Our Anton, That Guy
So this guy was a challenge to write. But you know me, I’m always up for a personal writing challenge.
That Kind of Guy‘s story is based on not a few conversations I’ve had with friends about why women, even those who are so smart about other things, fall for “bad boys.” Players. Guys who are, based on history and common sense, heartbreakers. And trust me, when conversations are about love, everyone is an expert: “We think we can fix them.” “We’re compensating for having to be good girls all our lives.” “He just knows what women want.” “They’re just hotter.”
The difficulty with this book wasn’t with the character, by the way. Anton (oh Anton) has been in more of my books than any other character I think, always in the background, if you hadn’t noticed. I knew who he was so well, and was excited about finally getting to his story. But then there was the matter of Anton’s writer becoming a mother, and writing his story while also adjusting to caring for an infant. This was not easy.
Good thing other people believed in this and pushed our progress along. Ines Yao, Abi Goy, Aurora Suarez, Koko Ko and people at Summit Books whose names and faces I should know (but I don’t, because I’m not hanging around there as often as I probably should!).
So in 2012 we had this, Anton’s book, out in every bookstore, and I realized that I had thrown the challenge out to the readers: Would you, sensible smart Filipina, believe this guy? He’s such a player. Has always been. He could be lying to you right now. Why trust him even? Especially when you have someone like Harry (nice, historically faithful, historically harmless) in your life, as we all do?
Watching the reviews and reaction to this has been fascinating, and I can’t say who’s right (because everyone is an expert). But I’ve read every post about it that I could find, and I’ve learned a lot about how the people who’ve read this book view love, and trust, and forgiveness, and change.
This weekend, That Kind of Guy won the 2013 Filipino Readers’ Choice Award for Chick Lit. Thank you to every person who bought, considered buying, read, lent, borrowed, reviewed, talked about, asked about, and voted for this book. What this tells me is that writing challenges are so worth taking on, because people are ready for it. Yes, even in “Chick Lit.” Especially in Chick Lit.