A Tribute to Friends Who Supported My Books

A tribute to my friends who unconditionally appreciated and supported my books. This is also the  short story of my journey in the writing field and the challenges I needed to overcome to fulfill my childhood dream.

I remember when I was still in grade school, I would spend a lengthy of time reading books. My parents encouraged me to read books than play outdoor with friends. Later I found fulfillment in reading. I was excited with the fact that a story of life was unfolding in my senses. And it appeared to be magical to me. My young mind was so fascinated how thoughts were developed  and how a certain person could flawlessly craft a plot. I thought then how incredible the minds of the writers, creating a story out of nowhere by just utilizing their imagination. I wondered then if I could do such thing too. If I've a powerful imagination of a writer. Back then I haven't dreamed to become one because having been raised in a quiet seaside suburb in Surigao del Sur, I just wanted to live near the beach and collect sea shells.

When I reached intermediate, I began to love Araling Panlipunan, followed by Heograpiya ng Pilipinas. Primarily because these subjects focused on events and historical occurrences. I  knew then that I preferred story telling of historical events than anything else. Unlike kids of my age, I wasn't fascinated with Cinderella and Snow White, and all the fairytale stuff because I thought they never really existed in reality. I preferred real events.

I was 12 years old when I was hooked to radio dramas. Believe me, my parents were incensed with this habit. They thought I was too young to understand all the complications in life. So they  strongly prohibited me from getting near the radio, especially during weekdays, because I have grades to maintain. It was also during this period that our place, so remote from the world, didn't have a supply of electricity yet, so I have to rely on books to develop my creativity. Though my parents prevented me from listening to radio nobelas, I often sneaked to our neighbor in the afternoon after class to listen to some episodes.

One day I was disappointed how one particular drama was ended. I hated the fact that the ending of the story didn't have a strong plot or a justifiable finale. So I went home, grabbed my notebook and started rewriting the whole story. I wrote the finale the way I wanted to end it.

That was the beginning of my interest in writing. Since then I didn't stop writing stories. In my high school years, I wrote several scripts for our school drama and stage presentation. I also sold some of my  scripts to my school mates for their own classroom presentation.

Everyone thought I would take up journalism or creative writing in college, my father too convinced me to take a course related to writing then proceed to law afterwards, but my unruly mind thought of something else. I wanted a different field. Geography, International Studies, Astronomy (I loved Earth Science when I was still in school 😂) but none of these was offered in Davao schools during that time. So I ended up choosing a business course.

However, despite taking a business course, my favorite pastime was scribbling stories in my notes. While all my classmates and board mates were having boyfriends, busy dating and giggling in the school campus with their crushes, I was stuck in my room writing stories. Or at the library reading books. My interest that time wasn't on boys but on European history. Until I developed a great interest in the lives of European royals. I've read every book and magazine related to European monarchy. I was able to read all versions of Encyclopedia and biographies of Queens and Kings. Until I could write every royal family tree accurately without checking books.

I was fascinated with European wars, the war on succession,  the Hundred Years of War, World War I and II, preferably because monarchies were involved. I could trace why those wars occurred. And how Kings and Queens dealt with the ailing nations. My obsession towards European royalty and its history continued for several years. Until I became familiar with royal customs, decorum and protocol. And have known practically all royal houses in Europe. I could trace whose blood line the current European royals descended. And why they shouldn't supposed to marry non-aristocratic commoners by royal standard.

I also started a blog about Royals of Europe in 2007 (check MY ROYAL BLOG LINK here). Then I realized, I should be writing books about royalty someday. In 2008, I started writing the initial plot of The Queen Consort, a historical romance novel, but had to shelf it to concentrate on Tales of Royal Tragedies, a compilation of royal scandals and controversies that tainted the prestige of the crown. I went through some challenges writing a non-fiction book about famous families because I need to check the authenticity of  my sources. And doing an extensive research about this topic was not a walk in the park.

