August 26, 2014

The Writing Life: First Approved Manuscript After Four Years

I've always loved writing.

But, after I graduated from college and started working, I forgot about it.

I became too focused on climbing the corporate ladder and getting enough sleep (graveyard shifts can do that to a person) that I forgot about the things that actually made me happy. Like writing and escaping real life through a really good romance novel.

I decided to start writing again a few months ago. I thought I had a decent enough story to tell, so I submitted that manuscript that I had been working off and on for almost two years. After three weeks, I sent an e-mail to follow up on the status of the manuscript... and guess what?

It was rejected.

That was a first for me, and I have to say it was a very humbling experience. It taught me to respect writing even more. You can't just jump into it and expect success without paying your dues.

Fortunately, I had been working on another manuscript while the first one I submitted was under evaluation. I submitted it two days after Manuscript #5 was rejected. When I got the e-mail saying Manuscript #6 had been approved, success tasted so much sweeter after a bitter rejection.

Gisingin ang Puso ang tentative title ng manuscript.

The Idea

I got the idea for the book when I heard the song Don't Cry Joni on the radio. If you're not familiar with the song, it's about a fifteen-year-old girl named Joni who's in love with the boy-next-door who happens to be happen seven years older than her.

She obviously gets rejected. However, the boy-next-door changes his mind several years later and realizes that Joni is the girl for him after all.

Medyo pang-matanda na ang kanta, pero na-inspire talaga ako sa kuwento ni Joni at ng the boy-next-door. Hindi maganda ang ending nila, and I wanted to give them their own happily-ever-after.

Hindi nagtagal ay narinig ko rin ulit ang kantang Gisingin ang Puso--yung original at hindi yung revived version na ginamit nila sa Pinoy version ng Pure Love. Napaka-heartbreaking talagang pakinggan at gusto kong i-capture 'yung emotions sa kanta sa isang libro.

I started getting ideas for the book, and I couldn't wait to get everything on the page.

The Cast

JC de Vera as Paolo Belmonte

Shay Mitchell as Diane Enriquez

The Summary

Ten years ago, niyaya ni Diane na maging prom date si Paolo, ang best friend ng kuya niya na first love rin niya. Nagmakaawa siya na hintayin siya nito, pero isang napakalaking rejection lang ang inabot niya. Mabuti na lang at umalis ito pagkalipas ng ilang buwan para mag-aral sa Amerika kaya naging mas madali para sa kanya ang kalimutan ito.

Tuwing ini-imagine niya ang muli nilang pagkikita ng lalaki, lagi siyang may kasama na napaka-guwapong boyfriend. Hindi maalis ng nasabing boyfriend ang mga mata nito sa kanya at may napakalaking engagement ring sa isang daliri niya. Masaya na siya, mature, at completely in control.

Si Paolo naman? Ayon sa imagination niya, pangit na ito at unti-unting nakakalbo.

Ngunit kabaligtaran ng imagination niya ang totoong nangyari. Si Paolo ang bago niyang boss, and he was more handsome than ever. 

Gawa-gaya ko lang ang summary. Hindi po 'yan ang official summary ng Bookware. Hindi rin ako sigurado kung papalitan nila ang title o hindi. Sana hindi kasi medyo attached na ako sa 'Gisingin ang Puso.' LOL. I can't wait for this book to come out. Ang saya kasi magkakalibro na ulit ako after four years. :D
August 18, 2014

Thoughts: How to Write a Tagalog Romance Novel by Apple Masallo

If you want to be a tagalog romance writer, add this book to your to-be-read list. Immediately.

How to Write a Tagalog Romance Novel by Apple Masallo discusses all the things an aspiring romance writer should know--from creating characters to dealing with rejection. It's a very short book that's brimming with information.

I especially liked the part where Ms. Apple Masallo discussed writing love scenes. Every time I write a love scene, I stop and tend to get embarrassed because I always think that might mother might read what I've just written...

This book, however, made me realize that you're not just writing a love scene for the sake of, well, writing a love scene. Your story--the journey of your characters--requires it. I think that's a good enough reason.
August 11, 2014

I'm Now on Wattpad!

I've already been plagiarized a few times on Wattpad, so I was never really interested in joining it. However, the Wattpad craze soon started, and local publishers started publishing books that were first posted on the site.

I've come to see that as a great thing.

The Wattpad craze renewed the interest of Filipino readers in... Filipino writers. The books are flying off the shelves, and practically every publisher has started publishing their own so-called Wattpad imprint.

