“Tell us about yourself”
The four words that scare me the most. Seriously I’d rather take on a ghoul, windigo, vampire, zombie and any other terrifying creature all at once than talk about myself. It’s not that I hate it, I just don’t know how sometimes and I guess I’m a little scared to. Scared that no one will like what I tell them about myself (I have self-esteem issues you see. Oh look, I just told you something about myself! Well that wasn’t so hard haha).
A lot of people have asked me to share a little more about myself than what they know so far and I’ve managed to evade the questions but then someone suggested I do it in writing because I’m a lot braver with a pen and a paper (keyboard and a screen?) than I am in person (they do say the pen is mightier than the sword after all and if it beats a sword, word-of-mouth doesn’t stand a chance lool).
So anyway, I asked a couple of friends to send me some questions on stuff that they would like to know about me and I’ll answer them here, so here goes…
1.Who are you outside of being a writer?
I’m a fatface haha! Okay on a serious note, I’m a bookworm slash foodlover slash hermit. I hardly get out of the house and I get so attached to fictional characters it feels like I’m a part of their world and anything that happens to them affects me on a very deep level.
There’s one thing about who I am that I never like to combine with my writing life but I’m putting all my cards on the table today so…I’m studying chemical engineering and I’m in my final year right now. I know what you’re going to say, writer and chemical engineer? Yeah, I know. To most it doesn’t make sense but I like the diversity and I don’t want to be just one thing so I’ll happily design a bomb and write a story about what I may or may not do with it haha (Shhh don’t tell the police!).
Don’t even get me started on my Insomnia situation, that’s a whole other blog post on its own.
2.How long have you been a writer?
All my life! No, wait…I’m not done living yet. Okay let’s calculate this properly. The first three years of my life are out because I didn’t even know what writing was then haha. The next two years (ages four and five) can hardly be counted either. I knew some words but I couldn’t string together a sentence on paper that:
- didn’t consist of three words
- and didn’t have Jane or Dick and a jump or a run as the focus of the sentence (I never liked those books. I mean; Jane jumped, Dick ran, we get it, move on already!)
At six and seven I was still adapting to the whole switch from huge wax crayons to pencils to pens. I wish I could say I remember my first pen and that the minute I wrote my first word in ink I knew I would be a writer but sadly no. It’s highly likely that I lost my first pen on the very day I got it. Stuff used to disappear a lot when I was a kid; pens, rulers, my lunch…(okay maybe the lunch used to disappear into my tummy before lunch time but it still disappeared right?)
Anyway my first piece of writing that could actually count as writing was an English composition I wrote when I was in third grade. The topic was “My Holiday” and we had to write about the last holiday we had been on. The teacher said the maximum length should be something like one page or less really so of course I wrote TWO pages. I couldn’t help it! I had so much to tell! Luckily I didn’t get in trouble for over-writing the essay, in fact the teacher loved it so much she showed it to my mum on Consultation day and spoke non-stop about it to my mum who was super proud! And so ladies and gentlemen, my love for story telling was born and I’ve been writing ever since.
3.Why the name fatface on all writing platforms instead of your actual name?
*whispers ominously* It’s my secret identity. Haha kidding! I’m a tiny little thing, really if you see me you’d hardly believe I’m 23 right now but I have these really chubby cheeks and they are the only part of me that never gets any smaller no-matter how much weight I lose. Hence the name fatface (which I was given by my adorable amor). Chemical engineering isn’t the only thing about me that I hide. To the world outside the web, all I am is a chemical engineering student and very few people know about my writing.
I remember this one time when I was trying to open a bank account and I had to fill in some forms then there was a section asking about my hobbies. Before I realized what I was doing I had written that I love to write (just like that, I love to write). When the guy who was looking over my form to check if everything was in order saw that he burst out laughing and he said;
“Oh you like to write? So filling in this form must have been fun for you. Writing all this!”
It may be petty but I was offended. I realized then that writing isn’t something that most people would take seriously like it’s a full time job. I mean if the bank guy couldn’t take it seriously as a hobby (and instead thought the only reasonable writing I could be talking about is literal pen-on-paper-for-filling-forms-and-stuff-writing) then there really is no hope (maybe I’m exaggerating. It was just one guy after all). Still it doesn’t change how I felt then so I mostly keep my writing life a secret and any site I post my writing on doesn’t have a trace of my name, just fatface through and through.
Writing also gives me an escape when reality becomes too much and I escape into the world of fiction that no one from my reality knows about and I can do and be whatever I want to be there. I’ve come clean about who I am today but I’m still going to keep my fatface alias. I kinda like her a lot more than my other persona haha (Don’t tell me that…wait, huh?).
3.Where do your ideas come from?
I really wish I had a fancy answer for this haha like the ideas come to me in dreams or even visions (visions would be awesome!) but the stories I write don’t have one source of inspiration. Some are inspired by my thoughts, some by people I meet, songs I listen to, movies I watch and so on. Once an idea grabs a hold of my mind it holds on tight and does not let go until I write the story. Sometimes I get ideas for a million stories in a day and I can barely keep up so I write the main point down and stick it in a jar (my idea jar) for future use. I’ll give some examples of the inspiration behind some of the stories I posted on this blog:
- Room six is a story about a young woman trying to prove her dead brother’s innocence. It was inspired by a visit I made with some fellow church mates a year ago to a prison where I got to hear some of the stories of how some of the people there ended up in jail. Most of the men there had made peace with being in there and admitted the remorse they felt for the crimes they had committed and some spoke about how they wished their family were not ashamed of them because of what they had done. It all got me thinking of how it would feel to be a family member of someone accused of horrible crimes and thus the story was born.
