The Witch Snitch

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    Posted by: Ember Blue Posted date: 2:00 AM / comment : 1

    I am so very pleased to have my first author interview be with such an amazing author and woman.  Learning more about whom authors really are gives me hope.  It gives a glimpse into their lives and you realize that it is just like mine.  Then my hope builds that maybe, just maybe I’ll one day succeed in my dream of being an author too.
    Find Rin on her website HERE, on Twitter HERE, on Goodreads HERE, on Pinterest HERE, and sign up for her newsletter HERE!

    After you read this interview, I’m sure you will love her too!  If you haven’t read her book The Girl from the Well…  Get it now!   See my review HERE!


    1. What genre of books do you read the most?


    “It's a tossup between horror and mystery. I've always been fascinated with ghost stories growing up, and I collect them as a hobby. Peter Straub, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Edgar Allan Poe, Christopher Pike - these were my heroes. But I'm also a crime junkie, and love reading detective stories. Growing up, I was always reading books about the mafia, serial killers, forensic crime procedures - not the kind of literature most would recommend for kids, admittedly. But whodunits and crime analyses were like mind puzzle candy to me, and I also love figuring out / breaking down cases this way. Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot is my favorite detective of all time, with Boris Akunin's Erast Fandorin a very close second.”

    (I love that you are a crime junkie!  I so love the genre too, but for some reason I can’t get into Adult crime thrillers.  I am excited to see that more thrillers are coming out in the YA Genre.)


    2. What brought you to want to write YA Fiction?

    “I've loved young adult fiction long before it was known as young adult fiction. Despite the category, it appeals to all ages. I think we were at our most dangerous as teenagers, because we felt things the most strongly then. Reading YA takes you back to those times; we remember the good things and the bad, and you can't help but cheer teen protagonists on as they stumble and make mistakes and learn - just like we did and are still doing.”

    (I totally agree.  I feel like it’s sort of a fantasy.  To have a fresh start again where anything can happen.)


    3. Did you face a lot of challenges or setbacks when trying to find success as a writer?

    “Living as a writer in the Philippines is a lot different from living as a writer in most first world countries, which is hard enough as it is. Writing fiction here is like making street graffiti – you don’t do it for the money, because there isn’t any, but you do it for everything else that matters. Most writers in Manila were either literary fiction novelists who had hefty contracts with schools to use their books in literature classes, or those who wrote Harlequin-esque romances in the local language. I didn’t want to do either of those.


    If I had a peso for every time a well-meaning friend or family had tried to dissuade me from taking up writing for a profession, I’d probably have enough to buy one of those nice bookcases with glass panels. They thought writing for an international market would be even harder to break into. About the only person who believed me from the start was my boyfriend-now-husband, but when others saw that I was serious about writing / that it was beginning to pay off, they became a lot more supportive.”

    (This inspired me so much.  I never knew that trying to be a writer in the Philippines was that difficult.  Really puts things in perspective as well as just increases my respect for you and your writing.  Your family should be proud that you beat the graffiti odds!)


    4. Where did you first hear the ghost story that The Girl from the Well is based off of?

    “I had a Japanese friend who majored in history and folklore. When I first watched the Ring (the Japanese version, not the American one), it was she who first told me about the Bancho Sarayashiki and how it inspired the movie. I bought all the Japanese folklore and mythology books I could find (Ghostly Japan, and everything else written by Lafcadio Hearn is a must-read for aficionados), and they opened my eyes to Japanese culture beyond the anime and J-dramas most people are accustomed to nowadays.”


    5. How many books are you planning for The Girl from the Well series?

    “It’s going to be a duology. The Girl from the Well is from Okiku’s point of view, but it’s a book about Tark. Likewise, The Suffering is from Tark’s point of view, but it’s a book about Okiku. I like to think of them as companion novels that compliment each other, rather than just sequels. There aren’t any plans beyond this yet.”

    (OMG, I can’t wait.)


    6. The blurb on Goodreads compares your book to “Dexter”.  Is that a television series you watched?

    “Yup, but I knew Dexter long before it was a TV show. It’s an awesome book series by Jeff Lindsay that I recommend to everyone. It’s about a serial killer with a (kind of) conscience, as he only kills other serial killers. You might notice the similarities from that description alone.”

    (FYI, hearing you liked the show led me to give it a chance.  I always thought it would be a bit too freaky, but I love the exploration of what a conscience is.)


    7. What is your favorite scene from The Girl from the Well?

    “The first and last chapters. The first because I started the book without any objective or real plot in mind, just a vague impression of the kind of protagonist I wanted to write about. And then I started writing, and at the end I was surprised to realize I got her right almost immediately. I knew what her purpose was, and the rest of the story just flowed after that. The last chapter began the same way - I didn't know how I should end it, and so let my words wander along until an idea hit me a page or two away from what eventually became its conclusion. It felt very appropriate and fitting - it's an odd way to describe an ending, but it really was.”

    (I second this.)


    8. There aren’t words to describe how excited I am for the second book ‘The Suffering’.  Can you give us any tidbits on what to look forward to?

    “There will be roughly three times more wandering ghosts in the second book. There will be dark forests and strange villages.  There will be more complicated rituals and dolls and wriggling trees and cocoons. You’ll see that Tark and Okiku’s relationship isn’t always as smooth as you would think, but that they also flourish well as a team. And Tark’s a bit more kickass in this one, a lot more proactive. He’s learned a thing or two since his last haunting. If anything, he’s even snarkier.”

    (Sounds deliciously creepy as well as moving!)


