Books · Experience · Thoughts

Book Signing: Amy Zhang and Andrea Portes

In a momentary lapse of excitement, rumors spread last Jennifer Niven’s book tour that the next book signing event is a duo. We’re already in an era where connectivity is at its peak brought by social media, book nerd friends from Cebu allegedly shared that it’ll be July 2, Saturday at their place and so it must be July 3 here in Manila – since it’s been like that. We assumed that its Amy Zhang and Morgan Matson. The former tweeted to confirm her visit when her latest book was released and when I asked the latter via Twitter, she replied that dates are being announced soon.

Days and weeks passed but still no formal announcement from National Book Store. It’s dragging not to buy and read books because you’re saving up the money and feels for the upcoming book signing.


The day I told my friends at Page Wanderers that I’m guessing it’s Andrea Portes and Amy Zhang because NBS has posted photos of their books, is the day they announced! Hoooray!

Unfortunately, only a few of us can make it since they’ve got prior commitments and have classes to attend to. However, that’s not obstacle for me not to design some bookmarks for our merch!


ON THE DAY

Arriving with my cousin, Cloie, few minutes before 8am, we’re not that surprised too see a very short queue. Most book nerds I know and the ones I met during Jennifer Niven’s have other plans. We were seated on the floor by rows of 6, spotting every one easily, I saw my friends who came early. One is Isabel, she purchased a set of our bookmarks! Upon approaching her, she never failed to unleash her inner friendliness and cheerfulness. Considering  the amount of posts I made on Twitter and Instagram, only a few knew about the bookmarks so I approached some book nerds while waiting for 10am to hit the clock. Saying hi to @fandayne.2.0 :)

That’s when Mary (@marymylovess) called my name! With a handful of #JenniferNivenInPH posts during the last signing and never ending notifications from the author, Mary and I knew each other’s book nerd existence at Instagram. We then talked and stuff, so great to finally see her in flesh.

However, Angel one from Page Wanderers wasn’t in sight yet when we’re headed inside to get registered. Seeing the early book nerds with Epic Reads tote bags, I have to admit – I was jealous! I saw the bag from a Cebuana friend, (@guardianvem), she told me it was a freebie. I wasn’t expecting to get one since we’re not that early, and prolly it’s just for the first 100 attendees or what. But thank heavens, I’m number 122 and I was able to get one!!! The totes were disseminated upon registration :) Plus, we also got a good seat.

Epic Reads tote! #AmyandAndreaInPH
Tote bag from the very generous Epic Reads and Harper Teens! #AmyandAndreainPH

We sat for a few good minutes, scrolling down past and joining NBS’ tweets for contests. I started approaching book nerds for some bookmarks, Angel is really supportive! Way to go Page Wanderers! We just went at the far back end of chairs then voila! our merch was sold out. Thank you for the lovelies who bought them and apologies to those who ran out of some. Just follow @PageWanderers on Instagram and check out the book signing event’s latest hashtag for we’ll only cater book nerd’s needs every book signing event.

Dining at the food court may seem like a usual one but it’s as if Angel and I don’t want to finish. Butterflies and other things were in our stomach, gosh! From normal book signing attendees to living book characters. It may took some time to get Angel’s wig done but it became stable.

Louisse (@louisseandbooks) also blogs! Check her site at sereneaugust.wordpress.com
Here’s my friend Louisse, (@louisseandbooks), after failing to so many attempts of seeing each other during signings so delightful to finally meet her!

Angel changed to Anika Dragomir from Andrea Portes’ Anatomy of a Misfit and I was Liz Emerson from Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place. With our heads held high, zipped up with confidence we embraced our thing. I was fidgety for IDK what others’ reactions will be, but most importantly the authors might think that we misinterpreted her characters. Hahahaha. Anyways, the show must go on and as usual, we had our photoshoot. Kidding!

Anika Dragomir from Anatomy of a Misfit and Liz Emerson from Falling Into Place mini cosplay last #AmyAndAndreaInPH
Anika Dragomir and Liz Emerson mini cosplay last #AmyAndAndreaInPH. And I won ARCs because I tweeted this photo!

Angel, Cloie and I killed time by staying at Starbucks, updating social media friends and tweeting our #AmyAndAndreaInPH experience.


Clock struck 2 and so it began!

Angel and I rushed in front to get a great view. Questions were asked to Amy about her nonlinear narration, LGBTQ character and success right after an early age. Andrea answered the questions about her life as YA inspirations and possible movie adaptations with Chloe Grace Moretz as her target actress. Soon, the signing started!

