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Monday, April 6, 2015


Hello Readers! A lot of you know that I have never attended a single book signing event... but that all changed last Sunday, 22nd of March, 2015. A lot of my Instagram followers, Facebook likers, and Twitter followers know that I was able to attend the #ELockhartinPH (thank you National Book Store!) accompanied by my very kind cousin and so, I proudly introduce to you guys, my very first Event Recap! in which I will share my whole experience during that day. (Please do prepare for a lot of pictures and confusing words due to the excitement that until now I feel)

Before the Event:

Let's begin!

I was able to wake up around 4:30 am (March 22) and be able to leave the house with all things prepared around 6:10 in the morning. We were able to ride the FX by 6:20 and we reached the MRT around 7:15. We were supposed to ride the MRT to reach Glorietta 1 but it was closed and will be opening at 10:30 am, so we decided to ride the Bus going to Glorietta. We reached Glorietta 3 around 7:40 and we roamed around searching for Glorietta 1. Luckily, we reached Glorietta 1 and the long line for the book signing around 8:00 am. (These are just my estimated time because I forgot to record all the things due to my excitement. XD)

Taken when we arrived at the line of the book signing!
And so, we waited and waited and waited and waited. (Seriously, it was like 2 hours of waiting!)

And then we got Inside! Those who'll buy books for the signing was allowed to enter first and then all was allowed.

While on the line, I was praying to reach or attain my goal of being included on the first 100 registrants. Guess what number I am?

I got the 100th spot! I was very very happy that day! and honestly, I'm still happy until now! I was, speechlessly happy!

And so, we waited again. For E. Lockhart to arrive.

While in the waiting process, I got the chance to say hi to Ate Rexy of Reading_Rexy! and afterwards ate lunch.

Then a couple of waiting happened. (Have you counted how many 'wait' words I've placed in this post? XD)

Then, a woman (which I forgot what name she has) started the program by asking simple questions and giving off 'Sweep cards' to the 3 lucky winners. And after that, we waited for Emily to arrive.

Then the waiting was over!

E.Lockhart entered the bookstore with her humor and pleasing personality. She immediately sat down with Ms. Czandra (I believe) and started the Question & Answer portion of the event. 

Question and Answer Portion:

The Q & A lasted for more than 30 minutes. Luckily, for you guys, (especially for my readers who weren't able to attend the event) I recorded the whole Q & A and tried my best to interpret them and type them down. 

(Disclaimer: All of the questions and answers below are interpreted by yours truly as best as I can. There are some words which may be wrong or misinterpreted because this was taken from the event, many unexpected or informal things happen.)

(Copyright: All these questions and answers are not from me but interpreted by me. I would very much appreciate it if you won't own it as yours or anyone's work. I've put a lot of effort to finish this portion due to the fact that the only skill that I was able to use is listening. Thank you!)

Miss Czandra started off by welcoming one of the kindest and funniest author, E. Lockhart. Then she started asking questions!

Q: "What are your literary influences? Who are your favorite authors? What are your favorite books?"

A: "I always really really admire you know Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and Emily Brontë who put up a lot in We Were Liars who wrote  Wuthering Heights. Oh, and Jane Austen too yeah, but I didn't like the later Victorians a little more. So I have that as a big literary influence but I don't think you get to see it on the surface of many of my books because a lot of them also has a lot of pop culture influences as well. So Fly on the Wall is influenced by you know the artist and writers of the Marvel Universe. It's about a girl who has a Spiderman obsession and is a comic book artist and becomes a fly on the wall of the boys' locker room in her highschool. So it's very much a sort of superhero fantasy/realistic fiction boy girl kind of thing. So yeah, I feel like obviously all the time my literary influences are coming high and low at the same time and I like to mix it up that way." 

Q: "What inspired or influenced you to write We Were Liars?"

A: "Well, my grandparents on my mother side built a little house on Marcus Venier which is an island off the cost of Massachusetts in the States. It's a pretty big island, it's about 30 miles long and it has a lot of little towns in it but they had this little house and I used to go over on the ferry boat to visit them. It's about 45 minutes, and you can see these private islands off the ferry and you can see like one beautiful house at a top of a rocky island and I had always wonder what people were doing on that island and what there lives were like. So We Were Liars is kind of my answer to that question that I had on my head since I was pretty small."

Q: "Is the characters in the book [We Were Liars] coming from anyone you know from personal experience?"

