What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Life is Inevitable?
During my senior year of high school a friend of mine ended her life a month before graduation. I always asked myself what I would do if I could have her back in my life, which is what sparked the inspiration for this story. The plot point of reincarnation was the manifestation of my want to have her back in my life, and the body switch aspect of my novel spawned from the knowledge that I didn’t know what life was like from her perspective.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Life is Inevitable, what would they be?
For the male lead, Brennan Claufield, I’d say the song “Hurt” would best suit him, and when I refer to this song I’m talking about the original version by “Nine Inch Nails” not the cover by “Johnny Cash”. For the female lead, Olivia Benning, I’d say “To The Reeds” by “Mumur” is the song that fits her the best. This also happens to be my favorite song.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Since my teen years are over, many of my schoolmates and professors laugh at me when I say that young adult novels are my favorite to read. However, I find their stories to be more creative and even though they’re meant for a younger audience, a lot of them tend to tackle tough topics that a lot of books shy away from. This is also the same reason why it’s my favorite genre to write.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Currently I want to read Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane and the entire Goblin Slayer series. I would also read Violet Evergarden by Kana Akatsuki but currently there’s no english translation and even though I’m from Asia I grew up in the west so my native tongue is English.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I really loved writing the scene that introduces the characters Life and Death because I was able to write some of my perspectives on the way people live without making it blatantly obvious.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
Whenever I write, I changed the background photo on my computer to a picture of my little brother because I love him and he encourages me to be the best I can be.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
A motto I live by is something I said to an old friend of mine which was, “We’re all going to die someday, so we might as well do something stupid and hope we don’t die now.” I texted her this when I visited the Philippines with my family. At the time, I was afraid of heights, so I signed up for an activity to go cliff diving in an effort to overcome that fear. In the end I jumped 10 meters (32 feet) into the ocean.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I would like my readers, especially the younger ones, to remember that even though there’s an aspect of reincarnation in the novel, you can’t say for certain that the same thing happens in real life. I say this because I wrote the book to show and express tough topics such as suicide, but I also care about my readers. I don’t want anyone to think that it’s fine to take your life because you’ll bounce right back as if nothing happened or that you’ll return to life. Because the harsh truth is that death is permanent.
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