Tired and discouraged at some point, I stalled the writing several times. But my burning desire to finish a book about my royal obsession was so intense I fought hard to get back on track and continued polishing the book. It was in 2014, six years later, that I thoroughly finished everything. Now, Tales of Royal Tragedies can be bought from Amazon.com.

The Quiz Master is also six years in the making. Because this is a trivia book, I should choose categories from various fields of interest. And the task wasn't easy. I have to read sources from across all print platform. From books, magazines, newspapers, journals to validate facts. I've checked online sources too, websites, articles and research studies. It was a real hard work.

However, it wasn't until 2015 that I started writing a fiction book, The Red Star Tattoo Conspiracy. Initially, I wanted to write something unique under the suspense genre. I wrote several drafts, around six, until I settled with a plot about a young woman hunted by a secretive organization. The script undergone several revision of chapters. I've also fought the perennial writer's block in-betweens until finally completing it two years later.

Hardwork, perseverance, enthusiasm and strong determination are the essential  characteristics one should possess to successfully write a book. Without these traits it's almost impossible for an individual to finish a book. And because this is a personal goal, one should be self-motivated to sustain the momentum. Lack of self motivation endangers the possibility of finishing a book. All throughout my writing endeavor, I kept reminding myself that no one could help me fulfill my dreams except me so I need to focus on my writing goals everyday. I figured, if I'll just sit around and wait for the world to crumble without doing anything to realize that dream, nothing will really happen.

Having seen my childhood dream finally coming true is an achievement, a great reward, a success in itself. It feels like a ball of magic finally landed in my palm. The joy is immeasurable. Like I've just handed a trophy for Best in Not Giving Up. Success cannot be measured by monetary values but by the journey one had traversed to realize that dream.

I considered having a finished book a great accomplishment. However,  having people buy and appreciate the book is a priceless reward. It makes all the sacrifices meaningful. It boosts courage and serves as an inspiration to write more.

The sad thing is that, and this is a very common topic among book authors in the writing group I joined online, it's very rare to get support from family and friends. Most of the time, book authors get support from outsiders. It's challenging to convince friends and family to rally behind. My first book, Tales of Royal Tragedies, was sold outside the Philippines, buyers were people I didn't know and haven't met in person. None from my circle ever showed interest to get a copy. Most of my friends just want to ask for a free copy without any interest to buy one. It feels sad.

Photo credit: Nikki Bayona ©

The same reaction when my debut novel was published. None from my family and friends, except the few ones, expressed to buy a copy. Except asking for a free copy. It's almost discouraging but I've to wind it off and look on the brighter side of publishing a book. I figured, maybe because only few in my circle love to read books. It's so hard to force people to appreciate books when they don't like reading at all.

However, there are fewest people in my circle who are so genuinely supportive, who don't need further convincing to buy copies. And some of them I've just met recently. This gesture of genuine support really touched my heart and deeply inspired me to continue writing stories. Having them bought a copy without forcing them to do so is a testimony that they appreciated my creativity. That they believed I can write. And with this, I'm forever grateful.

Photo credit: Jessica and Randy ©

So it's a great pleasure to honor them here, to show how much I treasured their kind gesture. To let them know how grateful I am with their support and rare generosity.

Thanks to my ever supportive friends, Helen, Rowie, Prissie, Ate Nemie McLaughlin, and to my colleagues, Nikki and Randy whom I only met recently but didn't hesitate to spend money for my book. For Jessica who expressed great interest to help me promote the book. Thank you guys for your genuine support and great appreciation. It means a lot to me.

Book signing feel 😂😝

This tribute goes also to friends who expressed appreciation, and who believed that I have this unique ability to create stories. And to change the world through my works. 

Someday, when things go smoothly with my publishing endeavor, you guys will be truly remembered as part of the success. Thank you so much supportive friends! May the abundance in life abounds you. May God bless you more with everything you wish for in life. Thank You!!!

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