In my quick, laid-back chat with Endgame: The Calling, A Million Little Pieces, and I Am Number Four author James Frey last Wednesday, we eventually ended up talking about how he’s been all over the world on tour (and his favorite places), his first visit to the Philippines, what his wife’s Filipino friend told him to experience here, and his favorite Filipino food (note: not balut!). Read on for the food and travel excerpt from our conversation below.
You said that pretty much all the information you used in the Endgame trilogy is from Google, but I’m just curious: Have been to a lot of the places you mentioned in the book?
I haven’t been to, like, 99% of the places. I’ve been to a few of them, but I haven’t been to the overwhelming, obscure places. I would like to.
Has travel been part of the writing process at all?
No, honestly Google is amazing, I could go on Google Earth and see pictures of everything, and so we write them off that. Travel’s been an amazing part of touring—like I’ve never been to the Philippines before until yesterday. I just never felt I needed to. I’m a writer, I’m not a historian, I’m not a travel writer. I’m free to make things up and present something in whatever way I choose to.
What places have you been to on tour that you consider your favorites?
I’ve been all over the world, but I guess I love Paris, I love London, and now the Philippines. It’s awesome here! The people are so nice, the food is great.
What food have you tried?
I’m not eating balut! So I ate this baby pig, [lechon de leche], I ate lechon for dinner last night, and it was totally amazing and delicious. And I think I’m gonna eat lechon every day I’m here. That’s all I wanna do. My wife has a really close friend in America who’s Filipino, and her parents live half the year here and half the year in the States. And I asked, “What do I need to do?” And she said, “Ride in a jeepney, go to a cock fight, and eat lechon. You do those things and you’re good.”
Will you have time to do all of those?
Yeah. So I have a day off in Cebu on Saturday, and I’m gonna ride a jeepney. And I guess all the best cock fights are in Cebu too. (Hint: Cebuano friends, watch out for James Frey in Mactan or the city today!)
I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been to one.
You’ve got to go. They might revoke your citizenship.
You can meet and have your copy of Endgame: The Calling signed by James Frey! Catch him in book signing events today, January 31, 2PM, in National Book Store, Ayala Center Cebu, and tomorrow, February 1, 2PM, in National Book Store, Glorietta 1. Registration starts at 10AM for both events.
Endgame: The Calling and the Lorien Legacies series are available in National Book Store and Powerbooks. Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com and earn reward points for online purchases.