NOTE: original post Mar 1, 2016.
Today, I have a wonderful guest, Ysa_Arcangel. She is a popular Wattpad writer of Paranormal and Romance and a published author.
First of all, congrats on getting your novel published. It must feel amazing!
Ysa: Hi May! Thanks for having me here. I feel so honored. Yay for getting published! It’s like giving birth to a child! Yes, it’s one of the most amazing feelings in the world to publish your novel and hold it in your hands.
I would just like to say thank you to all my readers especially my Arcangels, who most probably are reading this interview right now, for all the love and support with the book so far. I couldn’t have done it without them.
May: I’m glad your spirits are so high today. I get to torment you with some questions and let your readers get to know you a bit better.
1. What got you into writing? Have you always wanted to be an author?
Ysa: I’ve always been a reader and the thought of being an author never crossed my mind until I joined Wattpad last May 2013 to stalk one of my favorite authors. I was so fascinated how talented people who joined Wattpad are, amateurs and professionals alike. I aspired to be like them.
I started writing just for the plain pleasure of writing and putting my thoughts on paper. I don’t write every day. I work every day. I commute two hours to my day job that I feel passionate about. I don’t see myself as someone who will drop her job and become a full-time writer. No. I just write when I can.
I never felt like I had the skill set to write but I got awesome feedback from my readers. I received constructive criticism to polish my work. A simple aspiration became a dream.
May: That’s heart-warming. Readers really mean a world to us and their support is always welcome. It can help us come out of a writer’s block. So, here’s a hoorah for you, awesome readers! You keep us going.
On a side note, I’m about the same as you in regard to writing, Ysa. I never thought about it. It just happened half way through my degree. Not exactly something I ever thought I’d want to do full time until I got a taste of it. As it turns out, I’m not completely rubbish after all. So, whoop whoop for that!
2. Could you walk us through the process of how you plot a story?
Ysa: Plotting my story takes a lot of days dreaming. I outline the main story, the beginning, middle and end in my head then pants all the way through. I consider myself half-blood pantser. I need a plan, a general idea of where the story is going and how it’s going to get there then I write as I go.
May: *laughs* That’s exactly my way of writing a book. I have to know the beginning, middle and end. No maybes about it. Afterward, the characters carry the story by themselves. Thank God! Because if they didn’t I’d be in a lot of trouble.
3. This is one of my spontaneous questions. I hope you’re prepared. Imagine you were stuck in a boat with one of your characters for a week. Which character would you pick to be there with you?
Ysa: I’d pick Ivo from my novel “Forever Night Stand”. When you’re stuck in a boat with someone all you want is to spend the time with someone whom you can share just about anything. And, of course, someone who will keep you swooning. Someone who will inspire to keep the boat afloat! Ivo is an Italian hottie. He’s one the most loving, caring and patient male protagonists I’ve ever created. No wonder he will do everything to get us both out of there.
May: I admire the fact you’ll have a hottie present there with you at all times. I, on the other hand, would probably prefer to be stuck with Andrew from “Helena Hawthorn” series. I can’t bring Lucious or Alexander along, those two would throttle me – or drain me dry. I don’t fancy being a snack for them – although I’m sure many readers would disagree. At least, Andrew is a kind, caring guy whom I can chat with and will not insult me at every turn for not knowing about how vampire politics work.
4. Do you have any writing advice for aspiring romance writers out there?
Ysa: Not just for romance writer but for writers of other genres. Write as much as you can. Establish your goal. Build your author platform and fan base before you take advantage of the publishing path and tools available to you. Publish more books. The more you influence your readers, the more you become an author in its real sense. Especially, do not give up on what makes you happy. If you think you’re no longer happy with what you’re doing, walk away and do other things. It’s not worth your time and unfair to those people who are willing to pay. They say a road to success is always under construction. It’s okay to screw up every time. It’s okay to fail at some point. It is about having patience and resilience when obstacles slow down your pace. Re-assess yourself, rethink your options if things don’t seem to be working out for you. Life is a never-ending pursuit of satisfaction. It’s a continual chase to achieve what you really want to achieve.
May: You made my eyes water! You should be a motivational speaker. Your words are so honest and passionate. I’m sure the readers can feel the deep meaning resonating in their hearts.
5. A lot of writers nowadays use software to help them edit their early drafts. What software do you use?
Ysa: I used Autocrit. It’s a very useful tool. It’s a great product that makes me go back and rethink wording. It takes care of all the details my eyes just don’t see. Adverbs, repetitions, passive voice, sentence construction, etc. Try it!
May: I’ve used that software before. You’re right, it is a good tool. I do have to tell readers that if you are going to use it, you don’t have to take every suggestion it makes. Sometimes, although mathematically the text may not be perfect, as long as it doesn’t cut into your style, it’s okay to leave a red flag or two.
