When KB first approached me about a collab with Bookbed.org, I immediately said ‘yes.' I’ve been sitting on a manuscript for the prequel to Before I Do and I want to release it first online before self-publishing it later this year.
That was in February. Seven months later, here we are, only 4 or 5 episodes left before it goes to press. Yep, I am the COO (child of owner) of a small printing company in Manila. I self-publish my own titles but for Before I Do’s prequel and sequel, let’s see. These could get bigger *wink wink*.
But before we bury Matthew six feet under or raise Tristan up on a pedestal or send Kit to “Camp Sawi,” here are the top 10 things you may or may not know about Before I Do’s controversial prequel. Enjoy!
1. You know how writers sometimes base fictional characters on real people? The same can be said about the main characters in What Am I To You.
Although, Matthew Rondillo’s character is about 60 percent real and 40 percent fiction. I based his character on a past love—who is also a writer. And yes, I met him in college.
2. Kit Castille is a play on my real name. 🙂
3. Tristan Atienza’s character is based on two former guy best friends. Former because we don’t speak anymore. The first one was my guy best friend in high school. We simply lost touch over the years. The second one fell in love with me but I was too dense to realize what was happening because during that time, I was pining away for the real-life Matthew.
4. My guy best friend in high school was my cotillion partner during our senior high school prom. How I described Tristan in What Am I To You
during the prom scenes, that’s exactly how he looked. You gotta love high school! And oh, I was our senior class' prom queen, hehe.
5. There is also a real-life Denver and he is one of my long-time, closest guy friends. Yes, he looks a bit like Piolo Pascual, especially when he was younger. Yes, he is a former law student who had a modeling stint years ago. He played side-by-side with a then Indie film actor Coco Martin. Yes, over the years, he has helped me with my schemes. And yes, he is single.
6. I watched Avenue Q
twice, both in Manila. The first time I saw it, the song There’s A Fine, Fine Line
hit me square on the chest. The second time I saw it, I brought “Johnny” with me. Who’s Johnny? You have to read Before I Do!
7. I also went to Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa twice. The first time I went there, I was with my team from a Fil-Am lifestyle magazine. The second time, I went with my then boyfriend, now my husband. We spent 3 days and 2 nights there and all that time, I thought he was going to propose but didn’t.
P.S. I got engaged at a bar! That’s why we had a Prohibition-themed wedding reception in 2014.
8. I attended the bamboo organ annual concert years ago. Unlike Kit’s gray and black ombre gown, I wore a black lace cocktail dress and sky-high stilettos. Nope, I didn’t bring the real-life Denver. I went as a member of the press.
9. Like Tristan, Bridgette Santamaria is the combination of two women I know in real life. And yes, both of these women are connected to the real-life Matthew.
10. Many of the conversations in What Am I To You
happened in real life with real people. That first scene where Matthew first joined the journalism class? That happened in real life years ago at my alma mater.
In What Am I To You, we see a different kind of Kit Castille, a version who is so far from the queen bitch everyone loves to hate in Before I Do. The prequel is darker and definitely more erotic because it details how Kit’s character in the last two books came to be—opinionated, won’t take crap from anyone, selfish, not good at waiting, scheming and bitchy. The whole madness with Matthew and Tristan will explain why she has very high expectations from the people around her.
I hope you’re enjoying What Am I To You so far. Thank you for the kind words you share with me on Facebook and emails. If you haven’t seen it, do visit Bookbed.org today and check it out. If you’re ready for the next book, you can buy Before I Do in select National Bookstores in Metro Manila.
And yes, I’m writing the sequel, Finally, I Do, in Kuala Lumpur.