Sunday, May 4, 2014

Book Signing Recap: Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs in Manila! #VTRinPH

Last week, April 26th, National Book Store has once again gifted us with a chance to meet some of amazing YA authors in Manila. Who are they? Well, they’re only three New York Times bestselling authors whose books belong to our must-reads and favorites list! We’ve been counting the weeks since NBS announced a few months ago that these three awesome people will grace Filipino YA readers with their presence this summer, and now that we have finally met them, we’d love to share our glorious experience with you.

Mary Ann and I were extremely pumped up to meet Veronica Rossi (author of Under the Never Sky series) for the very first time, as well as Tahereh Mafi (author of Shatter Me series) and Ransom Riggs (author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) who we adored even more when we met them last year (check out this post to see how much fun we’ve had). 

We were so excited about the bloggers forum–to which we were invited, thanks NBS!that we slipped in at the venue just at it opens up at 11 am. An hour later and there they are!

Tahereh answering a blogger's question

The three of them took turns answering questions from PH YA book bloggers for almost an hour. The formal panel ended more quickly than in the previous forums but we still gleaned a lot of information; from their writing to their books and other bookish confessions. I got to say this is one of my favorite parts of meeting these incredible authors!

Each blogger got to ask one author a question. Mine was for Tahereh while Meann prepared her question for Ransom. Here are their answers verbatim:

Dea: There has been a big transformation from the Juliette in the first two books and the Juliette in Ignite Me. What do you admire most about both the old and new Juliette? 

Tahereh: That’s a very sweet question because I admire a lot about the Juliette in the beginning and the Juliette in the end. I think Juliette in the first book and parts of the second book gets a lot of crap for having a crisis, basically, and for being weak and a little hopeless. I actually think that the most beautiful things about her is that she’s struggling so hard to be human and not lose herself to this monstrous ability. I’ve always really wanted to explore the idea of inner strength because I think we meet a lot of physically strong women in fiction, but almost all of the strongest women I’ve ever met in real life are the women who have great inner strength and have been able to overcome great difficulty with such selflessness and such dignity and such grace, and they are actually some of the most physically weak people I’ve ever met but mentally so strong. I wanted to explore that in a character and so I really admire Juliette for trying so hard to hold on to her humanity in the face of so much cruelty and everything that had come her way in the first two books, and even in the third book. And then I really admire her in the third book for finally finding the strength to stand up for herself and what she believes in, which was the most important part for me.

Mary Ann: Hi! My question is, how do feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?

Ransom: I hate it! [laughs]

I don’t think I’ve written controversial books so I don’t get a lot of backlash on the internet with people being like, “how dare you say that thing about politics?” But I feel like I’ve been lucky that when people do have criticisms or questions about my writing, they’re being respectful and we talk about it – which is nice. If people were just like “you suck at writing!” that would hurt [laughs]. That’s why I have an army of assistants that comb Twitter for things I shouldn’t read and delete them before I can see them.

Tahereh: ….

Ransom: I’m just kidding! [laughs] I read everything. Be nice!

Other things we learned from Veronica, Tahereh, and Ransom
  • If Ransom had to choose a picture to represent his books,  he said that it would be the inside of his heart.
  • Tahereh already knew who Juliette was going to end up with. 
  • Veronica Rossi didn't considered Aria and Perry to be just friends. 

When asked for a message to their Filipino fans, here's what they said:

Veronica: Mahal ko kayo!
Ransom: You guys are amazing, you make us feel like we’re coming back home.
Tahereh: I love you guys; I seriously, truly, absolutely do. Salamat po for everything.

We love you too guys! PH misses you already!!

Even better than the Q&A portion is the signing part, wherein we got to chat with the authors while they sign and put dedications to our books. This is also the time when we catch up with our awesome fellow YA book bloggers. Scroll down for more forum and public signing photos!

VTR signing books and chatting with bloggers

Hazel of Stay Bookish designed the quote-shirts which were worn by many of the bloggers at the forum. The words printed on them are quotes lifted from Veronica, Tahereh, and Ransom's books. Cool huh? 

Quote sisters! [Me (Dea) and Jesselle of The Lifelong Bookworm with Ransom]

We then proceed to ask the authors to sign our shirts, which they did so graciously!
I'm never washing this shirt!

Tahereh being her adorable self

Tahereh and Ransom's cosplaying fans showing their support

The passionate Veronica Rossi fans from Under the Never Sky PH

The bloggers with VTR

After the forum, we then went to Glorietta 1 Activity Center for the public signing and 2000 people were already there waiting for the authors when we arrived. This is the signing with the biggest turnout we've ever been to! I admire the dedication of these fans even more when I heard that some of them lined up outside the mall at 1 AM!!

Veronica, Tahereh and Ransom were welcomed with deafening screams of fans

For more pictures during the signing event, visit  TRD's album

Here are the books of Dea and Riz signed by Veronica and Tahereh :)

Special thanks to National Book Store for yet another fun and exciting bloggers forum and signing event!

For other signing recaps checkout these sites:

Hazel @ Stay Bookish (plus Giveaway)

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