#romanceclass: Voicing Young Adult Characters

by Salve Villarosa Ah, Instagram. A source of joy, a source of envy, sometimes the source of your broken phone because you threw it halfway across the room in a fit of bitterness. In my case, it was the source of landing a job most bookworms would find cool: Getting to be the voice actor for young adult novels. In 2015, I was scrolling, as you do, through my feed when I spotted Mina V. Esguerra’s post about rehearsals for FilReaderCon. The bookworm, as well as the (unemployed) actor in me jumped up and thought, “Rehearsals? Reading? I must know more!”…

#romanceclass: Writing to Travel, Traveling to Write

by Carla de Guzman The other day I was standing in line for a buffet, considering my food options when out of nowhere, a little voice in my head wondered, “What if a cute guy suddenly approached and commented on your buffet strategy?” Would we talk about the order in which you had to eat the food? Would he be the adventurous type or the kind to eat the same things in buffets?  I was properly distracted for a few minutes, picking up slices of sashimi while wondering at the further possibilities of writing a buffet meet cute, until my sister…

#romanceclass: Love and Secret Identities

by Jay E. Tria I see a few of the previous #romanceclass articles featured confessions. So here is mine: I’m using a pen name. That won’t come off as a shock, I am sure, since I’ve been fairly open about it. When I first decided to venture into self-publishing, the next decision to make wasn’t even if I was going to use a pen name, but what pen name to use. I told myself I was doing it to separate my identities. I wanted my author self to be in this box, while the rest of me—the corporate girl, the teacher—to…

#romanceclass: Praying for Romance

by Ana Tejano Sometime around high school, a friend of mine raved about this book she read over the summer that she just had to lend it to me so we could talk about it. It was Frank E. Perretti’s This Present Darkness, a book about a reporter and a pastor investigating some shady happenings in their town, where angels stand guard against demons who want to enslave the people. It was my first taste of Christian fiction. I didn’t know much about it back then, because I was still reading Sweet Valley and Harry Potter, but I felt like I…

#romanceclass: 6 Books To Read Right Now

What do romance authors read? Romance—and a lot of other things. You’ve been meeting the authors of the #romanceclass community through their monthly columns here on Bookbed. That’s who they are and what they write. Here’s what they’ve been reading: 1. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, as recommended by Stella Torres, author of Save The Cake and Crushingly Close In writing my characters, I tend to explore the issues of vulnerability and intimacy—that keeps them from committing to relationships built on love and trust. While most of the book relies heavily on qualitative research, what appeals to me here as a writer is the…

#romanceclass: Romance and the Shame Game

by Chris Mariano Confession: For most of my high school life, I wasn’t allowed to read Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High, which were the de rigueur series at that time. Of course, I wasn’t going to let parental permission get in the way of reading books that I had already been devouring since I was in the fourth grade. So I would hide the books at the back of my bookshelf, under the mattress, under my aunt’s mattress and anywhere I could think of that my mom wouldn’t look for. Over the years, I added other kinds of romances to…

#romanceclass: Why This Writer Won’t Quit Gaming

by Miles Tan How the passion for writing is ignited varies for different people. Back in high school, mine was sparked by the usual suspects: intense emotions, unforgettable experiences, striking books and films. I stayed up late during school nights to scribble madly in my notebooks, and shared works-in-progress with my friends, who would pass my notebooks around. I enjoyed the thrill of seeing their reactions firsthand while they read. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long. In college, I took up Fine Arts and eventually exchanged my pen for a paintbrush. Until I was introduced to roleplaying games. And no, not just the video…

#romanceclass: Confessions of a Hesitant Romance Writer

by Tara Frejas I have a confession to make: Some days, I don’t think of myself as a romance writer. At least, not in the strictest sense. I’m not a big romance reader either, not until I became part of the #romanceclass community. Even then, all the romance books I’ve since read and reviewed are books written by #romanceclass authors. And while majority of my peers can list several romance authors as their writing influences, I would name Mitch Albom. You could hardly call him a romance writer. There are two things I’ve always loved about Albom’s stories. First, they often…

#romanceclass: Romance’s wide, open spaces

by Bianca Mori Here’s what I know: I love romance. I love all the trope conventions: the meet-cute, the escalating tension, the conflict, the love-making (THIS) and the all-important happily ever after. It’s a pleasure to read, and a well-done romance can be satisfying like nothing else. A well-constructed romance can also deliver smart social commentary. Some of the strongest and most affirming statements about agency, consent and diversity I’ve read were between the pages of a so-called fluffy book about boy-crazy ladies. (Riiiight.) I love action. Heists, mysteries and thrillers just do it for me, whether it’s Cormoran Strike limping through…

#romanceclass: Why did I write about a single, childless, 30-something Filipina?

by Miren B. Flores Because I, too, am a single, childless, 30-something Filipina. Apparently, most female authors (and more so than male ones, I’ve read) are asked if their work is autobiographical, so I may have just undermined Girl Power and all. (Sorry about that.) But aren’t you also supposed to write about what you know? And this is what I know: when it’s Christmas in the Philippines and you’re doing your rounds at reunions, these questions do not stop. They’re always escalating, like war, only your enemies are your shawl-wearing, leggings-loving, well-meaning aunts. “Dating? Boyfriend? Husband? Child? Second child?” Old…