ICYMI: Stephanie Perkins (author of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After) was here in the Philippines!
When our favorite authors come to the Philippines, expect it to be a huge affair. Geography alone can tell you that it isn't often that authors come to the Philippines to meet their fans. So, when they do, it becomes this one, big, crazy affair. Add that to the fact that Filipinos are a bit celebrity-crazed.
It's funny though the lengths that some people go through just to meet these amazing authors who write the books that touch our hearts, so much so that it warrants a meet-and-greet experience. Since the last few signings hosted by National Bookstore, it dawned on me that people have started to get in line earlier and earlier and earlier. Sh*t just got real when National Book Store tweeted about the 7 people who were already lined up outside the venue by 6 PM last Saturday. That doesn't sound so bad but wait 'til you hear the catch: the registration for the event wouldn't be until 10 AM on SUNDAY! I admire those seven people for their dedication! Wow.
I won't try to compete with those seven people but I did set a personal record yesterday. Before yesterday's signing, my earliest attendance was during the VTR (Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi, and Ransom Riggs) signing. Then, I was with my cousin Ana of Ana Rabacca's Book Blog around 7 AM in the morning. But yesterday, we were there by 4-freakin-AM... on a SUNDAY! Which is reaaaaallllyyyy early for me because I don't usually het up until 10 or 11 in the morning. I'm definitely NOT a morning person so I felt like it was such an accomplishment for me to be there that early just to get in line.
It was all worth it, though! Stephanie Perkins is definitely one of the nicest people ever. I really felt how overwhelmed she was by the reception of her Filipino fans. The small event space inside National Bookstore in Glorietta 1, Makati was packed to the roof! I could barely see Stephanie but that didn't keep me from wriggling this way and that just to get a glimpse of the woman who brought is Anna, Lola, and Isla! She did not disappoint. Stephanie was really funny and open about talking anything and everything. She didn't even bat an eye when the interview veered to almost personal territory as the interviewers started asking about her and Jarrod (Stephanie's hubby who was with her during the event). There were several awwwww moments as she talked about how they met and how there's a piece of her husband in Etienne, Cricket, and Josh. I mean, how ADORABLE is that?! :">
After the interviews, she started signing books and it was REALLY FUNNY how the fans also swarmed Jarrod for pictures and autographs. It was sooo crazy that they had to get him his own table so he can sit down and sign the books! I didn't get a chance to meet Jarrod personally and get his autograph but I'm pretty sure he's a really cool dude from what my friends (who met him) keep telling me.
I'm just really happy that I got to meet Stephanie Perkins. I did not go to this signing just for the sake of getting the books signed. I went because I was honestly excited to meet her and thank her for sharing these beautiful stories about falling in love. She makes me fall in love over and over again with her books. Reading Stephanie Perkins' books makes me relive those scary yet thrilling moments of jumping head first into your first love. It's beautiful and heart-warming, and definitely unforgettable... much like her books. :)
To Stephanie Perkins, if you're reading this, I hope you enjoyed your stay here in the Philippines! Keep on writing and we'll definitely keep reading! Good luck with everything, Ms. Perkins. Come back soon! xoxo