[Madhu, After Dark] Alrighty then! All hands on board and I'd love to know more about who you are and how you got into writing novels?
[The Writing Wolf, Featured Author] Well, I'm Italian, I am a freelance translator and web content writer since more or less a year, although I'm still student, will get my Master's Degree in a few months. I started writing over five years years ago,but mostly pieces here and there in Italian,attempts at a fantasy novel,I'm not sure how it started,just some day I started pouring my thoughts into words,and created those random pieces,then I stumbled upon Wattpad,and found good stories that actually had me get over my prejudices against romance,reading soon became writing and...here I am.
[M] *hifi's you* I'm a student too! But still got two more years of college! :/
It's awesome how those random thoughts became a full-fledged novel! Was that how you went about writing Roommates with Benefits?
[TWW] Partly. The first inspiration came from the book that now goes under the name Sleep Deprived (I read the first version), I can't recall the name of the author. It was one of the first books I read on Wattpad, and one of those that got me hooked to this community and to this genre. However Roommates with Benefits wasn't my first attempt at romance. Like I said, that book inspired me, I liked the idea of roomies that seemingly don't get along, but there's something that links them,but...because I have, let's say,a sexy imagination, I couldn't exactly keep it clean hehe
The truth is, I never think my plots beforehand, I start with that bulb that lights up in my mind, and I just go with the flow. At first Roommates with Benefits too was only a bunch of thoughts, better said, dialogue lines, the idea was this cheeky guy that helped this shy girl come out of her shell, but as I wrote...it just came on its own, I didn't even think anymore, the characters went their own way, created their own story. Although I should admit, there's a bit of me in Tara, especially in her path from shy to self confident.
[M] I read your book for the reviewing and loved it! I'm even in more love with the cheeky Lukas you've written about!
I would say that now you have a good reader/follower count, but what were the initial reactions to your book when you started posting it?
[TWW] Well,I've been on Wattpad since over two years now, and I think that Roommates with Benefits started getting a real reaction from readers mostly last summer, or something like that, in fact, it still amazes me how readers keep on growing and growing, I find myself waking up with more and more notifications in the morning, and the comments readers leave crack me up, some ask where can they get a Lukas,so I guess I succeeded in the very first rule of romance: create a character readers will fall in love with and consequently daydream of.
Although,I don't wanna spoil it, but the reactions to him in the sequel are quite different...lol
The point is, for a long time Roommates with Benefits got very little reads, and even less comments, so little that I started thinking maybe it was the mature content that maybe wasn't made for the Wattpad community, because on the other site I posted it, which is specifically for erotica (even though I don't think mine is erotica, it's more like cheesy romance with lots of erotica moments), the story got a better response, way sooner,so I considered deleting it, I'm not sure why I left it there. Hope, maybe. And then...boom, so many people started reading it and commenting it. I still can't believe it.
[M] I'm super happy for you! Your book deserves it! :)
Now that you've mentioned them, are cheesy romantics your favourites?
[TWW] I should say yes because I write them, but...no haha
To be honest, I've always considered romance a subcategory, I've never been a romantic person, I found this...trait only a few years ago, and when I started reading romance, just out of pure curiosity, I really liked it. I mean, I'm the woman that's never watched Titanic because it's the epitome of romantic but I've watched The Gladiator like...7 times.
So although I think that to make me like romance were also Jane Austen's books (even though she is not technically true romance), the real turning point happened thanks to amazing authors here. I believe that all stories have been told, so it depends on how are they told, therefore even though it's cliché, a story can surprise you. For instance, there's an author here I particularly like, Jordan Lynde, her story Hired to Love would technically be considered cliché, yet the way she writes it is so original, that you can't help loving it,getting addicted to it.
However,even though I've changed my view, romance still isn't my favorite genre, my main genre is crime, in fact,aside from Roommates with Benefits, in my stories you'll always find that thriller hint that makes it darker. I guess that, if I should make a ranking,I'd say crime, romance, and probably fantasy (even though I only read Harry Potter and Throne of Glass). I do tend to write real cheesy romantics, though lol I guess I'm better at writing it than reading it, if that makes any sense. In the end, between me and romance it's an ongoing love/hate relationship.
[M] I've had my fair share of romantic and action packed movies and books, what's your favourite among of them all? The books and movies.
[TWW] Mmh...that's a tough question. I don't think I have a favorite, better said, if I had to mention a books that's only crime/action, I might mention the second book of a trilogy by a German author, Karen Sander, I'm not sure what's the English title, but in German it's "Wer nicht hoeren will,muss sterben" (transl. who doesn't listen must die), which is quite gory for a title, I know haha. If I had to mention a sort of romance book,I'd say The Bookstore, by Deborah Meyler, it's really cute, I just couldn't put it down,and it's a different type of romance,I mean, you might think it's about her that in the end will date the bookstore guy, instead it's more about her re-discovering herself after her baby daddy left her. If I had to mention a book that's both romantic and action packed, I'd have to pick amongst classics, and say The Count of Montecristo by Alexandre Dumas. When it comes to movies...I think that the most romantic movie I've ever seen was The Bridges of Madison County,I was totally skeptic about it, yet I loved it. Although one of my all time favorites is Amélie.
Ah, amongst romantic but action packed books,I might also mention a Wattpad book,What he doesn't know, by TheRiverRunsDeep.
ah,I forgot Throne of Glass haha
there's everything, romance, action,fantasy...I loved it :D
[M] The Count of Monte Cristo was, is one of my favourites too! I had an old copy which my dad bought during his school days and started reading it. Couldn't put it down till I was through with it *not literally, the book's huge* Les Miserables is another favourite of mine in classics.
But apart from these, what are your pet peeves?
Random? I know :P
[TWW] mmh...people touching me when they're talking to me, it's really, really annoying,like...I feel like screaming kind of annoying. My desk mate back in high school did this all the time, even more when I told him it was annoying, I don't know how I resisted lol
I also hate ruckus, I'm a really silent person, so noises bother me a lot,I live in a university dorm at the moment, you can guess how crazy it is haha
[M] Dorms are pretty loud, not that I would know anything about it. That's what my friends told me! :P
So, before we can call it a day, or night, what is the advice you'd give to the newbie aspiring writers here at Wattpad?
[TWW] I'd say have patience. It took me two years to get a decent amount of readers, nothing happens overnight, so if you publish a story and months go by without it getting attention, don't despair, your moment will come, with time.
Be modest. Nobody was born perfect, your writing can always be improved, so when other authors offer you constructive criticism, take it as a lesson, everything helps improving, and there's always room for honing your writings skills.
[M] True that! And I'm sure many would take inspiration from your books to come up with equally good books!
Thank you for taking the time to answer all my questions and hope you continue writing such great books!