Saturday, April 27, 2024


 The Halo-Halo Review is pleased to interview authors in the aftermath of their books' releases. This issue's featured authors include Maryanne Moll.

What is your most recent book?

The Maps of Camarines, a historical novel.


Who published and when was it released?


It was published by Penguin Random House SEA. It was first released worldwide in April

2023 as an ebook, as a paperback in Malaysia and the Philippines in May 2023, and then

released as a paperback to the rest of the world in June 2023.



What has been the response/what has surprised you most about the response?


Two things surprised me:


1. The sales, when I received my sales report and royalty payments for 2023. In hindsight,

I now suspect my surprise is caused by my own very modest sales expectations.


2. That people would actually review the book independently. These were readers who

bought the book with their own money, and published a review of it on their own

social media. My publisher always informs me which bookstagrammer or booktoker

were given review copies, but several I saw were not on that list. It warms my heart that

they found my book worthy of buying, reading, creating content about, and occupying

space on their online space.



Tell me something not obvious or known about the book.


The first 50,000 words of the book was my project for the National Novel Writing Month in

2012. Every day I would create a new word processing file, so the word count would be

zero, write my 1,667 words, and then when that word count is achieved, I would stop

writing, even in mid-sentence, email the file to myself, and then go to sleep. I just wanted

to prove to myself that I was capable of writing 50,000 words of one novel in one month. It

was chaos! I had no time to do any plotting, much less have the time and energy to do

actual archival research.



What are you working on right now?


I am writing my second novel, a magical realist novel with tropical gothic undertones, set

in the Philippines during the American Commonwealth period.





Maryanne Moll: I have written four books from 2001 to 2014. My short story “At Merienda” won Third Prize in the 2005 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, and my other short stories have also been included in anthologies in the Philippines and abroad. In 2002 I was a fellow for both the Dumaguete and the University of Santo Tomas National Writer’s Workshops, while in 2021 I was a fellow to the University of the Philippines National Writer’s Workshop. I am currently slaving over my graduate thesis, in preparation for its final defense, so I can earn the degree Master of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. I also have a YouTube channel.


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