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Some Bookstagrams (& A Book Launch!)

The “Flipping the Script” blog tour closes today! Thank you, Tara Frejas for hosting. My noob self would not have known how to set everything up! Thank you, everyone who participated! 💖 I could hardly keep up with your lovely reviews for Miri and Pabs (and the whole Anti Ate Armee Army!) Please do @ me on my twt (@danicemaepsison) if you’ve posted a review/vlog/feelings post so I don’t miss it. I’d love to find out what your thoughts and feels were!

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I wanted to share some Bookstagrams of “Flipping The Script” that I thought were so sweet.

Ben is a Besfluencer and does not stop at one Bookstagram, oh no! ☝🏾

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#romanceclassFlicker #2’s Blog Tour is ongoing and I know I already posted the ebook cover on release day but I am #TeamTeal and I want this on my feed! 💙 Isn’t it just so pretty? • “Miri dela Merced’s film director grandfather and Pabs Paglinauan’s studio head grandmother had a huge falling out that ended Lolo Ikong’s career. At seventeen, Miri finds herself in the same summer film internship program as the down-to-earth film studio heir Pabs, whom she’s decided to automatically write off, just because of his lineage. As Miri gets a crash course in her expectations vs the reality of what’s it like to work on a real movie, her true feelings for Pabs become harder and harder to ignore. In between attending outdoor screenings of classic Pinoy movies and battling monster production assistants together, can flipping the script on a decades-old grudge be only a few sequences away?” • You can get this digitally through Amazon, or if you’re in the PH, order through the author. This is also launching together with Mina V. Esguerra’s Kiss and Cry on March 2, 10 AM at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast (Annapolis St. Greenhills). I don’t think I’ll be there (huhuhu) but please go for me if you can! 😊 Thank you @minavesguerra for lending me this proof copy to bookstagram and Congrats, @inwardfangirl !!! 🎉 • February is almost over, what are your anticipated releases for March? ☺️ • Flipping the Script by Danice Mae P. Sison . . . . #bookstagram #bibliophile #booknerdPH #bookworm #instabooks #bookish #alwaysreading #bookstagramersPH #booksofig #romancetagram #selfpublishing #indiepublishing #romanceclass #readlocalPH #diversebooks #diversereads #ireadYA #yalit #romance #FlippingTheScript #DaniceMaePSison

A post shared by H. Bentham (@bentchbites) on

Best read with cake or any of your favorite yum thing to nom!

Author Mina V. Esguerra brought FTS to the movies once, too!

This was so pretty 😭

The details on this! Look! It’s the Artista Ka! jar 💖

This gorgeous layout is from a first-time #romanceclass reader! 🎉

Thank you for these amazing Bookstagrams!

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I’d love to see you this Saturday at Kanto Freestyle for the launch of “Flipping The Script”! It’s actually a double book launch — Mina V. Esguerra’s latest book, “Kiss & Cry” will be launched on the same day, March 2! Book party! Woo~! 🎉 Come early, around 10AM for brunch and books!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuSrNWjhRat/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=j80e2822yq9c

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Buy Links for “Flipping The Script”:

The Kindle version is still available! Buy it here:

http://bit.ly/LoloIkong

If you live in the PH & want the print edition, buy it here:

http://bit.ly/FTSPrintOrder

If you live outside the PH & want the print edition, buy it here:

http://bit.ly/FTSintl

🎬🎥🎞🎟

Memories of a WIP

Happy Valentine’s Day (and belated Galentine’s Day) everyone! 💖

“Flipping The Script” comes out tomorrow, February 15! Finally my babies Pabs and Miri are unleashed to the world. *gets choked up*

It wasn’t that long ago when “Flipping The Script” looked like this:

My daily word count! Every word was a step towards completing the story.

My “review of related literature” was composed of finding out various film festival skeds around Metro Manila…

…articles on film restoration in the Philippines…

…and information on K-12!

My biggest takeaway from participating in #romanceclassYA in terms of tools was learning how to make an outline an integral part of the writing process. I swear by it. Thank you, #romanceclass.

One of my favorite pep talk takeways from #romanceclassYA email # 4.

The last stretch…!

And then, it was done!

From scrap pieces of legal sized paper to outlines galore to a completed manuscript. I wrote it, but it took a community of awesome authors, artists and creators to help me bring the words to life 💖

Thank you to the team that made my first book a reality. Agay Llanera, Ines Bautisa-Yao, Mina V. Esguerra, Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi, Ron Lim, Tara Frejas, Carla De Guzman, Chi Yu Rodriguez, Alex Lapa, Liane Palomo, Boo Gabunada, Joy Aspa.

