Author Interview Swept Off My Feet by @inesbyao @lovingthebook
have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
maybe but still, ew.)
same building but whatever.)
is as cute as my friends say.
My name is Ines Bautista-Yao and I’m first and foremost a mom to two little girls, aged 9 and 4. I used to teach high school and college English and I used to be a magazine editor. Now I write and edit freelance while writing and marketing my books. But all these are secondary to my role as Mama.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I think I was probably 8 or 9 when I started writing stories in lined notebooks with stickers on the covers. I read a lot and wanted to be able to create the very thing I loved.
What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre?
I write young adult romance. I didn’t really set out to write in this genre when I wrote my first book in 2011, it just so happened to be the one my characters wanted to be in. When I sat down and thought about it much later (like three published books later), I realised it’s because until this day, I love reading YA fiction.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
When I was around 10, I wrote a series of cheer-leading stories. They were short and sweet, but I never considered them to be books, just short stories. The first book (or what I then considered to be a book) I wrote was entitled Secrets from the Past and I completed it when I was 11. I even recall my high school freshman class adviser asking if she could read it!
But I wrote my first actual book, which was published in 2011 when I was 35. It’s entitled One Crazy Summer.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I get my ideas anywhere! I just need to be open to them. When I’m tired or focused on other things, the ideas refuse to come. But when I’m receptive, something as mundane as a traffic jam (yes this is regular fare in Metro Manila, where I live) can spark a story idea.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It usually takes me a few months. I could write faster if I didn’t have to do the writing that pays the bills, but I think a few months is good enough given how packed my schedule usually is.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I’ve written 8 books and spearheaded two anthologies where I also contributed short stories. I don’t know if Swept Off My Feet is my favorite because it’s the most recent, but I feel so connected to the characters. And this is the first time I considered a sequel after I’d written “the end” because I already missed Bas and Geri so much.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Yes and the first time it happened, I thought I had completely forgotten how to write! But I just kept writing, deleting, writing, deleting again, and writing till I finally felt it had potential.
Have you done any collaborations with other writers?
Yes and they’re so much fun! The two anthologies I’m part of were collaborations with my author friends and I loved how each one of us contributed not just to the creation of the book, but the marketing as well! It’s also a great bonding experience.
What do you think of reviews?
Reviews are stressful. But I have to admit, I’ve learned so much from the earlier reviews of my first indie published book. I found out what I needed to improve and how to do that, and I found out what my readers wanted and expected from the books in my genre. I’ve also learned to take what I can from a review and ditch what I feel won’t be helpful to me.