The #HeistClub New Blood Anthology, The Secrets That We Keep, is a labor of love, mostly by Georgette Gonzales and myself as we were the main selectors, compilers and editors. We started this journey together, not really sure what we were getting ourselves into. Okay, we sort of knew, but didn’t really think it would have taken so much of us to do this. For one thing, Gette moved to the US and I stayed here, so we coordinated online. We talked when she has woken up and I am about ready to call it a night, and the next day when I wake up and she is almost ready to sleep. And because life got in the way (for both of us, as well as the new authors and the old author mentors), the release of the anthology got delayed, several times.
But on March 24, 2018, at the Tweedle Book Cafe, the formal launch happened. AT LAST. The new anthology, along with four other stand-alone books by #HeistClub authors, were formally introduced to the public. And although we were beside ourselves with joy, there was a twinge of sadness because Gette couldn’t be with us in person. The next best thing? She sent a message to everyone, which was read during the launch.
Find below the transcript of the message, as well as the video of the reading of the message during the launch by host Ana Valenzuela:
Hey, Heist Club people! This is it! We are finally launching your stories. Congratulations, authors, for your formal induction into HeistClub! I hope this is well worth the wait, first from taking lessons, then the actual writing process, after which you had to deal with the critiquing, editing, and polishing (bet you were all going “naman itong si Georgette, o! Ang kulit!), then finally the publishing team putting the stories together and the finishing touches (that includes your author details) to have it ready for printing. Excruciating birthing pains, you agree with me, so we can get to the level of great work we must achieve.
And we did! You did it.
I hope this is a process that you will look back on and cherish and draw strength from as you journey on this road of crimefic writing. I am speaking to our new blood, especially our authors whose baptism of fire, so to speak, is this body of work. I do hope you push on and not just because we asked you to write a Case Number One and must have succeeding cases to follow. We need you all to continue writing and contributing to the development of Filipino crime fiction. And we, the senior batch, will be here for you and for the future generations of #HeistClub authors.
Again, congratulations! I wish I was there to deliver this message in person but, c’est la vie. I will maybe make it to a future #HeistClub launch because we won’t stop here, yes?
From all of us from #HeistClub, including the New Blood authors (who always dreaded the arrival of your editorial notes!), thank you very much Gette! We miss you! And more projects in the future! I hope next time, you would be physically present to celebrate with us!