Today is the start of our 2nd Author's Month Celebration and our first featured author here is a fellow Filipina, whose debut novel, The Girl from the Well, was described as "A chilling, bloody ghost story that resonates." by Kirkus Reviews. Let us all welcome, Rin Chupeco.
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubt yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?
I would like to put this out there: you are not a writer unless you've experienced your own crippling personal demons of self-loathing. There will be days when you are going to love your book, and there will be days when you'll think it's crap, and the cycle repeats itself with every book you write - regardless of whether you finish it or not, regardless of whether it sees publication or otherwise. This doesn't mean your book is bad, it just means that sometimes you can find the writing process frustrating.
In my case, I wanted to write a book from a perspective few writers tend to go for, in a style most might not have opted for, with a setting and genre that hasn't had a lot of representation in the young adult market. It's experimental, especially for a debut, so you can imagine the worrying I went through. But I also tend to trust my gut instinct, and I knew this was the story I wanted to tell. Plus, it is very good to find support for your work, and I have that with agents, editors, friends and family, even strangers who liked it and went out of their way to tell me so. Once you get used to the idea that there are people who honestly believe in your work, it gets easier.
Also: ice cream helps a lot. Bonus happy points for gelato.
About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?
I think I had it easier than some writers - I wrote THE GIRL FROM THE WELL in three months, spent a month or so revising, then sent it out to agents. I had a few offers a couple of months after that, and finally signed with my agents, Nicole LaBombard and Rebecca Podos, from the Rees Agency. We spent two or three more months revising again, then sent them out to publishers. I got three offers a few months later (this was when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, so there were delays), and signed on with Sourcebooks! Given that I don't share the same continent as my agent or publisher, I'm surprised at how smoothly the whole process ran.
After I accepted the offer, I just sat around in a daze for several minutes, - but it was a happy kind of daze. I'm also very proud of the fact that I started working on a second book almost right after - that's one of the first things that came to mind was "well, in that case I better start writing the next one!" The offer made me realize this was what I wanted to do for a living, but that I still had to work hard for it, even after this milestone!
About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?
In many ways, being a published author is a lot like being an unpublished author, except you get some money out of it, and people pay attention to you now when you tell them you're a writer. Otherwise, the basics remain the same - get the newest book done, revise, get your agent to like it, revise, get a publishing house to like it, revise and revise. Did I mention revising?
Having people I don't know approaching me and telling me that they liked my book is my favorite out of everything that has happened. The most important thing about being a writer for me is getting your story out there and heard, so that was a very big high.
About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?
I was once a slave working for a startup mobile programming company. Fortunately, their office was in one of the oldest buildings in the city's financial district, which meant other people working in other offices tend to crap their pants while they're waiting for the elevator - only for it to open and have me standing inside it. (I work overtime a lot, and I look like the conventional Japanese lady ghost being touted in Asian horror movies). They got used to me in time, and I'm a free woman now, but I found the concept of a 'good' ghost interesting enough to attempt to write about, knowing no one's ever written something like this from that perspective in the young adult genre!
About the Author:
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Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of humor. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a travel expert, an events executive, and a technical writer, but now writes weird things for a living.
Title: The Girl From The Well
Genre: YA Horror, Paranormal
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository
You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.
A dead girl walks the streets.She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.The Girl from the Well is a YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.