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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interview with Clarissa Yip

·         As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?
As a child, I’ve always wanted to be doctor (Because my parents said so) or a famous singer (You don’t want to hear me sing ANY tunes) or a food critic/reviewer (I LOVE food) or even a CIA/FBI agent, so I could catch crooks and interrogate criminals and confuse them with all the many different languages I know. Okay, really my dream was to be a successful proprietor who traveled all over the world and use my language skills. Childhood dreams seem vague to me because I feel sooo old! But the best thing is I’m able to put all my dreams into my writing. My characters can be anyone! I love writing. It’s my business. I love traveling. I think my ultimate dream is to be an international author with my stories in various languages. Then that way, I get a bit of all worlds.

·         Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
My newest release is One Chance. It’s about Jenna, who is spunky, shy, and she’s just a normal gym teacher who has been in love with her successful playboy/businessman/best friend. She’s decided that she needs to save him from marrying the wrong woman and throws him her own version of a bachelor party. How can you resist? I love best friend-fall-in-love stories. Just seeing them reconnect and admit their true feelings after so long gives me hope that one day I would find my Mr. Right too.

Tomorrow is a BIG DAY for me. Silent Night’s Seduction is released! Set at a resort in Alaska, Libby is set up for a one-night stand. She’s kidnapped, thrown on a plane, and forced to meet her mystery date. Guess who her date is? Her ex-husband, ex-District Attorney Rafe Martinez. Growing up on a ranch, Libby had followed Rafe to NYC, but after finding that their life there didn’t work together, she files for divorce. Only to be given a second chance when her brother signs her up for Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand service…Curious? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. Silent Night’s Seduction is also coming out in print as a collection with the other 1Night Stand Holiday stories in a compilation called Madame Eve’s 1Night Stand Holiday Anthology!Don’t miss out!

·         Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Everything about writing is challenging! It’s not the most easiest thing. There’s been many times I’ve been ready to throw the white towel, but I find that as long as I have ideas, courage, determination and perseverance, nothing would stop me from writing. My biggest flaw, I believe, is constantly editing and doubting each word I put down. It can get frustrating when your plans don’t pan out and your characters have different ideas.

·         What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Best advice: Never give up! Writing is grueling. It’s easy for some people, but not everyone is born to write. It’s a craft that only gets better with practice. Have perseverance. If you’re determined and willing to work hard, opportunities will come your way.

·         Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?
Writer’s block? What’s that? Yeah, it’s pretty scary. Sometimes I’ll have a story idea that won’t stop badgering me until I do something about it, but then other times, I have no idea where to go, what to do. It’s frustrating! I’ll hunt for music, something that will inspire me, or watch movies until something will hit me. You really never know what would happen. I used to go sit at the beach and just stare at the ocean, and ideas would overflow me. I miss that a lot, but it’s so hard to find a spot being on the mainland. *sigh * It’s a hit or miss, I must say.

·         How did you deal with rejection letters?
Rejection letters are badges of honor! My first rejection letter I framed it. It serves as a reminder to keep going and to not accept failure. You DO NOT want to know how many I’ve received over the years. I still get them today as I continue to climb in my career. But seriously, a rejection letter is proof of my accomplishments. It serves as a milestone to show that I have finished a story. I think that’s the biggest feat in itself. I’m not going to lie. I do stare at them and go through many phases. I’ll read it over and over, cry a little, eat a whole cake, down a bottle of wine, then either frame it or put it along with the other letters and the next day, I draw another battle plan. It’s tough, but time is precious.

·         What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Oooooh! I love writing resource books. (Is that what you mean?) Any time I find myself feeling like I need to strengthen some skill or technique, I’ll research and learn and absorb everything that will help me. My favorite book is James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers.One of my CP’s recommended it. It’s a great book for motivation, and tips on how to better your writing plan. I’ll sit for days to plot, map out character arcs, contemplate conflicts, and get to know my characters, but I always end up pantsing the story as I go along. I would also recommend finding a quiet space to write. I think that is most important. Your computer and you.Find the routine that works for you. I love drawing out GMC charts (I have a big obsession with color pens and specific paper). So big paperboard and color markers are a must-have!

·         What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
Hmmm…I’m scared to say I’m pretty boring. But I guess the weirdest thing I have ever done was go to the gun range. I’m not a very violent person, but I’ve been researching for my Navy SEALs/covert ops stories, and had always wondered what the big hype is about guns. We went to an indoor gun range. After a round, my fingers were shaking yet numb, and I could barely hold a pen all day. It was pretty scary! I think I learn better by just observing… Does that mean I’m a wimp?

Find me at Clarissa Yip: http://clarissayip.com
Romance Author Hotspot: http://romanceauthorhotspot.com

Releasing November 18th
Shy tomboy Jenna Faulkner has been in love her whole life—with her best friend. Except he’s marrying the wrong woman, and he doesn’t know it yet. But she’s determined to save him.

Instead of the normal bachelor party, Jenna decides to throw a different type of gathering…with just her. Alone. Will Cade finally come to his senses and see Jenna for more than a friend, or has she ruined their friendship once and for all?

Releasing: November 28th
Stubborn and proud cowgirl, Lily McCormick, is finally coming to terms with her quiet life on her parent’s ranch, until her older brother, as payback, signs her up for 1NightStand. Kidnapped and forced onto a plane to a foreign location, she faces the dreaded cold and an unwanted tryst, until her ex-husband appears before her…as her date.

New York City District Attorney, Rafe Martinez, would do anything to get his ex-wife back, even if it meant taking drastic measures to pretend he was there for another woman. When jealousy and rage surfaces and Lily’s tough demeanor wanes, desire and lust sparks their once powerful connection as truths unfold. Will Rafe convince her to return to him or push her further away from giving their love a second chance?

Releasing December 23rd
Sarah Westfall is on a mission. Living the mundane life of a near spinster school teacher and sick of her parents throwing eligible men at her, she is determined to get over her crush on her best friend’s brother. She wants a prince and wouldn’t settle for less. What better way than a 1Night Stand?

Evan Hunt needs to figure out his enemy’s game plan. Chasing his nemesis to Las Vegas and signing up for Madame Eve’s service and masquerade, he never expected the woman he’s desired for years to appear before him…as his princess.

When their attraction fires the night, the inevitable happens. Her prince isn’t as charming as she’s hoped, but he does save her from trouble. Would he be willing to fulfill her fantasies also?


Clarissa Yip said...

Thank you so much for having me!

Nina Croft said...

I think being a food critic would be a fabulous job - combining eating and writing - who could ask for more!

Congrats on all the releases, Clarissa, and good luck with the sales.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oooh, a gun range? Cool research!
But I'm a wimp too. :-)

Congrats on your new release!!

Cynthia Selwyn said...

I love best friend stories, too. :) The way the relationship changes is so interesting to watch! And is so much more satisfying in the end.

Anonymous said...

Did you sing WHILE you shot the gun?

Cool interview! :)