Happy Thursday, everyone! ^_^ On the blog today is an interview with author Ana Tejano about her book Keep the Faith, which is on tour (naks!) this week. I asked her about the challenges she face while writing her second book, her favorite character in Keep the Faith, and a fun, Valentine’s Day-related question about the book’s MC and LI.
But first, here’s what Keep the Faith is all about:
Keep the Faith
Release date: July 31, 2016
As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?
But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.
With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?
Click on the Continue Reading button for the interview. ^_^
What was it like writing Keep the Faith? Were there similarities and/or differences in the writing journey compared to the time you were writing Fall Like Rain?
There’s this “Please just finish this” kind of thing running in my head. I took a long break in between Fall Like Rain and Keep the Faith, and everyone around me was publishing books left and right so there was the pressure and envy of not producing anything. Haha. There was self-doubt, of course, because it feels like everything I write is very blah (but doesn’t this happen to all of us always? Haha), and the pressure that this book has to live up or exceed whatever Fall Like Rain had reached. I heard somewhere that writing the second book of a series is the hardest? I guess it was true with this. (Then again, third book has 6 versions of an outline compared to Faith’s 5. Haha)
What was the most challenging thing about writing the book? Conversely, what was the easiest?
The easiest was the setting, and Faith’s work, because of all the info I have thanks to friends who helped me out. My best friend gave me all the things I need for development work, and my friend in Iloilo helped with the translations and the places and all that since I’ve never been there. And because she’s not a brand new character, it was easy to place her and her support group in since I know them already.
The hard part was actually dealing with Faith’s heartbreak and her journey to healing and moving on. Sometimes it hit a little close to home, so there was this danger of her following the same journey as I did, plus you know since I was already over it, it was easy for me to give her all the wisdom early on and forget that moving on is a journey. And also because I took so much time writing this, there was a time that I felt I was all out of feels. Thank you, #romanceclass, for filling my feels tank.
Oh, and Nico was super easy to write. Haha. I don’t know why, except that I fell in love with him halfway through the book, haha.
(Tara’s Note: Can I just say that I can totally relate to feeling all feels-ed out when you’re writing something for SO LONG? This is me high-fiving you, Ana. *5*)
Apart from Faith and Nico, which character in Keep the Faith is your favorite and why?
I don’t know if it’s going to be a little weird, but I did like writing James the ex. I had a lot of notes about him, and at first he was that jerk ex, but later, I said I didn’t want him to be a complete jerk because he has always been a nice person in my head. But later when I got to writing him again, I guess he’s still kind of that? Haha. It was fun unpacking his motivations and his last scene with Faith was one of the hardest ones to write and I hope I gave justice to it. 🙂
Just for fun, let’s say Faith and Nico have Instagram accounts. What kinds of images would they upload? What kinds of accounts would they follow?
Faith would be following a lot of arts and crafts accounts. She’s sort of a frustrated scrapbooker. She’s also following some of her favorite bands, and maybe some local showbiz people because of Meah’s influence on her to watch local TV. Oh, and she would definitely be following Atom Araullo, because he saves the world. 🙂
Nico, on the other hand, would be following maybe some basketball players, local musicians, and some food and traveler instagrams. He will also be following the official accounts of some local and international government/NGO accounts – UNICEF, World Vision, etc. And maybe the Hamilton cast, because history, and more to that on the next question.
As for their posts, I took a page from your book and made fictional Instagram profiles for Nico and Faith! (I had fun with this!)
(Tara’s Note: I have plenty of fun doing this for my own characters–I’m glad you did, too!)
(Photo credit: @j.c.santos, @louise.dr, @b.a.forteza, @hoshiboy)
Lastly, what do you think Faith and Nico’s ideal Valentine date would be like?
So this totally just came to me, and it’s so funny because it’s in your interview pa – I think they’ll watch a play. I remember talking to my beta reader about Hamilton and I told her that Nico would love this because it’s history, and he’d probably be listening to it non-stop with his sister who’s a theater girl. Faith wouldn’t get it at first until she listens to the entire thing, and would call him one day, blubbering about It’s Quiet Uptown.
Anyway, I think they’ll spend it in the theater, and they’ll sponsor some of the kids in the San Antonio de Padua community to watch with them. 🙂 After dropping the kids off, that’s when they’ll go have late, late dinner somewhere – preferably with pizza and fries. 🙂
(Tara’s Note: Thanks for your time in answering these questions, Ana. ^_^ I kinda giggled about Hamilton, and Nico and Faith having a theatre date–especially since hullo, that Nico peg! <3 I still feel so attacked though, haha!)
About the Author
Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications manager for a payroll outsourcing firm, and serves in CFC Singles for Christ in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).
Get in touch with Ana!
If you’d like to win a signed paperback copy of Keep the Faith + swag, or any 2 #romanceclass books of your choice, simply join the giveaway below! Hurry, because this giveaway ends really soon, so make your entries count!