romanceclass origins: Bianca Mori

romanceclass origins

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. Apologies for the delay in posting today’s romanceclass origins, I haven’t been feeling well the past few days so this took me a while to put up. So before the day ends, please help me welcome author Bianca Mori as she shares her romanceclass journey!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

This is a gigantically long story, but okay, let’s do the highlights: I knew Mina V. Esguerra from way back when LiveJournal was THE social media platform. We’d both published chick lit books through mainstream publishers (I under my real name), and I closely followed her indie publishing journey with Fairy Tale Fail.

Cut to: late 2013. While I didn’t join the first romanceclass, Mina helped me with my first independently published title and allowed me to tag along with the official romanceclass blog tour. Because she’s awesome.

A few months later, she told me about doing another romanceclass run, but this time featuring sexier books. At that time, we’d all been doing clean romance and she said she felt that it was time for her, personally, to inject heat into her work, and I was all “I completely agree. Sign me up, sis.” That class was #buqosteamyreads and the novella I submitted eventually became One Night At The Palace Hotel.

[Pen name side note: Mina made us read Tessa Bailey to prep for the class. And I thought, wow, the genre can get this steamy? I’m going to be super explicit! When One Night was done and I read the finished version, I realized, hah, what if my NGO clients and corporate bosses Google my name and this comes up? Bianca Mori and this funny double-but-not-really life was born.]

So that’s how it started. I kept going to the events, even if I had to first prep for them, at home, because I’m naturally shy and I have to practice my small talk. Then I started making friends, who were equally introverted, and now I didn’t feel so weird anymore. Then I wrote more. And fangirled. And planned things. And sometimes just showed up, because it’s an awesome community with this amazing energy that never fails to make me feel creative and fulfilled, especially when my day job can sometimes be like swimming frantically with my head barely above water.

Actual proms weren't this fun #FeelsSoProm

A post shared by thebiancamori (@thebiancamori) on

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

The romanceclass community is built around supporting each other. That’s rare. I’d been in a few writers’ groups and found that they were almost always built around critique. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but too often, it turns into gatekeeping. Discussions become about exclusion, and then it becomes about snark. It’s exhausting, and it’s premised on making art conform, instead of letting it evolve.

But romance is constantly evolving, and so is #romanceclass. People feel like writing about a certain topic and we all cheer each other on, and at first it doesn’t feel extraordinary until you view what we come up with through the eyes of readers who are looking for more. We’re doing STEM, queer, age difference, single parents, #ownvoices and more. None of these would be possible if the community weren’t so supportive.

And it’s just so dang fun. #romanceclass energy is positive and bright and maybe if I could see auras, our gatherings would be surrounded by an amazing unicorn glow — because it feels that way. It feels special, rare, precious and sparkly, with shiny silky rainbow hair.

Sulit my 3 hour drive!! #feelsfest2017 ❤

A post shared by thebiancamori (@thebiancamori) on

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

Love Your Frenemies – Mina V. Esguerra, because Kimmy Domingo is the OG hard-to-love-but-kicks-ass-anyway heroine and I heart her. (And because Mina is so prolific, I also highly recommend the Scambitious series (con artists!), The Future Chosen (brilliant kids in an anti-political-dynasty NotPhilippines) and What You Wanted (one night stand with two lovably screwed up characters.))

Another Word for Happy – Agay Llanera, and anything Agay writes, basically, because her work overflows with heart and makes me cry.

You Out Of Nowhere – Jay E. Tria, because Jay is another master wordsmith and this sexy tale had me from the first pages of its MRT meet cute (it could happen!)

The Duke Takes A Bride – Suzette de Borja, because aristocratic sexytimes and a goldfish that is black.

If The Dress Fits – Carla de Guzman, for realistic body positivity and a romance that will make you ache.

Loveless, Childless, Clueless – Miren B. Flores, with a knowing toast from all ladies in the northern end of thirty.

Love Your Frenemies - 2018 edition Young and Scambitious The Future Chosen What You Wanted 2018

Another Word for Happy FLAIR You Out of Nowhere The Duke Takes a Bride If the Dress Fits Loveless Childless Clueless

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Bianca Mori

Bianca Mori writes contemporary romances, romantic suspense and crime fiction set in the Philippines, Asia, Europe, the United States and all points in between. Her steamy stories have been called “fast-paced and super-hot,” “engaging,” “vivid” and “engrossing.” She lives in Manila with her family and a hyperactive pug. Find Bianca on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @thebiancamori or at her website http://www.biancamori.com

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Chasing Mindy Guest Post: Paris Travel Diary

Last week, author Carla de Guzman shared her romanceclass origins and today, she’s here on the blog to share the location inspiration for her latest title Chasing Mindy. Paris is a city that’s close to my own heart and I love that Carla chose to set her book there. Check out what she has to say about this glorious city in relation to her book!

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Paris Travel Diary by Carla de Guzman

One of my favorite things about writing Chasing Mindy was being able to re-write my experience of Paris. It’s one of those places that you never, ever, ever think you’ll be able to visit. You dream about it and hear about it, but you can’t really picture yourself there until you’re actually there. Mindy’s awe over the things she saw was very much my own.

Honestly guys, this city though. It’s so pretty you want to hug it.

For my little stint here on Chachic’s Book Nook, I’m sharing my photos and a little travel diary of the places Mindy and Javier visited!

Chasing Mindy - Rue de Depart

Rue de Depart
Mindy’s first scene ever in Paris is here–on a street corner, looking at the golden light and cursing the city for being just so gosh darn perfect. And how could she not, if she was looking at this? This is the corner not too far from our hotel in Montparnasse. It’s my phone’s wallpaper!

Chasing Mindy - Metro

Paris Metro
Call me a nerd, but I like the Paris Metro stations–they’re all so different, and how fancy is it that the ads have a pretty sienna tile surrounding it? It even has Napoleon’s crest on top of each one.

Chasing Mindy - Shakespeare and Co

Shakespeare and Co.
You see this a lot in pictures, and I never realized it was just across the Notre Dame until someone pointed it out like, oh no big deal, there it is! The inside is crammed with books to browse, and there was a bunch of lavender growing in front of the store so it smelled so nice. I realized later on that there are lots of Shakespeare and Co. bookstores in Europe, but there’s just something special about that green awning!

Chasing Mindy - Square Rene Vivani

Square Rene Vivani
Javi makes Mindy frog march over to the park next to Shakespeare and Co where they sit and have their coffee. Look at that view of the Notre Dame! With the rose arch and everything. There were quite a few painters taking a rest there, and couples falling asleep on the benches–which is totally normal. This place had to appear in the book, just because of the roses!

Chasing Mindy - Saint Chapelle

Saint Chapelle
This church! You don’t run out of churches in Paris, but this one is lovely! I experienced it exactly the same way Mindy did, where she runs up the smallest staircase, thinking that this was a scam, (and we had to line up for an hour!) only to find this gorgeous illusion of light on top. I believe I used the words ‘HOLY CRAP’ in my travel diary at the time.

Chasing Mindy - Giverny

Giverny
When I visited Paris for the first time, I became a little obsessed with the Impressionists. I looked up their works and read up on their history, which is why I knew that the next time we went to Paris, I had to make sure we went to Monet’s home in Giverny. Imagine a garden of flowers and multiply it by like, a thousand. I could barely breathe I was so happy.

Chasing Mindy - Olympia

Olympia by Manet
Sorry for the sudden nudity, but this girl is my goddess, okay. Manet painted one of his favorite muses totally naked. I could go into detail of why he painted it and why this painting was one of the most controversial of his time (someone stop me!), but I settled for putting it in the book, for now.

Chasing Mindy - Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
An excerpt from my travel diary, ‘Damn it, Eiffel Tower, I thought I was over you!’ The perfect last thing to do in Paris is to buy some food, sit in the Trocadero Garden and wait for the tower to light up. You half-expect there to be music. Look at it. So pretty.

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Chasing MindyBook Description:
Mindy and Javier are not friends, okay.

Despite their mothers’ matchmaking, they’ve managed to stay out of each other’s way. Until Mindy goes to Paris for a week, and her mother insists she meet up with Javier. He’s in Paris to study, really looking forward to see you, she says. Watch over each other.

No thanks. Javier is taciturn and boring, Mindy is dramatic and has a tendency to yell at things when her eight siblings are brought up. It’s not a great combination.

