As told to Thomas Goldsmith
I guess it's the fact that I love to tell stories, whether it may be in the journalistic, marketing, or literary (and many more) side of things. I believe that since we spend most of our days working, we might as well do that thing we love, that thing we're most passionate about.
Who are your literary and pop culture inspirations?
Well, I'm really into romantic comedy as well as inspiring stories. My favorites are: While You Were Sleeping, Just Like Heaven, 13 Going On 30, and Finding Forester. Growing up, I was very into Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley Series. Up to now, I admire the way she was able to vividly create the Sweet Valley universe and make me feel that it was something that really existed. I'm also very much a Beatles fan, such geniuses!
Can you tell us about the PaperKatBooks Novel Mentorship Program and how it helped with the development of your novel?
PaperKatBooks Novel Mentorship program essentially broke down the process of writing a novel. It becomes less overwhelming when you do it step by step---from character development to eventually developing the chapters. It's like they give you the skeleton to fill up with your ideas. At the same time, you are given a freehand on how you tell your story, and in integrating your input.
PaperKatBooks Novel Mentorship program was opened by Kat Eustaquio-Derla last 2017 to both non-writers and writers who had a story to tell. To qualify, you first have to take a creative exam. If you pass, this is followed by a story pitch. Once your in, you're guided by Kath though the templates and guides that she sends online. You can also chat with her online, which makes the process for personalized and flexible.
Finishing it! haha. Although, I was very passionate to tell the story of Paulo and Bea, so this really helped me get through the writing process.
The use of different formats (text messages, lyrics, screenshots, and diary entries) gives the book a very contemporary and modernist feel. What inspired you to include those within the story?
I naturally gravitate to these forms of writing so I wanted to integrate it in the book. In real life people use more than one medium to express themselves. I wanted to capture this characteristic in the book. I also believe that in this way, it because more personal, fun, and relatable for the reader. It's as if a 3-dimensional reading experience was created.
How does the struggle of Bea to become a writer relate to your own journey?
I believe that everyone goes through dark points when self-doubt manifests. Like most people, I experience moments of self-doubt, but I'm thankful that I am surrounded by people who inspire and encourage me in my craft and in life in general. My faith also fuels me a great deal in my journey.
What are your future plans as a novelist?
Gosh, I have so many ideas surrounding the Paulo and Bea universe! But for a more concrete answer, I already have a sequel in mind. :) I'm excited to start writing it maybe in a few months, or maybe early next year. We'll see. hehe.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write, read, and learn. Don't be afraid to pursue it! Try to develop skills and talents to compliment your writing prowess. For example, my experience and college degree in marketing allow me to write marketing communication materials for various clients.