Wednesday, August 27, 2008

3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Special Feature: Interview with Erin Chupeco

Every Wednesday until August, I'll have a special feature on the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards.

Erin Chupeco placed third in last year's Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards fiction category. When not writing freelance here and there, she also sells crochet dolls.

Tell us something about yourself.

I'm a twenty-something year old Chinese girl who had just recently resigned in pursuit of more emotionally rewarding, though financially deprived pleasures. In other words - a starving artist.

How did you come up with the idea for your story?

I was riding the MRT during rush hour, right next to an extremely emaciated woman one day; as rude as I'm going to sound, she closely resembled a walking cadaver to me. I wondered then if she'd look any different if she was actually dead. And then I wondered how the people around her would react if she really WAS dead.

What was the most challenging part of the competition?

Actually finding the time to write the story. Being a full time corporate drone had its disadvantages, especially when your boss thinks he owns your soul. About a few days before the deadline, figured what the hell, called in sick, and speed-wrote the story in under two days.

What was the coolest moment you experienced when you won the Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards?

Nothing beats a kiss from Neil Gaiman. Or the little high you get at being told you've got the potential to be a good writer.

What advice can you give to those participating in this year's competition?

Entertain misgivings. Acknowledge that you might need improvement further down the road. Fuss and worry if your writing's going to be up to par with everyone else's.

But do it anyway.

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