One thing that I love about being an author is the opportunity to connect to reading communities here and abroad. I’m not the most outgoing person, frankly, and I’d still cringe at myself. But whenever called upon to meet new faces to talk about my book and my culture, I don’t think I’d ever have the heart to turn away.

Last May, Filipina Authors Book Club chose Marikit and the Ocean of Stars as their Book of the Month and invited me to join their digital discussion over Zoom. I was ecstatic! A book club, about Filipina authors, celebrating our books? Yes, please! I was to answer some of their burning questions about Marikit, and just the same, I was burning to meet them and explain how Marikit came to be to them.

The wonderful Vanessa Dayberry hosted our Zoom session and welcomed me in the warmest way Filipinos would. And people, I kid you not when I say that Filipinos treat each other like family. I might have been a tad bit nervous as I sat behind my laptop early Sunday morning (hah, timezone differences!) But the moment I met everyone, my heart was at home. I just truly wished that I was able to tell them all the words I wished to convey. It was such a lovely moment to be able to meet and chat with Filipinas and emerging authors as well! Really, if I could save all their messages and comments, I would.

Maraming salamat, Filipina Authors Book Club, for giving a space for me and my little Marikit.

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