Wednesday, September 18, 2013


What made you become a writer? Is it a life-long dream or was it only developed later on?

It's not a particularly dramatic story: no dramatic revelations, no particular turning point. I just grew up writing and typing. My mother keeps old stories and poems that I wrote as a child. It's been such a natural part of my life that I don't think I've ever imagined not being a writer.

What was your inspiration for this story? Is it drawn from personal experience?

Half of the time I live in Manila; the other half in Aklan. I've always wanted to write something that was set in our province. Though most of the scenes in Cover (Story) Girl are set in Boracay, I hope it's still able to showcase many things about the region.

But this particular story came from a simple 'What if': There are throngs of Korean and Chinese tourists that visit Boracay. What if one of them had a secret identity? What if one of them was a popular celebutante or double agent or an athlete we don't know of?
When Fish Leong got married in Boracay, did the average Pinoy recognize her? (And if anyone reading this had to Google the words "Fish Leong Boracay," then you've just proven my point!) I thought it was interesting to play around with the fact that the average Pinoy is more interested in Hollywood than Hallyu and not a lot of people would recognize popular Asian personalities if they were walking on a beach sans makeup. Though Gio's home situation and romantic encounters are very different from mine, I just drew enough from my own observations and travels to make sure what I wrote still had that touch of believability.

In making the book- what was the biggest challenge you have encountered (if any)?

I was really challenged by the editing process. It took me longer to edit the book than it did to write it! Another part that tripped me up a time or two was dealing with author-related details. It took me a while before I could even set up my author page on Facebook, haha!

The Philippine literature is fast becoming known worldwide and getting more and more appreciation and audience in our own country…

I think we should give the Filipino reader more credit! I'd like to think that more and more Filipinos are giving local books a chance. If the turnout and response to the recently-held Aklatan is any indication, then we can say that a number of Filipinos aren't limiting themselves to reading books from just the foreign authors.

10 years from now, what do you envision for Philippine literature?

I think ten years from now, there will be younger published writers. Technology is making it possible for teenagers to post their writing online and amass a huge following even before their words make it to the printed page. Younger writers are also open to experimenting with new publishing models. I hope that in ten years there will be a diverse and dynamic market: more well-written popular fiction to sit on the shelves next to our established literary gems. 

What would be your advice for aspiring writers out there?

Hone your craft by reading. Read for pleasure and read with a critical eye. Read the genre for which you want to write. I also found out that a little discipline can go a long way. It was sticking to a no-internet-for-an-hour routine that helped me finish my novella, so maybe having a similar rule can work for you.

Any message for your readers?

Thank you so much for taking a chance on Cover (Story) Girl. Look for me online and drop me a line; I would love to hear your thoughts. I wish I had enough calamansi muffins for everyone. :) Please continue supporting Filipino writers!


Cover (Story) Girl is Chris Mariano’s first published romance work, but her speculative fiction and poetry have appeared in Fully Booked's Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Prose Anthology, Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 7, TAYO Literary Magazine, and Ideomancer. When she’s not writing, she supports EskritoryoPilipinas, an organization that encourages kids to appreciate Filipino literature and culture. She divides her time between Manila and Aklan.

Give a shout-out:
Twitter: @dementedchris


1) She has amnesia. 

2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors. 

3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth. 

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what's true from what isn't? Their worlds are getting unraveled -- one story at a time. 

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3 Swag Bags containing, a signed paperback copy of CSG, set of postcards and bookmarks, vanilla shampoo/body wash 


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