But things start to look a little different under the Paris lights, and what felt like hate feels a lot closer to love.

romanceclass origins: Carla de Guzman

romanceclass origins

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. Today, prolific author Carla de Guzman is here to talk about how she first started attending romanceclass events with siblings in tow. Please give Carla a warm welcome!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

In the summer of 2015, I wrote a book. Oh man, I thought I was so amazing. It was a book about different cities and different universes, and I didn’t know it at the time, but it was not romance. After I finished it, I thought I would find someone who might want to publish it. But there’s nothing more painful than being told “why don’t you publish your book on Wattpad first and gain a couple of thousand readers before we publish it?” Ouch.

While desperately Googling and querying, I stumbled upon Alyssa Urbano, who was my batchmate in school. I saw she was self-published and asked her about it. She told me about Bronze Age Media and encouraged me to get in touch. Tania Arpa talked to me first. Looking back I was very, very persistent, haha. After they agreed to help me publish Cities, Tania and I worked together on the cover. Layla Tanjutco finished the first book of mine she would edit. Liana Smith Bautista would later organize the blog tour. Then Mina V. Esguerra and I met in Coffee Bean in Greenhills. She showed me how Amazon worked. I remember she said, “Congratulations, you’re a published author now!” So surreal.

The next thing I knew, I was being added to this group on Facebook called romanceclass, and we were being invited to attend this ‘secret thing’ at The Study in Podium. Me being a very awkward turtle, I brought along my sister (I would bring siblings for at least the next two live readings) and we heard the very first live readings by Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates. I didn’t know anybody, and barely spoke to anyone. Up until April Feels Day 2016, I still had a sibling around! Apparently being in a small space with sweaty people buying each others books makes for great bonding.

Then there was workshop season, where I joined #SparkNA, #StrangeLit, #romanceclass2016 where I wrote If The Dress Fits and #romanceclasss2017 where I wrote Making A Scene. Whirlwind years, my friends.

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

When I first joined, I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to mean for me. At the time it was just a group of people, recommending books, talking about handsome guys.

But later on, romanceclass became a safe space. I can say “hey, that guy looks really really cute!” and not have anyone look at me oddly, in fact they would even nod and agree! That was so new to me. I could write smut and ask questions I could never ask anyone. I could say “hey, this book has a hot and grumpy British actor and maybe I’ll like it” and people will actually encourage that. I can say that I want to write a book about a plus size girl falling in love with this tall, cute boy and they’ll actually say “why not?” instead of “why?” You say you’re a writer and people look at you funny still.

Suddenly, here are all these people who just know things. Like how fun it is to watch a good musical when you’re with friends, what it feels to drown in feelings and what it feels like to suddenly find a community. Suddenly, I have… people. I never thought I would have people.

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

WHY YOU ASK THIS? It’s hard to choose books because I love them all and in very different ways.

I think everyone should read Tara Frejas’ Waiting in the Wings and Like Nobody’s Watching because she writes with her heart on the page, and we all need that. I like soft boys and tough girls, which is why I would recommend Jay’s Songs To Get Over You. If you want to read Mina V. Esguerra’s books, start with No Strings Attached and That Kind of Guy.

And then I would hop on over to Bucket List to Love by CP Santi, Cover Story Girl by Chris Mariano and The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria. And of course Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes for the lightsabers. And then you jump into One Night at the Palace Hotel by Bianca Mori, Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco are SUPER HOT. Ana Tejano’s Keep The Faith is fun and easy to read, and I round it all up with Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera because of the tears and the cookies.

I could recommend more, I could talk about these books all day.

Waiting in the Wings Like Nobody's Watching No Strings Attached_New Cover That Kind of Guy 2017

Bucket List to Love Cover Story Girl The Kitchen When It Sizzles - indie Feels Like Summer

One Night at the Palace Hotel Submission Moves - ebook Keep the Faith Choco Chip Hips

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Carla de Guzman

If you ask Carla what she does for a living, she will tell you that she’s not quite sure.

By day, she works a regular day job and writes for a lifestyle website. By night, she’s an author and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk and making these silly love stories. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family.

She’s currently on a quest to see as many Impressionist paintings as she can, and is always in search of the perfect pain au chocolat.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

romanceclass origins: Miles Tan

romanceclass origins

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. Today, I’m delighted to have Miles Tan on the blog. She’s romanceclass’ resident tech support, graphic and cover designer, and the creator of the romanceclass logo! In case you didn’t know, the romanceclass logo is based on her handwriting. I’m also very grateful to her for designing the romanceclass origins logo (because yay, it’s consistent with the original one so that makes my feature legit). In true Miles fashion, this post includes some of her original artwork. Please give Miles a warm welcome as she shares her origin story!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

It was 2013 and I was struggling with a job where I thought I could stay and flourish in, but the hours and workload were pushing me to forget to take care of myself and my family. I was looking for any outlet that could help me just relieve the pressures of work.

