June 21, 2014, NBS Glorietta – Let’s cut to the chase… I totally had an AWESOME time at Jenny Han’s book signing event, which was hosted by National Bookstore! It was a day filled with new experiences and a little bit of self-growth. Here are the details (you can skip ahead to the bulleted sentences for Jenny’s interview answers and factoids)…
The night before the event, I actually had a dream about the signing (I was that excited) and it told me that I was the 70th person in line, which felt like a positive sign. I took that notion as I and my oh-so lovely and ever-supportive aunt left our homes at around 7:00 AM. When I got to the mall at 8:45 (which was truly miraculous, by the way), I saw that the line already reached a couple of blocks. By then, I knew that my dream was dead wrong. However, I wasn’t shocked by this because I know how crazy book signings get and this isn’t even the worst line I had to fall into. So I just stood there, told my aunt to relax at the nearest cafe, and just waited for the clock to strike 10, so that the registration could start.
You might not know this about me, but I am socially awkward by nature. I am not the kind of person who would start a conversation or approach someone and that weird behavior still plagued me to that day.
As I was waiting, these two girls who were in front asked me to save their spot because they were going to the restroom, to which I gladly obliged. I casually started reading The Summer I Turned Pretty as I waited in line. One of the girls came back but the other one was nowhere to be seen.
We finally began to move towards the bookstore’s premises (which started at around 9:55) and I noticed that one of the girls in front of me was still missing. The other one who was left started to panic and I couldn’t help but asked her what was wrong. She pointed out that the girl in front of her was gone and she was worried that the girl would lose her spot. Thankfully the missing girl returned, as we were about to enter the store. During the whole ordeal, the three of us talked. The missing girl’s name was Laira and she was also a book signing junkie like me, while Jess, the concerned girl, was a first-timer in this kind of event. For the first time ever in my book signing history, I actually made new friends and I am very thankful that I did.
|The chaos inside the bookstore! To All The Boys I Loved Before sold like hotcakes and they run out of stock immediately!
When we finally reached the end of the line, wouldn’t you know it, I was the…
…person in line! Huzzah!!! Oddly enough, this was an accomplishment for me because I normally get 350+ place in this kind of situation! Hahahaha…
|The crowd at the Jenny Han event!
When the hardest part of the whole shebang was over, the girls decided to stay at the bookstore and wait for the event to start at 2 PM. I went out with my aunt to get some food and to just roam around the mall (Glorietta is really far from my home, so I milk every moment I have when I’m there).
After we ate, my aunt and I separated ways and I went over to Powerbooks
Greenbelt for the Blogger Forum. When I got there, I was confused because there weren’t any people at the events area. That was when I realized that I missed the forum and I didn’t get the chance to meet up with the book bloggers. This bummed me out because I was really excited to finally talk to them (if you have read my post on #VTRinPH
, you know why). Since I was already at the vicinity, I decided to do some retail therapy and I bought a couple of books (stay tuned for my monthly Haul-y Books/Stacking The Shelves for that).
I went back to National Bookstore
and sat with Laira and Jess. I was incredibly lucky to be able to be in front of the stage (even though I was on the floor). As the three of us talked and waited for it to start, I saw a tweet from Kate at The Bookaholic Blurbs
, who’s one of the bloggers I followed on Twitter, that said she was actually around the area. I quickly scanned the room and I finally saw her and the other bloggers I was supposed to see (all dressed up in their To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Tees)! I mustered up the courage and I went over to finally say “Hi!”
I was giddy and nervous at the same time, while I was talking to some of them. I can’t remember much of what we talked about or what I said at all (the nerves got to me). I might have embarrassed myself, for all I know. Heck I am sure that I made a fool of myself, but I didn’t care. Finally, I asked them to take a selfie with me and here it is…
|It was so exciting seeing these ladies in person! (I tried my best to capture all of them, alas my efforts were futile!)
It was just a short interaction, but I still had loads of fun. I didn’t want to keep them up from their other activities and we said goodbye (I was so awkward!).
The wait was finally over when Jenny Han entered the store at 2:30 PM. Let me just say, she was super adorably awesome!!!
She answered the questions thrown at her with wit and charm. Here are some of the things she discussed…
- She has been cooped up in her hotel room and she’s been very busy with interviews. She also mentioned the whole Senator Revilla hoopla and it was so funny. Basically, she was interviewed on our local morning talk-show in ANC. While her interview commenced, a simultaneous streaming of Revilla’s dramatic surrender was shown beside it. She joked about it at the event and we all had a laugh.
