The blog I wrote that night, It’s 3:39 a.m. and I’m Wide Awake, was basically my goodbye to the world, as I realized there was a good chance most of us on the island wouldn’t live through the next day.
The storm did slam into the island that afternoon, but the worst blew south of us at the last hours. There were a few fatalities on the island, and many buildings, boats and homes were devastated, but we were incredibly lucky compared to people living on nearby islands like Leyte, Tacloban, and Samar, where whole cities were washed and blown away, killing thousands.
But for me, surviving the biggest typhoon in history was just the beginning of this story. Haiyan set off a wild and fortuitous chain of events that saw me interviewed on CNN, Good Morning America and media all over the world, while at the same time I was stranded on the island and destitute. Unable to leave or even get money, I faced an uncertain fate, until some of the most humble and impoverished people in Southeast Asia took me in.
Devoted to voicing their stories to the world, I started writing The Queens of Dragon Townin earnest in September of 2014, with the first line:
“The tourists chanted ‘Do it! Do it!’ so the little boy put the razor blade in his mouth and started chewing.”
I finished on my birthday, on February 9, 2016, with the final sentence:
“And both end about the same.”
So why would someone spend that obscene amount of time and sacrifice so much just to write a book?
As I worked hour after hour, day in and day out on this manuscript, I realized that this book was really a continuation of what I’d started that night in 2013, before the sky darkened and the winds stirred and the island cats grew panicked. But instead of being my goodbyeto the world, this book was actually my gift to the world.
I’ll write more books in my days - probably a lot of them. But when the big storm comes for me and it’s my time, THIS is the book I want to be remembered for.
The Queens of Dragon Town is my legacy.
And that’s why I put in 1,728 hours to write The Queens of Dragon Town and, most importantly, share it with you.
Click here to find out. It’s waiting for you.