About Mina

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series "Author at Once" for writers and publishers, and #romanceclass for aspiring romance writers.

Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novellas won the Filipino Readers' Choice awards for Chick Lit in 2012 (Fairy Tale Fail) and 2013 (That Kind of Guy).

Contact her at minavesguerra [at] gmail [dot] com / @minavesguerra on Twitter. Visit her Amazon Author Page. Find her books here. Join the Mysterious Mailing List for exclusive updates. Tune in to The Five By Five Podcast, which she co-hosts with Tania Arpa.

Missed one of my classes? You can get the textbook.




Interviews

From Page One: Interview: Mina V. Esguerra
I’m on a laptop or netbook most hours of the day as it is, so working and writing me wouldn’t look any different to someone who happens to pass by. I do like to plot stuff in my head before I write it down though, and it usually happens when I’m sitting in moving vehicles.
Chachic's Book Nook: Interview with Mina V. Esguerra and Giveaway
At the same time I don’t want to go into that review and really discuss things point by point, because by then a person’s read and judged the work and that judgment belongs to them. I don’t want to be so involved and visible that a reviewer will feel awkward knowing that I’m just there hovering. 
Philippine Daily Inquirer: Pretty in Print by Ruel de Vera
While she’s read some foreign titles identified as chick lit – she’s read the Bridget Jones books, for example – that’s not where she’s coming from. “I’m basically writing from the Sweet Valley Twins perspective, but I try to make the characters older.” In effect, she has allowed her characters to grow up and face the contemporary world of  up-and-coming Filipino women.
Rocket Kapre: Interim Goddess of Love: Interview with Mina Esguerra
I am even more excited about publishing now – as a Filipino author, living in the Philippines, writing about Filipinos — than when I started. I appreciate the support coming from a publisher like Summit, and I can tell that many readers know of me because of my work with them. At the same time, it’s great that digital publishing has made it easier for me to reach a larger market, and that this market has taken an interest in familiar stories set in unfamiliar places.
Before, I was just hiding, just looking at [reviews] without commenting back or replying. After a while, I realized I should say something as it was nice of them to have bought the book, read it and shared it with their friends. 
GMA News Online: Mina V. Esguerra: Young publisher in pajamas by Meann Ortiz
Technology is changing the game, so it is now possible for authors like Esguerra to seriously consider independent publishing as a viable and legitimate way to market their work as an alternative to traditional publishing.
 ANC's Future Perfect with Karmina Constantino (video)

Charlene Sawit's Field Trips to the Real World: Postcards on Writing 1 - Self-publishing
I outline on Evernote, write the draft on either my laptop or iPad and sync it to Dropbox so I can add to it from any device I happen to be using. This has been helpful because I am juggling so many things right now and I write every free chance I get, and sometimes that’s fifteen minutes in a coffee shop or while in line for a taxi.
ANC Alerts with Lexi Schulze (video)

ANC's Shop Talk with Ria Tanjuatco-Trillo (video)

Reev Writes: 7 Questions with Author Mina V. Esguerra

Reev Robledo's video of the Filipino Readers' Choice Awards


Rappler: Self-publish in 3 easy steps by Ime Morales
Mina says that in the US, the authors who are really spending time on self-publishing (both the writing and marketing aspects of it) have been able to quit their jobs and do the work full-time.
“It’s a combination of writing a good book, writing a book in the right genre and actively engaging readers and other writers,” she reveals.
Book Adoration: Author Interview with Mina V. Esguerra
I used to be the kind of writer who waited for inspiration, but I decided a few years ago that I had to have structure, and a schedule, if I wanted to write more than one book in my lifetime. 
Philstar: This is your book by Luis Katigbak
This has been rewarding in so many ways, but the most fun for me has been getting the data. I find out in real time how many of my books have sold, what happens when I do a giveaway, an interview, or do a talk somewhere. Apparently I like the control part of this and adjust my strategy based on the data I get. 
Interview with author Amy Evans for NALitChat


NALitChat on Culture and Diversity (November 14, 2013)


