If you still don’t know about #romanceclass, it’s more than time for you to check this wonderful group of authors from the Philippines who write romance! I always love their books and I’m so happy to see them publishing more LGBTQ+ books lately. When I found Chi Yu Rodriguez’s No Two Ways on twitter and ran to read the summary on Goodreads, I had no doubt that I needed to interview the author so more people could hear about it. Gladly, she was excited to be on the blog as much as I was excited to have her over.
Q1: First of all, let me just say I absolutely adore the premise of your book! Where did the inspiration come from to write a story with a makeover reality show for a romance?
Thank you, Maria! ❤
I already knew I was going to write a book with a bisexual MC and that I wanted it to be the queerest book I’ve ever written in my life. A short story with high school age AJ already existed though the anthology it belonged to hadn’t been published yet. I also knew I wanted a botched one-night-stand and a queer group of friends. But I had no idea how I was going to tell the story.
I’d been watching this makeover show on Netflix called 100% Hotter. It was a trainwreck, really. The makeovers were all over the top makeunders and oh boy the commentary. But I couldn’t stop watching. One night they made over this artsy/grungy girl I think? She was rated so low in the beginning and after they turned her as vanilla as vanilla could go, she was suddenly a ten. They completely erased her personality and it annoyed me so much.
I don’t remember exactly what happened after that. But the next thing I knew, I had typed up the initial blurb to No Two Ways on my phone. On the eve of Bi Visibility Day, no less! Then I just ran with it.
Brigitte Bautista, author of f/f new adult novel “Don’t Tell My Mother” and co-editor of the romanceclass queer anthology “Start Here: Short Stories of First Encounters”, is set to release her second novel “You, Me, U.S.” on April 15.
You, Me, U.S. is a stand-alone novel set in the grit and hustle of Manila, where the prospect of love and happiness is complicated by lifelong ambitions and family expectations. The story follows the story of best friends Jo and Liza, who are as opposite as night and day. Sex worker Jo swears by the worry-free, one-day-at-a-time dance through life. Salesclerk Liza has big plans for her family’s future, and there is nothing bigger than a one-way trip to the U.S. But an almost-kiss, a sex dare, and news of Liza’s engagement to her American boyfriend unveil feelings Jo and Liza never thought they had. Deciding between staying together and drifting apart puts Liza’s best-laid plans and Jo’s laidback life in jeopardy.
If friends-to-lovers romance trope and navigating family expectations is your jam, be sure to grab a copy of You, Me, U.S. on Amazon Kindle while it’s still $0.99. Price stands until release day.
Need to hear what other readers thought of You, Me, U.S.? Check out a few early reviews on Goodreads.
Brigitte Bautista is currently juggling her day job as a software engineer and her passion for writing. She was a participant in Anvil Publishing’s #SparkNA writing workshop, where her first novel “Don’t Tell My Mother” was produced. Since then, the novel has been included in National Bookstore’s best-selling list. More recently, she worked with #romanceclass as co-editor and contributor of Start Here, a romance anthology of m/m, f/f and nonbinary/f stories.
Romanceclass, a community of Filipino authors and readers of romance books in English, released the anthology “Start Here: Short Stories of First Encounters” last January 27. The HEA-guaranteed anthology is a mix of sweet and sexy, drama and levity. Whatever you’re into, whether you’ve had a smattering of first encounters or venturing out for one, you’re sure to find a story here you could sink your teeth into.