A: "No! No! Those were horrible people! I don't know them. Those are not my people! My family is much nicer than that but I did want to write about what I think is pretty universal experience of childhood and young adulthood which is that families fight and some people's families fight everyday and some people's families fight once a year before Christmas and some people's families are violent and other people's families are fighting you know very quietly in just little angry glances but I think that all kids have heard the grown-ups in their lives arguing with each other one way or another and also as you grow up and you're not a child anymore but you're a teenager or young adult, you begin to question why those grown-ups are fighting, how are they fighting, what they say, what they refuse to say, and what their values are. So I wanted to write about that moment in growing up where you begin to think that the adults in your life are messed up, that you begin to think I don't believe what they believe and I don't think that these are even obligated people and I think that's a dramatization of something that's pretty universal."

Let me just tell you, before we go on to the next questions, that E. Lockhart is a very hilarious author but a very serious and intelligent one. I am even laughing again while typing her words even though I heard them already. I just wanted to say that. I just. So let's continue.

Q: "In the book, you interspersed snippets of fairy tales, why did you chose to insert these stories in your own story? and how should the readers read the fairy tales?"

A: "There's no should. You can read them however you want, I'm happy with the book being interpreted anyway anybody wants to interpret them. The fairy tales, I'm gonna tell you a story, I grew up with a single parent family, I was around but my parents divorced when I was two and I just live with my mom, it was the 70's, which tells you how old I am - which is super old. We live in a house for about 5 or 6 six years by that I mean my mom and I each had a room in this very big house with a whole bunch of hippies basically who were you know meditating, doing yoga, and smoking it up a little bit. So, we actually were not in the same house the whole time, we had to move from house to house because we were not very de tenants. This is relevant because I did not have a lot of furnitures, my mom and I only just had our bedrooms we did not have even beds, we only had mattresses on the floor. I had toys and things like that but I did not have bookshelves and one of the things that came from house to house to house with me and my mother was a box of big beautiful illustrated fairy tales, these were late 19th and early 20th century fairy tale collections, illustrated at what's known as the golden age of finished books illustrations. So, artists like Arthur Rackham, Kay Nielson, Edmon Dulac and these were you know The Brothers Grimm, Charles Perou, and Eragon Nights all these beautiful stories. I grew up reading them, these books were so precious if I wanted to look at them I had to have clean hands, and my mother would watch me while I was reading to make sure that I wouldn't tear the pages and this is all very special. So, it's only later in life when I thought to ask myself these question why when we did not have bookshelves, when we did not have bed frames, were we carrying a box of 19th century fairy tales from house to house and the reason turned out to be that these books were given to my mother by my father when they were courting. So essentially, I was being asked to take my parents marriage and wash my hands and then look at it. So in other words, the books were like an endowed object which is just a phrase that writers use sometimes or literally critiques used sometimes t o mean an object that means more than itself. It's endowed with meaning. I wanted to write a novel where the characters were endowing a lot of objects with a lot of baggage meaning symbolism. In We Were Liars, you know there's on a whole island that's endowed and endowed objects and there are houses and there are bank accounts and there is jewelry and family art in all of these are waiting with this extra meaning of a grandmother's love and a grandfather's approval. The fairy tales, once I was writing about endowed objects which for me came from carrying that box of fairy tales around from my childhood, using fairy tales to help tell my story seem very natural and I had grown up reading many many fairy tales because we had this collection and I took famous fairy tales that connected to cady's story in We Were Liars and used them to kind of tell certain truths about the Sinclair family in the novel that Cadence herself, is unable to tell directly. So, the fairy tales are used to reveal things that she is not yet ready to understand herself."

Q: "There were also a Shakespeare inclusion in the story."

A: "Well, yes. Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. That's the story of Shakespeare's King Lear, it's the story of fairy tale collected by Jessa Jacobs known as meat-loves-salt but that basic idea was the beginning of Beauty and the Beast in the original telling, Beauty has two sisters, she's the good one. Cinderella has two sisters, she's the good one. There's a lot of stories that pitched three sisters against one another and I wanted to explore those."

Q: "How did you develop the plot for We Were Liars to create such and intricate story line? Did you plan what would happen to everyone?"

A: "You know, I just took a big knife, Czandra, and I cut the vein open, and then I just leak it out on the page. I really had lots of drafts and I rewrote it a million times. It has a five act structure I don't know if you noticed that but it is in five chunks. I laid it down and organized it, I moved pieces around, a lot of pieces that I had written. I shuffled them to try to get them as best possible order. Anything else I say will be a bit spoilery now."

