Miren B. Flores’ debut work Loveless. Childless. Clueless. broke my heart and mended it a thousand times over, all in a span of a hundred-plus pages. I read the book in only a few hours, drowning in feelings as I did so. When I came up for air at the end of it, my heart and my brain were both demanding a discussion with the author about that ending! GAH. Then I composed myself and asked her the following questions instead. Hehe.
Thanks Miren for indulging me! We talked about firstborn books, writing that ending, and choices (Krav Maga hottie or old flame??). She also shared a Joni Mitchell performance that got me bleeding on the floor. Miren is mean.
1. I realize that first books are often birthed out of the strangest impulses. This being your firstborn – as you like to call it too – what was the insistent tick or the catalyst that got you to sit down and write this story?
I was having a shitty month and was thisclose to some serious wallowing. Mina V. Esguerra (Queen of Feels) gave me a copy of her #romanceclass textbook and it was a lifeline. I wrote at night, after work, to pass the time and keep me sane. My firstborn is around because Mina and my good friend Chris Mariano (who wrote Cover (Story Girl) and whose work Neil Fricking Gaiman high-fived, egad) kept cracking the cyber-whip. Thank you, ladies 😉
I write for a living, but nothing as fun and creative and crazy as #romanceclass. I used to write stories and pseudo-poems when I was younger, so it was like coming home. It was great to be back in that particular sandbox…I felt so free. #romanceclass–the textbook, the novellas, the community–is such a wonderful gift for authors and readers. I’m so glad to be part of it…to have that ray of creative, kilig sunshine in my life now.
2. Some people say to write the endings first, because those are the hardest to write. Is that also what you did for this book?
I followed Mina’s #romanceclass, so I did have to write an ending first. But I had three or four versions. It was crazy! It was the first time I ever wrote the ending first, though, and I think it really helped…like I knew where I wanted to go, I had a general idea. And then as I worked my way to Act Three, the story just filled the spaces in, moved the furniture around.
3. Okay so the man that our MC chooses is not always the same man the author chooses for herself. Given that, the question for you is: the Krav Maga hottie or the long burning flame? Choose one only.
Whatta question! Hahaha!
(Wait, let me just find a safe and comfortable space so I can duck.)
Mr. Long-burning Flame, because I wanted the fairytale ending to be “And they kept loving and trying after ever after.”
That being said, I’m thrilled that so many ladies out there are #TeamEnzo. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my dreamboat fantasies 😉
4. Do you write with music in the background, or do you write in a vacuum? Do you think that influences your work?
Sometimes with music, sometimes in silence, but always with wine. That sounds like a bumper sticker for alcoholics, hahaha!
With Loveless. Childless. Clueless. it was just my usual iPod playlists (angry chick music through the years), but recently (since I saw the other #romanceclass authors doing it) I’ve started looking for Spotify playlists that match the mood of the scene I’m fleshing out, and it does help, especially with the happier stuff. I’m not too good with happy, so I’m trying to learn.
5. Choose one song that you’d want as the title track of this book’s OST (cool lang kung meron diba? HAHA).
Another whatta question! Le sigh.
…I listened to Joni Mitchell a lot while writing Loveless. Childless. Clueless. I’ve always loved her, but listening to her while writing this novella just made that shade of blue deeper, brighter, darker.
Prince, Diana Krall, my other goddess Tori Amos, they all covered the song. But Joni singing A Case of You gets me every. single. time. Here’s a 1974 performance that’s just pure ear-soul candy. And they’re right–it has never sounded sweeter, or lonelier.
So yes, Joni. Please be on my novella’s soundtrack. Wish ko lang!
6. What are you working on now?
I just finished my #romanceclass2016 novella! It’s called Prep and Prejudice, and I actually posted several chapters on Wattpad, where cyber-cheerleaders C.P. Santi, Brianna Ocampo, and Trix Luna were incredibly supportive. (You ladies rock!)
And then work got crazy so I had to hit pause. When Mina announced #romanceclass2016, I signed up. There’s nothing like an email from Mina to light a fire under your ass!
A good friend is reading it now and I’m shaking in my boots just thinking of all the red marks, hahaha! But I thought I’d give my melancholic, hugot muscles a break and try something fun and hot and (hopefully) kilig.
Loveless. Childless. Clueless. is available on Amazon, and in print (just contact the author!)
About the Author
Miren B. Flores has a weakness for bread, British accents, Parisian Instagram feeds, and everything lavender.
Loveless. Childless. Clueless. is her first sorta kinda book–and her nerdy, bookworm-y fourteen-year-old self couldn’t be prouder.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.