27 April 2014

Event Recap: Veronica, Tahereh and Ransom Book Signing in Manila #VTRinPH

This'll be a really messy and fangirly recap but I don't care. I just ended my blogging hiatus so I'm like YOLO! (do kids still say that? 'YOLO'?)

You know that feeling when you were a kid, the night before a field trip, and you're just too excited that you have trouble sleeping? Well, that happened to me. I slept at 2am the night before because maaaaaaaaaaan I AM GOING TO MEET THREE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING YOUNG ADULT AUTHORS.

Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs were in Manila yesterday, April 26th, for a book signing hosted by National Book Store. Fans lined up early, even before stores opened, to register. The girl who was first in line? She got there at 1:54 a.m. I'M NOT KIDDING. The next one arrived just 10 minutes after. Can you say awesome?! (awesome)

Fans lining up to register
(c) Louisse of The Soul Sisters
Before checking out the Activity Center, I attended a Blogger Forum. I'm very honored that I got invited to it. There we were given the chance to ask the authors questions. Unfortunately some of us weren't able to do so (myself included) because we were pressed for time. But hey, at least I was able to record most of the Q&A! Since I suck at transcribing recordings, and I take too much time going back and forth, I'll just share it LIKE THIS:

Fun fact #1:
When asked if Veronica ever considered Aria and Perry to be just friends she said, "No. I never considered that they would just be friends. I always knew form the beginning that it was gonna be a love story."

(c) Hazel of Stay Bookish
Fun fact #2:
Veronica is co-authoring a New Adult book entitled, Boomerang. And she's using a pseudonym: Noel August. She said, "We wrote it without ever thinking that anyone would even want it. We just thought this could be fun. Like, it started as a Skype chat." She also added that because her YA books had a lot of herself in them, it wasn't hard to transition to NA.

Fun fact #3:
Tahereh free formed the first book. She sees it as an exploration of characters, as a way to get to know them. By the second book, she had to play within the confines of the world she created so she was more strategic in outlining and plotting. 

Fun fact #4
Veronica said she's proudest of Through the Ever Night because she had a hard time writing it and it challenged her the most.

Fun fact #5
If a single picture could represent Miss Peregrine's and Hollow City, Ransom said it would be, "...the inside of my heart. So probably sort of black and red and squishy." Ooooookay, Ransom!

Fun fact #6
Tahereh already knew who Juliette would end up with at the end of Shatter Me.

Fun fact #7
Veronica meant to explore Aria and Perry's social and cultural differences right from the start. She wanted to show how they would deal with their preconceptions in the beginning. She said it was the "fun of the first book." 

Fun fact #8
(c) Hazel of Stay Bookish
Kenji is based almost entirely on Tahereh's brothers. So she would pick him as a confidante. From Under the Never Sky she'd pick Roar (wuhoo!) and from Miss Peregrine's, Emma.

Fun fact #9
Ransom said that when he was writing Miss Peregrine's, the photos guided the shape of the narrative. But Hollow City, he really had to make the photos work for the story.

Fun fact #10
Veronica didn't set out to write with a message in mind but what emerged after are two main ideas:
  1. The idea that if you're persistent and you treat people well, you can find happiness
  2. The idea of home. Aria's entire journey portrayed how she was able to define what/where/who it was for her. It's why the last word of Into the Still Blue is "home."
Fun fact #11
Veronica doesn't regret killing anybody in the entire trilogy. She felt they were all necessary and organic to
the story.

Fun fact #12
When asked how he feels when someone disagrees with what he wrote, at first Ransom jokingly answered, "I hate it! It makes me so angry!" After that he said that since he doesn't write anything controversial, he doesn't really get any backlash. Before putting down the mic he said, "I read everything. Be nice."

After that, they were asked for a message to their Filipino readers. Here's what they had to say:

Then came the fun part: book signing. I was most excited to meet Veronica Rossi because I recently finished the UTNS trilogy and absolutely loved it. I wanted to fangirl SOOOOO hard! I knew we were all in a hurry so I had to talk real fast. I had to tell her that the last line in the acknowledgments of ITSB made me tear up. I told her how it pumped me up for my new job. She's super friendly! She really makes an effort to make eye contact and interact with you while she's signing your books.

(that's totally not creepy)

I wasn't able to get a picture with Ransom and Tahereh but it's okay. I'm just happy I got to see them in person. ;)

The book signing event was craaaazy. They really have dedicated fans! About 2,000 awesome booknerds lined up and patiently waited to get their books signed. The signing ended around 9 p.m., I think? (Side note: Ransom and Tahereh were pretty jet lagged. They arrived around 5 a.m. the same day. WOAH, right?)

Overall, the day was GREAT. Some things didn't go as planned, but what the heck. I got my books signed, I met three amazing authors, and I got to bond with my blogger friends again.

Thank you, NATIONAL BOOKSTORE TEAM! You rock!!! You made lots of booknerds happy. *hugs* *confetti* *bacon* (because, why not)

And now. THE PHOTO DUMP! Because I'm bad at captioning/inserting photos.

Forum attendees with Ransom, Tahereh and Veronica (just in case you don't know: that's me sitting down, rightmost)
(c) Jesselle of The Lifelong Bookworm
Us with our quote shirts. (T-shirt from The Dream Shirt, designed by Hazel of Stay Bookish)
(c) Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs
Never had she loved life more. *winks*

So uh, wait for my next post! ;)

While you're waiting, check out these other recaps from:
Hazel @ Stay Bookish (plus Giveaway)


  1. 1:54am! That's incredible. I love that most visitors (authors/bands) say that Filipinos are the most enthusiastic crowd.

    Wow, I always thought/assumed that Tahereh decided Juliette's mate/love interest in the second book or the third one because she was so good in presenting the two sides. One of the best love triangles I've read.

    You make me want to read UTNS super ASAP. You've been fangirling since you started reading it. Haha! And I have to say this (again and again), I love the shirts! Super awesome idea.

  2. I wish I could have attended, this seems so awesome! The facts are super-cool too!

  3. Dude, your recap is so much better than mine. LOL I love that you and Veronica Rossi "connected" and yeah, she is such a great person (and so friggin' pretty too, selos ako). <3 Never a dull moment with those three, haha! See you soon-ish, Sab! MWAH.

  4. Great recap! And it was so nice seeing you guys in person! The line for the public event was CRAZY! Seriously I nearly whooped in happiness when I got my pass!

  5. I love how detailed your recap post is! This is wonderful, S! Good job! See you at the next event. I look forward to bonding again with you and the rest of the team. :)

  6. 1) I MISS YOU!!!!!
    2) Love the little facts as it made your recap really great!
    3) Ransom is totes adorbs and this is why he is one of my favorite authors
    4) Tahereh looks like a model
    5) Veronica sounds soooooooooooooo sweet!

    See you June, yeah?

  7. That is super cool that you got to meet them! I really adore these authors, and man, their signatures are so creative and artsy. Mine's so lame haha. Btw, I really like your shirt! It's awesome that Veronica signed it :D

  8. YES YES YES WELCOME TO THE UTNS FANDOM *SQUISHUGGLE* I really love the quote on your shirt <3 See you in June, Sab! :D

  9. Great post (and pictures) Sab! Love the details. :) See you in June!