Author Interview: Mina V. Esguerra


Mina V. Esguerra

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas, she documents her experiments in publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” for writers and publishers, and #romanceclass for aspiring romance writers.

Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novellas won the Filipino Readers’ Choice awards for Chick Lit in 2012 (Fairy Tale Fail) and 2013 (That Kind of Guy).

Attention, Writers! Want some tips on publishing and self-publishing? Check out Mina’s advice on her Wattpad book, Publishing and Self-publishing: Advice for Writers.

Mina posts some of her books on Wattpad–some are excerpts, and there are complete ones! (How awesome is that?)

Mina is one of the people that I look up to. Since I’ve read her advice for writers, I’ve learned a lot of things that I didn’t even care about before. Plus: she’s a Filipina and she’s so pretty. 🙂

***

The Interview

ON WRITING

Who are you when you’re writing?

I feel like a spy when I’m writing, I do.

(A spy! That is so cool. I expected something author-like. But being a spy is totally voltage!)

Who are you when you’re not writing?

I still feel like I spy when I’m not writing, actually. The best ideas come from seeing something happen and then running with it.

Which do you prefer more?

I might not be writing all the time, but I think about it all the time, so it’s almost the same thing.

What drives you to write more?

The next idea that’s already waiting.

(Short, but sweet!)

How often do you experience writer’s block and what do you do to get out of it?

I don’t get majorly blocked anymore. Those times feel more like being unable to get out of a small hole. And then I get out, eventually.

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your work?

Only with certain things. Not everything, not to the point that I can’t do anything anymore.

Do you like making outlines when you write, or do you prefer to start from scratch and work your way from there?

I outline everything.

If you could do both at the same speed, which would you prefer: Writing on paper or typing your words? Why?

I actually prefer writing slowly. The speed limitation lets me choose my words more carefully.

What is the best writing advice that you could share with us?

Keep writing, and read a lot. Not just the books similar to the ones you plan to write, but anything. Everything. The things I’m most proud of in my own books are usually inspired by other genres or entirely unrelated work.

Of all the things that you’ve ever written, which one is the most special to you?

The first one that was ever published, My Imaginary Ex, will always be special to me. There are times when I go through “I hate my book” phases but never had that with that book. I wrote that within a month of giving up on a book that was being revised forever, and it felt to me like the right story showed up at the right time.

(I have a paperback copy of My Imaginary Ex and I have read it–it’s truly wonderful. No wonder why it’s so special.)

ON HER BOOKS

What inspired the idea of the first book that you’ve written?

My Imaginary Ex was actually a complete version of a short story I wrote in college. The short story was just one conversation about a misunderstanding. Friends who had read it at the time didn’t understand what the drama was about, but to me it always had a backstory. So I wrote the story explaining the entire misunderstanding, and the consequences of it.

What message would you like your readers to learn from that book?

That people should just say what they mean and say it immediately. That’s probably the lesson from all of my books!

What inspired the idea of your latest book?

The book I’m writing now is drawn from college experience again. I did a video project that involved hanging out with people producing a sports-oriented show. So it’ll be a lot of that.

What message would you like your readers to learn from that book?

I think the point of that one is going to be, we should stop and think why certain things matter to us, and if that’s worth giving up the good things that present themselves along the way that we say no to.

What is the greatest challenge that you have encountered in the publishing world and how did you overcome it?

Getting someone to say “yes, we’ll publish this.” It’s difficult because there’s fear involved, but eventually even that, I got over. There were also times when people said no, and that actually led me to explore more exciting ways to do things.

ON BOOK DISCRIMINATION

How would you define book discrimination?

I haven’t used the term, but I imagine that it’s when we are judged based on what we like to read, and are being told to read something more “acceptable.”

How do you feel about it?

I have opinions about everything, including books people read, but I know that they come from my own preferences and I shouldn’t impose them on others. Similarly I don’t like it when other preferences are imposed on me.

What do you think is the cause of book discrimination?

Human nature? Some people want to be influential and dictate what culture will be like.

What would you do against it?

I don’t think we can stop it, and it’s hard to stop people who feel discriminated against not to feel bad either. I do continue to read what I want to read though. Maybe that’s the most basic thing?

Fill in the blanks. More people should read ________ by ________ because ________.

More people should read indie/self-published books by Filipino authors, because a lot of them are awesome, and they will be the future of publishing. 🙂

***

Mina will be giving away a Kindle copy of My Imaginary Ex! Giveaway will be up soon. Stay tuned for more interviews and random reactions shared by fellow bibliophiles!

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5 thoughts on “Author Interview: Mina V. Esguerra

  1. Hi ate fay I learned a lot from the interview and to be honest i don’t really read books written by Filipino Authors but I’m looking forward in reading one, yes i have read some but they are just a thing or two, and reading this specially the interview made me think, and I’m looking forward in reading her works!!

    1. Hi Trisha! I’m so glad that my interview with Ms. Mina opened your eyes to reading books by Filipino authors. Her books are great! You should join the giveaway when it comes up. 🙂

      Hoping to see more from you throughout the event! 😀

  2. Wow! Ms. Mina is really interesting. I’ll try to check her out more, like, really try to know what she’s up to. She actually looks like my previous Math teacher. Hehe

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