I have listed the "The Boyfriend List" under my 'To-be-Read' list in Goodreads. The title was a dead ringer for reverse harem. It's been on that list for like forever. Imagine to my surprise when I saw National Bookstore's Instagram post that the author, E. Lockhart, will be visiting Manila! I bought the first book two weeks before the event and due to some major changes in my life which is back to employment I didn't found the time to read the book at all. You may have noticed by now, that I only post on Sundays and Mondays.
The event happened last March 22. I originally wanted to bring one of my sons as companion but by the last minute I decided to go to the event by myself. It was Sunday so I didn't mind riding the bus when I found the train was undergoing maintenance. There wasn't any traffic. It was at the same bookstore where the Jenny Han event took place. I arrived 15 minutes after the store opened at 10 am and I was already #154 for the book signing. I went to a milk tea place and read the 229-page book for about almost three hours. I finished reading the book an hour before the event!!! Imagine if it wasn't a reverse harem but my gut feeling was telling me it is a reverse harem. And I was almost completely sure since the first page had the list of all the boys and each chapter corresponds to one guy. So I ate lunch and then found my spot on the floor at about 20 minutes before the event. But unlike Jenny Han's, it started right away, just a few minutes after 2 pm. There were fewer people though which was better because there were less screaming and less pushing. More importantly, you can hear the Q&A portion loud and clear.
Lockhart gave advices on how to write a book. She tries to be creative in giving different answers to the questions. For the event, she said that she wants to torture her heroine. What's the worst thing that can happen? Then she creates an escalating series of catastrophe. Just like what she did with Ruby in The Boyfriend List. She also advised on writing something about what you've always wanted. She always pass by this summer house, thus she used in her other book, We Were Liars. My favorite tip from her is to write 500 words a days and if you do that every day in 6 months you'll have a book. Why haven't I done this when I was still a housewife! I want to try writing a reverse harem book. I get distracted by the interviewer though. She keeps on grimacing when she wants something from the staff and this is while Lockhart is answering her questions.
Then after the talk is the book signing part. I think I waited two and a half hours for my number to be called. I even had to eat snacks outside the bookstore just to kill time. While I was waiting in the queue, a girl gave me a post-it note to write my name so I wrote, Reverse Harem Garden. When it's finally my turn, Emily (the author's first name) couldn't understand my ugly handwriting. I have to read it loud and the bookstore's rep assisting her was like frowning what-kind-of-name-is-that. But Emily was nice and just asked what it means and I told her it's primarily an anime blog and eventually I got into mangas and dramas and now I do book reviews as well. Then she said this is a part of the four-book series. And I just stupidly nod. Then she signed the book and took a picture. We're done! She also had an assistant stamped quotes from her book, "We Were Liars". It says: "Be a little kinder than you have to" and "Do not accept an evil you can change". What a tiring day! I had my husband pick me up at 5:30 or 6 pm-ish. It seems like a blur to me now as I didn't drink coffee that day. I was trying not to mess my body clock so the lesson I learned for that day is drink coffee! Haha! This is my third event and three is indeed the charm! I finally had my first signed book!!! My only regret is not reading the entire series before hand and then having them all signed by Lockhart.