A lot of writers whose work I respect and admire have already joined Wattpad. As a very small fish in a gigantic pond, who am I to disagree, right? In fact, I've even created my own account, and started posting a story. My story isn't anything spectacular, to be honest, but writing it was fun.

Here's the summary:

As far as she could remember, alam ni Jessica kung ano’ng klase ng lalaki ang gusto niyang makasama habang buhay. Dapat ay maginoo ito, simple at, higit sa lahat, isang tapat na katipan tulad ng tatay niya. Nakita niya ang lahat ng qualities na hinahanap sa katauhan ni Jacob. Kumbinsido siya na ito na ang lalaking matagal na niyang hinihintay.

Pero bakit ang nakakalokong ngiti ni Dominic ang laging laman ng isip niya? Bakit ang mga halik nito ang nagpapalakas sa tibok ng puso niya? Soon enough, she found herself falling for him, pero may sikreto pala si Dominic na makakasira sa kanilang dalawa…

You can view my profile here and read my free story Me and Mr. Right Now here.
July 28, 2014

3 Reasons Why Blogging is Essential for Tagalog Romance Writers

If you're a tagalog romance writer and you're not convinced that you should start blogging, this post is for you. I want to change your mind, and convince you that, hey, blogging can actually help your writing career.

I'm hoping these three reasons will make you create a Wordpress or Blogspot account right away:

1. Blogging is  great way to connect with your readers.

Don't you want your readers to fall in love with your books and your winning personality?

When I read Rebel Heart by Elise Estrella a couple of years ago, I loved it so much that I simply had to get more information about her other books. I googled 'Elise Estrella' and stumbled across her blog Elisean Plains.

She had a lot of posts about writing and her life in general. Reading her blog, I saw how much work and thought she put into her books. I even saw that she had an Excel file for her Sentinels series!

Also, I had no idea that Rebel Heart was actually the second book in a trilogy, and I ended up hunting down the other two books. This can happen to YOU too.

I have no idea why, but, most of the time, it's difficult to find information on tagalog romance writers on the Internet. Only a handful have blogs or websites, making finding information about them or their books close to impossible

2. Blogging lets you help other writers.

I still have a long way to go in terms of my writing career, but I've received a lot of emails asking for writing advice.

Where do you get your ideas?

How do you get published?

How do you format a manuscript?

I've tried to reply to every single one of those emails, because replying feels a lot like paying it forward. And you know how they found my email address?

They found it by clicking the Contact page on this blog.

When I first started working on my first book, His Secondhand Heart, I sent a lot of emails to Elise Estrella and a bunch of other writers from our publisher, My Special Valentine. They all replied and gave me a lot of great advice about writing and getting published.

The tagalog romance writing community is vast and magnaminous, and blogging is a great way to be a part of it.

3. Blogging forces you to write on a regular basis.

If you're one of those organized people who write a set number of words everyday, congratulations. You can skip this part.

However, if you're like me and tend to write in sporadic bursts, blogging will force you to write on a regular basis.

I've come to believe that maintaining a blog is a lot like keeping a pet alive. You have to write posts on regular basis, which is a lot like feeding a pet on a daily basis. You have to update your layout once in a while, which can be compared to bathing your pet when it starts to stink.

In fact, blogging can help you improve the one thing that you need in order to become a successful tagalog romance writer. Your writing skills.

These are only some of the reasons why you should start a blog right away. There are probably more, and I won't be able to discuss all of them in one blog post. If you have more questions about blogging, feel free to let me know in the comments or you can shoot me an email at

So, what are you waiting for?

Think of a spiffy blog title right now.
July 21, 2014

Where the Magic Happens…

Or the place commonly known as my home office.

Technically, it's not even an office, more like the only neat corner of my room. I would love to have an entire room where I can talk to myself while pretending to be one of my characters, but that's just not possible right now.

Not that I'm complaining or anything. In fact, I'm pretty proud of my little corner.

This is how it looks in its entirety. Nothing fancy--just my desk with all my necessities on it. My uncle who is kind of a jack-of-all-trades made my desk, and I love it. It's really long, but it's attached to the wall so it doesn't take up too much space.

Colorful pens and my notepad where I jot down all my brilliant ideas. I'm kidding. I mostly doodle on it when I should be working.