Thank you again to everyone who has hit the pre-order button over at Amazon! I am feeling the one-click love. Those who haven’t checked it out yet may still grab the Kindle edition at .99cents until release day tomorrow! Fee free to spread the word. I will forever be grateful.

To Twt folk who have RT’d, QT’d, followed me, followed back, talked about the book, sent in a review, hyped my work up, read the ARC, loved my characters — thank you!

I’m happy “Flipping The Script” has been given such a warm welcome.

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To pre-order the Kindle edition:

http://bit.ly/loloikong

To order the print edition (for PH residents):

http://bit.ly/FTSPrintOrder

To order the print edition (for non-PH residents):

http://bit.ly/FTSIntl

🎞

Advanced Reviews

Before anything else, I’d like to thank everyone who pre-ordered “Flipping The Script”, have signed up for the Blog Tour and everyone who has tweeted, shared and generally recommended their friends and fellow readers check it out 💖 I am feeling the love.

I got a couple of early reviews this week, and I’d like to give a shoutout to Kristin who wrote up a review over at Goodreads:

“I absolutely have to tell you that this book was so cute. Miri and Pabs had such an easy chemistry and I loved following their film internship journey together.”

KB also shared her review on Goodreads:

“And the romance? I have no complaints. The meet-cute was right up my alley, and the way Miri– gosh I love Miri so much…—and Pabs went through their own Act 2 and 3 (mishaps, kilig and all) was just ~flipping engrossing.”

Lynell The Weekend Reader also wrote a review of “Flipping The Script” on her blog:

“A novella that takes place in the Philippines and makes Breakfast Club references is a winner! This novel is a quick love at first sight, family enemies, high school lovers- love story with a side dose of rag tag friendship and figuring out your life’s passion. 

EDIT: Sam over at her blog gave the very first review of the “Flipping The Script” ARC:

WITH HER WITTY WRITING STYLE THAT INCLUDES CHAT GROUPS, RECOMMENDED 80’S FLICKS, FILM STUDIO DESCRIPTIONS, AND LIGHT BANTER, I FELT SEVENTEEN AGAIN AND TOTALLY TRANSPORTED INTO THE WORLD OF CAMPUS LIFE AND FILMMAKING.

I’m 😍😍😍, guys. Thank you also to those who left ratings over at Goodreads 🙏🏽

I hope you guys @ me to more of your honest reviews. I love reading about how you responded to Pabs and Miri, and am really looking forward to learning about what you loved (as well as what you didn’t). It’s all good, babies! 😘

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“Flipping The Script” comes out on Kindle format on February 15, Friday! That’s next week, guys! In case you haven’t, you can pre-order it here:

http://bit.ly/loloikong

And! I would super love it if you’d join the Blog Tour! It runs from February 23-28. You can sign up right here:

http://bit.ly/FTSTour

Can’t wait for next week! 🎉

🎬

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Photo credit: Bence Boros at Unsplash

Book Cover Reveal, Release Date and Blog Tour!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! 🎉🎉🎉

“Flipping The Script” has a book cover! TWO book covers!!!

Here’s the one for the digital edition!

Look at those YUMMY colors! 🍭 It’s so frou-frou, but with a hint of tartness! 👀 Ain’t it pretty? I love it! #teamcoral

And here’s what the print edition will look like

Aaaaaaaa~! I just want to ~GLOMP that cover 💖 #teamteal

Do you love it? Are you #teamteal or #teamcoral?

I personally couldn’t pick between the two delicious covers that Tara Frejas designed!

Special shoutout to the “Flipping The Script” book cover team: Pach Urrea, Liane Palomo, Boo Gabunada, Carla De Guzman, Alex Lapa and Mina Esguerra 😘 Flicker design identity by Clarissa Ines

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A summer film internship, new friends, a new crush that goes from whoah to uh-oh, cranky production assistants, film fest shenanigans, classic Pinoy movies— if those sound good to you, then you just might like “Flipping The Script”!

From the book blurb blurb blurb 🤓

Miri dela Merced’s film director grandfather and Pabs Paglinauan’s studio head grandmother had a huge falling out that ended Lolo Ikong’s career. At seventeen, Miri finds herself in the same summer film internship program as the down-to-earth film studio heir Pabs, whom she’s decided to automatically write off, just because of his lineage. As Miri gets a crash course in her expectations vs the reality of what’s it like to work on a real movie, her true feelings for Pabs become harder and harder to ignore. In between attending outdoor screenings of classic Pinoy movies and battling monster production assistants together, can flipping the script on a decades-old grudge be only a few sequences away?

