Author Interview: Yeyet Soriano
Getting to Know Pinoy Indie Authors
I truly feel Pinoy (Filipino) Indie Authors are underrated and, most times, under appreciated. In support, I am resuming my interviews with Pinoy Indie Authors.
If you’re a Filipino indie author or writer, come join us! You’re welcome — whether you write in English, Taglish, or Tagalog. We’re all in this together!
Author Interview: Yeyet Soriano
I am privileged to have been granted an interview by Yeyet Soriano. Yeyet is a multi-genre author who’s also a Senior IT manager for a multinational corporation. What a great combination of talent! Get to know more about her in this video interview with an accompanying transcript.
.About Yeyet Soriano
Yeyet Soriano is a multi-genre author who writes speculative fiction, crime fiction and contemporary romance. She started writing first as an angst-ridden teenager, then continued to do so as a single working woman, then as a married working woman with kids. Though the themes of her written works have changed over the years, she held on to one truth—she needs to write to keep the voices in her head at bay.
Based in Manila, Philippines, her day job is that of an Asia-Pacific regional senior IT manager for a multinational corporation. She is married to a man who has never read of any of her works (he only reads to fall asleep), and they have three wonderful children.
Connect with Yeyet Soriano and purchase her books here:
Q & A with YEYET SORIANO
What inspired you to become a writer?
I love stories—reading, watching and creating them. It was a natural progression that I became a writer. I started out as a child, keeping a notebook of thoughts and reflections and pretty soon I was writing ideas, poetry and stories.
When my father discovered that I was writing short stories, he showed me a couple of his own short stories published in a newsletter for PMA students/graduates. I was in awe because I never knew he also dabbled in fiction writing. I was also a bit surprised when I discovered that we have a similar literary voice. So you can say I never had a choice. When I was born, it was already in my blood, writing.
Could you describe your writing routine?
This might be funny, but I swear this happens most of the time. My characters usually talk to me when I am taking a bath. So… I would scribble down the story when I went out of the comfort room or when I was riding in a tricycle to work. It is an unusual writing routine because I don’t write every day.
How do you develop your story ideas?
My process is a bit funny in that when I think of an idea for a story, I let it take me through an adventure. Sometimes, I find myself totally outside what I set out to write, but as long as it feels right and authentic to me, I let the story take me on the journey. Most of the time, the story controls me, rather than me controlling the story, so I am usually pleasantly surprised where the story goes.
How do you approach creating memorable characters?
I try to give them a full back story, even if this doesn’t appear in the story/book. For me, someone’s roots or origins inform who they have become. I try to draw from my own experiences, and if there are characters that go beyond what I know or have experienced dealing with, then I research and interview people.
There was a crime fiction story I wrote in the past where the main character was abused as a child. To make the character fully developed, I interviewed people who have been abused as children. It was difficult and challenging, because the stories they related were heartbreaking, and I sometimes wanted to give up because it was really such a dark topic. But the research and the exposure I had with them helped me create my character/s with empathy, and I wanted to celebrate their strength and provide hope to others who may have gone through the same ordeal.
If a character makes me feel—anything, bad or good—then they’re on their way to being memorable.
Q & A with YEYET SORIANO
How do you balance research and creativity in your writing?
First comes the creativity, but when there are things I need to understand more to make the characters or the situations more believable, then I do extensive research. There are genres where this is needed, like in crime fiction. Because crime fiction happens in the real world, so I need to do research on laws, procedures, crimes, etc. If anyone sees my internet search history when I am writing crime, I will be in deep trouble!
But then, there are other genres, where you have a freer rein to be creative, and in those cases, I also let loose.
What challenges have you faced as an author?
As a multi-genre author, I straddle across different genres when I write. It’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades master of none kind of deal, where I don’t really belong to any particular niche, and you see people in groups by genre enjoying full community support, and I felt like a guest, at best, or an interloper, at worst, in some of them. It is unfortunate that I have felt this way in the past, but then I realized, I won’t really fit in 100% and that’s okay. I no longer let this faze or daunt me. I just continue writing and along the way, I have found some people that are the same as me, so I know I am not alone.
How do you deal with writer’s block or self-doubt?
I have learned that the story you tell yourself is the most powerful story of all. If you tell yourself you are not worthy, no matter what other people say, you will always believe the worst of yourself. Self-doubt is crippling. When you start doubting your own capability, then everything stops working. Sometimes, this is brought on by what others say to or about you, but other times, it is what you tell yourself.
I have learned to manage my inner storyteller to be a little gentler on myself. Over time, I have learned to tell myself that I have a unique story that doesn’t conform to other guidelines. No matter what people say about me, I usually power through, because I know my own story and I live it as authentically as I could.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Be authentic. Find your voice. While it is sometimes easy to follow the herd and adapt so you can find your tribe, make sure you are not doing it at the expense of suppressing your true voice. While it helps when you write within a community that supports and lifts you up, it is also okay to be your own person if that’s what you are meant to be.
Just write and write and write. Let the story flow. Worry about editing, marketing, etc. later. Your story needs to be written first.
What’s the message in your latest book and why did you choose it?
The last story I wrote was crime fiction and it was included in a Christmas crime fiction anthology. It was a story of a crime-fighting sari-sari store owner with a network of Mariteses helping him solve crime in an executive village/subdivision. I’d like to say the message in the story is that “Crime does not pay,” but really, it is “know your network, connections count, don’t judge a book by its cover, and nothing is sacred/secret when it comes to Mariteses!”
Can you give us a sneak peek into your upcoming projects?
I am working on two stories being turned into graphic novels—I have partnered with artists. One is a love story and the other is a crime fiction story. Interestingly enough, the main characters in both stories are in their fifties. I am also working on a new book with three stories where the main characters are also in their fifties and things start happening to them on their birthdays. The stories span across at least three genres: romance, crime, and speculative fiction.
Did you know I wrote a Dystopian Dark Fantasy Horror?
I hope you can check it out – it might just be worth your time!
In the year 2132, there are only three hundred men left on Earth. Each of us old, diseased, damaged beyond healing. There are no women. Out of nowhere, a young, virile, perfect male arrives—the Inquisitor. He demands the truth behind the Purge which massacred females in a global scale to enforce the long-delayed justice by killing the guilty. And though it pains me to no end, I am forced to remember the horror and the lunacy of the past. . . and the part he unknowingly played in it. I am Ambrose. I am Herald.
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