among the Filipino readers community when they released a teaser poster for their upcoming book signing event. A few days later, they finally confirmed the author who'll be coming here:

Michelle Hodkin's book tour was a three-day event, which is really wonderful because the readers will have the chance to meet her at least once, and they will be able to accommodate all the readers who wanted to attend the event.

1st Day - Fully Booked, BGC

People have been lining up as early as three o'clock in the morning, even though the event will start at seven in the evening. When I got there at around three in the afternoon, I was already the 220th person to register. It was really nice because we got front seats.

(c) Fully Booked
(c) Fully Booked
(c) Fully Booked
There was no grand announcement upon Michelle's arrival, that's why everyone was so shocked when Michelle suddenly walked in! The first thought that came up to me upon seeing her was, "OMG she's so gorgeous!!!"

(c) Fully Booked
Joana, one of the admins in the Mara Dyer PH, is a dear friend of mine, that's why I'm so happy for her when Fully Booked gave her the chance to spend some quality time with Michelle! (c) Fully Booked
Ms. Angel of Fully Booked officially started the event by sharing to us how they got in contact with Michelle, and how they processed it to make it work. Michelle admitted that she didn't forwarded the invitation to her agent because she really wanted to go here and meet her readers. There was a lot of stuff that Michelle shared to us before the signing of the books. But what I loved the most was, when Michelle read the first chapter of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Aside from the little surprise she presented (in which she made us promised to not spill any), she also shared her experience on writing the first book in the Mara Dyer trilogy.

(c) Fully Booked
(c) Fully Booked
I wasn't able to get my books signed because it was almost midnight, and they're still calling around 120. I've also decided to attend the Papal Visit at UST.

Day 3 -Forum, La Salle

The third and last stop for Michelle Hodkin's book tour took place at De La Salle University, which is just a 10-minute walk away from the place I'm currently staying at. It's great to have some friends over there, the very reason why I didn't get lost. 

I was devastated when I learned that they ran out of stock of the hard bound editions of the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and the Retribution of Mara Dyer when I visited Fully Booked BGC, but my hope came back when my friend told me that there might be some copies available at La Salle. AND THEY DID HAVE.

(c) Fully Booked
The forum at La Salle was a very intimate one, and Michelle gave a talk about her experience so far as an author, and gave tips on how to hone one's writing. I was also given a chance to ask Michelle a question, which is about the shift of her career, from being a lawyer to being a writer. 

(c) Fully Booked
Here's a few facts about Michelle and the Mara Dyer trilogy (that I was able to remember):

~ Michelle Hodkin was a lawyer.
~ The genesis of Mara Dyer: Michelle was really taken aback by the presence of the teenage girl who was there the whole time when her mother asked for Michelle's help. Michelle thought that there's a whole lot of story about the girl.
~ Michelle joined two writing contests in which you will pitch your novel's first two chapters, before she finally got someone's attention to really look into her novel, and then it was auctioned to multiple publishers.
~ The Mara Dyer trilogy is supposed to be a duology, but Michelle knew that it would take three books to tell the story of Mara. 
When asked about fancasting her characters, Michelle said that she always sees Noah Shaw as the rugged, 1994 Ethan Hawke.  

Michelle also read the early draft of the first novel, and shared to us how much work she pulled into the first two chapters to be so engrossing so that it would be picked up. 

It was really inspiring to listen to her talked about her journey to being a published author. I was even more motivated to pursue my dream of getting my own work published and sharing it with others. At the same time, I was even more pumped up in taking law.

I'm at the back with Michelle! (c) Fully Booked
I was the 15th person in the line!

My thoughts were all jumbled and I was so nervous because Michelle is sitting beside me. So Michelle asked how I found out about her book, so I told her that I just saw it on the shelves at our local bookstore, and that I immediately bought it because of the mysterious cover and creepy blurb.  

(c) Fully Booked
I lined up again for the second time because a friend of mine asked me to get one signed for him.

(c) Fully Booked
At seven o'clock in the evening, Michelle Hodkin's book tour officially ended. IT WAS REALLY AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE.

Mommy Jo with Drei's awesome artwork!!

But before we left, we managed to have several selfies with Michelle Hodkin!

Michelle Hodkin's book tour was a great kickstarter for the year 2015, and I really hope that there will be more book tours coming from Fully Booked. Special thanks to the people of Fully Booked whom we had a chat with while waiting for our turn to get our books signed. To the staff for being so accommodating, and for bringing Michelle Hodkin here in Manila!

Vine + Coffee = This!

It was really nice seeing Sef again! And I met a new friend! Hi there, Christian!

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