Back in 2011, I started writing a novel out of curiosity. I had a story in my head but did not have a single clue on how to write it. So I started researching about writing a novel. I bought books, read blogs, watched You Tube and surfed endlessly online to read anything and everything about how to put a book together. Because of my full-time job, freelance writing obligations, house chores, errands, social obligations and driving time (lots of driving time which is my only time to rest, by the way), it took me years to put my manuscript together.
In 2015, I finally finished writing my story.
I called it “FOBOLOUS”.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. In my case, it took a village to put my novel together and make it presentable. With the help of my beta team and friends and family who contributed their skills, talent, and time, I was able to self-publish the novel in 2016.
Because of limited time and funding, my first novel entered the world of self-publishing RAW but PROUD.
I am happy to say that FOBOLOUS had already been featured on local television (Pinoy Houston TV), on a popular writing website (The Write Life) and had its first book event in a giant retailer in the United States (Barnes and Noble). But more importantly, it had received a tremendous warm reception among readers and critics who have read its nearly 90,000 words of heart-warming and inspirational story.
My favorite feedback?
A 68-year-old lady who doesn’t usually have the motivation to finish a book telling me she stayed up all night to finish the book for three nights because she couldn’t put the book down, because despite her age, while reading the story, she felt young again.
A Millennial telling me she read the book more than five times and was “completely in love with it”, thanking me for writing an amazing story about finding the strength to chase your passion, that “being strong means leaping on an adventure even if you don’t know where it will take you.”
Fellow Asians, Asian Americans and immigrants telling me how they could relate to the struggles and the sacrifices made by the characters in the book.
Colleagues, friends and strangers whose busy careers and social lives do not normally give them the chance to finish reading a book yet telling me they couldn’t put the book down upon reading, and reading the entire book in one sitting, at home, in a chef’s kitchen, on a plane, in the beach, in the train, in a hotel room, during vacations, business trips, commutes to work, until 3 o’clock in the morning on a weekend, 4 o’clock in the morning right before work, until their eyes cannot take it anymore, and falling in love with the novel’s characters, particularly James and Janelle, whose adventures and circumstances represent a portion or a slice of their lives.
Ladies and gents, James and Janelle and the readers who love them and the causes my novel’s charismatic characters represent, are the reasons why I am starting a Patreon writing project.
MY PATREON PROJECT
I am writing the sequel to FOBOLOUS.
Now that I know what it takes to write, research and self-publish a novel, I know it will be difficult for me to go through a comprehensive novel-writing project one more time.
I have a full-time job, a freelance writing side-job and a family to take care of. To be able to fulfill these three obligations alone requires a tremendous amount of time and resources. If I add another writing project to what I already am juggling with, I will need to WONDER TWIN POWER, ACTIVATE! Or something like that. To my fellow GenEx people, you know how that goes.
When I wrote my first book, I funded it with my earnings from my freelance writing gigs.
If you Google my name, you may see me on CBS, MapQuest, The Zing Blog, The Write Life and other digital marketing platforms, not writing about love stories, but B2B and B2C content mostly for businesses.
I know. It’s a weird contrast but that’s the writer’s life. We’re romantic idealists but we also have to pay the bills. Just keeping it real.
But the problem with being a freelance writer with a full time job moonlighting as an author - even when the moon is not out at midnight when everyone is asleep, tempting us to take some well-deserved naptime as well - is that writing freelance content requires time and it will eat up your novel-writing time. Now, factor in the full time job and other necessary obligations in the equation and you have got yourself a zombie writer in-the-making.
We all know a writer needs a healthy brain to be able to write a good story. And no sleep makes RAINNE, well, a dull girl.
But writing the sequel to an inspiring story like FOBOLOUS is hard to abandon.
I love my characters and I love how they positively affect and make an inspirational impact on the readers who get to know them. Being an immigrant who had to go through several culture shock and “Come again? I don’t understand the words coming out of your mouth” situations, I am compelled to help other people find positivity, even joy, in their seemingly discouraging situations.
I believe life is a journey and we all need each other to make it through to the other side of the world that we are traveling to. We need each other to make mistakes and learn from them, to discover our strengths and use them to empower one another, to fall in love with persons or circumstances and use that exciting emotion to touch, heal and inspire each other.
My novel is my contribution to make anyone’s journey in life an emotionally and positively charged adventure that enables them to “feel young and in love” again despite their age, demographics and circumstances.
I know it will take another village to launch my project and I would like to ask for your help in being a part of that village. When you pitch in through Patreon, you will not just help me fund my novel, you will give me time to write a great story that we can all draw inspiration from especially when our individual lives are refusing to be uncomplicated. Don't worry, pledges can be as low as a dollar a month and as much as you think is feasible.
I will start my Patreon project soon and will come back to add the link to this article with more details.
If you have read this long article this far, I thank you for being a gracious supporter of my writing endeavors and I would love to invite you to be a part of my team. If you say yes, I will reward you with great content and inspiring stories along the way. You will also be among the first to see the draft of my upcoming novel, the FOBOLOUS sequel.
Somewhere on the other side of our make-believe world, you will make James, Janelle, Tito Boy, Tita Girlie, Aunt Akari, Wooly, Charm, Sophia, Kenneth, Daniella, Anthony, Camilla, Nana, Lola Julia, Lola Juani and the rest of the characters in my FOBOLOUS universe happy, humbled and ever grateful.
Again, thank you.