It was also around this time that I had been playing online with friends on a text-based RPG message board. If you’re not familiar with this system, it’s a little like round-robin writing. A gamemaster would set the scenario and the player – characters would respond, and whole stories would unfold. This sparked my interest to get back into one of my first loves: writing.

Chris Mariano and Chrissie Peria (authors of Cover (Story) Girl and All Fair’s in Blog and War respectively) had introduced Mina V. Esguerra’s works to me and mentioned the class she was setting up. So what the heck, I already had the beginnings of what was going to be Finding X, and the rest is — as they say — history.

Miles Tan - sketch01

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

‘Found family’ is one of my favorite tropes, and I found one with #romanceclass. With the group I found a place that has a lot of heart and full of acceptance.

It is also a place of opportunities for anyone of any capacity. You don’t have to be a writer or a reader. Some of us have become beta readers, subject matter experts, editors, artists, event planners(!) and code monkeys, resources that are all available to the members when they decide to write their own stories. This is the most supportive community I found, and I love them for it.

I may have originally joined the group to write, but I’ve stayed because of the support. And I like supporting back. There’s art, there’s code, there’s showing up. Being given opportunities outside the group that are an offshoot of all these (a wider network, more art and coding jobs) is like extra cheese on an already hearty spaghetti bolognese.

It’s one of the reasons I designed the logo that way. It’s about and for a community that talks, writes, and does everything from the heart.

Miles Tan - sketch02(1)

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

There’s so much! Here are good starting points though

Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra (not technically #romanceclass, but definitely paved the way for me)
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
Blast from the Two Pasts by Kristel S. Villar
Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Fairy Tale Fail 2017 Cover Story Girl All's Fair in Blog and War

Blast From Two Pasts_ Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Waiting in the Wings

While I’m in between the stories in my own head, I also live vicariously through the books I’ve done covers of. Keep the Faith, Midnights in Bali, Summer Crush, Young Love, Summer Feels, and Ghost of Feeling are just some of those!

Keep the Faith Fall Like Rain Midnights in Bali Summer Crush Summer Feels

Young Love Ghost of a Feeling Waiting in the Wings Like Nobody's Watching FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

Seriously though, I suggest browsing romanceclassbooks.com and you might just find a book you’ll love.

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miles-tanMiles Tan is a #romanceclass author, creative and tech support. And now also a pasta cravings instigator #StarchHere. She likes inhabiting imaginary worlds, from fantasy books to sci-fi shows to cheeky mysteries to role-playing games.

Finding X is her first published novella. Her short story, Something Real, is included in the YA Luna East anthology, Kids These Days.

Website: milestanbooks.com
Twitter: maedinn
Instagram: milestan.author

romanceclass origins: Six de los Reyes

romanceclass origins

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. Today, we have romanceclass’ resident mermaid on the blog where she shares her SUPER SLOW BURN introduction to the group. I’m going to admit that what she had to say made me tear up. Please give Six de los Reyes a warm welcome!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

My first encounter with #romanceclass was at Aklatan 2013 where I very awkwardly (after circling the table too many times) met Mina V. Esguerra and Chris Mariano at their booth. They gave me the intro to the community, to Author at Once, and to the Facebook group. Naturally, I came in a skeptic. Still, I exchanged emails with Chris and thought to myself, maybe this could work? Then in November that same year I joined the #buqosteamyreads workshop. I didn’t expect much, didn’t want much, didn’t think I’d stick around long enough for anything to happen. I just thought to myself, at least I’m doing something about this writing thing? I had a book after all, and I had all these stories begging to be written.

Anyway, through the first two years I lurked about the community and went to whatever event without interacting with anybody – not online or IRL. I remember sitting at the very back of the room at the Luna East launch, just watching these people who seemed to know each other very well enjoy their success. I remember meeting “Camilla Sisco” at our #romanceclass2014 Intro batch. I remember making online friends at the #SparkNA hashtag. I remember thinking, just one more workshop, just one more book launch, just one more and maybe I’d get something out of it? I ended up joining every workshop that came up for the next two years. At the time, it didn’t occur to me what it was I had already found there with these people. That I already did get something out of it, just not in the way I’d thought.

