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I can’t believe I have been missing out on this
I don’t know why I missed this festival for so long, I don’t know why I always passed the chance or be so ignorant about this wonderful event. Regrets aside, this being my first year attending such an event, I got truly excited because for the first time I would be meeting a New York Times Bestselling author and the experience of meeting one was a memorable and unforgettable literary experience.

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Matthew Quick novels on sale for the book signing later that day
I never knew that attending a literary festival would be so fun. I know I missed out on a lot of things during the festival, like talks by local writers on a whole range of topics: building literacy, fan fic writing, YA talks, illustrating children’s novels, and book launches from local publishers. The highlight of any festival is usually a meet and greet with a famous foreign author, this year National Bookstore brought in Matthew Quick of Silver Linings Playbook fame and Meg Wolitzer.

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Local authors signing children’s books: Ana Araneta and Krie Lopez
Held at the Raffles Makati, the festival occupied two ballrooms and some of the surrounding rooms, local authors talked and signed copies of their books. I was sad though that I passed up the chance to listen in on the talks or join workshops. Besides the workshops, right in the middle were books written by the authors themselves for sale and can be used for signing. Since I’ve never read (nor even finished watching the film) I bought a copy of Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook.

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Tricia with our (newly bought) books to be signed later that day

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Up close and personal with Mr. Silver Linings Playbook

To be honest I hardly know anything about Matthew Quick except for his golden horse novel that brought him fame and thruster him into the literary spotlight. Seeing that this was the first time I would be meeting an author of his caliber, I listened intently to his short talk. It was all about readers and writers alike, here are some take aways:

  • Never write for a lot of people, write for that one person.
  • Writing about psychological problems is the only way for people to know about these problems.
  • Before anything else, just write out the voice of your character and work your way from there.
  • Reviews aren’t meant for writers but for readers. But writers will never remember the good ones, just the bad one that sticks out.
  • There is no difference between YA and other genres, when you write from the perspective of a teenager it becomes YA.
  • Write something true and authentic.
  • When you’re in a basement writing and not getting paid, that’s when you know you’re a real writer.

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Inspiring readers to continue reading and writers to continue writing
Those words really resonated with me as a reader and sometimes writer. Very powerful words that no doubt inspired the audience to continue loving books and writing books. What struck me about Matthew Quick was his honesty, he wasn’t afraid to talk about mental problems, problems he himself experiences or how his wife has been very supportive of his writing throughout the hardships they’ve endured. Dotting the discussion, Matthew Quick shared how he faced rejection from countless publishers, his surprise when he found out Silver Linings would be adapted to a movie, and trivia about the book itself; like: how Mark Wahlberg and Anne Hathaway bowed out from the movie because of acting commitments.

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Signing multiple copies of his novels
It was all very interesting and really insightful, but the really exciting part was falling in line to have our books signed. I know I haven’t read a single line in his book and I never finished his movie, but seeing and meeting an author, especially a New York Times Bestselling author was surreal. Up close and personal he was jovial and very engaging, he would say hi and have this grin that made you feel like you’re his number 1 fan.

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Waiting in line

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Meet and greet

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It was a surreal moment
I am glad that on the last day of the Literary Festival I was able to catch this moment, I am sure that next year I will find the time to drop by and listen on in the talks. I am sure I will learn a lot and maybe along the way have another opportunity to meet authors.
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