Let me just allow you guys to know what she said about spoilers:

"I refuse to answer spoiler questions the other day and now she's scared of me."

Isn't she so kind? That made the whole event spoiler free! Even the crowd was prohibited to ask spoilerish questions. 

Q: "Why did you choose to name the group of Cadence as the Liars?"

A: "Everybody's a big liar in this book! A book about people lying to themselves as well as to others. People lie for good reasons as well as for bad. In this book, a lot of times, people are lying out of love, or lying to protect someone's feelings, their lying because people might not want to hear what are they going to say, or because they want to protect themselves. It doesn't mean that they are nefarious, it means that they are emotionally complicated."

Q: "The main characters in the novel [We Were Liars] write words and phrases in their hands like mottos."

A: "This is my motto today; it's 'Speak Up.' I've been writing different mottos on my hands for different events. The characters in We Were Liars write mottos on their hands and some of these mottos are the grandfather in the book spouses. They discuss those and write them on their hands. 'Never complain, never explain', etc. He has a bunch of mottos that you know the big white patriarch who feels very secured of his own awesomeness and entitlement. He has a lot of those kind of mottos on how to be a winner, how to be a strong man, and the main characters in the book begin to figure out their own mottos on how they wanna live for the day they have this motto on their hand. Some of the mottos they discuss include, 'Be a little kinder than you have to', 'Never eat anything bigger than your ass'-- you could really live by that. Other more like 'Always do what you're afraid to do' and 'Do not accept the evil you cannot change'. They are dangerous and brave words. So I have to rubber stamps for you guys for the signing. You can have them stamped on your hand if you like to be reminded of those mottos this day or your book. You can have both!"

Hi Readers! Hahahaha. After the last question above, E. Lockhart summarized her books (which I didn't include because it would take me forever to write it) and I'd like to cut the Q & A here to put some of details about anything that revolves around E. Lockhart that was included in the Q & A.

• E. Lockhart will gladly and generously donate the 35 books that she has published (children's books, picture books, novels, etc.) to the Libraries built with Mitch Albom in the typhoon affected areas in the Philippines.

• She's working on a 'secret' book that has murder, a stand-alone, a complicated narrative structure, that is not in high school and that will come out in 2016 (if she behaves herself).

• She writes the YA major book during the day and the lighter, shorter middle grade books because according to her it does not require much pleading. (HAHAHAHA!)

• Imperative entertainment bought and own the book [We Were Liars] which means they own if forever. She's also not getting the book back. The book already has its screenplay (draft) and it will be rewritten. She doesn't know what the producers will make regarding the movie adaptation. 

• She has no idea in mind regarding the actors that she wants the character to be. [We Were Liars]

Let's continue the Q & A, shall we?

Q: "Is there any advice you'd like to give to aspiring writers in the audience?"

A: "I have lots of advice. I keep giving different answers to that question because a lot of the press is keep on giving the same question. So I'm gonna give a different answer that I've given yet. I write on a regular schedule and one of my novels is usually about 60,000 words. If you write an email to a friend, and I know that you'd just instagram or twitter but let's just imagine that you have a friend that you haven't seen in a while and you actually wanna write a whole email. You're gonna talk about your day or your week or boyfriend/girlfriend or whatever. You chat and chat and chat, you've written 250 words I promise you. You write to of those emails, maximum it will take you an hour, right? It's not too long, it's not gonna even take you an hour. So let's say that you have 500 words in an hour, if you do that everyday for 5 days and take the weekend of, you've got 2500 words. In a month, you have 10,000 words. In six months, you have a novel. Yeah. So just, write those 500 words everyday. Just write them and then you have a novel. Then you have to rewrite them maybe 700 times but that first draft is the hardest thing. It's just you know. 500 words a day, just do it."

After that question Miss Czandra asked the audience to ask a question to E. Lockhart. (Spoiler-free questions as instructed by E. Lockhart!) I'm very sorry because I wasn't able to gather the names of these people who asked E. Lockhart questions! 

Q: "Hi! I have a question. Who are some of your favorite authors?"

