The making of Right Where You Left Me

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Right Where You Left Me is my latest release to date – I introduced it to the world in April last year, two days after my birthday. It was supposed to be for a workshop but I wasn’t able to finish it on time. While I must say that I had so much fun writing this book, needless to say, the making of this book was actually more challenging than doing all my other books combined.



The inspiration

Just like If I Knew Then, some people in this book exist in real life. Dan Almendras is based on Dr. Danni Diestro, the neurologist behind my successful battle against myasthenia gravis. He gave me full consent to do this, provided insights on a day in the life of a resident doctor and even gave me the permission to use one of his adorable graduation photo as the book cover, courtesy of the UPCM Collective. Sahara Sevilla is based on the female lead of that random Thai romantic comedy movie I saw on Facebook (yes, on Facebook) one lazy, rainy afternoon. The lady was an ESL instructor and she was so cute I decided she deserves a spot in one of my books. The Judgmental Titas are just a collective persona of the Filipino elderlies I meet every day who have the most toxic traits of being know-it-alls oozing with superiority complex. And Jaymie… of course, how could I ever forget my LGBT friends?

The challenge

Resident physicians are busy people and they do not have the time for this kind of life and I have said this again and again, says one critic and another person (or maybe two) agreed to this. Not that I don’t welcome criticisms but it could have been something like, hey, I love to see how this story unfolds because I happen to know resident doctors don’t normally have the time for love life. Maybe this is one of the reasons I lost the motivation to finish the story in time for the workshop. I didn’t want to be one of those who had to revise their entire plot just because people thought the writer only cared about how TCVS surgeon is a cool sounding job and didn’t really know what they’re talking about. It was a challenge because, I wanted to continue writing about a resident physician who barely has the time and at the same time I was trying to prove a point. I guess I don’t care about the criticisms. What I care about are people who believe in possibilities.

Like I said, the cover is adorable.
I had to consult actual doctors and teachers to make sure the story is plausible. Dr. Sharon Borromeo was too kind and too willing to write down all her comments and suggestions and I considered each one of them. Kim is a grade school teacher, and more or less knows the comings and goings in the academe. Nicole and another romance writer friend helped me come up with the ending. This is also the first time that I included vivid love scenes in my book as I was trying to fulfill certain requirements. It was a scary but at the same time liberating move – a chunk of my network consists of friends from the church and I dread their judgment but again, I care more about people who want possibilities.

Where to get the book

I am trying to make my books available in all forms. Amazon print on demand requirements are too simple I find it so hard to comply (I can’t seem to get the right size for the book cover image). But the digital version can be bought there. PH residents can always buy the print book here, but if you’re from overseas, I’ll keep you posted as to when the Amazon print version is finally available.

Right Where You Left Me is a light and entertaining read, or Dr. Diestro told me so when he finished reading it. And I was glad about it because it was basically what I was trying to produce to begin with. Books that are light and entertaining. Because after a long day, all we want to do is curl up, relax, and maybe fall in love a little bit.

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