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. I have not had the pleasure of meeting E.K. in person but we have interacted online, and I’m so glad she’s here on the blog today to share her introduction to the romanceclass community. Thank you for being here, E.K.!
1) How did you discover romanceclass?
My relationship with romanceclass is a long story. ^^;;
I come into it first knowing Ana Tejano, Liana Bautista, Stella Torres, and Anne Plaza from Pinoywrimos, and maybe learned about the Mina V. Esguerra from invites to speak and such.
From that I learned of the first formal romanceclass session. I flunked epically; I dropped out on outline stage. Boss Ana Tejano actually finished a book. So did Chrissie Peria, so I was hooked with All’s Fair in Blog and War. And yet when I visited the event that had the completed works, I was greeted happily by people. I was allowed to stay in the Facebook group, so I did.
I also tried for #heistclub, an event monitored by romanceclass, but also dropped out on that. And yet I was welcomed to things. There was also the #JustWritePH event, also monitored by romanceclass. I WAS able to finish a short story for that, and met a few more people. If I’m not mistaken there was an earlier romanceclassYA class, but I also dropped out of that one.
It is also true what Tara Frejas says that I first met her during a one-on-one online publishing seminar where it was just me and Tara and Mina. It was fun (I apologize for giving Mina a lot of trouble), I had a lot of coffee, I learned about Paper Planes Back Home, and I launched a book onto Amazon, yay!
Eventually the romanceclass events happened, so I started going to the ones I could. More people are met that way. More books were read that way. I also started attending the various workshops that Mina and friends offered. I met some more people that way.
So I was slowly brought into the growing romanceclass community that way, by meeting people who knew people who knew people. Now, besides the awesome internationally-known authors, I know several local theater actors in a way I never expected in my wildest dreams, but here we are.
I also managed to finish the most recent romanceclassYA event (whew!), so there’s that. Progress. 🙂
2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?
For quite a while I felt ‘Really? I am part of this community? Are you all sure?’. Especially because I dropped out of more than one class run by romanceclass people, and I don’t have a romanceclass book out. And yet everyone has made me feel welcome, in various ways. I get full hugs and hellos from lots of people during events. I got cheers for planning not a dress to FeelsSoProm (it’s important to me). People also like Atom (ehehe).
Some have even helped me with personal, non-romance book projects (Thank you Janus! Thank you your highness! and Thank you Tara for the help! and thank you to everybody for all the RTs of my stuff). If the Tales of the Activated are on the nets, it’s because of romanceclass, and I will always be grateful. Actually the book 2 may be a better thing because of knowing romanceclass.
I am grateful for the lessons in aspects of self-publishing: preparing the book for publishing, getting a cover made, getting it up on Amazon and other places, having a social media presence. I am thankful for all the lessons in the writing craft in general. I am a much better writer for having them. I am also grateful for the constant reminding that the author owns rights. It has been very helpful.
This being accepted unconditionally by a writing community has been wonderful. Thank you to all of you.
3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?
I still need to read a lot of the books, but of those I have read, I will recommend.
– The Interim Goddess of Love trilogy by Mina Esguerra, my gateway to the queen Mina and her world
– All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
– Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
– Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad, because friend of three worlds, and this is really good
– If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
– Sounds Like Summer by Six Delos Reyes, because I needed it
– Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six Delos Reyes
– Start Here by various authors, because I really needed it
– Promdi Heart by various authors
– Scandalized by Tara Frejas
– Like Nobody’s Watching by Tara Frejas, because Fred… and because Pio
EK Gonzales is a speculative fiction writer who follows indie komiks and follows the awesome Pinoy romance writers of romanceclass. She (they is cool, if you like) has a writing history that includes publication in Philippine Genre Stories, Philippine Speculative Fiction volume 4 and 10, and Ruin and Resolve. She will always be grateful for being a part of the #romanceclass community.
Image artwork by Mel Casipit.