Saturday 3 February 2018

Valentine Countdown Day 6

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, Only A Kiss, When Sparks Fly, All That Glitters, and Someday With You. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain Vanilla,” “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival, “Things I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books anthology Coming of Age, and “Before the Sun Rises,” part of the Ateneo University Press anthology Friend Zones. 

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom who lives in the Philippines with her husband and two little girls. Her books are available digitally on Amazon and

Connect with the Author here: 

Twenty-four-year-old photographer's apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana's heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. 

As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

Q&A With The Author:

1.   Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?

I love traveling. I love visiting different places and learning about the culture of the people, tasting their food, and learning a few phrases from their language. I also love visiting theme parks and museums with my kids :) I also love dancing. I recently signed up for dancing classes near my house. What makes me really happy though is being with my friends and family -- even if we're just hanging out at home. 

2. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

Right now, my biggest struggle is finding time to write. I’m a full-time mom and most of my day is spent taking care of my kids or doing chores at home. I also do freelance writing and editing work and I usually need to get this out of the way before I can work on my fiction. But of course it’s my fiction that makes me happy. So what I do is make sure I stick to a schedule. I work when my kids are in school (that’s a short 2.5 hours every week day) and I focus on my freelance work during the first three days of the week. The last two days are devoted to my stories. I’ve done this and it works. Takes longer to finish a book but at least I still get to write! 

3. What are your future projects?

I’ve re-releasing two of my previously traditionally published books. I’m working on new covers and additional material. I’m also revising a manuscript I finished last year which is in a different genre so I’m excited and nervous about it! I’ve gotten great feedback from my beta readers though, so I hope that’s a good sign! I’m also working on a series of children’s books. I hope these all work out!

4. What is the “message” of your writing? 

What I hope my readers will take away when they read my books is that they too deserve a love like this. They too can have their own happily ever after. And I hope I can give them a peek into my culture, the culture of the Philippines. 

5. Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life? 
I take a lot of inspiration from real life. While I was writing my book, When Sparks Fly, I was so enchanted by the ancestral home of a friend (she posted photos of it on Facebook) that I messaged her right away and asked if I could talk to her about it because I wanted to include it in my story. At the same time, Regina is a photographer’s assistant and I based her experiences on the photographers I worked with several years ago (in the 90s when you needed polaroids to check the photos because digital cameras weren’t the norm yet). And riding horses? When I was a child, I took riding lessons in the same province Regina and Lana visited when they were teenagers. 

There’s so much of myself in my books, but at the same time I make a conscious effort to separate myself as well. I interviewed photographers about their apprenticeships and I interviewed a former sportscaster about his job. Oh! But Mang Mario the guard is based on the guard in my daughter’s school. And he’s just as lovable. And yes, his name is Mang Mario too. 

6. Have you done anything writing-related, besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?

Before I began writing fiction, I wrote feature articles for local magazines and newspapers. Then when I became the editor in chief of a teen magazine, my ed’s letters would get such wonderful, heartwarming responses — especially the personal ones. I noticed the same thing when I was doing a mommy blog. The more I opened myself up when I wrote, the more positive the response was. It taught me that people want you to be real when you write. And this is what I try my best to do as I write my characters. Fingers crossed that it comes across! 

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