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So when’s it coming out? 😉

“Flipping The Script” is coming out on digital on Febuary 15, 2019!

That’s right, babies. My little book is getting a V-Day week release on Amazon!

Aaaaaaaaand~

there’s a blog tour! This is happening a few days after the release and it runs from Feb 23-28! I would LOVE it if you could sign up and get the blog tour rolling right here!

There is also a little somethin-somethin’ (*cough* GIVEAWAY) we are cookin’ up for you film buff readers of romance so watch this space and my twt for more deets for a chance to win some swaggity swag swag!

Whew! This was a HUGE post in terms of reveals! Thank you to the #romanceclassFlicker team for helping me put this all together. You guys. 💖

I can’t wait for you guys to meet Pabs and Miri on February 15 😘

My First #romanceclasscovers Photo Shoot!

One of my favorite fantasies as an author is imagining what my future books will look like! Fellow writers, I know you do it, too — spending many minutes dreaming up the perfect covers for your novels. What color palettes would I use? Should I go with an illustrated cover, or have models front and center?

As a reader, I’ve always been partial to illustrated covers. For me, a good book cover should exude the vibe of the story. Is this a world I would like to enter? The aesthetic of the cover draws me in, and most times, illustrated covers do that for me.

As a writer, I realize that there are larger discussions to be tackled when it comes to book covers, especially of those we Filipino romance authors write. Mina V. Esguerra talks about this in her recent blog post, and this is something I want to think about some more.

I attended my first ever #romanceclasscovers photo shoot last Sunday, and it was an absolute blast!

Along with covers of upcoming #romanceclass books 👀 we shot a set for my own upcoming #romanceclassFlicker novella, “Flipping The Script”. Our models for this session were Boo Gabunada (as Pabs!) and Liane Palomo (as Miri!)

I didn’t know what to expect from the session, and I don’t think I came prepared! I wasn’t worried though, as I knew I was in good, capable hands. I’ve seen what #romanceclass has done (and continues to do!) for their covers. I was there to experience the magic, learn a few things, and HAVE FEELINGS.

The photo shoot session had a small team comprised of Tara Frejas, Alex Lapa, Pach Urrea and Carla De Guzman. I discovered that Tara was making the cover of “Flipping The Script” and I proceeded to fangirl internally.

Who am I kidding — I was fangirling internally for the entire session! It was feels feels feels central from the get-go! Excitement and giddiness guided every single creative decision. It was fantastic.

I can’t wait until the shots Pach took of Boo and Liane become legit #romanceclass book covers! I got a sneak peek for a few upcoming ones 👀 they already LOOK amazing, based on their covers-to-be!

Thanks to #romanceclass for making me feel super welcome during the photo shoot!

If you’d like to sponsor a shoot or purchase a photo, check the #romanceclasscovers here!

Lone Wolf/Collab Cub

Collaboration is fun in theory, especially when you know you will be working with other people you like and respect. Creating something new together is an exciting prospect, and with the right combination of creative energies and approach to the work – it can be magic.

I was asked to collaborate on a project by a very talented film director friend. We’ve worked together before – a lifetime ago, on sets of music videos of bands that no longer exist, and it was always fun. But this project was different, and he wanted us to write a romantic comedy together. I said yes yes a thousand times yes!

The project is still ongoing, and it’s crazy-making and high-key stressing me out, but I’m happy that the writing is still my favorite thing about this experiment. I’m also learning a few things about the process of collaboration, so before this project is over, I wanted to share a few takeaways while we work on this wip:

The collab dynamic is important –  A healthy starting point: which creator has the largest stake in the project? Whose idea was it to begin with? In my case, it was easy. The idea was my friend’s. He would be directing the project. He was inviting me to be his co-pilot in developing the story. It was clear to me: “You take the lead, I will support you.” Establishing the dynamic early on helps remove ego/diva issues. Defined roles keep everyone in their own lane yet weirdly, on the same page.

Get a feel for each other’s work styles-  Adjust accordingly. At the onset of the project, my collaborator warned me: “I’m a slow writer.” I said, “I’m pretty fast”. Based on that, we divvied up the task on hand: I’d start, then I’d pass on the pages to him. Later, as we worked through the required number of drafts, I found out that my collaborator wasn’t necessarily as slow as he claimed he was, it was just that he was juggling other projects concurrently. While I, who earlier claimed to being able to work quickly, could only do so if the road map was clear from the get-go.

