#HeistClub: From the Streets to the Books

by Ana Valenzuela Cars rushing past. Pedestrians in conversation. The traffic enforcer’s motions guiding everything that moves so they don’t end in a gridlock. Faces of celebrities on every billboard along the length of EDSA. These are just some things a commuter notices on his way to work. On her way home. Going to a party or get-together. It was under these circumstances that I found the inspiration for my first #HeistClub book, High Stakes. A particular poster along Quezon Avenue caught my attention. It was not a billboard, but an announcement from the MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority). There…

Continuing the Legacy: An Interview with #HeistClub Authors Part 3

by Allana Luta In the final part of our New Blood series, we talk with seasoned #HeistClub members who participated in the creation of The Secrets That We Keep and published the sequel to their first #HeistClub crime story. Yeyet Soriano was one of the editors of Secrets, while Mark Manalang contributed a short story to the anthology. They, along with Arlene Manocot and Jessica E. Larsen, have all released the second book to their original crime story from the first #HeistClub bundle, specifically: Shadow Prince (sequel to Flame Squad: Sly Prince) by Jessica E. Larsen Sampaguita: Stray Lamb (sequel to Sampaguita)…

Continuing the Legacy: An Interview with #HeistClub New Blood Authors Part 2

by Allana Luta Last week, we featured the new #HeistClub authors who published their short stories in the anthology The Secrets That We Keep. In this interview, we talk with Georgette Gonzales, Irene Recio and J. Guibone, all of whom were part of the original #HeistClub batch. Georgette edited Secrets along with Yeyet Soriano, while Irene and J. each have a short story in the anthology. Here, they discuss the joys and difficulties of writing crime fic and what real-life crime they’d turn into a novel if given the opportunity. What made you want to write crime fiction? Georgette: The thrill…

Continuing the Legacy: An Interview with #HeistClub New Blood Authors Part 1

by Allana Luta In June of 2016, Bookbed published a 3-part interview series with crime fiction authors from the newly established #HeistClub. Their voices were fresh and exciting, introducing crime fiction with a local flair to Filipino readers. Two years on, #HeistClub is back with an anthology titled The Secrets That We Keep, featuring five short stories from new authors and three short stories from the original batch. This interview features #HeistClub’s new blood: Liam Blunt, Amae Dechavez, I.P. Lanz, Buñag Manlapaz, and Celestine Trinidad. Here we learn what their motivations were for writing crime fiction and the secrets they’re willing…

#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…

#HeistClub: The Pursuit of Justice and the Idea Behind “Soul Makers”

by J. Guibone I’ve always been fascinated with the strange, the uncanny, and the darkness in people. That fascination has something to do with my desire to explore—and eventually triumph over—that darkness. A friend of mine, who knew Mina V. Esguerra, sent me a link to a call for submissions for a crime anthology and workshop, #HeisClub. I have read and loved Ms. Esguerra’s works, so I was pretty excited to contribute my own story. The fact that it was a crime and mystery class only added fuel to the flame. Soul Makers, which is the first story in the Golden…

#HeistClub: Behind ‘Chasing an ATM Schemer’

by Racquel Sarah A. Castro Conceptualizing a crime fiction story was a challenge for me because at the core of my writing objective is the aspiration to make people feel good about who they are. Therefore, I wrote romance and inspirational pieces. So, really, shifting genres to mystery or thriller never crossed my mind. I could not write about dark souls and examine their plights to further my writing career. And then Mina V. Esguerra published a call for a new online class: #HeistClub. And I found myself a part of the first crime fiction class organized by the #romanceclass guru….

#HeistClub: The Psychology of Crime

by Yeyet Soriano I’ve always liked puzzles. I love the challenge of unraveling a mystery and finding an answer. It was probably why Math was my favorite subject as a child and I was very good at it. But as I grew older, that love transitioned to love for stories that made me think, stories that made me want to find a solution, along with the protagonist. It started with Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. At that time, I wanted to grow up to be a detective. As the years went by, my taste in books and stories evolved as…

#HeistClub: Manila in the Eyes of an Outsider

by Mark Manalang The signboards light up one by one as the sun sets on Manila Bay. The bars along Remedios and Adriatico fill up with patrons. Cosplaying girls assemble at the doorsteps of karaoke clubs in Mabini. Traffic along Padre Faura and Taft builds up. Tourists roam the streets aimlessly, while beggars selling flowers and asking for loose change tail them. In the streets of Manila, the curtain rises on Sampaguita: This City is Crying, the beginning of the tale of a man’s quest for revenge, redemption, love and justice. The most difficult part of writing Sampaguita was conceptualizing protagonist…

#HeistClub: Writing ‘Classified’

by Georgette S. Gonzales I am not a stranger to crime fiction. As a young reader, I devoured Nancy Drew stories. Although many of the cases Nancy handled as a young sleuth were not the hardcore of crime as many adults know it from books for more mature audiences (ones that I enjoy now as an adult), I can say that Nancy, her friends Bess and George, their boys Ned, Burt and Dave, and series author Carolyn Keene were responsible for igniting in me the desire to uncover whodunnit, how and why. And then I became a published author. No, I…