6. Are you a vivid dreamer? Have you ever used any of the ideas you get from your dreams to write a story?
Ysa: I’m a vivid dreamer but I usually forget it the moment I wake up. What I used are ideas I get from daydreaming instead.
May: Ah, the struggle is real. Every time I wake up and go “That would make a great story”, I end up forgetting half the events by the time I get pen and paper. Or, there are cases when my half-asleep brain and logic disagree. What may have been an amazing plotline in my head at night becomes a series of events without any logic backing them…tragic really.
7. What writing routine do you stick to? Do you have a particular word count you aim for every day/week?
Ysa: Being an active writer on Wattpad, I try to reach 2000 word count before I publish a chapter. I aim to post at least twice a week. Due to a hectic real life job and motherly duties, I can only post once per week or worse nothing for two weeks. I’m getting back on track, though. I just needed to manage my time effectively. Being a mother of three ages 10, 7 and 4, a career woman working her way up in a multinational company, a wife, and a writer has never been easy.
May: You are a Superwoman. Wow. You’re really working very hard. I think everyone can forgive you for not updating for a week or two with such a massive workload hanging over your shoulders.
8. Envision that it’s the last day on Earth and you get to spend it with only one person, who would you pick?
Ysa: IRL, I want to spend it with my father. I have not seen him for years. He just disappeared from my life when he and my mom fell apart. I really missed him.
May: I can understand the need to see a parent. Since I want to keep the mood light and not cry my eyeballs out, I’ll answer my own question. Err… being stuck with my other half at an arcade would be a good way to go. I could try beating his ass at the 2p coin-based games.
9. Could you tell us a little bit about your publishing journey?
Ysa: I wrote it on my blog and I will share it with you once again. I was able to publish three books in 2015. One full-length novel, a novella, and a short story.
Last April, I joined an online writing class called #SparkNA where we wrote a new adult contemporary manuscript. I had the chance to meet equally talented Filipino authors. I was exposed to our local writing community. I was incredibly impressed. I had seen so much talent.
It didn’t stop there. After #SparkNA, came #StrangeLit. It was another online writing class for Paranormal/Urban Fantasy genre. It was my first time writing a Pararomance, my first time writing a novella, and my first time attending a book launch! Yes, we had a book launch!
Another online writing prompt under the hashtag #WriteBreakUpSongsAbout came. Once again, I joined and wrote a seven-chapter short story inspired by 1D songs.
December came. My publisher contacted me that my novel titled “Forever Night Stand” will be released on December 23. The excitement I felt was euphoric!
Mid-December, I received an email from another publisher. I got a publishing deal for my other book titled “Underneath It All” and it’ll be released this June!
The year 2015 was far by the glorious year of my writer life.
May: I’m truly happy for you. Your hard work and persistence are truly paying off. I’m going to strive and get a book or, hopefully, two published this year. It all depends on just how much time I have for editing and writing. Sometimes, I just wish that after every chapter done or edited, the magic fairies would spawn a small cupcake with “well done” written atop its icing. Make that dream a reality people! We have to create some fairies.
10. Please feel free to talk about your current projects or promotions.
Ysa: My current project is with the romance class I joined this March. I’m hoping to produce a romance novella, set in the Philippines and penned in English. That will be the first time for me ’cause I’m used to writing a full-length novel set in a foreign country. I am so excited with this class.
Aside from that, the novella that I planned to write will be posted on Radish. As you already know, I write as I go so my readers will get a sneak peek and the privilege to read each chapter of the novella before anyone else!
I’m also working on the sequel of my ParaRomance novella titled “Nexus Series Book 2: Levitica and Corvina”. As I mentioned in question number 9, my novel under Limitless Publishing titled “Underneath It All” is set to be released this June 14! I am so excited. I may vomit when I received the final blurb team LP made for me. I can’t wait to share it with you guys!
May: Be on the lookout for Ysa’s works, people. I’m sure her love for life and passion for writing will shine through in her stories! Now then, the interview is over and I am here with an awesome story blurb for one of her works.
“Forever Night Stand” by Ysa Archangel
Brandy Curtis is a strong and independent career woman who does not care for commitment. She prefers no-strings-attached, one night stands because that’s all she can give with what little free time she has. This is the life she has chosen and the life she is used to.
However, everything changed when she met Ivo, a gorgeous doctor with irresistible charm. He was just supposed to be another hookup, but he quickly became so much more. It started as a one night stand which was followed by another, and another. The more nights they spent together, the more Brandy felt that life had given her something to live for.
Things seemed perfect… until a visit to the doctor sends her world crashing. The timing couldn’t be worse. As her heart gets closer to Ivo, her memories begin to fade.
Will Brandy be able to actually live her life with Ivo… or will she succumb to the condition that threatens to claim her forever?