A: "Oh, I'm glad you asked that. For young adult, some of my favorite authors are Andrew Smith who wrote Grasshopper Jungle, I like Rainbow Rowell and actually I like Eleanor and Park better than Fangirl. I like an Australian writter called Jacklyn Moriarty, she's mentioned in We Were Liars so if you're a big fan of We Were Liars you probably have looked that up already... I have been reading Sidney Sheldon but I would not recommend that to the youth of the Philippines! I have a book in my bag. I've picked this up in the sreets and I think this is the book for the airplane. It's a fifteen hour flight and it is so dirty Czandra. It's filthy dirty! It's If Tomorrow Comes. I enjoyed it hardly but I think it's not for everybody."

Q: "Hi! So you also referred to Diana Wynne Jones in We Were Liars, so I guess you're a big fan of fantasy YA. Would you ever write in that genre? Or other genres in YA?"

A: "That is a good question. I really like to read fantasy but I find that I cannot write it. I do not have that kind of imagination. I also love to read historical fiction but I don't have the patience really to research it and kind of project myself back into the past that way. So, I write comedies and apparently write now thrillers but I don't know if I'm going anywhere else genre-wise because even though I love them I don't have the right kind of writerly brain to write them. 

Miss Czandra's last question before the booksigning was:

Q: "Maybe we can have a final message on what should we take from your books."

A: "Well I just wanna say thank you guys all for coming out on this hot day and sitting on the floor. It's so nice to see all of you and to talk to you. I hope that there is not a message so much as an invitation to think, to argue, to talk to other readers, to be opinionated, to change your opinion, to question things, that is what I hope people get out of my books. I hope they want to reread them, to connect to other readers, to shake them up a little bit."

And that's it! Hope you guys enjoyed this part! I just wanted to really recap and bring the whole event from my experience to your screens! 

(P.S. If there are some edits, wrong words, or corrections that you've noticed please don't hesitate to contact me, comment below, or just let me know!)

Book Signing Event:

After the event book lions were called by twenty's. While waiting I got the chance to talk to some of my book online friends personally! I got the chance to talk to Kuya Mark Luigi and Kuya Godwin. 

Credits to Kuya Luigi. Random proof that I'm not hallucinating.
Then out of nowhere numbers 100-120 were called.

Me at the line. XD
Out of long straight ours of waiting, I finally had the chance to talk to her. I told her that it was my first time attending a book signing, she asked me if I'm having a good time. I said yes and she said that after the signing we'd take our picture and stuff (about the stamp). I asked her to put my stamp on the book so that I could keep it forever. Then we had our photo(s).

Then my time was over!

After the Event:

I wouldn't say that it's actually after because we decided to leave after my books got signed. Before leaving I had the chance to take a group photo with some members of Pinoy Book Freaks United!

Credits to Ate Mia Garcia. 
Can't really tell you guys who some of them are because I haven't had the chance to talk to them personally and introduce myself.

After the signing, I got home and checked the photo that was released by National Book Store. You can't really see me on the picture that was released.

Credits to National Book Store. I'm behind that red circle.
But afterwards they released all the photos and I was included in another group picture similar to this one above.

Credits to National Book Store. Can you see me now?
That's it! I took a picture of my books to end my very productive and happy day.

Thank you readers for being with me and reading my first ever Event related to books!

Please do comment below (no spoilers!) on what you think of the book, the event, etc. Just random things! Thank you and enjoy your week ahead!


  1. It seems like you had a blast during your first signing! I remember mine like it was yesterday. I attended the VTR signing April last year, because, HELLO! RANSOM RIGGS, TAHEREH MAFI, AND VERONICA ROSSI! It was totally phenomenal.

    On another note. I hope to finally talk to you in real life soon! Are you going to Kiera Cass's signing event? Lol! If yes, see you there!!

    Finally. SALI AKO SA PBFU PICTURE NEXT TIME, HA! (totally feeling close here)

    1. Hi Raffy! I really did have fun during my first signing! You're very lucky to attend and meet such authors! I didn't have the chance to attend signings last year because of different unfortunate events.

      I'm also looking forwar to meet you! (though, I am not good at talking to people for the first time in real life) HAHAHA. I even forgot Kuya Godwin's name while writing this recap because I was so nervous that time. HAHAHA.

      Also, I really wasn't with the PBFU Family, I was just invited by someone who probably recognized me as a member. So, I too may not be included in the next pictures. HAHAHA.

      Finally, thank you very much ofr taking your precious time to read this recap on my blog. It means a lot to me!

      Lots of books to you,