I make notes, lots of notes. Every time something pops in my head -- whether it's a story, or a scene, or something that I just find peculiar -- I make sure to write it down on a piece of paper or on my phone. When I was younger a lot of these "bits" went into a journal, but nowadays I put all my notes on the cloud so it's readily accessible. From there it's just piecing things together. Some stories have to be brewed for a long time. Even now I have hundreds of stories that are unfinished.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Growing up in the Philippines, I was actually more exposed to American literature than I was with the Philippines. That said, bits and pieces of the culture always made it into my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I kept a journal for most of my teenage years; most of it was about the day-to-day life of a highschool kid. It was when I went to college that I got into writing fiction.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is probably that one can move another person's emotion -- to feel happiness, sadness, grief, love -- using the power of words.
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