    9. Will you write more YA Horror in the future? (I secretly hope so, as you do it right!)

    “I’ve got a few more ideas percolating that I’d love to write down, though I’m also exploring fantasy at the moment. I don’t stray too far from some horror-like elements though, even if what I write isn’t strictly from that genre – I like writing about monsters and anti-heroes, and a couple of my next projects still revolve around them.”


    10. On your blog, it lists ‘game writer’ as one of your previous jobs.  Any games that you worked on that we would know?  It also lists you as a graphic artist previously.  Is there anywhere we can see your art?

    “Oh! I reviewed games for a local newspaper for awhile, so I didn't work on the games themselves, though I wish I did. I wrote games in-house for a part-time job I once had, but it was an indie text-based company that folded long before mobile apps became the norm, and so they only saw local release. (Looking back, I wished I'd saved some of those games!) But as a gamer, I highly recommend the Assassin's Creed series - I love it so much, I named my son after one of its protagonists. And the Fatal Frame and Silent Hill series have influenced my writings the most.


    Most of my graphics are the usual company work portfolio - logos, web designs, other boring stuff. I DID design my own website, though, which is the latest thing I've done using this particular skill set!”


    11. I can’t help but laugh a little at the ‘jobs you wanted’ list.  As for listing ‘mutant’ as one of them, what type of mutant did you want to be?

    “In high school, a few friends called me WolveRine for a reason. Mostly a play on my name, but also because I was short and grumpy and kinda mouthy. I was an active kid and got a lot of bumps and bruises, and so always thought it would be cool to have a healing factor. As it was, the only superpower I had then was sarcasm, and that got me in more trouble than my mother thought it should.”

    (I would totally be Mystique.  You could fool so many people!)


    12. What scary story did you scare your class with in third grade? (Can you tell I’ve look at your website!)

    “It's a very hazy memory - it was my classmates' reaction to the story I remember more clearly than the actual story itself. It was about a boy insisting that something was hiding underneath his bed, and his parents pooh-poohing his fears - until they realized it wasn't the boy who was speaking, but something underneath their own bed, talking like their son. They asked for a second one some time later, so I told them a story about a group of boys finding a girl sitting in the woods with a rope tied around her neck. She begged them to 'free' her, and they did. She smiled and thanked them, right before her head fell off. I was making it up on the spot, but they seemed to like it.


    I also recall the teacher in charge of that class approaching my mother shortly afterward and asking her something along the lines of "WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR DAUGHTER" (I studied in a Catholic school).”

    (Laughing right now.  You seem like quite the funny lady!  In a good way, of course.)


    13. Which one of your ‘pets’ get on your nerves the most and why?

    “The husband. He’s a cross between Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation and a hyperactive hihuahua, but with Leslie Knope’s neatness and Ron Swanson’s suspicious mind. It’s an odd mix. Fortunately I am a cross between April Ludgate and Grumpy cat, but with Ben Wyatt’s geekiness and Ron Swanson’s mustache, so we compliment each other well enough.


    (Yes, I’m a Parks and Recs fan.)”

    (Love the comparisons!)


    14. What is something, other than writing, that you are very passionate about?

    “I love all manners of crafts. I crochet, sculpt, draw, paint, make papercrafts, make clay things, embroider, and make my own cross-stitch designs. I don't think you've had a complete education until you've learned how to make things with your own hands, and make them well.”


    15. When you need to ‘get away’ from the stress of life and such things, what do you usually do?

    “As odd as it sounds, I take long walks. The longer, the better. It's my 'alone' time, and it's when ideas come easier for me - sometimes I'm too caught up in my own thoughts that I can walk for a couple of hours on end without stopping. (I don't usually get to walk that long anymore, but I walk about thirty minutes on average when I can).”


    16. Now for some ‘favorites’ – crayon color?  Food?  Bands?  Vacation spots?

    “Cornflower blue, sushi and crab (and this Filipino delicacy called kare-kare - vegetables, beef tripe, and oxtail drenched in peanut-y stew), Train and Kings of Leon, beaches with powder sand and amusement parks!”


    17. Now for some ‘least favorites’ – food?  Season?  Annoying habit?

    “Bittergourd is about the only thing I would never eat. We only get hot/dry and rainy seasons in the Philippines as a rule, but I hate both when they run to extremes. Hot / dry days go as high as 102 or 103 degrees (and still climbing, as temp's at an all-time high this year), and even small amounts of rain can cause bad floods here, mostly due to congested sewers and bad urban planning. And my slightly OCD husband would say being disorganized is my most annoying habit. I hate neat rooms - my creative juices can't flow unless things are out of place and I'm up to my neck in paper and books.”


    18. If you could jump into any book and the world within it, which would it be?

    “Discworld. I would go and bug Granny Weatherwax to teach me headology and Burrowing, then find Death and bug him till he takes me on as an apprentice. I would also probably gatecrash the Unseen University on occasion, because I hear the food is good.”


    19. Tell us one surprising thing about yourself!

    “I can fold the palms of my hands length-wise (a freak accident diving off the shallow end of a pool as a kid).”

    (Honestly, I sort of would like to see a picture of this.)


    20.  If you like, leave us with a final comment for any aspiring authors out there:

    “Write. That's it. Just start writing. Ideas aren't books. Characters aren't characters until they're down on paper. Good plots aren't novels until you've written that last chapter. You can't be a writer until you've written down the evidence.”



    Thank you SO MUCH Rin!  You are on my Top Ten list of favorite authors!!!

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    1 for Author Interview - Rin Chupeco (Author of The Girl from the Well)

    1. What a wonderful interview! I love when people we idolize from afar become a little more human to us, and this interview really captures Rin's awesomely quirky personality. Thanks!



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