In fact the celebration began on Friday night at Philippine Expressions' Authors Night,which gathered many Filipino and Filipino American authors to launch their new books. I was delighted to meet author Zak Linmark (Rolling the Rs and Leche) for the first time. My husband's friend from law school days, Dr. Al Acena, was there and it was good to talk of the Hastings days. Letecia Leyson (from PAWA days and High Priestess of Circle Aracadia) was there, as well as Gigi Gonzalez whose Ph.D. dissertation involves my writings. Also present was one of my favorite authors, Carina Montoya-Forsythe, and husband Steve.
Last but not least, my cousin Percival Campoamor Cruz (author The Maiden of Ilog-Pasig and Other Stories) was there with his family: wife, Lilian, daughers Amanda and Mikki, and grandson Omar.. Percival and I share the common ancestor, Juana Lopez, and it was great fun working out our genealogy.
On Saturday, Veronica and I got up early, had bagles and orange juice and took off for USC, now the site for the LA Festival of Books. (The site used to be UCLA - I miss UCLA.) After walking around, meeting some representatives from Granta and Figueroa Press and other literary establishments, we positioned ourselves at the huge booth of Philippine Expressions. As usual Linda Nietes displayed her books beautifully. Take a look at the pictures - and look for ANGELICA'S DAUGHTERS and VIGAN AND OTHER STORIES. I was happy to see that Linda displayed some of my older titles: Fiction by Filipinos in America, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, Finding God, and When the Rainbow Goddess Wept although we sold out this title that morning (Philippine Expressions will restock).
Basically, Veronica and I, and Zak Linmark talked to people and signed books for several fun hours. The three of us had quite a lot of fun chatting amongst ourselves, and I had to nudge both Veronica and Zak to take care of people hovering around right in front of them, clearly anxious to talk.
Book signing events are not all about book signing (and selling books). To me, it's the opportunity to connect with people who are interested in literature. I'm delighted when people come up to me and say they'd read When the Rainbow Goddess Wept in high school or college and what it meant to them. A really popular book that stimulates a lot of conversation is the collection, Growing Up Filipino I, which remains popular now, even though this was released in 2004. (See the picture of the three young women holding up the book.) Some people were also excited about the religious book, Finding God, and it was fun to tell them the book won the Guintong Aklat Award last year.
Veronica and Zak took off for a lunch break but I stayed on because I simply wasn't hungry. I told Veronica I get too hyper at these book events. The truth is that even though I thoroughly enjoy chatting with people, it's outward energy. And, I foolishly wore heels, which wasn't a good idea given we had to walk a distance to get from the parking lot to the booth of Philippine Expressions - ouch!
By 2;30 p.m. I hobbled over to the booth of AACP, the San Mateo-based non-profit book seller run by Florence Hongo. There was Leonard Chan and Mr. Hongo to meet me and set me up at their signing table right up front where people could see me and my books. I was surprised AACP had copies of Acapulco at Sunset and Other Stories and Song of Yvonne. They also had Growing Up Filipino I and II. I talked to their clients, sold a few books for AACP, and then it was 4 o'clock and Veronica and Zak were there to pick me up for coffee.
The food section was crowded so we avoided the lines, found chairs under a shady umbrella and proceeded to talk. And talk some more. Writers will never run out of topics to talk about.
Then 5 o'clock came and it was time to find our car and drive Veronica to the airport.
I'm waiting for Veronica's pictures and writeups. I really didn't take pictures. And I'm waiting to hear about Zak's and Brian Roley's performance next week and hoping my schedule will alow me to hook up with these two wonderful young writers.
I've got two more book events in May - the Writers' Program Publication Party on May 12 and a book signing for Cherished (Barbara Abercrombie's pet book). I'll update you.
Thanks for reading and stop by again.
Read more about the Book Events from the blog of Angelica's Daughters maintained by Veronica Montes: http://angelicasdaughters.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/la-story/
P.S. Here's information re:
Philippine Expressions - http://www.philippineexpressionsbookshop.com/2114 Trudie Drive
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-2006
AACP - http://www.asianamericanbooks.com/
529 East Third Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94401
Voice - (650)375-8286
Fax - (650)375-8797
Amazon.com and palhbooks.com also has copies of my books. Some of my titles are now in Kindle (Amazon.com) and Nook (Barnes and Noble).