Author Interview: Ines Bautista-Yao

One Crazy Summer is one of the first books that made me want to read more works from Filipina authors. I loved the book! I also read Only a Kiss–and it’s so adorable! Pink cover for the win! ❤

I met Ms. Ines in person because of #buqoYA. She is really an awesome author–and she’s very nice! 🙂

We have her today for an interview, so read on. ❤

Ines Bautista-Yao

Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista-Yao’s heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines’ time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.

Most readers can remember Ines as the former editor-in-chief of K-Zone Magazine and Candy Magazine . At present, Ines is working as an editor of Summit Books. She is also married to photographer Marc Yao, whom she says she consults whenever she’s stuck in the middle of a story she’s writing.


What is your full name?

Ines Erica Bautista-Yao

When is your birthday?

April 20

Favorite food?

Ice cream and frozen desserts

Favorite color?


Favorite flower?

Gerberas and sakura

Favorite song?

There are too many! But if you check out the song list in Sola Musica, some of those are my favorites as well!

Favorite TV show?


Favorite place to read and/or write?

On a bed or on a balcony overlooking the beach or mountains

Favorite book?

Again, this is really tough. There are just so many 🙂


Who are you when you’re writing?

When I’m writing, I am not myself, yet I am more myself than ever. I take all my memories, all my experiences, all my emotions, and I bring them to the forefront. I also step into an imaginary world where I don’t exist. It’s surreal, it’s magical. It’s awesome.

Who are you when you’re not writing?

A supermom who tries really hard to stay sane.

Which do you prefer more?

I cannot not write. I have to be my mommy self AND write at the same time. If I don’t, I feel something is missing.

What drives you to write more?

The need to satiate the yearning in my soul. Or to shut up the voices in my head. 🙂

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

It happened once and it was really bad. After my first book, One Crazy Summer, I couldn’t seem to write anything. I panicked, then I told myself to calm down and relax. When I took a break, I was able to write my next book!

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your work?

Oh yes. To a fault.

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

I don’t do outlines. I love writing by the seat of my pants. But after joining Mina Esguerra’s workshops, I’ve learned that knowing the ending is actually very helpful. When I wrote One Crazy Summer, I didn’t even know which boy Tania was going to end up with till I was halfway through the book! But knowing helps because even if you don’t follow it, you at least have a roadmap. And it keeps you on track especially when you have so much going on at the same time—which is what my life looks like today.

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

There’s a certain comfort in writing by longhand, but I like typing because the one thing I don’t have much of is time. If I had to type what I wrote, I would eat up so much time I could spend doing other things like reading to my baby or helping my older daughter with her homework.

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

Just keep writing. And as you write, try to improve with every story, every chapter, every sentence, every word.

Of all the things that you’ve ever written (poems, essays, short stories, novels, etc.), which one is the most special to you?

My blog posts on are the most special to me because they come directly from my heart. If you read my posts, you’ll notice the blog is where I’m the most vulnerable, the most open, and the most myself. I am not usually this way because I don’t want to give people the opportunity to hurt me, but I’ve noticed that the most heart-wrenching posts speak to the most people and give others the most hope. And when that happens, I feel like I didn’t experience my pain and vulnerability for nothing.


What inspired the idea of your first book?

Breaking a glass as I was washing it.

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

It is important to follow your dreams and believe in yourself and your inner magic.

What inspired the idea of your latest book?

The title Only A Kiss. I typed the title on a blank word document and the story flowed from there.

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

That love will always find a way.

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

The greatest challenge in publishing is getting word of my book out. My first two books were published by Summit Media so their distribution and marketing were pretty awesome and a lot of people got to read my books. But now that I’m doing this on my own, it’s a lot harder. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews on blogs (like this one!), running contests, begging friends in the media to feature my book. I don’t know if it’s working, but it’s a slow process. So I have to be patient.


How would you define book discrimination and do you feel about it?

Book discrimination is when you turn your nose up at particular books. I’ve noticed a lot of people still prefer to read print. I love my print books, but right now, I am an ebook reader. I read a lot of indies (almost all indies right now) and the way the book hits you is the same—the story is the same. I feel bad when readers tell me they won’t read my ebook because they only read print. That, I feel, is also a form of book discrimination. Another is when people look down on the genre I write because they believe it is fluffy and pointless. I’ve seen it on people’s faces when they ask me what kind of books I write. When I say I write love stories, their foreheads and noses wrinkle. There are genres I don’t read because I know I cannot handle them, but I don’t judge people who write or read them. We just have different preferences. If everyone loved the same things, this world would be a very boring place.

What do you think is the cause of book discrimination?

Lack of education or exposure to new and different things, and closing your mind to other ideas.

What would you do against it?

Support your campaign!

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

More people should read ebooks by indie authors because the stories you’ll discover are different, inspired, and come from the heart.

Thank you so much for participating, Ms. Ines! 🙂 Stay a supermom and a super author! 🙂

Signature II

Giveaway! ❤

Win a paperback copy of Only a Kiss! [PH only]


5 thoughts on “Author Interview: Ines Bautista-Yao

  1. Another fave author! I so love Miss Ines and ALL her books ❤ And yes, I agree, readers should give ebooks a try and should definitely support indie authors as well 😀


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