One of my favorite authors C.P. Santi has a new book, a collection of short stories about love and second chances aptly called Maybe This Time. Release week is currently happening, and to show my support, and also as an excuse to do some cyber-chika because I miss her, I’ve sent a few questions her way.
Read on as we talk about her new book of romantic and insightful shorts, writing about love and older characters, Arne as Alex Skargard, Barney songs as writing music, and an exciting sneak peek of her upcoming work.
1. Apart from the shorter format, the theme of these stories is quite different from the ones in BCWYWF and WCBK. What pushed you to write them? Hindi naman si JLC at Bea? (hehehe)
Haven’t seen the second movie yet *cries* Anyway, I wrote Sweeter by the Second (for #TalesFromTheMetro) first, and at that time, Mina sounded a call for both setting-based stories and older MCs. I’ve always wanted to write about older characters (partly because I’m kind of in the same age group), and I tried doing that in Be Careful What You Wish For. But this time, I wanted to write about characters who’ve loved and lost. I guess I wanted to see how people change, how priorities shift, and how something we once thought was non-negotiable isn’t very important in the larger scheme of things. Also thought that a collection of shorts would serve as a nice teaser/introduction for new readers and maybe entice them to try out my longer work.
2. I love that you were able to portray different kinds of second chances. Do you have a favorite story of the three?
Definitely Sweeter by the Second. LDRs are very difficult to sustain. These days we have all sorts of tools that help us connect with people, but 10-15 years ago, this wasn’t the case. Internet connection was slow (still is sometimes), chat apps were often unreliable, emails sometimes went missing, and phone calls were ridiculously expensive. So the chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding were really high, and if you factor in fears and insecurities, it can be a recipe for disaster. That’s what happened to Tony and Rin, and also why I wanted Tony to redeem himself in the end (and I think he did a great job!). After all, sacrifice goes both ways 🙂 But if I were to make a full-length novel, my first choice would be Meant To Be, because there are a whole lot of feels there waiting to be unleashed 🙂
3. How about your favorite boy among the three? You know, to keep for yourself. Choose one only.
Huhuhu. So hard. *thinks very very hard* Okaaay. Arne. And partly because you threw that Alex Skarsgård peg in there. Now I want to write their story na. Hahaha.
4. One common thing I noticed with Rin and Viv’s stories is that there’s that question of dreams/personal goals versus love/relationship. Do you think it should really be an OR question?
Hee. Thanks for picking up on that! 🙂 Definitely not. But love is never easy; it always involves a choice and something / someone has to give (if not dreams / goals, then something else). But I always remember that little piece of advice one of my grandmas (I have a ton!) threw my way. She got married early, and she once told her apos to live life and experience as much as we could, so that when we finally settled down, we wouldn’t have any regrets. I guess she wanted us to make ‘an informed decision.’ (Then again, she’s also the grandma who told us to “collect and select—para may pagpilian kayo.” So.) But I think that in love (and life) there are always compromises to be made—if you really want the relationship to work.
5. Do you write with music in the background, or do you write in a vacuum? Do you think that influences your work?
I do! My usual soundtrack is Barney/The Wiggles/Disney because of my kids, but my hubby loves music and he tries to expand my playlist. His tastes are more eclectic than mine, I tend to listen to 80s/90s mix—lots of hugot songs there 🙂 My husband is an indie songwriter for the band Tampipi, and interestingly, the work we produced during the period I was writing stories for Maybe This Time have almost the same theme: long-distance relationships, working toward personal goals / dreams, and second chances.
5. Choose one song that you’d want as the title track of this book’s OST (cool lang kung meron diba? HAHA).
Hee. Definitely “Maybe This Time” by David Pomeranz, which has a permanent spot on my go-to karaoke list. Hahaha!
6. What are you working on now? Do you plan on writing more about these characters?
I wrote these short stories to ease the strain of accumulated plot bunnies in my head, but I’m definitely interested in writing longer versions sometime in the future (But, what is time? Hahaha!). I’m in the process of editing the first draft of Dare to Love Dangerously, which features how single-mom Gia opens herself up to love again. There’s a hot, inked anthropologist, a French materials conservator, a couple of cool priests, a LOT of churches, architectural conservation of cultural properties, travel (Ilocos, Bohol, and Laguna), and a crazy, drunken crystal-healing session. Hope to release the book in October—in time for the Bohol earthquake anniversary, since it kind of figures in the story.
About the AuthorC.P. Santi is a Filipina writer based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer / musician / jokester and a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking and feeding people, gorging on chocolate, watching J-doramas, belting it out in the karaoke box, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.