My bulletin board. I need this, because I have tendency to be really, really lazy. I like seeing the deadlines I set for myself right in front of me, so I can avoid procrastinating... more than usual.

These are figures of Sheldon and Amy from The Big Bang Theory, my favorite show of all time. My boyfriend gave them to me, and they give my rather boring desk a huge dose of personality.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. If you have any suggestions or questions, please let me know through the comments. Have a great day! :D
July 14, 2014

Five Essentials for Tagalog Romance Writers

1. A laptop or desktop computer

If you’re going to take this whole writing seriously, you’re going to need your own computer.

What if inspiration suddenly strikes and someone else is using the computer?

What if you have to meet a deadline and only have two hours to write every day?

It’s pretty obvious that sharing is not an option here.

2. A decent Internet connection

The days where you have to print out and photocopy your manuscript are long gone. In fact, submitting a manuscript has never been easier.

When I first submitted my manuscript to Bookware Publishing in 2009, I didn’t even have to print a single page. I typed up the entire manuscript in a Microsoft Word file and saved it.

I attached the file to an email and sent it to Bookware Publishing. Three to four weeks later, I got a response from one of their editors stating that my manuscript had been approved.

The internet is also a great way to network and connect with your readers and fellow writers. When I first started out, I was too afraid to send in my manuscript.

To gain more confidence, I sent a ton of annoying emails to several published writers, asking them questions about how to get a manuscript accepted and how to handle rejection. It was pretty great.

3. A Tagalog-English Dictionary

You might not need this if you speak Tagalog on a daily basis.

However, I personally find this very useful. I grew up in Visayas where we speak a completely different dialect, and I sometimes struggle when it comes to finding the right words in Tagalog.

4. Inspiration

Unlike the other things in this list, inspiration isn’t a tangible thing. It can be found in the books you read when you’re stuck on a particular passage or the people you talk to when you’re looking for ideas.

These are basically the things that give you ideas and fuel your writing.

When I write, I get most of my inspiration from music. I have to find a “theme song” for my book, and I listen to it over and over while writing. It can’t just be any song, because it has to completely encompass how my characters feel about each other.

5. Confidence

Do you hear a voice inside your head telling you that your writing isn’t good enough to be published/read/used as tissue paper?

That’s great, because you’re not alone. All writers struggle with confidence and question their writing at some point or another.

In my opinion, questioning if your writing is good enough or not is actually a good thing. It means you’re open to feedback, and you’re already a step ahead of other writers who stuff cotton in their ears every time someone criticizes their work.
July 08, 2014

Submitting Manuscript # 5

Things haven't changed that much, after all.

I thought I would be cool and oh-so-grown-up about this--ready to sit back, relax and deal with whatever's ahead.

Instead, after three years and four published books, I'm still nervous about submitting my latest manuscript. The fear of being rejected still hasn't gone away.

I finished writing and revising the whole thing last week. It's tentatively titled Me and Mr. Right Now, and I hope to God it gets accepted.

Right now, however, I just keep telling myself that at least I finally finished something. After four long years. No matter what happens, that's something to be proud of. I like the characters, and I completely enjoyed making their lives hell.

Cross your fingers for me, okay?
July 07, 2014

Welcome Back


It’s been a while.

There’s a huge chance that you don’t remember me or never even knew I existed. Well, let me introduce myself. I’m Camryn Morrell, and I am a romance novelist (or, at least, used to be) for Bookware Publishing.

I wrote His Secondhand Heart (2010), Save Forever for Me (2010), Reel Love (2011), and The Accidental Bride (2011). It’s pretty obvious that I haven’t finished a book in almost three years.

When my first manuscript got accepted in 2009, I was a heartbroken eighteen-year-old who was pretty clueless about life. I graduated from college, got a job, the usual stuff. Now, I’m a twenty-three-year-old who hopefully knows a little more about life. I’d like to think that I finally have my priorities straight, and I want to give writing another shot.

My heart has always belonged to the written word. I love getting ideas while I’m simply making coffee or sitting through another mind-numbing meeting about statistics. I procrastinate a lot when it comes to putting the actual words on paper, but, once they start coming, I feel like I’m on top of the world.

So, I’m reviving this blog to chronicle this brand-new writing journey. This time, I hope to be more professional and sound less like a na├»ve kid high on caffeine. There will be a lot of navel-gazing about writing, updates about my life (not that anyone’s interested), helpful tips, and more.

Welcome to my little blog, and I hope you like your stay.