It is no secret that I love Mina Esguerra’s books and I am very excited to be having her on the blog today! Mina is a Filipino author that has written several contemporary romances and I have loved every book of her’s that I have read so far. She is quickly becoming the kind of author that I always go to when I need to be cheered up or if I want to smile.
Okay, I am starting to get a little bit rambly so without further ado, here is the interview!
Thank you so much! The writing inspiration probably came from the years and years of reading Sweet Dreams novels. High school in the US is a really different though from my high school experience (in the Philippines) so I think I started writing to try and find stories that seemed real to me. I was inspired to actually get a novella published because “chick lit” was taking off in my country and a friend got a book deal, and I realized then that it was possible and not just one of those fancy dreams. I eventually got published in contemporary romance though, because I felt I couldn’t write about high school anymore, haha.
You say that you started writing romances when you were in highschool. Are there any stories that you have written in that time that really stuck with you?
There’s one series in particular — it was epic. I started writing my own take on the high school series, very 90210-like, a lot of characters and their friends and boyfriends and sisters… and I wrote them all longhand, in screenplay format, on notebooks that my classmates would pass around. I think I used over 20 notebooks in all (they were numbered!) before the series was over. Some of those notebooks weren’t returned to me though. I love writing on paper and all, but losing that forever still sucks.
I find your fictional girls to be quite charming. They are so easy to relate to, but I do know that relating to the girls is much easier than writing them! Which of your ficional girls were easiest to write?
Jasmine from My Imaginary Ex was the easiest! I knew right away who she was so it was easy to write her. It only occurred to me that it could be difficult when I started writing the NEXT book, because I knew Ellie (Fairy Tale Fail) had to be distinct from Jasmine. And then the level of difficulty goes up with the next book, haha. It never ends.
Out of all your books that I have read (and am currently reading) of your’s so far I believe that Fairy Tale Fail is your best. I want to know your opinion though. Which of your books do you think is your greatest achievement?
I’m very proud of Love Your Frenemies. My beta reader was hard on me on that one because the main character (Kimmy) was a horrible person, and I didn’t want to suddenly make her a saint. So I released that book for myself, just to celebrate that I had finished my personal challenge. So surprised at the mostly positive response to it so far.
At the same time, I’m also finishing my first YA trilogy (Interim Goddess of Love) and I’ve set up a bigger challenge there. Multiple storylines, mystery, tying up loose ends… Am writing the final book in the series now and if it turns out according to plan, this may just be the best/hardest book.
I know that being a writer is a very hard thing to be. What kind of writer do you think you are? I kind of imagine you as the organized type that is always sipping a drink awhile writing but I could be wrong 😛
I sipped a drink JUST before I read this question! Haha. I guess you’re right about that then. I used to be the kind of writer who waited for inspiration, but I decided a few years ago that I had to have structure, and a schedule, if I wanted to write more than one book in my lifetime. I knew I had it in me (20 notebook series in high school after all!) so I just tried to get back in that zone. It requires discipline.
Since you specialize in the contemporary romance genre I am curious about what contemporary romance books that you love. Are there any special books out there that you would recommend?
I recently read and loved Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins) and got super hooked on Tammara Webber’s Between the Lines series. I also get in a Jennifer Crusie and Julie James mood. I’m coaching people through a free online contemporary romance writing class now, and some of the stories being written there are exactly the kind of thing I’d read and buy! I hope they finish those stories and publish them so we can all enjoy them. 🙂
Are you currently writing another book? If so, could you tell us some details?
I’m about 1/3 done with the final book in the Interim Goddess of Love series (YA fantasy romance featuring Philippine myths and gods). I’m writing a contemporary romance after that! So excited about it.
And that concludes the interview! Again, thank you Mina for accepting to be interviewed. It was a honor to be able to get to know you better 🙂