Latest Stories

Move over, ‘Twilight’: Best-selling author of teen novels makes surprise visit to Manila



Since finishing reading her first Judy Blume book, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” at the age of 12, all Alyson Noël wanted to be was a writer.

Now on her 20th title, Noël has become one of the most popular authors in contemporary Young Adult literature with a number of her best-selling novel-series recently bagging film rights through Summit Entertainment (now owned by Lionsgate), the same entertainment studio responsible for the “Twilight Saga” and “The Hunger Games.”

Demand rose for Noël’s novels. Film opportunities and the prospect of future published works came pouring in, along with an international book tour, which, at first, did not include the Philippines.

But through the efforts of Xandra Ramos Padilla, National Book Store purchasing director for books, Filipino fans had the delight of meeting and greeting the author last July 20 at Powerbooks in Greenbelt 4 for a public forum and book-signing session.

“Teens is a very big category for us and fortunately, it still a growing category, and we’d do whatever it’ll take to encourage reading among teens,” Padilla said.

For Noël, her love for reading led her to pursue her writing career, which included years of revising drafts, giving her characters their own pulses, and figuring out what she refers to as the ’Then what?’ of her stories.

“It was about a two-and-a-half-year process of learning the ropes, making every mistake in the book, getting rejected, and starting over again until I finally got my first book deal,” said Noël, who has remained with the same publisher since her first book, “Faking 19,” came out in 2005.

Like her inspiration Judy Blume, Noël’s works have become the well-loved light reads for this generation of young adults.

Although her earlier works such as “Saving Zoë” and “Art Geeks and Prom Queens” had their own following, it was her more recent fantasy-fiction works that took the teen literature scene by storm and hooked readers worldwide.

“The Immortals” series spotlighted the painstaking journey of normal girl-turned-psychic Ever Bloom into accepting the life she was ultimately meant to lead, which in her past lives, was what she would have considered impossible or unreal.

XANDRA Ramos Padilla and Alyson Noël

The series was the author’s personal way of dealing with the grief she was experiencing after having lost several loved ones and after finding out that her husband had cancer. At that time, Noël did not even know if she was going to show the first book of the series, “Evermore,” to anyone, let alone her publisher.

“Evermore was my eighth book and it was a surprise hit,” Noel said.

On the other hand, its sister series, “Riley Bloom,” is anchored on “The Immortals” and continues the adventure that Ever’s younger sibling, Riley, embarks on as she chooses to finally cross over to the afterlife.

Both series explore concepts of metaphysics and telepathy. They cover notions of reincarnation, the afterlife, and the soul’s journey as an immortal entity.

The latest series, “The Soul Seekers,” engages readers in the quests of Dare Santos, daughter of a famous Hollywood make-up artist who finds a different life outside the studio, and even beyond reality. It delves into the various aspects of Shamanism and Native American traditions.

All three bestsellers’ film rights have already been auctioned to the same film production outfit.

“I’d be really curious as to how somebody translates Summerland (in “The Immortals”)… what it would look like, or, the upper, lower, middle worlds in “The Soul Seekers” series,” said Noël, who wanted to empower readers through the stories she told and perhaps spark the life-altering interest in writing among young adults, just as Judy Blume had done for her.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Alyson Noel , Books , Lifestyle , Literature , Novels

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  6. She has become the sex slave of her best friend
  7. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Most criticized books list includes Hunger Games, Perks
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  4. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  7. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  8. Prince William fuels speculation of second royal baby
  9. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  10. This is not just a farm
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • US weighing military exercises in Eastern Europe
  • Rains loom in Surigao as LPA nears
  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week
  • 2 suspected victims of summary execution found dead in N. Cotabato
  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken ferry in Korea
  • Sports

  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  • Rain or Shine, Ginebra clash for No. 6 spot
  • Lifestyle

  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  • Fashionistas flock to designer’s wedding
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus