Dress Shopping

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Shopping for me is never a stressful experience until the Momager tags along. When I was younger, shopping with her was filled with anxiety because she’d make me try so many dress that I didn’t like at all. Now that I’m older, we’ve reached a happy place and I’ve discovered things that make the process so much easier.

Wear a Dress

            When dress shopping, it will be so much easier to be in a dress too. Since you will be in the fitting room half the time, wearing a dress means you only need to take off one thing instead of jeans and a shirt. I say wear your favorite dress, this way you come into the dress shopping experience in a good mood.

Wear Nice Underwear

            Since fitting rooms have mirrors and possibly the worst lighting in the world, wearing your best underwear will help you feel sexy. A matching bra and panties, maybe something lace or satin, will help you look good in front of those mirrors every time you strip. Plus, having nice underwear on will help the dresses sit better on your body. Think of it as a test run for what you’ll wear underneath with the dress.

Wear Comfy Heels and Stockings

            This I can’t stress enough. Having on stockings and heels will help you see how the dress will look overall, especially if you’re buying something for an occasion. Also, I believe heels and stockings help with the sexy vibe. It’s all about stripping inside that dressing room. The better you feel when you see yourself in front of a mirror the easier the process of dress shopping will be.     

Avoiding Cliché Plots

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I don’t necessarily think it’s about avoiding cliché plots. A cliché is a cliché precisely because people can relate to it. People recognize it right away. One of the reasons why romance novels are so popular is because they work around the different clichés available out there. Sometimes they even combine several clichés into one novel.

Writing doesn’t necessarily have to be about avoiding clichés. It can be about how you can make a certain plot line work for the story. Since I’m not a plotter, I don’t usually think about avoiding clichés. I write for the joy that writing brings me. During the creative process, I avoid thinking too much about the technical stuff. I just let the story flow according to which character I’m listening to at the time. The technical stuff comes in during the editing.

Some say all the types of stories have already been written. There’s very little true originality in this world. When you’re writing a romance, it’s always the boy meets girl or girl meets boy situation. Or boy meets boy or girl meets girl. You know when you’re reading a novel with romantic elements, someone is meeting someone and they fall in love. This can be seen as cliché, but it still works because everyone can relate, so why avoid it?

Who said clichés are a bad thing? A part of what makes writing creative is how clichés are made to seem new or at least original to the story. As a writer, I go with what the story calls for. I don’t think about the clichés. Editing plays a big part in fixing the clichés, but it doesn’t necessarily take them away. Even Nobel Prize winning novels have at least one cliché in them—it’s just that the writer was creative enough to work the story around the cliché, sometimes even masking it.

I think if you write what you would love to read, you’ll find other people who will enjoy reading what you have written. It’s not about avoiding clichés. It’s about embracing them and making them your own. If you’re really enjoying what you’re reading, you don’t notice the clichés until after the fact or even not at all.

Apartment Complexes in My Head

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I know I’m supposed to be writing a post about how I name my characters. The thing is, writing that post means writing this one. The reason behind this conundrum of sorts is the fact that the characters in my heads introduce themselves when they move into one of the many apartment complexes there. The short explanation is: I don’t name my characters. They already have names when I meet them.

Just like meeting someone for the first time, new characters extend their hands out and when I shake them they tell me their names. Sometimes handshaking doesn’t happen, as is in the case of Balthazar from Unreap My Heart. He just waltzed on in and demanded I write his story. Those who’ve read the book know what I mean. He’s a mean bastard, Balthazar is.

The characters of Til Death are some of the oldest tenants in my head along with the characters from Taste. In fact, they had to stay in tents when the apartments were still being built. They’ve stuck by me through everything. Sounds crazy, I know. Today, I have communities in my brain that I can’t wait to share with everyone.

As I’ve mentioned, Til Death comes from the bygone age of my writing style. A time when I wasn’t so sure about what I was doing or thinking when it comes to plotting and handling a rowdy group of characters. In the beginning, Dillan had a bit part. Now he has his own POV. The magic of story evolution.

Selena introduced herself to me after I woke up from dreaming my own death. The scary thing is I don’t remember what exactly happened in the dream. All I know is I died. But, instead of freaking out about it, Selena comes along and takes over the story. She brought along Kyle and Penny, her ever loyal friends. Bowen was a nicer guy when this all started. And Dillan…well, he was pretty much a jerk from the get go. Or should I say he has an attitude problem that gets him in so much trouble.

