Recently I was sent on a book tour of the Philippines, sponsored by the wonderful National Bookstore. After being flown over in my favorite kind of seat, the only one I use for long-distance travel, a pod seat (I’ll include a photo somewhere in the next set of posts), I arrived at Manila to the stunning, new five-star Fairmont Hotel.
Always a perfect welcome — flowers and fruit!
This hotel had the best won ton soup I’ve ever had in my life. I am ruined forever! This arrival day was a rest day, which was so thoughtful of my team there. I knew I had to not give in to an early sleep, otherwise throwing off my body clock for the week, so I went over to the adjacent mall to do some souvenir shopping. Walking around, some salesperson mistook me for a local, which thrilled me to no end!
After a good night’s sleep, the days were packed with media interviews and events. This International School was a unique experience for us. My author travel buddy in this journey was the talented Jennifer E. Smith (best known for her brilliant THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT). I knew from a mutual friend that she was going to be terrific and we had been emailing in preparation for this trip (mostly about clothes).
Sons and daughters of diplomats and other influential residents of Manila attend this school. We’d never seen students fly to the microphones the way they did when we got to the Q &A. It was a treat hearing the different accents and guessing what country they might be from. We had very smart questions and heard from many future writers.
I remember one girl told us that her friend next to her said, “That’s us up there, someday.” Â And that is exactly why we do this.
Our charming interviewersÂ — top students – and our lovely moderator and hostess, Meg, who suggested she come with her driver and take us shopping with her during our stay. Yes, she used the magic word “shopping” on me. Our schedule was so packed, would we be able to fit it in? Follow the future posts to see.
During the media interviews, our team surprised us with this lovely tea. Later, we had a fun welcome dinner with the Manila team and then went to bed to get ready for another exciting day.
Billboards of us were all over the city. Billboards! Here’s one.
They stopped to let us pose with one of these!
My first LIVE tv interview was on the morning showÂ Headstart with Karen Davila. She’s well-known in the Philippines for this hour show which mixes top news with interviews. Jennifer and I were on for 15 minutes each, which is a long time in tv minutes. You can’t help but think how what you say is going out into so many homes at that very moment. No room for mistakes!
ButÂ Karen is such a pro, very polished. And one of her talents is making you feel as if you’re talking just to her.
The show would intercut with images from the trailer or the book, or other photos of my tours. I had submitted ones with some author friends. One that they used was me at Comic-Con with Marie Lu and Neil Shusterman. They used some 20 images.
This studio monitor was not calibrated, so we were assured the images look better on home sets.
Karen invited us out for coffee right after, but we had to leave for another tv interview. What a gracious lady. It would have been so interesting to talk to her about her career. More photos to come — some you will not believe — of our further adventures in the Philippines!