Manila Bulletin: Keep 'em teaching by Ronald Lim (Yahoo mirror)
“PNU already invited me to speak once before, and I loved how the Lit students knew their stuff. I’d mention book titles and they’d know them. It just made me feel good that people studying to be Lit teachers were passionate about reading,” she explains. “The second time I was in PNU to speak (invited by Circulus Literati this time) I learned during lunch with the dean how much the tuition fee per semester was. And I thought that I could definitely raise that, set aside some amount per month to help a future teacher with tuition. I asked if Circulus Literati would help, and they made everything happen.”
Buqo: Interview with the Chick Lit Guru Mina V. Esguerra by Dianne Chua
How about the one you doubted to be a success? 
I have a series called Young and Scambitious that I’m proud of, but am also sure not many people will “get.” It’s a case of me writing what I want and not caring what happens after.
Philippine Daily Inquirer Commentary: Alternative Publishing 101 by Neni Romana-Sta.Cruz
A dozen digital books later, Esguerra recounts how some of her e-books have been published as hard copies by local publishers—a publishing route in reverse, so to speak, for we usually think of “real” books first before the digital versions. From the start, Esguerra was driven to write for an audience larger than the Philippines and learned many lessons along the way.
Bibliophile Soprano: Author Interview: Mina V. Esguerra
Keep writing, and read a lot. Not just the books similar to the ones you plan to write, but anything. Everything. The things I’m most proud of in my own books are usually inspired by other genres or entirely unrelated work. 
The Galvanizers: Featured Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Because I write in English, I want my books to be read wherever there are people who speak that language (and read romance). There’s a boom in young adult readership in the Philippines right now and I think it’s entirely possible to be a publishing success by writing into that trend. (For how long though? Pinoy authors, I think, should plan out a writing career that will survive trends.)
Chachic's Book Nook: Sola Musica: 5 Songs from My Sola Musica Playlist by Mina V. Esguerra
For Sola Musica, my story “Georgia Lost and Found” starts off on the road, and flashes back to different times in Georgia and Ken’s lives when they’ve been on the road together. 
Bookbed: All is Fair in Love and Writing
Mina then asked the group to introduce themselves and share their favorite romance novels and the reason they joined the workshop. This encouraged everyone to be vocal about the kinds of books they love (my favorite kind of discussion!) and also what they wanted to learn through the workshop. She then turned the tide of the conversation to how finishing a romance novel will be her main focus and said, “You learn something just by the experience of finishing it (a book).” 
NA Alley: Reading NA From Way Over Here: Speaking up from southeast Asia
I like mentioning this to remind people, especially if their books are sold online, that their audience is the world, and I'm in a really crowded part of it. People in my country love to read.  
One Day at The Beach: An Interview With The Sola Musica Authors
So I have to admit something-- I probably wouldn't actually go to an event like Sola Musica. Being that isolated and dependent on “portalets” kind of freaks me out. But I'm going to definitely give the tickets to three single friends on the condition that they not hang out with each other and instead wander around and meet other people. (Story idea!) 
Interaksyon: Pinoy romance novelist Mina Esguerra on 5 secrets to writing a bestseller
“I’ve seen so many writers get stuck with trying to portray romance that’s ‘real’ or ‘authentic,’” said Esguerra. “Touches of reality do make it interesting, but don’t forget that what we want is for our fantasies to come to life, with the help of your words.”
Modern Filipina: How Romance Author Mina V. Esguerra Makes Her Passion Work For Her
I still treated it as a hobby as my fifth novella was being published. The decision to make a career out of this was really me deciding to continue to write and commit to writing and publishing more.
Philippine Daily Inquirer: The romantic empire of Mina V. Esguerra by Ruel de Vera
“I kind of got used to everything being slow in publishing. A book might take a few years or a lifetime to write. And then when I started playing in that playground of Amazon and self-publishers abroad, that’s when I realized it could be faster, it could be more efficient. It could be more reader-centric and market-centric." 
Modern Filipina: 5 Cliches from Romance Novels That Shouldn’t Apply to Real Life by Marian Bartolome
“Relationships that are hard-fought, sometimes against each other (and not just the world), can be stressful. Because if the underlying reason WHY there was conflict was never addressed, then it’ll just keep coming up. For as long as you’re together. Not exactly the happiest of endings.”

13 comments:

  1. Good day I had the chance to watch your interview in ANC awhile ago..I was so inspired of what you shared..many thanks for those things I am more motivated this time to really write, write. Thanks again.

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  2. Your interview with ANC is very inspiring. I am looking at blogging again and hopefully my 8 year old kid will develop her writing too. Thanks!

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  3. I really hope I can be like you. I am just an aspiring gay writer who writes weird books that will not be accepted by Filipino publishers so I have no choice but to self-publish. I am so happy that there are people like you who can inspire young writers out there, like me, to pursue their dreams. Thank you for sharing this blog to us!

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  4. I am a normal Filipina girl, and I am 10. I love to read books and because of that, I make my own novels. When I'm done, I'd like to publish my book. If my parents won't let me publish it in Scholastic, I'll need a backup. And since I read all about you in Total Girl Magazine, I'd like to know here is your publishing house. Thank you!

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  5. I am a fan. I can relate to the characters of your books especially Ellie. I have my new hobby now, and that is collecting your books. I find your books interesting and not the hopeless romantic type which is very true in some other romance books. Also, your books/stories are more realistic that's why I enjoy reading it. Thank you so much. You're one of the reasons why my love for books is back =)

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    1. Thank you! :) So happy after reading this.

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  6. I really love your books mina!! I started reading "that kind of guy" and continued collecting your books! Interim Goddess of Love is one of my favorite books! Thanks for inspiring us.. :D And just a wish, I wish The 2nd and 3rd book of Interim Goddess of Love is out on bookstores!! I really want to have those!! I'm really excited on that series!! You're one of the authors whom I really like... :)

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  7. I prefer hard copies. Where to buy? Thanks. It's great to know there's a Filipina that have books at Amazon. (-:

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    1. Most local bookstores will have at least one of my books! The rest are here, if you're in the Philippines :) http://pinterest.com/minave/order-the-paperback-philippines/

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  8. Hi Mina! I came across your books in the Books On Demand site. My daughter really loves to write. In fact, she created a few stories. Could you help me where to start? She wants to publish. I would also like to know how you sell your books? How you tie up with bookstores on-site and on-line? Please help us.

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    1. You can go through my previous posts on publishing! I'm not sure where you're at right now in terms of being ready, but something here might be helpful: http://minavesguerra.blogspot.com/search/label/publishing

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