Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's good to go out sometimes

A busy week, in terms of writing. (And everything else, but that's another story.)

On Saturday, I attended my first Goodreads Filipino Group meetup. I now understand why these things can last for hours and hours. It was too bad that I only had a couple to spare, but I'm glad that I was able to meet them. (And Tina of One More Page, finally!) I also confessed then and there that I was a lurker, or at least a drive-by poster, and hope that I can find more time to discuss things. In case I haven't stressed it enough, I am very grateful for their support.

I was also able to meet author Samantha Sotto, whose novel Before Ever After has just been released. She is smart and lively, and I like her -- even if she favors the Tenth Doctor over my Nine and Eleven. (At least we don't have to share.)

On Monday, I spoke at St. Scholastica's College Manila (for something else, not an author thing) and offered freebies to students who knew the titles of my books. Lo and behold, we have winners! I've got your names and will email you soonish, promise.

Today, Thursday, I finally finished another draft, something I've been calling the TKoG project. I will let it sit and stew for a bit, before sending it off to the editor.

I'm actually glad that's somewhat over, because I am so excited about my new project. I'm calling it IGoL, and until recently I was too chicken to write it. I hope I hope I hope this works out.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Three stories that explain Mina

Recently I was asked two questions that left thoughts bouncing around in my head for weeks.

"What is your favorite book?" and "Do you have a mentor?"

I answered them simply and quickly when I was asked, but of course with time I managed to figure out why I was still thinking about this: The answers are related.

To answer the first question, I said that my favorite book was Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors collection of short stories. How strange, the reaction was, that someone who identified herself as a chick lit author would have this kind of book as her favorite. I guess it's possible to have a writing personality that differs from my actual personality, or maybe I'm just waiting to let the darkness out.

The answer to the second question is that I didn't/don't have a mentor. (I didn't undergo the kind of training that allows one to meet mentor types.) What I have are stories that stayed with me. You could say I was influenced by them, and maybe my love for them explains why I write this way, what I've written -- and what I intend to write in the future.

Wrong-Way Romance (Sheri Cobb South, YA Romance)
A Sweet Dreams novel? Don't scoff at what is my favorite of the series, and still is one of my favorite novels today. It's sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, and has a plot that isn't about moving away or terminal illness. I like my love stories with bite instead of sap. Because of this novel, or was I like that all along? I can't tell anymore. (PS. Follow the link to Amazon and see how expensive a copy of this can get. If you find it in a Book Sale, consider it treasure! Or send it to me as a gift if it isn't your thing!)

Witch (Christopher Pike/Kevin Christopher McFadden, YA Fantasy/Horror)
I've been called out for writing that is more terse than flowery, and maybe that came about because of the Christopher Pike novels I collected in high school. Witch I single out because it is a heartwrenching story (for a fourteen-year-old definitely), even when told with his clipped tone and short sentences. It's not a style that's inherently better than any other, but I happen to prefer it.

Snow, Glass, Apples (Neil Gaiman, from Smoke and Mirrors)
Neil Gaiman's take on Snow White is special to me because this is how I think. That probably doesn't make any sense, but that story is perfectly logical to me, and none of it is a surprise. When I'm writing and find myself stuck, I remember this story and it helps me move on along. Unlike the first two examples I've named, the traces of this haven't shown up in anything I've done. This is a side of me I still have to develop, and exploit.

What are your stories?