romanceclass is a community of authors and readers who gather together to support indie published contemporary romance written by Filipino authors. Whether they’re a reader or an author, all community members have their romanceclass origin story… various stories of how and when they joined the community. romanceclass origins is a blog feature that highlights these origin stories.
Visit the earlier romanceclass origins posts here. In my last romanceclass origins post, Chris Mariano was featured. And I mentioned that I thought of us as “batchmates” because we knew each other prior to romanceclass being launched. Today, I’m happy to welcome another batchmate of ours to the blog: Ana Tejano! Please give Ana a warm welcome.
1) How did you discover romanceclass?
The short story is I saw Mina V. Esguerra tweet that she was going to start a free romance writing class in 2013 and I joined, thinking that it was about time to be brave and write to publish something instead of just writing and letting the story languish in my hard drive.
Tina M 🌻 (@tinamats) January 16, 2013
But my romanceclass journey started before that, sort of. I used to be the Municipal Liaison of the Philippine region for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) In 2009, I was looking for Filipino authors of different genres who could give pep talks for the participants for that year’s NaNoWriMo. I had just read My Imaginary Ex then, as research for my novel that year, and found Mina online. I emailed her about it, she said yes then sent her pep talk. A few months later, she emailed me about releasing Fairy Tale Fail on Amazon and it was my first ebook purchase ever.
We exchanged more emails and tweets after that about more pep talks, books, book discussion invites, book blogger meetings and workshop invites, and so it was easy for me to sign up when the class opened. Finishing and publishing the book was another journey entirely, but once I got there, I never looked back. 🙂
2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?
I wouldn’t have published my first book without this community! I remember telling someone that I would never publish anything, that I’d only be a writer and not an author. And I almost didn’t publish but when my batchmates started to come up with books, I decided to go for it. And it’s been an interesting journey ever since.
I’ve surrounded myself with reading and writing communities in the past years, and romanceclass is a combination of both, plus the cute boys and the kilig. 😉 romanceclass helped me get over those old notions that romance is a “lesser” genre because it’s fluff and easy reads because I saw the hard work that comes in writing the HEAs and the impact of a good romance story to readers.
And it’s not just writing – romanceclass also helped me with my digital marketing certification (feelings for sale, yay), helped me find the specific kind of romance I want to write, taught me to be open and more understanding about so many things, cheered me up when the real world is stressful, and gave me a chance to hang out and be friends with some of the most awesome and talented people I know. 🙂
3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?
What a difficult question, but here’s some that I really enjoyed, and I often tell friends when they ask me for recommendations:
Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra (#Lucas5ever)
Summer Crush by Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas and Jay E. Tria (I love everything they write, but this is book is a good introduction to all of them)
If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
This Side of Sunny by Agay Llanera
The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza
Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad
Make My Wish Come True – because I love Christmas, and it was a dream to have a holiday anthology, and this was such a fun project
Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications manager for a payroll outsourcing firm, and serves in CFC Singles for Christ in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).