Just a Little Bit of Love

My first Ines Bautista-Yao read was One Crazy Summer, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So after that, I was quick to pick up her other novella, Only a Kiss, which was a finalist at the recently-concluded 2014 Filipino Conference Reader's Choice Awards for the Best Romance in English category.

And now, her followers are in for a treat because she recently published an anthology of short stories set in the world of Only a Kiss.

Just a Little Bit of Love has 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 teammate. 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. 

Ines was gracious enough to answer a few questions I had about her writing style:

1. How do you make your characters authentic?
I try to get to know my characters as well as I can. I wish I could say I followed the rules and wrote down stuff like backgrounds, maybe even have them fill out a little slam book type questionnaire but I don't. What I do takes place in my head -- and I guess you could say where my emotions live inside me. Is that my heart? Hypothalamus? Haha!

I try my darnedest to feel what my characters are feeling. If someone is nervous about approaching a boy she likes for the first time, I put myself in her shoes, feel the acid in my tummy swish around, feel my palms dampen, and feel my breath come in uneven spurts. It can drive you a bit crazy. I also talk to people who have experienced things I haven't so I can get an even better handle on it.

When it comes to taking a boy's point of view, I feel like I go into a trance because I make myself think and feel like a boy. But afterwards, I ask my husband if I got the boy's thoughts and actions right. Authenticity is very important to me because that's what I look for when I read too. I just hope it comes across in my writing.

2. If your writing style is a color, what would it be and why?
This is the hardest question I've had so far! At first, I wanted to say pink but that's just because my covers have that color in common and it's girly and romantic. But the question is about my writing style, not what I like to write about :) And after studying the colors in the Crayola box, I know what color my writing style is. It's orange.

My writing style is a mix of both simple yet bold where I go straight to the point, straight to the feels - which is red. But it also will always have a positive undercurrent, which is represented by yellow. This light, fun color symbolizes the general happy and easy feel of my writing. Mix them together and you get a bright, eye-catching color that's easy to pair with anything you've got going on in your life (or your closet!).

3. Any books in the pipeline?
Yes! I'm working on the love story between Katie's cousin Regina and her fiancé Ben. They come out in the first chapter of Only A Kiss. I've been writing this story since last year but so many other things get in the way. I hope to finally finish it!

The rest of my WIPs are short stories because that seems to be all my insane mommy-duty-filled life can handle right now!

Thanks, Ines! Go grab a copy of Just a Little Bit of Love on Amazon for only$0.99!

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. The Author Project, a section in her current blog, is devoted to the stories in her head.

Where to find Ines:
Twitter and Instagram: @inesbyao
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inesbautistayao/
Website: http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbyao-author-project/

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