Hello, I'm a mermaid.

A post shared by Six de los Reyes (@sixdlr) on

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

#romanceclass is my safe space, my happy space. I say it all the time, #romanceclass saved my life. You hear this a lot because it’s true for so many of us. For so long I’ve felt unwanted and invisible – turns out I was loitering at the wrong end of the visible spectrum. Since joining the community, I’ve met people who see me as I am, socially inept, anxious, your resident 100% introvert hooman and all that applies and yet somehow I belong. After all these years, I finally found somewhere I belong. #romanceclass taught me it’s okay to have feelings, to feel the feelings however you feel your feelings. They’ve taught me how to acknowledge self-care is necessary because I need to show up either online or IRL otherwise there will be summons in ALL CAPS on Twitter or Instagram (and once at my doorstep). They’ve taught me that all the validation I need should come from me. They’ve taught me all this through the kindness (and patience) they show me, in the way they believe in me, and in the way they lovingly strong-arm me to just write the damn thing because later we can fix it. In this community, we have books, we have cute boys and girls, we have feelings, and most of all we have each other.

I came in thinking “What do I get out of this?” and now here I am thinking “What more can I do? What else can I give?”

#romanceclass, how dare you give me water and sunlight and room to grow?

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

Iris After the Incident by Mina V. Esguerra
You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria
If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Don’t Tell My Mother by Brij Bautista
Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera
Finding X by Miles Tan

Iris After the Incident FLAIR You Out of Nowhere If the Dress Fits Waiting in the Wings

Don't Tell My Mother Another Word for Happy Finding X

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Six de los ReyesSix de los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to write about the stories she wanted to read. As a pretend grownup, she writes contemporary romance novels. Her day job doing science has something to do with being a part-time mermaid and a part-time labrat. She currently lives next to the sea.

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Wattpad

romanceclass origins: Clare E. Marquez

romanceclass origins

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. Today, romanceclass author Clare E. Marquez, nicknamed Jang, shares how she first found out about the community. Jang is one of the sweetest people I’ve come to know through the group, she’s so thoughtful and always has something nice to say in any situation. Thank you for being a guest on my blog today, Jang!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

A friend of mine, Veron, told me about an online writing class that Mina V. Esguerra will facilitate in March of 2015. She was an avid follower of Mina and when she saw her advise, she thought of asking me to join her in this class. So I did and it was one of the best things that happened to me in terms of reviving my dream of being a writer.

Writing took a backseat after college for me. I had some scribbles here and there, mostly unfinished scenes, dialogues, stories that really never saw the light of day. I have notebooks since I was ten with all stories. My goal in attending Mina’s class was to just finish a full-length novel in less than 3 months – that was the length of the class – and that’s what happened. I was so happy about it.

Jang - Romanceclass 2015

So from Mina, I discovered this world of Filipino authors who write in English. I attended #AprilFeels in 2015 at the Pegi Waffles and met in person Filipino authors, experienced my first live reading of #GaHoates (Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates). It was so much fun but more than anything so meaningful to me. I was in awe and so impressed by everyone. It was a great place to be for people like me who loves to read – and write! – romance novels. I felt I was in a good place with the company of amazing people. So I started following other members of #romanceclass in Twitter, always checking out the happenings of the community.

When my first novel Simply Joei was chosen by Anvil as one of the novels to be printed from the 2015 class of Mina, I was ecstatic. It was nothing I expected but everything I hoped for. I learned a little about the ins and outs of traditional publishing when I was dealing with Anvil. Then I also learned about self-publishing and the #romanceclass people are the most selfless, supportive people one can find in this industry. All people I’ve messaged, whether I met in person or not, have helped me patiently, answered my questions and was so open to any other help I needed. So two months after Simply Joei was launched by Anvil in 2017, I launched my self-published book Just Kate in April 2017.

Again, the support of #romanceclass was unbelievable and I have never been luckier to find a place where I am so proud to belong.

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2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

To belong to a community that pushes you forward to be the best you can be, who accepts you for who and what you are and understands your passion – supports you selflessly – is a GIFT. #Romanceclass membership is a special gift to me, one I know I will forever be grateful for.