- Being a writer wasn’t something she dreamed of doing. She lived in a small town that didn’t have that much literary excitement and writing as an occupation didn’t cross her mind.
- She was a former staff of a library and a children’s bookstore, where one of the scenes in You’ve Got Mail was based off of.
- Jenny actually started her writing career when she entered The New School in NYC. One of her professors was David Levithan (so cool, right?!).
- This was where she met one of her BFFs, Siobhan Vivian who is her co-author in the Burn for Burn trilogy.
- She still writes her books by hand and she has dozens of notebooks filled with ideas and full length novels. She said that it feels less constricting and it allows her creative juices to flow freely.
- She doesn’t write all the time except when she is on a deadline. She has a lot of concepts floating around in her brain and some of them were already approved, just waiting to be written.
- Some of her favorite novels and literary inspirations include The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
- Regarding To All The Boys I Loved Before:
- Kitty was actually inspired by her own sister Susan.
- The whole love letter aspect of the book was actually taken from her own life. Like Lara Jean, Jenny used to write letters to her crushes. She actually read one during the book’s NYC launch party and she realized that the things she wrote was sorta embarrassing.
- She is currently writing the sequel, which is titled PS I Still Love You and this book includes a third guy in the mix. Oh Lara Jean, you vixen!
- Jenny explained the reason of making Lara Jean Asian. She writes her characters in a way that feels natural to them and as she wrote TATBILB, she always felt that Lara Jean was Korean.
- Sibling love triangles interest her because it is filled with drama.
- Regarding The Summer trilogy:
- While she was writing the trilogy, she went back and forth in the development of the romance of Belly. The first book presented Conrad as a strong contender while the second book made Jeremiah shine and she had fun writing the last book.
- She was asked if there were a Jeremiah and Conrad in her life. There was a Conrad but never a Jeremiah, she said.
- A TV and Movie adaptation of the trilogy was optioned and Jenny told the audience that the process of it was slow and long. It may or may not even happen.
- When asked about her dream-cast she said that Hailee Steinfeld could make a great Belly and she thinks that Logan Lerman can portray one of Beck’s boys (I think she mentioned a name but I didn’t hear it, so sorry).
- Regarding Burn for Burn trilogy:
- She gushed about working with Siobhan and she said that “it’s more fun writing with your bestfriend.”
- They actually wrote the book together. Every scene, character and dialogue was touched by both of them and they planned everything out from the get-go.
- It was mentioned that this series was darker compared to her books. She told us that she and Siobhan handled the darker themes of the books with respect. They wanted to tell an honest story that included some real life situations, but they still kept in mind the age group they were tackling.
- Advice for writers:
- Read a lot, learn from the voices of other authors, have loads of adventures and allow ones heart to be broken, which she said were “great material” for a book.
Also, the early birds (who came in line at around 11 PM the night before) got some great swag! There was an ARC of Ashes to Ashes, a bookplate with both Jenny and Siobhan’s signatures, a TATBILB notebook and pen. They totally deserved it, with all of there dedication.
|The early birds clutching their Ashes to Ashes ARCs and swag.
The book signing did go by fast and when our numbers were called, Jess was so happy. She was actually a really huge fan of Jenny Han and she was overjoyed when she got her turn.
|Jess having the time of her life while talking with her idol.
Then when it came to my turn, I was pleasantly surprised that one of the National Bookstore crew recognized me. His name is JB Roperos (I follow him on Instagram) and he was really nice! I came up to Jenny Han and I gave her the bookmark that I created…
|I forgot to take a pic of the actual bookmark. I know it’s not drop-dead gorgeous but I am incredibly proud of it!
|Jenny reading the bookmark. Woohoo!
… and she told me that she recognizes my twitter username. I told her that I tweeted her last night, and I had a goofy smile all throughout the signing process. When my turn was done, JB told me that he actually took loads of photos, which he really did and it was so awesome of him (I won’t be showing all of them because this post will be endless if I did). THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
|Jenny and I were all smiles!
Afterwards, I met up with Laira and Jess offstage. We exchanged contact details and talked for a few moments. I finally decided to go because of the long journey home. The sad thing about this was that fact that I didn’t got the chance to take some photos with them! Anyway, they told me that they will be present at the Stephanie Perkins book signing event, so it’s cool!
|Signed books makes me excited! Hehehe…
Jenny Han you are an amazing woman with incredible writing talent and I am so excited for your future projects.
A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to National Bookstore! You guys make our book nerd dreams come true!
Were you present at Jenny Han’s book signing? Were you able to get your books signed? What were your experiences during the event? Link your blog post or just tell me by commenting down below!