2-3-18 Valentine Countdown Blitz With Rafflecopter Giveaway Day 6

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s
in your Heart, Only A Kiss, When Sparks Fly, All That Glitters, and Someday
With You. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain
Vanilla,” “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica:
Love Notes from a Festival, “Things I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books
anthology Coming of Age, and “Before the Sun Rises,” part of the Ateneo
University Press anthology Friend Zones.
She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone
magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.
She is also a wife and mom who lives in the Philippines with her husband and
two little girls. Her books are available digitally on Amazon and Buqo.ph.


Connect with the Author here: 
Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s
apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny
red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to
ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he
only has eyes for her. 

As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also
finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the
love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her
share of the spotlight, too?



Q&A With The Author:
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal
satisfaction besides writing?
I love traveling. I love visiting different places and learning
about the culture of the people, tasting their food, and learning a few phrases
from their language. I also love visiting theme parks and museums with my kids
🙂 I also love dancing. I recently signed up for dancing classes near my house.
What makes me really happy though is being with my friends and family — even
if we’re just hanging out at home. 
2. What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing?
And how do you defeat it?

Right now, my biggest struggle is finding time to write. I’m a
full-time mom and most of my day is spent taking care of my kids or doing
chores at home. I also do freelance writing and editing work and I usually need
to get this out of the way before I can work on my fiction. But of course it’s
my fiction that makes me happy. So what I do is make sure I stick to a schedule.
I work when my kids are in school (that’s a short 2.5 hours every week day) and
I focus on my freelance work during the first three days of the week. The last
two days are devoted to my stories. I’ve done this and it works. Takes longer
to finish a book but at least I still get to write! 
3. What are your future projects?
I’ve re-releasing two of my previously traditionally published
books. I’m working on new covers and additional material. I’m also revising a
manuscript I finished last year which is in a different genre so I’m excited
and nervous about it! I’ve gotten great feedback from my beta readers though,
so I hope that’s a good sign! I’m also working on a series of children’s
books. I hope these all work out!
4. What is the “message” of your writing? 
What I hope my readers will take away when they read my books is
that they too deserve a love like this. They too can have their own happily
ever after. And I hope I can give them a peek into my culture, the culture of
the Philippines. 
5. Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in
real life?
I take a lot of inspiration from real life. While I was writing
my book, When Sparks Fly, I was so enchanted by the ancestral home of a friend
(she posted photos of it on Facebook) that I messaged her right away and asked
if I could talk to her about it because I wanted to include it in my story. At
the same time, Regina is a photographer’s assistant and I based her experiences
on the photographers I worked with several years ago (in the 90s when you
needed polaroids to check the photos because digital cameras weren’t the norm
yet). And riding horses? When I was a child, I took riding lessons in the same
province Regina and Lana visited when they were teenagers. 
There’s so much of myself in my books, but at the same time I
make a conscious effort to separate myself as well. I interviewed photographers
about their apprenticeships and I interviewed a former sportscaster about his
job. Oh! But Mang Mario the guard is based on the guard in my daughter’s
school. And he’s just as lovable. And yes, his name is Mang Mario too. 
6. Have you done anything writing-related, besides actually
writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something
that encouraged you?


Before I began writing fiction, I wrote feature articles for
local magazines and newspapers. Then when I became the editor in chief of a
teen magazine, my ed’s letters would get such wonderful, heartwarming responses
— especially the personal ones. I noticed the same thing when I was doing a
mommy blog. The more I opened myself up when I wrote, the more positive the
response was. It taught me that people want you to be real when you write. And
this is what I try my best to do as I write my characters. Fingers crossed that
it comes across! 
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