Last, LAST, Saturday (April 16), my sister, Gelleesh, and I went to the release event party of C.C. Gaño's Querna Dose. It's my first release event. I was able to meet Celine Gaño and have my copy signed :) She's really nice and would like to treat her readers as friends. Let me give a rundown of my experience:
The opening remarks was done by Ricky Lee, the writer of the famous Filipino film, Himala. I honestly haven't watched any of his films (I know I suck.. really suck. I hate myself. ugh!). But in defense to that, I don't really watch a lot of films anywya. SETTING THAT ASIDE, I find myself nodding to his words then. If I'm recalling them correctly, he said something like anyone can be a writer and can share his words. We must maximize today's technology for something that's good.
Instead of reading an excerpt from the book, there was a spoken poetry done. It's honestly my first time listening to a spoken poetry performance live. The poetry talked about the main character of the book. In an honest opinion, I feel that character is a bit stereotypical but the fact that he's a priest kind of puts the twist in it :)
The spotlight was then given to Celine as she talks about how thankful she is for the people who helped her in the writing process, the people who supported her, and the people who're celebrating the release of her book. She's really down-to-earth through all of it. I also like the fact that she discovered her novel writing voice or interest in writing through her blogger friend. Internally, I was like: can I have a blogger friend like that? ahhh, generally this is just because I don't have a really, really close blogger friend who kind of knows me (and talks to me) outside of this blog.. if you want to apply for the position it's currently open. Just drop me an email, a tweet, or just comment down below. I know I'm awkward but I'm really nice :)
Then there's the Q&A which I really should have participated in. I'm a really introvert kid that I'm not good at talking.
The Q&A basically had the usual author questions. Not many really got stuck with me, honestly. But what stood out for me and perhaps what I was hoping to get asked is Celine's research. I'm honestly interested at how she researched the book (generally I'm interested at researches done for books just because...).
Anyway, Celine said, she found things out about Bilibid prison through documentaries. She thought that it's enough for her to get an image of the place and the experience prisoners have there. I don't think I remember coming across an author who used documentaries for research (usually they go through books && interviews). It's kind of an interesting approach but I really wish she had an interview or two
She also noted that Querna Dose actually means 12th Prison Cell. Why 12th? It piqued my interest as well just because deep explanations just seem interesting. But no, there's nothing really important about it. She basically just used the '12th prison cell' as the setting of the entire novel. Knowing that it's more of a conversation-type of story, I honestly got a bit more interested because I want to know how the characters will go around everything. You know... psychological aspect...
Setting that aside, Celine also signed books during the event. Since it's a release event, we bought our books at the venue and lined up for the signing. She thanked everyone and wrote personalized notes to everyone. Yes, yes, she's really nice. Here's hoping for more authors without that intimidating atmosphere (or maybe that's just me that gets that weird feeling. ugh).
All in all, the release event was a great experience for me. I met a Filipino author, an indie one! I get to bring home a signed book which I'm also more than interested to read. I'm also more excited to start campaigning for Filipino authors writing in Filipino right now :) Also, I hope you guys check out Celine's book, Querna Dose. I'll be reading it soon and will post my review when I'm done.
Checkout Querna Dose's book trailer here: click!