- Happy third is a love story slash horror which was inspired by my own third year anniversary (and no my anniversary wasn’t horrible haha). I was just thinking of the many different ways an anniversary could go and that’s where the idea for this story came from.
- Blood red is a short story thriller (not a lot of thrill but I’m working on it lool) inspired by another story that I wrote back in 2011. So this story is sort of a spin off of that other story.
- The darkness within is a flash fiction piece. I wrote this when I was going through a tough time at school. I was mostly depressed and I turned to writing because it makes me feel better but I couldn’t write anything happy or long for that matter and hence this morbid flash fiction piece was born.
- Warning: Don’t wear heels to dinner is a short humor story inspired by my friend, Alex Graham’s dog Sausage (he passed on before I could meet him though unfortunately). When she told me she had a sausage dog and it was named Sausage I absolutely had to write him into a story. He’s not the main focus of the story but I have him to thank for it.
- Sand-witched is my first ever fan-fiction and it combines some of my favorite characters from three of my favorite series; Baby daddy, Once upon a time and Supernatural. My motivation to write this came from my curiosity of how the creators of the show think of what should happen in each episode of a show and what each character should say etc so I thought I’d try it out and voila!
- Je suis Jackiee is a story I wrote a long time ago and posted on wattpad. It’s about a mother trying to regain the relationship she once had with her now-teenage daughter and all the crazy antics she does. My mum and I are like best friends and I just wondered how things would be if that weren’t the case and what she would do to try and get into my inner circle again and hence the character Jackiee was born.
- For your richer and my poorer is a love story and I loved writing it so much I started extending it on wattpad. It was inspired by a very awkward conversation a friend of mine and I had to have with someone else about $50 dollars and some leather jackets haha.
- Not all treasure is gold (but it can be golden brown) is my first ever flash fiction that I wrote for a daily posts challenge that I bumped into on wordpress. The story had to start with the line: “It was the first time and it wouldn’t be the last.” The challenge awoke a part of me that was in love with writing for fun and I hadn’t done that in a long time. I enjoyed it so much I started my own challenge to write and post on this blog, a short story for every writing genre I can and it’s been quite a trip!
That’s just a few examples of where i get some of the ideas for my stories.
4.How much research do you do for your writing?
Writing is a lot of hard work (I kid you not!) especially when you’re writing something like a paranormal story and you have to look into the lore of whatever paranormal creature you’re looking into and make sure it tallies with what you’re writing and so on and so on. In short, writing requires a lot of research. Good thing I love researching so I don’t mind the countless hours of googling, reading and making notes. You wouldn’t believe some of the things writers have to research for their stories though. I remember when I was writing Room six and I had to research about cocaine and heroin and how much of each drug would result in death and then mi amor saw those webpages opened and got worried haha and I had to calm him down and explain that no I wasn’t thinking of doing drugs, it was purely research for a story (imagine what he would have done if he’d seen my search on which is the best part of the body to stab a person resulting in instant death haha).
5.What is the hardest thing about writing?
Okay maybe not everything but writing is both a pleasure and a serious pain in the neck. Every second day, I’m plagued by self-doubt and I’m like ‘what the hell are you doing? You’re a crappy writer’ and other days I can ignore that and enjoy writing.
Idea generation, plotting, outlining, the actual writing; those are equal parts fun and hard but the part that takes the cake is editing. Once the first draft is done and dusted, you have to go back and re-read everything and start correcting stuff, fleshing out some of the details, cutting out some others. Pause, repeat etc. There was one story I had to read through six times in one day! That was not fun. I swear I almost went crazy. So yep, editing is definitely the hardest in my opinion.
6.What’s your goal as a writer say in the next 5 years?
Before 2016 I didn’t focus much on my writing but I’m determined to change that and in the past six months alone I’ve written over ten stories (long and short included) totaling an approximate of 100 000 words and counting, which is quite an improvement for me considering I could hardly finish one story in the past years ever since my first novel (yes, yes I’m a lazy cow but I promise I’m changing) so over the next five years, I’m hoping to keep up this frequent writing and explore my writing life a lot further than I have done so far.
7.Who is your role model?
Definitely my mum. She’s a lovely, kind, hardworking woman and she inspires me overall to be the best I can and do the best I can in everything.
8.Who is your favorite author?
Eeek, that’s like asking me which one is my favorite book, absolutely impossible to answer. I love so many! I read almost anything really by almost anyone haha so picking out a favorite is very difficult. I may have a favorite for like a week and then next week it changes. I’ll just mention a few authors whose work I love like jane Austen, Enid Blyton, Danielle Steel, J.K.Rowling, Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Suzanne Collins, Jenifer L. Armentrout, Ilona Andrews and the recently published A.V.Geiger.
9.What are your hobbies or interests?
Besides writing, I love to read and bake. A good book and food are all I need to make me content (well until I finish the book and the food and then I’ll have to find another book and tonnes more food and so on and so on. It’s a vicious cycle).
*Thank you so much to Dean, Alex, Chido, Shirley, Fify and my mum for helping me share a little more about myself with everyone and thank you to all those who’ll read this and not think it sucks haha*