Fellow book nerds on queue! #AmyandAndreaInPH
Lo and behold, the book nerd friends!

MEETING ANDREA PORTES

Andrea Portes was the first one I encountered. I asked the question I’ve tweeted but failed to get a response about who’s the inspiration for Milo Hesse, from The Fall of Butterflies. I was expecting it to be one of the guys who she fell in love with but I was taken aback finding out that a couple of guys made up Milo. Milo Hesse is not solely a human being. We conversed about Anatomy of a Misfit, too! She tweeted me that I should read it since I loved Willa Parker from The Fall of Butterflies. I just love the main characters, I love the way they narrate the story. It’s quirky and witty.

I handed Andrea a note card I designed with my handwritten message at the back, she read it in front of me and gosh I swear to you I was blushing. She loved my design and the message. She gave me a hug afterwards. Awwww… It’s then time for a photo.

It may a short encounter but I enjoyed meeting the person behind Anika Dragomir and Willa Parker.

AMY ZHANG IS AMAZING!!!

Moving to the next table, I was really giddy to meet Amy Zhang and I can tell we’ve got mutual feelings! She’s so cheery, she wanted to get up her seat.

Amy Zhang, the author of Falling Into Place and This Is Where The World Ends, during her Manila signing.
I took this photo of Amy Zhang as I was approaching her.

Being ecstatic, she asked what’s on my arm. I’ve written what Liz Emerson’s 3 rules  are for her thing. Amy told me that she noticed me during the Q&A because I was in front and I was wearing a gold leaf crown. Good thing she appreciated my #OOTD because I was really nervous . Yes, this girl has a minimal chance of being not confident at some time.  I never thought she’d spotted me before I got my books signed. She first signed my Falling Into Place.

I shared my thoughts about that book and that I blog having “Let Life Occur” as the title. She loved it and asked what I write about. It’s not that great compared to her, I replied. I’m turning 20 next month but nothing great has happened YET. She just turned 20 and she greeted me advance happy birthday! Wow, that’s a first from an author.

My copy of This Is Where The World Ends has a mark at the cover because my mom has sat on it. I was reading it back in April but for a moment, I placed it on our couch then I asked my mom if she saw my book. She adjusted her seat then handed it to me. I cried the whole day. I care for my books and it’s not pathetic! Amy laughed at me and she shared about her mom, too. She also noticed the little sticky note flags I have on my book. Dumbfounded that I have a lot, the pink ones refer to love and cheesy moments, green ones about life sayings, yellow and blue for significant details of the character and setting.

A recent publish by Amy Zhang, I can't wait to meet her! ariannewritesstuff.wordpress.com
This was my book in very good condition before.

I also handed her a note card, she complimented my great graphic designer skills. I may not call myself as such but she noticed. I appreciate it highly! *squeals*

This is the longest author encounter I have, you can tell by how I narrated it. Gosh, I wish it didn’t end so soon. Amy keeps on talking and I wanted to talk more but I know that there are more book nerds waiting to see her. We hugged! And it’s like seeing my best friend for the first time in forever!!!!! We took photos and I may have grabbed my books already – with the next fan to get her books signed on her hands – but Amy acknowledged my graphic designer skills once again. She giggled and that’s it.


Going back to our seat, Angel was very proud of my Amy Zhang encounter! She witnessed how happy we were, even from the back seat. Kilig! We waited for her number to be called but we first fixed her blonde wig :)

Read Young Adults by Andrea Portes and Amy Zhang
Have you read Falling Into Place and This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang and Anatomy of a Misfit and The Fall Of Butterflies by Andrea Portes?

Everything was good and I wasn’t expecting more great to come. I was satisfied at that momnet. And wait, there’s a little bonus! In my 2 years of attending book signings, I guess I found my book nerd crush HAHAHA. He’s alone at the last row of chairs holding a pile of books – I’m not sure if he got the 4 – with his opened This Is Where The World Ends copy on top, I just saw him busy reading or maybe just scanning it just to be little less awkward in public. Again,  he is alone. He’s cute, tall and all. Sadly Cloie and I need to get going and so I walked pass his side, not out of luxury but because it’s just the path alright! But I do not know him. He’s just one happy sight. I’ll never know his name. Not even at social media because I tried.

The real bonus are my Advance Reader’s Copies. Read my prior blog post here.


So many things happened in less than a day! So many friends were finally met and memories to store forever. I cannot wait to dress up like a book character next time, meet new authors and maybe know his name!

Last photo of the night before we head home with my cousin, Cloie.
Last photo of the night before we head home with my cousin, Cloie.


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