Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome back author Ines Bautista Yao, talking about her new book, Just a Little Bit of Love.
About Just a Little Bit of Love:
Three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football team-mate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.
Buy Just a Little Bit of Love on Amazon.
Welcome back, Ines!
When we last spoke, it was about Only a Kiss. Tell me a bit about your latest release, Just a Little Bit of Love.
Hi, Elise! Thank you for having me again! 🙂 Just A Little Bit of Love is made up of three stories that are all set in the world of Only A Kiss. What I did was imagine who else could have possibly been in particular settings of the book.
In the first story, “Watching, Waiting”, I used a scene where my main characters were in a coffee shop. Naturally, there will be more people there with their own stories, their own problems, and their own hopeful endings.
The second one, “On The Sidelines”, is about a girl who is also obsessed with Ethan, the boy Katie, my main character in Only A Kiss had a huge crush on when she was a kid.
The last one, “Sticky Notes and Forgetfulness” is about a minor character who comes out in Only A Kiss too. I found her so adorable, I wanted to write more about her.
Both Only a Kiss and Just a Little Bit of Love are sweet romances. What do you like about writing in this genre? What draws you to the genre?
I love this genre! I love reading it and that’s probably why I love writing it.
Just a Little Bit of Love is a series of short stories about three girls. Are the stories connected or related?
They aren’t really related, but they happen in order. And I guess you can say the characters are all basically at the same point in their lives as each other, age-wise — if that makes any sense. The first one happens in high school, the second in college, and the third after college.
I love that as a way to organize your stories!
Your Goodreads bio says you used to be an editor for two magazines and that you currently work as an editor for Summit Books. How does writing compare to editing? Do you find your job as an editor helps you to write? Do you consult an editor prior to publishing?
I believe everyone needs an editor. If you say you don’t, you’re either too full of yourself or you have some magic power I wish I possessed haha! Even the best writers need feedback because they’re too close to their stories and to their words. Sometimes, when something makes sense to me but isn’t too clear to my editor/readers, then I know I have to change it. Because I’m an editor, I know how important it is to have my work edited and I never release something unless I have it edited first.
I prefer writing to editing because it is less technical and it’s more creative. Editing is work. But I enjoy it too. I learn a lot as I go and it also helps me when I write. I have a better idea of what works, what the best practices are, and what I should be mindful of.
Your bio also says you’ve been a teacher in the past. Were your students aware of your status as an author? How did they react when they found out? Have you ever mentored a student to help with his/her writing career?
I wrote and published my first book after I stopped teaching. But my former students are so supportive and so wonderful! They come to my launches, buy my books, and spread the word. It’s wonderful!
I help a lot of people with their writing. I guess it’s because I used to teach? So it comes naturally. When I find out friends have been wanting to write since forever, I encourage them till they finally do it. I love it when people finally realize their dreams!
My last question is a wild card. Choose a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview. What is it? How would you answer it?
Why do you write?
I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this question. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t need to be asked, or because writers interview me so they too have the same feelings burning within.
I write because there’s something inside me that needs to be satisfied, sated, addressed, acknowledged. It’s not anything I can pinpoint, but it’s there. When I’m not writing, I don’t feel complete. But when I am, I feel more alive—like the world is more interesting, my life is more fun, and I am filled with an enthusiasm I never really knew before—or maybe I did when I was teaching.
But this is different. While writing, I’m lost in another world, yes, but at the same time, something happens to me. Maybe it’s because I’m creating something, maybe it’s because I’m finally doing what God created me to do. Whatever it is, writing makes me happy. That statement is so simple and I feel doesn’t fully capture the wonderment, the vividness, and plainly, how much more alive I feel when I’m doing it. And not just the act itself but while I’m writing something, I pay more attention to what’s happening around me, I’m constantly thinking of what will come next or how I will work a particular scene—I’m more engaged, not so lost, but oh so free.
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About the author:
Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.
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 and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.