Romance/Chick Lit/NA/YA, by Filipino authors
If you’re looking for romance, chick lit, YA, and new adult by Filipino authors, we’ve got them right here:
Some indie-published romance authors and I started this after they successfully finished #romanceclass, #buqosteamyreads, and my other online writing classes. Thought we’d make it easier for readers to see our work, because most of them are indie-pubbed and each author has her own marketing and social media thing going on.
First of all, it’s amazing that in a few years we’ve gotten to the point where we have a catalog and over thirty books listed. (Once we start adding the 30 #buqoYA finished books, this would go up considerably.) Most of these titles are in English, right now, because they took a class under me and I write romance in English and in the beginning was comfortable teaching only that. But in the recent classes the authors have branched out, and we’ll have Tagalog/English titles on the site too.
There’s a lot of talk about diversity in publishing right now, and I must admit, we didn’t have that as a goal when the classes started. At least, not diversity the way the current discussion worldwide (US-centric, admittedly) is talking about it. We started #romanceclass because I had met some Filipino authors who read English-language contemporary romance and chick lit, and wanted to write it. We thought there weren’t enough books being published to cover every single theme, character, and situation we wanted. So we started writing it together.
Since then, we (meaning me and the other authors and readers) have:
1. Encouraged and published most of these titles as indies, to address what seemed (at the time) like a lack of interest by Philippine traditional publishers in English-language contemporary romance for adults
2. Supported digital editions of these books when they come out, because prioritizing print is too costly and not feasible for an indie author based here
3. Partnered with businesses willing to help the books reach more readers
4. Written more books with more sex, more non-Filipino characters, more international settings, more locations in the Philippines outside of Manila, more variety in occupations for the main characters — more than the Pinoy-authored contemporary romance that we’re used to, in any case.
The diversity question is slightly different for us who are Filipino and write/read romance in English. Locally published romance has its own tropes, similar to our popular Pinoy romcoms, and every author starting out here seems to instinctively want to bust at least one of them. I’m happy to say that every Pinoy indie romance author I know (even those who are friends and didn’t take my class) is doing an excellent job at that, and that’s why there’s so much variety and exciting new stuff coming out. I’ve been asking the authors to find out what their “thing” is, what they’re good at, what they can be known for. Everything’s better when we’re all in our zone.
Pinoy authors who write romance in English may feel trapped in the middle of two audiences. There are readers who may find her work “too Western” and those who will find it “too exotic.” I know there’s an overlap there, an audience that is perfectly willing to enjoy a book by a Filipino author whether or not it features Filipino characters and settings, and we need to find more of those people and get our books to them. I want these books in people’s device libraries, these authors doing signings, getting print deals, web series/TV/movie adaptations, audio editions, foreign language translations…I want it all, for everyone.
If you think you can help, head on over to romanceclass.co.vu and read a book. Thank you!
There’s more about the awesome things Pinoy romance authors are doing in the latest issue of Bookwatch, the publication of the National Book Development Board.
PS. I really really want to do a web series. Hi, universe.