Trust each other’s abilities – Know when not to put pressure on the other person because they’ve got this. I learned not to panic as long as my collaborator didn’t. It’s a waste of time and energy getting the other person to do something way before they know how to go about it. Trust that they will come through.

Do the work – I sometimes think I’d make a good robot. I do well when I receive marching orders. I appreciate clear directives. The more defined my road map is, the more creative I can become. We ended up with revision notes we were less than thrilled about, but limitations challenged us to work with what we have. The dread is also worse than the doing. I hated coming back from the Christmas holidays with a deadline hanging over my head, but once I decided to tackle the thing, I found myself really enjoying getting the words on the page.

Work solo –  Seems counter-intuitive to say that when collaborating with a partner, but it’s crucial to work independently of each other once the tasks are defined. During an early draft stage, my collaborator took the first and third acts. I took the tail-end of the first act and the head of the third act. We wrote separately.  When we put what we wrote together, we were happy to discover our sequences made a coherent story, with all the matchy continuity bits in place. As deadlines got tighter, he suggested I take on the first half of the script (because I worked fast), and he’d take the second half (because he was finishing up another thing). Magic can happen when you stay out of each other’s way and leave space for each other to do what you do best.

Have you ever collaborated with another writer before? What are some of your takeaways?

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Photo credit (raw, unedited, text-less photo of  awolf cub:) Ray Hennessy from Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

The Seven Year Sitch (or, How I Got The Juice Back)

The Seven Year Sitch

If I could put a time stamp on my inactivity as a writer, I’d draw loose red circles on the years 2009-2016. I hardly got any writing done – a few abandoned short stories; WIPS that stayed in my Writing Docs folder; a smattering of fanfics; and zero scripts for TV segments, short magazine articles, Livejournal entries. I even stopped writing in my actual, paper journal. Every time I’d put pen to paper or attempt to revive my LJ, I’d get that sinking “meh” feeling and abandon ship. The only words I managed to get down and feel remotely satisfied about were found on my Twitter feed. I couldn’t do more than that for an embarrassingly long time.

What had caused that seven year writer’s block, my seven year sitch? How had I allowed myself not to write for that long?

🤷🏽‍♀️

All the small things. All the big things. Career burnout. Inner talk that nobody cared what I wrote about. I’d always been able to believe that my words would find its intended audience, but the voice that shot that down had managed to get louder every year I didn’t write. I experienced sporadic spurts of fanfic output in 2014 but would eventually slip back into feeling the “meh”-ness of it all. I loved writing and reading fan fiction, but it wasn’t doing it for me in ways I didn’t know how to fix.

In between the self doubt and lack of inspiration, real life happened. The not being able to write was a symptom of my being unhappy, and it all came to a head in 2015 when I quit my job, interviewed for a new one, got an offer and had that same offer rescinded when I offhandedly mentioned that 1.) I was not a college graduate, and 2.) I had a history of having an adjustment disorder, which I “failed to mention” during the medical exam.

I was suddenly without a job, but my next step was so clear I cried. Turns out I did have a WIP that needed finishing up, and the Universe was giving me this time to get off my ass and finish it. The WIP was sitting there for fifteen years.

The WIP

The work-in-progress was my undergraduate college thesis. I never got around to writing the paper component of my student film so I never got my B.A. in Film and Audio Visual Communication.

I gave myself a year to finish, and I did. Going back to university at 37 was the hard restart my career -exhausted brain needed. I hadn’t realized how truly soul-sucking my previous job had been and what sticking with it had cost me – my ability to create strictly for the pure joy of having created something. All my energies up until that point had been focused on things like “branded intrusions” and “client-tailored content”. It wasn’t worth it.

Being a student again and being around young people old enough to legit be my kids reset my way of thinking. I learned how to see and do things with a Beginner’s Mind. It was tough and not without its humiliations (“I’m too old for this, goddammit!”), but at the end of it all, it was one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I was absorbing everything like a sponge, and it felt great. I was getting new ideas (So. Many. New. Ideas.) I was trying new things again, fifteen years of experience in TV out the window in two semesters. I didn’t have the space for feeling “meh” when it was last chance/ride-or-die without a degree time.

The Juice

I wrote my thesis. I finished. I got my degree. I got a new, easier job that I was overqualified for and paid way less than my old job. Now what?

I turned to creative touchstones: artists whose careers I’ve followed, movies that always felt fresh when I watched them, books I’ve turned to for comfort and wisdom. I stumbled upon some interviews of Rivers Cuomo of the band Weezer, whom I considered my spiritual husband from 1997-2004 and wanted to catch up. Rivers was no stranger to creative struggle, and I wanted to find out how he dealt with dried-up wells and a dearth of ideas.

