Samantha Sotto, randomly seeing her book at Barnes and Noble on 5th Avenue, NY. It must have been a wonderful feeling! Congratulations Sam!
A few weeks after the release of Samantha Sotto’s first book, Ever After, she went to New York City to celebrate its birthday. She promised me first dibs on the photos of New York and here they are.
I don’t know what I can write about Samantha Sotto that hasn’t been written about already. All the bloggers and reporters have featured her book and told the story of how she got her book deal with Random House. It’s not just about luck or knowing the right people. Sam worked hard for this.
The only other Filipino author I know who’s been published by Random House is F. Sionil Jose. I first “discovered” his book in Toronto. The book cover caught my attention (yes, I judge a books by their cover). The book was called Don Vicente, but there were actually two novels – Tree and My Brother, My Executioner. I didn’t know who he was, as I didn’t study in the Philippines. I just read the book and loved every single page of it. I thought it would have made a great epic film. When I travelled to the Philippines and met new friends – like Patrick and Lourd de Veyra – I had casually mentioned that I loved an author named F. Sionil Jose. And they were like, “Duh, yeah, he’s the National Artist for Literature.” Next thing I know, I’m meeting the author in his legendary bookstore and publishing house, Solidaridad. And Lourd told Mr. Jose that his biggest fan was a Canadian girl. I was star-struck. I asked him a hundred questions about the characters and the setting, Rosales, Pangasinan.
Now another Filipino author is published by Random House. A first time author, at that. The funny thing is that Sam and I were together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday last summer. Our daughters were in the same ballet class. I had no idea she was a published author!!! Sam sent me a signed copy of her book. I brought it with me to India. But you know, my mind was oozing with India inspiration I wanted to drown in it. So I didn’t get to read Sam’s book. I will get to it one day. My friends who’ve read it loved it.
Here’s a virtual tour of Ever After.
How did the New York book launch come about?
I was originally supposed to be in NYC just to do some press interviews and so I was really pleasantly surprised when the Philippine Consulate offered to host a book signing event for me while I was there. They put everything together in less than two weeks!
What were the highlights?
I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to introduce my agent, editor, and publicist to the Filipino community in New York. They are very impressed and encouraged by the support the book has been receiving from Pinoys. I think the most fun part of the event was the Q&A portion where the audience was able to ask my editor questions about the book and the publishing process.
How has your life changed since the book was released?
I get a lot more email. LOL. I know the hype will fade so I don’t think about that so much. I figure I’m down to the last two and a half minutes of this whole fifteen minutes of hoopla.
I’m flying back to the US in October to do more book events in the West Coast. I’m also working on putting together a launch event for the release of the book in Singapore at some point in September. Hopefully, I’ll also be able to finish my second book in the next couple of months. And sleep. That would be good too 😉
Samantha Sotto’s Ever After is available at National Book Store.