Filipino Friday 5: What Do Readers Want?
1. What’s your favorite genre/reading material?
Fiction, specifically, fantasy. It is my favorite genre because it's a suspension of reality, an escape. Where else can I experience riding a hippogriff, or fighting a dragon, or flying on an eagle's wings, or casting spells? Where else can I bring myself to be in fantastical places such as Hogwarts, or Middle Earth or Westeros? But it is more than an escape, fantasy stories have truths in them too, just like your literary fiction, it is only that they are handed out in a different manner. Let me end this answer with a quote from Lloyd Alexander: “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.” Chos.
2. Who is your favorite author (local or foreign)?
I have always had trouble about the favorite author question. I have this thinking that for one to have a favorite author, he or she must have read most of the author's writings. For example, I love Harry Potter. But beyond that series, I haven't read any of J.K Rowling's other non-Harry books. So can I consider Rowling a favorite author? But okay, I am going to stop my nonsense now and just go on ahead and answer. Neil Gaiman. I have read maybe around 5 of his works already, I like his dark and grim treatment of myths, and fairy tales and legends and there is a bit of humor in it too. And J.K. Rowling because Harry Potter is just amazing, Suzanne Collins because The Hunger Games gave me that feeling of excitement to go home and just do nothing but read it, Jonathan Stroud because The Bartimaues Trilogy is hilarious, George R.R. Martin because A Song of Fire and Ice Series has this habit of pulling the rug out from under you. This might just go on and on so I am going to stop now. :) (Or better yet, you can check out my favorite books, just click the tab that says so above this post. Heehee.)
3. What kinds of books would you like to see more of from local authors or publishers?
Well, I think I would like to see some local Middle-Grade and YA books. Specifically MG and YA fantasy and or mystery or anything with puzzles in them. Something like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson Series. Or maybe something about wizards and witches, like Harry Potter. Or something akin to The Mysterious Benedict Society or 39 Clues, only the protagonists would be solving clues in the Philippines. I bet it would be a great way to learn some Philippine History too. Or detective stories for kids. Perhaps a young Sherlock or something like Harriet the Spy.
4. What is your favorite book from a Filipino author?
In My Mother's House by Joni Cham. This book is probably among those that surprised me this year. To be honest, I am not really big on literary fiction and more so local literary fiction. But this one was just written in a very compelling and powerful way, And also the graphic novel Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan is also another surprising favorite. Trese by Budgette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo is awesome as well.
The 3rd Filipino ReaderCon has been postponed to December 7, 2013 because of supertyphoon Haiyan/Yolanda. The date and venue remains the same, at 8:00am to 6:00pm, Rizal Library – Ateneo de Manila University.