Words, photos, and graphics by Verna Sevilla.
Siobhan Vivian, author of ‘The Last Boy and Girl in the World’ and Jenny Han, famous for ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ trilogy, arrived in the Philippines on the 12th of September. The novelists are the guest speakers for the Manila International Book Fair that will be held in three different venues, on September 15 at 4 p.m. in Cinema 1, SM City Cebu, on September 16 at 2 p.m. in Cinema 9, SM Megamall, and on September 17 at 2 p.m. in the Activity Area, 2nd Level, SMX Convention Center. For all said schedule of tour, registration starts at 10 a.m.
Jenny Han, together with her co-writer Siobhan Vivian, previously wrote the ‘Burn for Burn’ trilogy novel to great success. While her other novel ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before‘ was announced last July to have its own Hollywood movie adaptation.
The book signing tour with National bookstore will last for two days. Luckily, we were given the opportunity to interview the pair two days before the start of the event.
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian signing books.
“I love it. I had my first mango juice a couple hours ago. It was delicious and I had so many wonderful interactions with Filipino fans already. I’m really excited to meet some of them in person.” As Siobhan said with a joyful spirit, sharing her first experience coming to the Philippines.
We asked Jenny how writing has been for her right now. “Good, I’m on a little bit of a break from touring. I was in Brazil and a festival, and I came home for a few days, and I realized I’m ready to leave again for the Philippines. So It’s been pretty busy.”
When asked about whether she’s working on a book to release sooner, the young adult novelist answered, “I do not have anything to share right now cause I’m still trying to figure out what I’m gonna do next. I’ve got a couple of things I’ve been working on for the past several years, but I haven’t picked what it’ll be next.”
And talking about her writing process and whether if there have been instances alternative endings or events don’t make the final cut, Han answered, “No, not really, because it takes me so long to finish a final draft, that it’s kinda like everything’s in it, that’s gonna be in it. So people would ask the lead and scene for when I cut things and for me, I don’t really have that cause I keep on my scraps and then I use everything.”
According to Siobhan, “I have a new book coming up in spring 2018, and it’s called ‘Stay Sweet’ and it is all about an all-girl run ice cream stand.” She told us about the inspiration behind the book. “I’ve visited an ice cream stand once, that was run by all girls and they had just a really nice energy to them. Just kind of a sisterly, almost like a summer camp. The girls are really adorable, and there was a boy in the backroom who was the manager who looked totally out of place and I just loved the dynamic there.”
More of our Q and A with Jenny and Siobhan here:
WIM: When did you realize that you’ve fallen in love with writing?
Jenny: “I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, and always loved to write. I can remember being six or seven years old and having these notebooks, telling stories and for me, it was always there.”
Siobhan: “And for me, it was more after taking a class after high school, I took a creative writing class and just really loved it and it didn’t feel like work. It just felt like fun. So, that was where I really fell in love in writing.”
WIM: What were some of the recurring ordeals you faced when writing?
Siobhan: “I think feeling like what you have in your mind is not coming across on the page, and that’s the toughest part. And sometimes the toughest part for me is its good in my head and it works in my head but I can’t quite get it work a page. Sometimes very stressful.”
WIM: Can you give us an advice for those who are beginning to write?
Siobhan: “Don’t let it just be a dream in your head that one day you might wanna try. That just trying, it’s only for you. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or if it’s bad but you know, writing for yourself in those early days is the nicest thing.”
Jenny: “I agree with that. She has good advice. It’s just jumping in and doing it and the story knows where it goes.”
WIM: Message to your Filipino fans?
Siobhan: To all my Filipino fans, I just wanna thank you guys for such warm welcome and I’m loving it here in the Philippines and I’m so excited to meet you guys for the next couple of days.”
These events are made possible together with Raffles Makati and SM Cinemas.
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