Yay! We were able to finally catch up with new author of inspirational book Amazed and co-author of children’s lit Brightest Joanne Crisner Alcayaga to have this interview…
Tell us about your younger self. When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was younger, I really didn’t know what I wanted to be. All I remember was my first attempt at writing a piece as I was about to graduate from grade school. I wanted to write about embarking on a new chapter as I enter High School. But that written work was purely for my own enjoyment. It was written at the back of an empty notebook which I wasn’t able to keep. During High SchooI, I tried out for the school newspaper but failed and joined an elective class in writing. I started to love reading pocketbooks and novels which I think propelled me to discover my own writing style and what genre I would enjoy writing. I guess, it was during college when I realized I wanted to be a writer which is why I took up Journalism. But after that, I found out that creative writing was really my passion.
Do you remember some Eureka moments when you wanted to leave everything undone, go to your laptop and write something?
Eureka moments for me mostly come when I am by myself, usually when I am traveling or commuting to wherever I am going. Those quiet moments when I just sit at the jeepney and realize something out of the blue. When I observe something at the street or just outside, some kind of enlightenment comes which I try to write about.
In what genre do you want to write more? Who are the writers who inspire you the most? What are your favorite books?
I just love writing about the essence of life. How to make a meaning out of it. How humanity struggles and triumphs. Mostly, I write inspirational essays, short stories and poems to touch other people’s lives. But I would love to venture into writing love stories or romance novellas since I grew up reading them and feeling “kilig” all over. Mitch Albom is my greatest inspiration in writing especially his theme and writing style as reflected in Tuesdays with Morrie. I guess Nicholas Sparks also made an impression, since A Walk to Remember is really the first novel I read, it brought me to tears. I also admire his writing style with a silent, flowing rhythm. Though I haven’t read their books, I have come across some works/quotes by these incredible writers, Marianne Williamson and Henry David Thoreau. I am also a big fan of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series. I am truly amazed by her insane imagination, creativity and her clever and impeccable writing. Every word had a purpose. Every word had a timing. Every word fit into her plot.
What and where is your dream place where you would sit and write to your heart’s content?
In my mind, I have already kept a dream place where I could just look out the window, breathe in the fresh air, feel the rich culture around and write to my heart’s content. It’s in Italy. I can see myself there. If you have already seen the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, there is a scene there where Dianne Lane just sits at her chair and types on her laptop, facing outside, with windows wide open. That’s me, hopefully, in a few years.
Tell us about your books and how you came about to writing them. Do you have anything new in the drawer?
I have already co-authored a children’s book with Josephine Litonjua and artist Johann De Venecia, entitled Brightest. It is filled with beautiful images but its content can also be targeted to adults. I also have a related essay inside the book which supports the overall message of the story. Just recently, my first ever solo book, Amazed, has also been published and released with the help of crowdsourcing. It is a collection of personal and inspirational essays and short stories which I have written since way back. Most of my life experiences and learnings can be found here including works of fiction. It tackles the complexities of love, work, family, and life in detail.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
My advice to aspiring authors is to read. Never stop reading because that will be your foundation in writing. Always observe, practice your imagination, be curious enough, engage in meaningful conversations, listen to people’s stories, watch more movies with great content, expand your perspective, and just simply take in everything, every information, every snapshot and every idea that would cross your path. These can help you better understand yourself, what you want to write about and who you want to write for. It will lead you to your purpose on why you want to write. Make sure also that you don’t give up, there are so many outlets and venues out there for you, the perfect opportunity will come along when the time is right.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Facebook: JoanneCrisner.Author, Amazed Page, Brightest Page, firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: iamcrisner, Amazed020614
Goodreads: Joanne_Crisner, Amazed, Brightest