Being a member of #romanceclass means the world to me. It opened many doors for me, introduced me to awesome people (the best!) and I learned so many things about writing, publishing, (also food, k-pop, science, arts, politics, theater, Minola oil, among other things). When I participated in the #GoReadWrite2017 event at Raffles in 2017, it was so wonderful to share the experience with veteran and first time authors like me. I know for sure I would not have done anything I did in the last two years – writing, publishing, public speaking – without the #romanceclass community. I witnessed first-hand the unwavering, generous support the community has for each other. The community lift up each other and we have the pompoms to prove it.

My heart will forever be grateful for this world-class community and to be part of it is something I will always wear in my heart.

Jang - Go Read Write Panel 2017

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3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

There are A LOT of books written by #romanceclass authors and here are some of my favorites:

Learning to Fall by Mina Esguerra
Midnights in Bali by Carla de Guzman
All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao
The Duke Takes a Bride by Suzette de Borja
Bucket List to Love by C.P. Santi
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Learning to Fall Midnights in Bali All's Fair in Blog and War Sounds Like Summer

The Real Score The Duke Takes a Bride Bucket List to Love The Duke Takes a Bride

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Clare E. MarquezClare Elisabeth Marquez enjoys sitting in her pajamas while looking out the window from her amazingly massive writer’s desk, reveling in the glorious beauty of snow-capped mountains as she sips her warm, soothing coffee.

Then she wakes up. And writes.

A closet romantic through and through, C.E. Marquez is a voracious reader, writer, and dreamer, never failing to believe that dreams can come true for those who wait… and do something about it! Her towering piles of notes of handwritten stories (which she started collecting when she was ten!) are her well-kept treasures, tattered and bruised, but still waiting for their chance to see the light.

She writes about things that matter: love, life, and everything else in between.

You can contact her through authorcemarquez@gmail. com — but only if you want her to reply!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

romanceclass origins: E.K. Gonzales

romanceclass origins

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.!

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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. 🙂

Flock of indie romance authors 😍 (mibf)

A post shared by EKmisao (@komikninja) on

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

Interim Goddess of Love_digital cover All's Fair in Blog and War Keep the Faith Ghost of a Feeling

If the Dress Fits Sounds Like Summer Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Start Here - ebook

Promdi Heart Scandalized Like Nobody's Watching

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EK Gonzales_IconEK 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.

Instagram: @komikninja
Facebook: @pinoykomikninja
Twitter: @ek_phwriter

romanceclass origins: Chris Mariano

romanceclass origins

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 own romanceclass origins post, I mentioned that author Chris Mariano and I are “batchmates” because I knew her even before she became a romanceclass author. I’m thrilled that she’s here on the blog today, to share how she’s been a part of the community. Please give a warm welcome to Chris for her guest post for romanceclass origins!

Chris and Chachic - Jan 2018

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?
I participated in Mina V. Esguerra’s Author at Once workshop so I was already following her on Facebook. When she posted about organizing a ‘romance class’ to share her writing techniques, I didn’t want the chance to pass me by. My friend Chrissie Peria and I signed up, and the rest is history.

This is my idea of a good time. ☀️🌊📚

A post shared by Chris Mariano (@islandstorygirl) on

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?
The romanceclass community is my people. It is a support group, cheering squad, critique circle, and book club all in one. When you surround yourself with people who not only share the same interests, but who are also genuinely encouraging and inspiring, then nothing seems impossible.

I have always loved romance, but I never finished anything I wrote (unless you count the Sweet Dreams-type stories I wrote back in high school). romanceclass made it possible for me to actually complete my own novella and self-publish it, and to do it alongside other talented writers who were also just figuring it out by themselves. I guess it always felt that we were all in this together, your-success-is-my-success, walang iwanan. I’ve always tried to be generous with what I’ve learned so far because that is what the community has been to me. I know that I couldn’t have gotten very far without it, and I will always be grateful.

romanceclass is a family of not just writers, but also readers, bloggers, and even live readers. I love that it has grown so organically from that small table of authors at our first class. I don’t think Mina went, “I want to build a community so by November 20XX, I should be done with Step 1: inviting readers to join.” People wrote, people published, people shared tips, people contributed, people did what they felt like doing – and here we are now. To mis-quote Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?
A lot! I always dread having to pick favorites among my #romanceclass books because really, how can I choose? Some nice titles to start with include:
Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
Dare to Love by C.P. Santi
What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Chasing Waves by Bianca Mori
Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera
Promdi Heart (because love your own)

Keep the Faith Dare to Love What You Wanted No Strings Attached_New Cover

Waiting in the Wings Chasing Waves Choco Chip Hips Promdi Heart

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Chris Mariano - Author-PhotoChris Mariano writes contemporary romance and speculative fiction. Once upon a time, her short story “A Kind of Flotsam” won 1st Place in the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards and judge Neil Gaiman called it ‘beautifully done.’ She was also a fellow for Poetry in English at the 34th UP National Writers Workshop.