He was on an episode of a podcast called “10% Happier”, talking about meditating and how it helped him in his craft and work. What he had to say resonated with me. I read the book “10% Happier”, downloaded the app of the same name and deliberately gave meditation a try on May 1, 2017. And just like what Rivers says in the interview, I’ve been doing it ever since. I would not have been able to write steadily again had I not started meditating.

A few months later, I saw a call-out on the #romanceclass Facebook page for original M/M, F/F, NB stories for a new anthology the group was planning. I had to do it. I had been writing M/M pairings in all the fic I produced on-and-off, so this seemed like something I could tackle and would enjoy doing.

I had the most fun writing my story, “Shipping Included” because it combined my love for M/M pairings and K-pop. It was short, fluffy and so very satisfying when I finished writing it.

Shortly after submitting “Shipping Included” for the anthology editors’ consideration, I joined the #romanceclassYA workshop. I had recently managed to complete a short story with a word count of 8,000, true. However, the #romanceclassYA workshop’s goal was to finish a novella with a minimum word count of 30,000 and a maximum of 40,000.

Was I ready for this? My fics only went as high as 20,000WC.

Mustering the same ride-or-die mentality I had while completing my thesis the previous year, I cranked out what was to be the first draft of “Flipping The Script”. The workshop whupped my butt – “Hunger Games” rounds meant that should I fail to submit the required assignment at the specified deadline, I would be unable to continue on to the rest of the workshop. I couldn’t let that happen because I needed this in my life – workshop mentors  Agay Llanera, Ines Bautista-Yao, and of course, Mina V. Esguerra were authors whose work I admired. I willed the odds to be in my favor and took all the workshop modules to heart.

romanceclassyaform

I submitted my completed first draft for “Flipping The Script” in November. That same month I found out “Shipping Included” was selected to be part of the anthology, “Start Here“.

I wish I could say that after completing both stories that I never stopped writing since and am now ready with a couple more new manuscripts for publication, but nah. And that’s okay. I realized that while my writer’s momentum was a powerful force with a 1-2 punch, I am far from being a lean, mean writing machine. It’s good to have goals and a positive attitude, though. It could still happen. I’m very good at taking baby steps.

Have you ever experienced a long writer’s block? How’d you get the juice back?

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Photo credit (notebook, unedited): Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash

 

 

 

 

Milestones

25E897C0-CEFB-4B5A-AD26-EA22FAEDB0E9Happy 2019!

The new year’s barely got its eyes open, and here I am talking about milestones. I think that’s a good thing, right? To hit the ground running, keep these pages turning and have those goal posts moving. I am notoriously slow at the last part, but I’m starting to learn to be okay with my own pace and my own process.

Milestone 1. I turn forty this year. 4-0, man. How did I get here? I’m amazed and grateful to still be around. I feel like Angus from the teen flick “Angus” , yelling “I’m still here, asshole!” Triumphant and victorious in the face of the James Van Der Beeks of the world. I’ll be forty and I’m feelin’ that—mostly good feelings. I’ll take it. I’ll take all the good I can. *grabby hands*

Milestone 2. My first novella for young adults called “Flipping The Script” comes out this year! My first BOOK~! *yells into the void forever*

Writing has always been at my core, but I was in my late 30’s and hadn’t had any real output by way of fiction. I’ve fallen back on my writing many times to support myself, but the type of writing I really, really wanted to do—fiction, romance in particular, and young adult to be even more specific, well, that never came into fruition.

I’d regularly visit bookstores and gaze longingly/enviously at the rows of YA books on the shelves. Those shelves called to me. One day. It wasn’t so much as a promise, but a challenge.

“Flipping The Script” was written under the #romanceclassYA workshop in 2017. It was completed in three months and selected for release under the #romanceclass imprint for YA called #romanceclassFLICKER.

This book is a series of milestones, really. Every stage of the workshop that I cleared, every requirement I submitted, every chapter I sent in fuelled my inner Angus to keep going, keep pushing, keep writing. The feeling of the story’s final lines forming inside my brain, the satisfaction of finally keying in the words THE END, the giddiness of having completed a manuscript—those felt awesome.

In between then and the time of the book’s release (and I’m praying, even beyond that), are other milestones for me as a new author of contemporary romance in the Philippines: being part of the wonderful community that is #romanceclass; learning from other authors, readers and lovers of romance; and getting involved in activities that support my local romance book community. Amazing, really.

I’m grateful.