Embracing Sex Positivity and Empowering Women: An Interview with Author Bianca Mori

by KB Meniado “You read those stuff?” is something romance readers commonly hear from other people—and let’s be real, it often comes along with strong judgment. Funnily enough, when you drop by bookstores, chances are the romance section is usually the most packed. (And most likely, many people you know have “romance stuff” in their shelves, physical or digital.) Not surprisingly as well, several of them look for hot, sex positive romance. (Can we get a heck yeah?!) Good news: we can find some locally—and one in the form of Bianca Mori’s works. Here, she talks about why sexual agency…

Lessons in Romance Writing, Self-Publishing and Community Building: An Interview with Author Mina V. Esguerra

by KB Meniado It’s hard to miss Mina V. Esguerra, especially if you’re looking at Filipino romance authors in English. With over 30 published novels and her fantastic work with #romanceclass, she has been helping make major breakthroughs in revolutionizing how the romance genre is recognized and appreciated among Filipino readers, and putting Filipino writers in the radar of international readers. Here, she talks about experiences in eight years worth of independent publishing, championing fellow authors’ works and building safe spaces for romance writers and supporters. Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult and new adult novellas. When not…

Writing, Feeling, Believing: An Interview with Author Betsy Gacutan-Ochosa

by KB Meniado Most authors I’ve had the privilege to meet tell me it had been their dream to write and publish a book since they were young—and often because they were a reader first. Here, author Betsy Gacutan-Ochosa talks about the same, including what inspired her novella Twenty Years in Between… The Love Story of Lizzie and Joseph. Read on to find out what she thinks about sustaining long-distance relationships, giving second chances and believing in the meant-to-be. Betsy Gacutan-Ochosa is a freelance writer whose works have appeared in Good Housekeeping, Action and Fitness, Mommy Academy and Female Network. She…

Chasing the Thrill: An Interview with Author Mayumi Cruz

by KB Meniado Local box office history tells us we like romance and suspense films—why not translate that level of investment into print too? Here, author Mayumi Cruz talks about what it means to write romantic thrillers, what she loves about engaging with readers and why she thinks self-publishing is worth it. Mayumi Cruz is an indie author of fusion fiction, writing stories that cross genre lines. Some of her writings have appeared in Philippines Graphic, Lit Up — Medium and AdHoc Fiction. Her short story, “Black Love,” won in Bookbed’s Fictory in 2017. She has self-published six books, as…

Writing for A Grand Purpose: An Interview with Author Charlene DI

by KB Meniado There’s a profound satisfaction in figuring out things on your own, and a lot of times, you want others to experience the same, so you try to help pave the way for them. This is what author Charlene DI is doing. Here, she briefly talks about realizing her dream through indie publishing and why Filipino-authored self-help books matter. Charlene DI is the author of Erstwhile, a collection of essays, prose and poetry about the different faces of relationships and dreams. She is also the author of Outbox, an advice book on relationships. She believes in the power of…

Depicting Unapologetic Realities: An Interview With Author Elaine Castillo

by Twila Bergania The first thing I told Elaine Castillo when I met her for an interview in a cozy corner of Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel was that I haven’t read her novel yet. As a journalist, it’s standard protocol to research and read before going out for an interview so I felt a little bad but she was very understanding, nodding with a smile that seemed to glow because of the tiny candlelight flickering in between us. Perhaps it wasn’t so surprising given that we were there to witness her book launch. The event was presented by…

Flipping Through the #100BookScenesProject with Arli Pagaduan

by KB Meniado It’s Year 5 of the #100DayProject, and for creators, it’s another chance, another challenge. Social media feeds grow more alive and active, featuring artistic pursuits from people all over the world taking on the 100-day habit. I, for one, live for it. Everyday projects are awesome, full stop. And for readers like myself, it’s even more so when it’s about books. Enter the #100BookScenesProject. Produced by Arli Pagaduan, this project features—as the hashtag says—one book scene every day for 100 days. It might only be her Day 38 today, but already, her consistent streak of drawing and posting proves to…