Hi! I'm Johana from Paraguay. Yeah, I know. If I didn't live in it, I probably wouldn't know where on the map is either. Here it is:
Really hot place, but we have beatiful landscapes. Take a look. My country and my background are important to me and my story, The Curse of the Seven, so its relevant to mention them here. I only finished writing my book, and I'm still working hard to get it to the place I want it to be so I haven't really started querying it yet. Hopefully I'll get lucky at GUTGAA.
I'm 22 years old. Used to be architecture major, but changed last year when I realized my heart wasn't really into it. So now, I'm dividing my time between work, writing and theather. Yes, I'm an actress.
What else? Nobody in my family speaks english, so I'm kind of a freak in that regard. People have asked me why on earth I don't write in spanish, but for some unfathomable reason, it's easier for me in english. No idea why.
I'll love to connect with writers and really, everyone who wouldn't mind talking books for hours without getting tired of it. Unfortunately, I don't know that many people who are like that in my every day life, so if you're like that, please, PLEASE, leave a message here :)
And my answers to Deanna's questionnaire are here:
-Where do you write?
Lately, at my grandfather’s house. Unlike my own house, it’s so quiet there and I focus more easily when there’s no noise around me. I have a VERY EASILY distracted mind, but when I find my pace at something, not even a tornado could sway my attention. And my younger siblings are like a tornado when they’re all together so I think I can speak with a certain authority in the matter.
-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
A mirror. I think my aunt went through a fen shui face a while ago. Their house is full of stuff like that.
-Favorite time to write?
My writing hours are not dictated by the movements of the earth. I hear it’s quite common amongst the writing folks to develop nocturnal schedules, and I do, believe me. But if I find a moment of complete solitude and quiet, I can come up with a few usable words, even if the sun is still shining.
-Drink of choice while writing?
Well, it’s my understanding that the first step to become a writer is develop a crave for coffee. Another proof that I was born to be one. I cannot survive without coffee, in its various forms and flavors.
-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Like I said, complete silence. Music is a passion for me, and singing is something I love very much, much to my family’s chagrin. If I hear I music I like, I can’t help but to sign along. The few times I tried to write while listening to it, the dialogue between my characters turned out odd. I swear to God, in my head they were doing a musical. People laugh at that, but it’s my ultimate truth. So, no music while writing. Maybe if someday I get hired by Andrew Lloyd Webber it could work for me.
When I reach a point in which I can’t come up with new ideas, I do listen to music to steal a bit of inspiration, though.
-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it? (Plus a few errant thoughts on the matter)
Oh, dear. This will be a long one.
I have worked in a few different proyects, and while the words made sense most of the time, they didn’t feel mine enough. It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.
There’s this feeling I get on my skin, when something feels right. When I’m on the stage, it’s like an electric current that keeps me wired enough to give a credible perfomance. According to my instructors, it’s a very unusual thing to experience as a novice actor. But that’s the thing, I didn’t start to get those chills, to call them something, after I started acting; I got them a long time before that. I got them when I picked up my first Harry Potter book when I was ten years old, and when I saw Gone with the Wind for the first time, and when I discovered The Rolling Stones... one of my many theories about it is that I get them when I feel the magic. You know, the magic that’s part of the real world. Or maybe I’m just crazy, which is an entirely posible thing.
None of my other proyects gave me that until this one. It’s inspired in the mythological figures that are part of my country’s folklore, so I think that’s why I feel more connected to it than my first stories. In my country, they are big about traditions. I don’t know if it’s like that in every country, but in Paraguay they teach you about these legends literally before you learn to write your name.
When I was younger, I was just like every other child at hearing these stories: I was bored, I didn’t want to listen to them EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
But as I got older, I landed in a few places in which I was encouraged to think about the “why” of everything. A while ago, while helping my brother with his homework, I stumbled across the Seven Myths Legend once again, and the wheels in my head started to turn. Why do these kids had to suffer such a horrible curse because of their parents' mistakes? And ta-da! The idea for this project was conceived.
-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Keep writing. There’s nothing more to this than that. And while you do that, find time to watch as lot of TV and movies, read a lot of books and see the world around you. I learned a lot about world building and character development by doing that with a critical eye.
Well, that's it for now. Here, my bunny Ozera (named after Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy character Christian.. Nobody gets the reference where I live, but they do share a lot of personality traits) and I wish you the best of luck at GUTGAA!