In my relatively new job, I was tasked to cover the book launch of Kevin Kwan's third and final installment of the 'Crazy Rich' series, 'Rich People Problems', last August 18. Although I have attended several press cons back in high school and college, they were relatively small compared to the one I attended in Fully Booked last week.
I assume that you're aware that Fully Booked is a three-story book store between Serendra and High Street. But have you been inside? If yes, then good for you because I haven't yet. Aside from my first time attending a book launch with a press con, it was also my first time to explore the Fully Booked in BHS. The first thing that caught my eyes inside the book lovers' paradise was a sort of art installation situated in the main atrium of the book store. It was made of stacks of books whose colored spines formed a big picture of a woman cladded in black and striking a Lady Tremaine-like posture while holding her own Lucifer.
The store wasn't open until 11 AM, that's why when I went there at 10AM on August 18, the interior felt much bigger since all of the media people and staff were in the press con room on the third floor waiting for Kevin Kwan, and hardly anybody was around the book shelves. I must confess that I'm not really that of a bookworm, heck, I didn't even bother to read the novel before going to the book launch. As I walked through its empty halls towards the press con room, I heard whispers and as I moved even closer, the whispers turned into murmurs, and the murmurs turned into words of welcome that came from the staff. They greeted me with a big smile before asking for my name and company to verify that I was really on the list. After I signed up, they handed me a press kit, a biscuit (with icing shaped like the book cover), and a copy of the 'Rich People Problems' by Kevin Kwan.
I searched for the closest possible seat to Kevin Kwan, and I found myself on the second row just right behind the reserved seats for the VIPs. The air was filled with excitement, and I felt that these media people are also big fans of Kwan. Not long after, the MC from Fully Booked grabbed the mic and announced the arrival of the sun-kissed Kevin Kwan who visited Palawan prior to his book tour. As the Singaporean writer passed through the aisle, the murmurs and whispers that were coming from the crowd were replaced by the sound of camera shutters and pen scratching on their notepads.
The program opened with Kwan giving a 'what to expect' speech from his new book. It was followed by the open forum where the media were given the chance to ask questions about Kwan's new book, the book-to-movie adaptation, and future plans. A reporter asked Kwan if he already knew that his book was going to be a trilogy, and Kwan said he already knew the characters' stories inside his head even before he finished publishing the trilogy. Another asked what would be Kris Aquino's role in the upcoming book-to-movie adaptation of the 'Crazy Rich Asians' and he said it's a 'state secret', which made the media people roaring with laughter. It was already half past 11 when the press con ended to give way for the book signing, but I could not stay any longer because I still have a lot of things to do in the office.
As I walked back to the office, I took the time to contemplate on the words of Kevin Kwan, 'Whenever I write, I always keep in mind the historical accuracy', because I think this is very relevant today where historical revisionism seems like a popular thing to do. So before you go imagining yourself living the life of these fictional crazy rich Asians, dust off first your history books and study how the real rich people became who they are.