Friday, November 8, 2013

Filipino Friday (5): What Do Readers Want?

Hello, guys!  Yes, our Filipino Readers' Conference is rescheduled on December 7, due to Typhoon Yolanda.  As planned, this is our last Filipino Friday meme, but after the recent events, I kinda hope the organizers might want to extend it.   While we are keeping that hope in mind, let us answer this Friday's questions.

Filipino Friday (5)  
"What do readers want? What’s your favorite genre/reading material? Who is your favorite author (local or foreign)? What kinds of books would you like to see more of from local authors or publishers? What is your favorite book from a Filipino author?"

Like I told you before, I am a Free-range reader (sounds like I'll be sprouting some feathers after admitting that). I do my best in trying different genres, but there will always be favorites: Historical Fiction and Mystery & Thrillers.

Historical Fiction could be a variation of everything- historical mystery, historical romance, historical adventure- suits just fine. The language and setting mostly did it for me. It's how authors weave fiction into historical facts, in a voice that blends with the time, that fascinates me the most. Some good examples would be Caleb Carr's Dr. Laszlo Kreizler books, C. S. Harris's Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series, and books by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

Mystery & Thrillers should have a strong reliable protagonist. Someone I need to root for until the end, even in death. It should be fast-paced and unrelenting. I don't mind gruesome and blood-spill. I follow both of James Patterson's Alex Cross series and Women's Murder Club, and Robert Ludlum's Covert-One series.

I have tons of favorite authors. Aside from those, I mentioned above, Neil Gaiman being on top of that list, I also love Markus Zusak, Amanda Stevens, DJ MacHale, Donita K. Paul, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, and Robert Fulghum. Lately, I've come to like China Miéville, John Green, George RR Martin, and Matthew Quick.

It has always been my regret that I read less Filipino-authored books. When I was young, I used to read a lot of Filipino fables and myths. A lot of local comics too. How I used to adore Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang and Pokwang then. My interest waned maybe because none (or, at least, almost none) of them cater to what I like to read now. I try to read as much as I could from here and there. I can't say I am disappointed with what our local writers have come up with. I'm pretty proud of how far they have gone, and local publishers are recognizing and promoting these talents. Maybe I'm looking for something like our old fairy tales, with great grand adventures and lessons to learn in the end. Aside from the paranormal, humorous, and romance, why can't we have something like the Bourne series? Why can't we have a plot set in a different country with different cultures, other than our own? If Kazuo Ishiguro had the guts to explore the life of an English butler in the Remains of the Day or Arthur Golden's profound Memoirs of a Geisha, why can't we explore the life of a Marseille fisherman and learn his life lessons? Why can't we write a novel that doesn't have to drive any political awareness into it, but states instead simple facts of life, like The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes?

That wasn't a rant, simply sharing ideas if there are takers. I still keep high hopes for our local writers, though. I know that sooner or later more would be encouraged to write, put their ideas on print, and surprise us all.


  1. Ay! Neil Gaiman! :) And a local Bourne series is a great idea by the way. As well as what you said about having a story set in a different country.

    1. Yup. I think an FPJ-like protagonist will be great for a local Bourne series, no? hehehe

      There's actually a book I've read by Samantha Sotto in which the setting is in Europe. It's a love story though. But I thought it was really brave of her to try that.

  2. Great ideas there, Louize. If I could write a novel, I would love something along the mystery/crime line. But my measly writing skills are only limited to blogging, so...Haha!