Interview with Amalia M. Raz

What is your writing process?
I love listening to a 'specific' song when I'm writing a draft of a new novel. Since I try to participate in National Novel Writing Month held in November every year, the song I choose for each book helps me tune out the outside world and enter into my creative mind after a long work day or other daily life events.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho is awesome!
2. Persuasion- I love Jane Austen
3. Pride and Prejudice- Did I mention that I love Jane Austen?
4. The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts
5. Anything that was written by Judith McNaught
What do you read for pleasure?
Historical Romances
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kobo!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in the Philippines but my parents moved to Toronto when I was only 2 1/2 years old. It is because of this, my experience of growing up as a Filipina girl in Toronto, immersed in the Canadian culture and maintaining my Filipino Traditions that inspired me to write my first novel.
When did you first start writing?
If we really want to be accurate, when I was 5 years old...I wrote a poem about "The Leaf" in senior kindergarten that was published in the school newsletter.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It was originally based on 3 short stories that I wrote while pursuing my Creative Writing Certificate: The Birthday Party, The Wedding and The Homecoming. I knew that combining the stories would give me a solid platform in what would eventually become the novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is being able to tune myself out from the 'outside world' and enter a world of my own creation and living through my characters who also draw on my own life experiences.
What are you working on next?
I am working on a Female Spy based Trilogy. I currently have the first drafts written for Book #1 and Book #2 (courtesy of NaNoWriMo 2014 and NaNoWriMo 2015). I plan on participating in NaNoWriMo 2016 to write the first draft of Book #3 and then the task of editing the three books in a way so that I will be able to release them next year.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jane Austen, Paulo Coelho, Judith McNaught, Nora Roberts, Grace Callaway to name a few.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I recently learned how to knit via YouTube and am enjoying it immensely and have finished project #2 which was a scarf that I could actually wear.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was a short story called "Amore Fresco". I have yet to 'share' it with the outside world, apart from letting only a few trusted people read it. Maybe one of these days I will share it with everyone else.
Published 2016-03-28.
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Books by This Author

The Homecoming
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,020. Language: English. Published: March 28, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A young Filipino Canadian woman must return home after years of living apart from her family because a beloved family member is ill. She is forced to remember her past and why she left in the first place.