Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I've ever read is J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". I was still about nine years old that time and I never really liked the book at first because as a kid, I prefer reading books with lots of pictures. But eventually, when a time came that I was so bored at home and I have nothing else to do, I grabbed the book and started to read. It wasn't hard for me to get engrossed with the book because I loved the plot. The main problem I had that time is understanding the words. You see, I'm a Filipina and by that time, I still wasn't very good at understanding English. So, what I did was, I took an English dictionary and looked up the words I wasn't familiar with. And the result? I didn't just understand the book thoroughly, but I also learned how to express myself through words. I started writing stories ever since.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I can't really say that I only have five favorite books because every good book that I read becomes a favorite. But I can tell you five of the books that had a great impact with my life. First is the "Harry Potter Series" by J.K. Rowling. It's mainly because it's what made me start to write. It was my first ever inspiration in writing. Second is the "Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series" by Rick Riordan. You ask me why? Since I was eight years old, I've always loved Greek Mythology. I studied about it a lot because it fascinated me. Now, when I came across this book review about "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief" on the year 2010 (I was already 10 years old that time), I was already hooked up. I bought a copy, then bought the next installment, then the next, and so on. I'm currently waiting for the last part of the series' sequel which is "The Heroes of Olympus Series" and also holds the spot for my third favorite series. The fourth is Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments Series" and I'm now also waiting for its last part to hit the book stands. Then the last one is "A Walk To Remember" by Nicholas Sparks. I really cried on this one and I'm very marveled by Mr. Sparks' great talent in tugging at his readers' feelings and emotions. I idolize him so much and I love all of his books.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm really not good in making covers. I find hard to see what's good with this and what goes well with that. I often let my younger sister do my covers for me. Yeah, I suck at graphics.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I only have one e-reading device and it's a tablet. But I don't usually use it because I prefer reading actual books than e-books.
Describe your desk
It's chaos. I have some books piled on top of it and pens and pencils are everywhere (I don't know why using a pencil holder never crossed my mind). Sheets of paper, both clean and drafts, are very untidily placed on top of it. But I don't know, I just find peace of mind in that table. Whenever I sit in front of it and start scribbling notes, I just find my imagination running wild and free. It's like my very own Statue of Liberty, just in desk form.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I really grew up in Pampanga, but I was born in Olongapo City, Zambales. When I was still three or four, we always moved. Sometimes we live in an apartment, sometimes we rent a house, etc. But I don't really regret that because it gave me lots of adventures. It influenced my writing in quite a big way because due to that experience, I often tend to have a very different perspective about things in life.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing since I was nine years old. I just wrote short stories by that time and when I turned eleven years old, that's when I took writing seriously. That's when my dream of becoming a writer really started.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It helps me escape the reality of the world. It helps me create a character and give it life -often the kind of life that I wish I could have. It helps me escape the past and the future for a set period of time, because when I write, time doesn't matter.
What do your fans mean to you?
I don't really have a lot of fans, and if I ever have some, I wouldn't like to call them fans. I'll call them readers. And they mean a hell lot to me because they read my works and they motivate me to write better.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nicholas Sparks, Rick Riordan, Margaret Stohl, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, E.L. James, Cassandra Clare, and a hell lot more!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
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