Hello and welcome to my stop on the #StrangeLit Blog Tour for Killer Seasons! #StrangeLit was a workshop that we joined to write our 'paranormal' and 'urban fantasy' stories. The results were fantastic, because we've got about forty new stories all be Filipinos. Isn't that cool?
A werewolf chef, a cursed family, a spell to forget. You'll meet these and more in the ten stories of the KILLER SEASONS installment of #StrangeLit, featuring:
Resto Rescue by Maita Rue The Last Night of Her Wake by Chrissie Peria House of Silver: A Cursebreaker Novel by C.P. Perez The Myth Menagerie by Lana Garcia Vengeance: The Awakening by Arlene Manocot At The Wishing Well by Amae Dechavez Intersection by Den Lim Disappearing Act by Roselle De Guzman The "Forget You" Brew by Tara Frejas Aurelia by Japonicus
This particular bundle is Killer Seasons, containing ten amazing stories that include a werewolf chef, coffee that makes you forget in a magical town and disappearing students. For this stop, I'm interviewing Tara Frejas and Roselle de Guzman, two of the ten authors in the bundle.
Interviews after the jump!
Killer Seasons is available exclusively on Buqo.
Tara Frejas for 'The Forget You Brew'
For 20-year old Kyle Thomson, nothing in the world is more terrifying than the prospect of telling Allison Jeon that he loves her. That is, until he finds out that this mystical café in a peculiar place called Nowheretown had served her a cup of afforgeto—a brew for forgetting—a drink she ordered intending to forget him.
Hoping to reverse the spell, Kyle reluctantly teams up with a bunny-eared hopeless romantic and a badass barista to retrieve Allison’s memory jar from the Repository of the Intangible. But when stealing back forgotten memories doesn’t quite turn out as expected, Kyle is left with no choice but to conquer his biggest fear. Can the magic of Nowheretown supply him a fixer-upper, or will the magic in his steadfast heart be enough to grant them their happy ever after?
I love Tim. I LOVE HIM. If you could craft a drink for yourself at the Cafe, what would it be made of?
Hihi. Everyone seems to love Tim. He says thanks. If I were to craft a drink for myself at the cafe, I would need to tie Tim up on a chair first. (Ha!) But there will definitely be a lot of expresso in there, and a lot of ice. Not because it's hot but because in Kaipuhan, having ice in your drink means you need time to slow down for you a bit. So I guess a triple-expresso shot Cafe del Tiempo will do, because I need more time to do and write All The Things!
I love the way the characters in the book are well crafted and thought out. What was your inspiration for the 'Forget You Brew?"
I played with two concepts before the workshop started. One was the mystical bunny house that kept inspiration going, and the second was a Room of Requirement-ish cafe that served you liquid versions of attributes you lack but need in order to accomplish something important. Obviously the bunny house was inspired by our pet bunny, Max. And I'm just a big fan of coffee. At some point, I decided to keep both concepts because I couldn't decide which to keep, so I'm just glad that it worked, somehow and people loved it. ^_^
If you would forget one moment in your life, what would it be?
Ah, I knew this was going to be asked, haha! I have something in mind but forgetting that would erase about a decade of memories so, no thank you.
Can we expect a sequel soon? Yes? Yes!
I'm not sure how soon SOON it will be, but a sequel... or a spin-off, rather, is on my writing schedule this year. I hope I get around to finishing it before the year ends so there's more Tim, Likha, and Mithi (and other new characters) for everyone!
What was the best thing about joining the #StrangeLit workshop?
Aside from actually getting to produce a new piece of work, the best thing about the #StrangeLit workshop is the support that goes around from our mentors to the authors, and then the readers. It's a wonderful, positive cycle that never ceases to amaze me, and it makes me real glad I signed up for it.
Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. By day, she works in project management and events, and she writes down her daydreams at night. Tara loves the "friends to lovers" trope so much, it appears in this story twice. She owns a six-month old male bunny, Max, who inspired the beginnings of this fictional piece and likes to try nibbling on her writing notes.
If Nowheretown were real, you'd find her pretending to get things done at Kaipuhan Kafe, when she's really stealing glances at the badass barista. The "Forget You" Brew is her second published work after Paper Planes Back Home.
tarafrejas.com | taratriestowrite.wordpress.com | @ttriestowrite
Roselle de Guzman for 'The Disappearing Act'
(What's that I hear you say? We have the same last name? Yes because I am literally a stage mother to my brilliant sister, and I am so happy that she did this!)
Rhea De Los Reyes is in a situation that's unique in terms of teenager problems: no one ever sees her. Ever since high school, she's been stuck this way, always alone even in a crowded room. She's ready to just fade away, until an awkward, well-meaning boy with no math skills see her for the first time.
This is your first foray into publishing your work, congratulations! How was the whole process of writing and seeing your book published online?
Incredibly disorienting. I seriously cannot understand how this is happening and what lead to this and basically going “HOW?” in my head. A part of me still wants to take it down and revise the heck out of it, but just knowing that a piece of work that I finished is up there still sometimes sends a warm feeling to my heart.
The 'Disappearing Act' is a simple, but loaded with possibilities for more explanations and spin-offs. Do you see yourself expanding that universe into a full novella?
I’ve never actually thought about it. I thought I was actually lucky to be able to publish this one story and that I won’t be able to publish any more, so I never though of the possibility that I would be able to publish continuations. The story, I think, is over. Santi and Rhea have reached their full development as characters, and I think they deserve a happy ending. Besides, it would cruel to make them suffer more than is necessary, wouldn’t it?
You seem very comfortable with writing stories that have a bit of a dark angle. Do you see yourself writing more of these kinds of stories?
That “Dark Angle” was a total accident. I was actually planning to make it fluffier, but sometimes muses don’t always follow what you want, and stories can only be told in a certain way. When I write, I like to fully explore the character’s full psyche and range of emotional reactions, and, sometimes, it gets a bit extreme, so maybe that’s why it get’s dark. Or, maybe, I’m addicted to playing god :P As for whether I’m gonna write more of these kind of stories, I think I will, because I don’t seem to be able to escape them, anyway.
What was the best thing about joining the #StrangeLit workshop?
Basically just having a creative writing project, knowing that you’re working on something for a class and that they want you to finish it. I’ve not been confident about my writing, and I never have been, but this workshop is basically a “How can you expect results when you don’t even try?” kind of wake-up call that I honestly needed. I’m still no master, but I’m a published author now. Deal with it.