Behind The Story: Number One Fan

Number One Fan book cover

In 2002, after submitting my first trilogy to my editors/publisher, I started planning to write another trilogy about three newscasters, each with a story to tell. Inspired by The Bestseller by Lila Ramsey and The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie, I challenged myself to write a mystery-thriller series.

I wrote the first part of the Filipino trilogy, The Ratings Game in April 2002. It is about a newscaster who receives a bouquet of flowers and a phone call from someone who calls himself her Number One Fan. His message was to make him number one or else, someone will die. She dismissed it as a mere prank.

After a week, the police found her journalism professor dead. She then realized that it was not just a joke. With only the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star as her clue, she has to guess who Number One Fan is and who will be the next victim as journalists around her start to die one by one.

However, while writing the second part, News Scam, writer’s block set in. I was stuck. I felt there was something missing but I could not figure it out. Therefore, I put it aside, hoping to find an answer in the future although I already have an ending for the third part which was supposed to be entitled, Breaking News.

I never thought that the “future” would take years. However, the idea still holds in my mind, wanting release.

In 2011, while sorting out old files, I found the original manuscript, typewritten from a manual typewriter. Nine years have passed, and typewriters no longer exist. I re-typed the manuscript on my computer hoping to find a new stimulus while retyping and revising just to finish the Filipino novel. However, I felt something was still missing.

In 2012, I joined National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the first time. I used the original concept and wrote everything from scratch this time in English. I gave it the title: Number One Fan. The characters and plot have changed since then. Although short of 50,000 words by the end of November, I continued revising the story after NaNoWriMo. I finished the manuscript with 51,907 words, 40 chapters, and 208 pages on 27 May 2013. Since then, every November, I join NaNoWriMo to write a novel. Not necessarily the sequel, although I have plans of writing one.

On 6 June 2013, a free e-book publishing website named Foboko released Number One Fan. I felt relieved that the concept has finally found its way into publishing. Talk about being patient for eleven years. It was a long wait worth it. A few days after, released Number One Fan on its website.

That same year, I entered the novel in a contest. One of the judges in the Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Award said,

This has a really unusual and interesting setting for a mystery novel. This reader does not recall ever reading a book set in newscasting, or in the Philippines, which lends a really original cast to the whole story. Regine is clearly is a strong and capable woman, and her sense of family and responsibility as well as ambition keep the reader on her side. Overall it is a strong idea for a story and a setting that could support sequels.

Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Award

This comment inspired me to go on writing. I am still not giving up on my trilogy.

Celebrate the 10th year of my first NaNoWriMo novel, Number One Fan, click here.

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