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#HeistClub Spotlight: New Blood

by Georgette S. Gonzales

“But there’s no Filipino crime fiction to read!”

So readers say, and the local author community could do nothing but provide them with #HeistClub. *wink*

For those who have not heard of #HeistClub, it was introduced in 2015 by author Mina V. Esguerra together with Bronze Age Media, Inc. An online workshop was organized hoping to produce new crime fiction stories written by Filipino authors, featuring Filipino characters in a Philippine setting. And to ensure the authors would continue cultivating the genre, submissions must be a Case Number 1.

Eighty-one signees underwent the workshop, but only 16 made it up to publication. And out of the 16, only 13 released their stories as stand-alone novellas. Nevertheless, those are still thirteen stories from which the reading public can expect more cases.

#HeistClub has, at this point, become a brand, a label for this particular group of authors and their stories.

And then there were more authors requesting to be part of the community. With no immediate plans from the original organizers to conduct a new workshop, members of the original batch took it upon themselves to mentor the newbies. With permissions granted, the invitation to write Filipino crime fiction was opened afresh. The same guidelines were given: Contemporary, with Filipino characters in a Filipino setting. Also must be a Case Number One. A year since the first call was posted on social media, we finally have the new anthology.

The Secrets That We Keep is a collection of five short stories by the new authors: Web by Liam Blunt, Where Is Sandra? by Amae Dechavez, Sniper by I.P. Lanz, Among Us by Buñag Manlapaz, and Missing Bodies by Celestine Trinidad. In addition, some from the original batch also contributed short stories for more variety: The Children of Truth by J. Guibone, Tomorrow We’ll See by Mark Manalang, Snatched by Irene Recio, and Kate’s Retreat by Yeyet Soriano.

Each story is guaranteed to make your heart pound and your fists and jaw clench in anticipation, with spine-tingling tales of theft, murder, abduction, torture and drugs.

Formally released on March 24, 2018, a blog tour will kick-off on April 1 and will last until April 7, 2018.  The official blurb are as follows:

A vigilante targets neighborhood nuisances. But without any evidence, how will he be apprehended?

Oh, we weave such a tangled dark web. Is it possible to disentangle oneself without inflicting damage, permanent damage, to one’s person?

Don’t do unto others, lest they do to you what you did to them. In a manner more gruesome than you can ever imagine. Can you survive the retribution?

When a person goes missing, how do you find her? Where do you find her? Does she even want to be found?

Dead bodies can’t go anywhere on their own, right? Or can they?

Are you ready to uncover THE SECRETS THAT WE KEEP?



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