Filipino American author Maida Malby cooks up foodie, multicultural, and contemporary destination romance stories filled with heat, sizzle, spice, and a whole lotta love.
Hi, Maida! Welcome to The Romance Dish. It’s a pleasure to have you visit with us today.
Hi, PJ. It’s great to be here. Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself and my books to your readers.
For those who have yet to discover you, please share what readers should expect when they pick up one of your books.
Filipina and American main characters, a rich sense of place, loads of delicious food, tight bonds of friendship, and strong family ties.
To fulfill one vow she has to break another
Travel is a central theme in your books. Why is that? Do you have a bucket list of locations for upcoming stories? Or, perhaps, a bucket list for in-person travel?
Having grown up poor, I didn’t have a lot of means to travel far from my immediate place of residence until I graduated from college and started earning a salary. Physically, at least. Because in my imagination and through the books I’d been reading, I had gone around the world many times over. That’s one of the gifts reading gave me and I want to offer the same gift to prospective readers of my books.
I lived in Thailand for several years and traveled all over the country in my work with the US Embassy, so several cities there will be settings for future stories. Indonesia was another former country of residence and Bali was a favorite destination of mine. I visited over thirty-three countries, some of them several times like Australia.
In the US, I’ve lived in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Virginia. Expect stories to be located in those areas as well.
As for personal bucket list, Africa and South America are dream future destinations.
Female friendships are also an important theme in your stories. What is it about a group of friends that inspires you as an author?
As with many aspects of my writing, this is derived from personal experience. The idea of a group of friends, each member finding love, expanding their families yet keeping their lifelong connection with one another is a wonderful reality for me and I can’t help but pay tribute to that in my stories.
Their one torrid weekend tryst is not nearly enough. They want more.
I enjoy that your heritage is celebrated in your books. What would you like readers to know/appreciate about the Filipino culture? And, on that topic, please share with us why October is an important month in your life and how you celebrate.
Filipinos are some of the funniest, most talented, friendliest, and most caring people you’ll ever know. We will laugh with you, sing for you, feed you at every opportunity (having lived next door to a Filipino-American family for several years, I can confirm that this is absolutely, deliciously true). We’re not perfect but you can consider most of us good people.
October is Filipino American History Month. As a creative, I’m trying my best to make tomorrow’s history today by sharing my stories of Filipino American joy with as many people as possible who are open to embracing diversity.
Let’s learn a bit more about you. What are your passions (aside from writing, of course)?
I love cooking. I enjoy giving my own spin to classic favorites. Before I became a writer, I was first and foremost, a reader. I blog, I review, and I recommend romance books I enjoy.
What would readers be surprised to learn about you?
I have an extensive hat collection – close to sixty head coverings now. I have hats, caps, fascinators in various materials, sizes, and colors. I bought most of them in Bangkok during the three years we were assigned there. We lived behind the embassy and would walk everywhere. I wore hats to protect my skin from intense heat and to look good, often color-coordinating them with my outfits. Even now, when I mostly work from home, I still buy hats to add to my collection.
What are you currently reading or looking forward to reading?
I am trying to catch up with the backlists of my fellow Filipina American romance authors, especially those who worked with me in my latest anthology Forevermore.
You are cordially invited.
What’s next in your writing career?
I intend to finish my Carpe Diem Chronicles series next year with the release of Samui Heat and Palawan Promises. I plan to compile a cookbook containing recipes of all the food I mentioned in the series. I’ll contribute a short story to a charity anthology as well.
After those books are published, I will start on a new series –own voice, military romance, immigrant stories- set in Texas.
That's a lot of good reading to look forward to. Where can readers find more information about you and your books online?
My website – maidamalby.com; on social media as @maidamalby or @maidamalbyauthor
Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Maida. I'm excited to see you in Daytona Beach next February for Coastal Magic Convention 2024. It's been way too long! Before we wrap this up, do you have any questions for The Romance Dish readers?
Who are other Filipina American romance authors you’ve heard of/read?
What destinations are you interested in reading about?
What Filipino/Singaporean/Thai food do you want a recipe of to be included in my cookbook?
Maida has generously offered several giveaways today so get busy posting those comments!
Seven randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM, October 14 will each receive an e-book of their choice from Maida's titles. Open internationally. U.S. winners: gifted book via Amazon. International winners: direct to Kindle address.
For the print readers among you, one randomly chosen reader who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, October 14 will receive a signed, print copy of Maida's books, Boracay Vows and New York Engagement.
*Print giveaway is U.S. only
*Must be 18 (all giveaways)
Interested in joining us for Book Besties Weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida? Click here for more information about Coastal Magic Convention 2024, a casual, welcoming, and fun gathering of readers and authors February 22 - 25, 2024.