I’d like to say I had a hand in naming my characters. Maybe my subconscious does. As far as I’m concerned, when I write, the characters are already there. I basically type up everything that’s happened in their lives.

Glorified typist, anyone?

Yet such an enjoyable job. I get to meet so many interesting characters and learn about what they’ve gone through. So, speaking of which, I’m currently elbow deep in Knox’s story. Something to look forward to from me. *winks*

Til Death Book Launch

            I’m home and the feeling is surreal. This weekend has been a dream. I can attest to the fact that one of the best experiences in an author’s life is a book launch/signing. The positive energy alone fills you up with so much love.

            As writers, by virtue of our chosen career, we often become isolated from others. The bulk of what we do is behind closed doors. But, once in a while, we get a gem of an opportunity to interact with what should be some of the most important people in our lives: our readers. They are what truly bring our stories to life. Their devotion to our characters and the worlds we’ve built is unparalleled.

            March 15, 2014 will forever live in my memory as one of the best days of my life. Leading up to this day, I was nervous. Thoughts like “what if nobody comes” plagued the already cluttered spaces of my head. But by Friday, my nervousness was replaced by giddy excitement. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that it’s taken seeing my book on the shelves of a bookstore to really drive in the fact that I’m a published author. I take ownership of this now.

            My Saturday started early with preparations for the event. I won’t bore you with details of hair and makeup, although I do have to thank Lita from Bench Fix in Glorietta 4 for all her help. If you ever need someone to fix you up, look for her.

            I arrived at the venue at a little before 3pm for an interview with Kaye Robles from Candy Magazine. Til Death will be featured in their June issue so make sure to mark your calendars and grab a copy. When Kaye walked into the room I immediately knew I liked her. She has a quiet confidence that I admire in a person. And, of course, I loved the questions she asked me. I’m a talker by nature, so most of the time I found myself needing to hold back or she wouldn’t have gotten a word in edgewise. I’m looking forward to the feature. Yet another wonderful thing to be excited about: Til Death in the pages of a magazine. That’s legit awesome, peeps!

            Once the clock reached 4pm, Chad, one of the many behind-the-scenes heroes that made this event possible, escorted me to the ground floor of the National Bookstore in Glorietta 1. During this time I also met JB and James. All of you truly helped make a dream come true for me. Thank you!

            Another person I’m forever indebted to is Mina Esguerra. She graciously hosted the event and did a damn good job of it too. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else with me on that stage. Did you know she’s an awesome writer too? You’ve got to check out her books.

            Mina got the ball rolling by introducing one of the best people in my life. I call her Ate Loyce. She’s watched me grow up and now she’s an avid reader of my books. It’s so unreal how life turns out. I was honored to have her introduce me to the attendees of the event. Then we moved on to a one-on-one session. Mina asked me questions and I was delighted to answer all of them. I think it’s the teacher in me. I love sharing what I know, no matter how little of it is, with others. If my experience so far can help someone during their own journey, I’m all for it.

            One of my favorite parts of the launch was having a student from my Alma Mater read an excerpt from Til Death. I got goose bumps. Having someone read your work aloud and it actually makes sense? I can’t describe how good that feels. It solidifies my dream of having audio versions of my books. That would be so awesome. So, thank you Chloe for showing me what it’s like to listen to my words. 

            Of course, we can’t have a book launch without a couple of giveaways. Before the signing portion of the event, with the help of Mina, I raffled off three prizes. If you follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, you would have seen what these prices were: an ultimate swag pack, a copy of Savor with swag associated with it, and a copy of Taste with the accompanying swag. I love the feeling of giving stuff away. Congratulations to the winners!  

            Now comes my favorite part of the entire event: the signing. I hugged each and every person in that line. My pain my thighs are currently in is evidence of that workout. The smiles on their faces and their excitement at having their books signed are forever seared into my memory. There aren’t very many things on this earth that can compare. I felt the love and support and it fueled me to keep honing my craft, to keep getting better at what I do. I am humbled by the experience.

            So, I would like to take this moment to thank everyone who came. To the bloggers, you are all beautiful individuals. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of the work you do. Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm and love for reading with me. I love you all.

            To the readers who came and lent their support, I wouldn’t be a writer without you. We write to be read. It’s one of the most fundamental aspects of this career besides loving the craft. Thank you for picking up a copy of Til Death and I sincerely hope you enjoy diving into Dillan’s and Selena’s world.

            To my family and friends, you are forever my cornerstones. Having you bear witness to one of the most important days of my life truly fills my heart to the brim. Thank you for all your continued love and support.

            To the Momager whose quiet strength keeps me going, I love you. She is the provider in every sense of the word. She feeds. She makes sure everyone is comfortable. And her closing remarks during the event is short yet the sweetest words I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. I am honored to be the daughter of such a magnificent woman.

            To National Bookstore and everyone who made this event possible, I’m forever in your debt. Thank you for making a dream come true. Thank you for providing opportunities for writers and readers to interact. You perform an invaluable service.

            And last, most important part of this day, everyone at Entangled and Macmillan responsible for bring Til Death to readers. Without your unwavering belief in the talent of writers, moments like the Til Death Book Launch would not be possible. Thank you for showing me it’s possible for dreams to become reality.

            Okay, my recap of events has turned into an acknowledgements section of a book. Oh well. I’m still buzzing from yesterday. I never knew it’s possible to wake up with a happiness hangover. Here’s to many more mornings like that in my future.

            Now it’s back to work, back to work!

Today is the Day

I woke up today the happiest I'd ever been in my entire life. And I believe this is just the beginning. I'm excited and nervous and a bundle of love.

If you've been following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you already know that today is the Til Death Book Launch hosted by National Bookstore. I've mentioned this in a previous post, but it begs to be mentioned again. I finally feel like a published author. It took my sixth book and a book launch to make things into perspective for me.

Floating on cloud nine has never been more real. I compare this to a wedding day. It's just as important. I'll be sharing this moment with friends, family, and book lovers alike. Til Death feels the love. It's a real, tangible thing.

Of course, there will be lots of pictures and posts to come. I just wanted to check in here before I get ready for the launch. Thank you so much for sticking with me since this journey began. I promise to be posting more. *hugs*

Kate, over and out!

Dreams Do Come True

            Today a dream came true for me. I got to see my books on the shelves at my local bookstore. I cried. I’m not afraid to admit it. The store was full of people busy buying school supplies and other books. I cried with two sales ladies flanking me. They didn’t know whether to hug me or take a picture with me. I’m so glad they didn’t do either because I was currently staring at my book wedged between other titles like it belonged. And it did belong. Dammit, it did! Okay, I may be crying again.

            When I decided to pursue a career as a writer, every time I would pass a bookstore I would imagine my book on the shelves. Then I would imagine having my own section at the front. You know where they create pyramids of your book? Basically become the featured book? You know…the one’s at the front of the store? Anyway, I would do that. For years I would do that for each and every bookstore I passed. I would even go into the store, amble into the Teens Section and find where E would be and imagine my book between authors with the last name that started with the letter E. Well, since my last name has a V for the second letter, I imagine myself ending the E section and nestled beside the beginning of the F books.

            Six books later it’s finally sunk in that I’m a published author, that I’m a writer. Just when you think dreams don’t come true for you as they do for others something beautiful happens and then you realize “Hey, my dream just came true!”

            This is a big day for me. Huge. It was truly an “I can die happy” moment.

            In a few days, another dream will come true for me, but I’m not focusing on that right now. I’m attempting to live in the moment where I’m writing this post to put all this into perspective for me.

            If you’re a writer who is currently struggling, don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Because if you do, the chances of your dreams coming true will disappear. Remember, as long as you keep moving forward, as long as you keep trying, keep working hard, finding another way, there is still a chance that the things you visualize will become reality.

            It happened to me. It continues to happen to me. It can definitely happen to you.

            My next dream?

            Silver screen, baby! 

            Let's all visualize this together. *winks*

Scary Stories

These are awesome! Scary stories in two sentences or less:

The original article can be found here.

Book Birthday!

Happy book birthday, Til Death!

With all the excitement and my jam-packed schedule, I woke up and Til Death is live. Can you imagine? I'm beyond excited now that it's hit me.

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I'd like to take this moment to thank everyone for all the tweets and greetings. All the hugs and kisses in the world for all of you. I'm humbled by your continued support.

There are two blog tours happening simultaneously for Til Death. The schedule for Pinoy Book Tours can be found here and the other is with Rockstar Book Tours. Please visit the blogs participating. They are all awesome for helping me promote my latest release.

Reviews are important, which is why I need your help. One paragraph or two, a review is a review. Good or bad. If you've already read Til Death, please leave a review on Amazon or B&N. Your opinion matters. Blaine is begging you for reviews.

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If you haven't grabbed your copy yet, here are all the links for you:

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