She is a freelance writer and editor living in Juneau, Alaska. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska Chapter. When she’s not reading an insane amount of historical romances, she immerses myself in armchair astronomy and tabletop roleplaying games.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Cover Reveal: Start Here, a romanceclass anthology

I’m so excited to share the print and ebook covers for an upcoming romanceclass anthology: Start Here, Short Stories of First Encounters! This LGBT-themed anthology has 10 short stories from various romanceclass authors, and was edited by Ronald S. Lim and Brigitte Bautista. It will be released some time in 2018, and I really can’t wait to read it. The book covers were designed by Dani Hernandez, featuring cover models Migs Almendras and Fred Lo, and (real life couple!) Rachel Coates and Sam Aquino.

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Start Here: A #romanceclass anthology
Edited by Ronald S. Lim and Brigitte Bautista
Release date: 2018

Sign up for updates here.

Start Here - print

There’s a first time for everything. Gatecrashing a KPop concert with an oppa in a business suit. Taking shelter from the storm with the girl you’ve been meaning to shake off. That kiss that blurs the line between friendship and something more. A one-night stand (or, is it?) with your best friend from across the hallway.

Dive into these 10 stories of first encounters – unapologetically queer, happy endings required, with a smattering of that signature #romanceclass kilig. Whether you’re recalling your own firsts or out there looking for one, there’s a story in here for you.

So, go on.

Turn the page.

Start here.

Featuring stories by Agay Llanera, Bobbi Moran, Motzie Dapul, Danice Sison, Barbie Barbieto, H. Bentham, Ella Banta, Yeyet Soriano, Katt Briones, Brigitte Bautista

This anthology contains M/M, F/F, F/NB romance stories with happy endings. Some stories have a high heat level.

Start Here - ebook

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What do you guys think of these covers? I like how bright and colorful the rainbow design of the print cover is, and how fitting it is for the theme of the anthology… but I love the ebook edition A BIT MORE because it features cover models. A few months ago, I blogged about the cover shoot for this cover. Linking the behind-the-scenes shots I have here again, in case you guys want to check them out – swipe left to see all the Instagram shots and click on the embedded tweet to see the whole Twitter thread:

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Cover Reveal: Throwing Rules to the Wind by Thessa Lim

Thessa Lim is a Filipino author I met in Singapore while we were both based there. I also hosted a guest post for her back in December, where she talked about her life as an author. Thessa has since moved to Australia, and I have moved back home to Manila. And in that span of time, I still haven’t had a chance to read her first book, In the Metro! I blame my ever-expanding TBR pile. I would probably be buried underneath it if I owned more physical copies than ebooks. Anyway, I’m happy to share the news that she’s releasing her second book next month. The shiny new book cover and synopsis can be found below. While it shares some characters with the first book, this second book can be read on its own. Congrats on this upcoming release, Thessa!

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Throwing Rules to the Wind
by Thessa Lim
Of Heads and Hearts #2
Release Date: November 17, 2017

A complicated office romance is not what scrupulous travel writer Zara Castillo has planned for, especially not when her career is finally taking off, but her easygoing colleague Matthew Villanueva is everything she wants in a man. When their relationship is tested by distance, issues she thought she had long buried emerge once again. Zara delves into her past in a quest for answers. Now she must face her demons or lose the love of her life.

Set in Metropolitan Manila with travel bouts to different islands in the Philippines, Throwing Rules to the Wind explores the lights and shades of seeking closure, forgiveness, and love.

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About the Author

Thessa Lim is a Filipina writer of new adult fiction. After growing up in the bustling city of Iloilo and working as an IT consultant in Metro Manila, she relocated to Singapore with her husband. While her linguistic repertoire includes Hiligaynon, Bisaya, and Tagalog, she only writes in English. Her paltry Singlish vocabulary consists of lah, leh, and ayo. She moved to Sydney, Australia, recently, where she looks forward to café-hopping while working on her next book.

With the Of Heads and Hearts series, Thessa wants to inspire young ladies with themes of friendship, family, and love.