Guest Post and Giveaway: The Writer in Me by Ines Bautista-Yao

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I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a kid. I never left the house without a notebook and a pen. And I would choose those notebooks and pens carefully too. They had to have the right feel and the right look. If not, I told myself, the stories wouldn’t flow (weird, I know). Then I graduated to my typewriter, which I loved but now can’t imagine using anymore. And finally, my laptop (and I’m still particular about how the keys feel – apparently, writing is very tactile for me).

Ever since, whenever I would write a story, I’d turn to a blank sheet or blank document (provided everything else was just right) and write. I’d wait for inspiration to hit at that very moment. I wouldn’t plan anything in advance. Whenever I did, I felt like I lost motivation. And I wasn’t just taking the fun out of it, I was taking the magic out as well.

This all sounds so strange, but it’s true—at least in my head. Whenever I write, I feel as if there’s so much more going on. The ideas do come from my mind and my emotions, even bits and pieces of my life and the lives of those I know, but somehow, something else takes over as well. I get ideas I never even considered before. I have insights into my characters that I never planned. And I worry that if I outline or plot it out in advance, I will not just lose all this magic, but my stories will be dry and boring as well.

I love writing this way even if it’s quite scary. I’ve actually thrown away pages and pages of work because the story just doesn’t feel right or I don’t want to continue anymore or I can’t stand my main character! Haha! But at the same time, while writing this way, I feel like I’m experiencing everything for the first time and it’s a high that’s unlike any other. It’s as if I’m reading a book or watching a movie unfold but I have some semblance of control over it! Some.

Writing Only A Kiss

With Only A Kiss, I did the same thing. When I began writing it, I had no idea what I was doing. I just typed in the title: Only A Kiss (inspired by The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”), then typed in Katie’s name and a few seconds later, Chris materialized as well.

I only figured out later on how Katie was going to get her first kiss. And believe me, I was pressured because it was the first line in the story! So there was no backing out. It had to come from Chris and she had to make him give it to her!

When I ended that story/chapter, I was so excited to start the next one. It was so easy to write in chunks and not in one long drawn-out book! I knew I wanted them to end up together and I wanted Katie’s déjå vu moment to happen, but I didn’t know how I was going to get them there. Also, I felt incredibly pressured to finish before I gave birth (I was pregnant with my second child), so I really committed myself to meeting all my self-imposed deadlines.

Do you want to be a writer?

Writing is a skill. And just like any other skill, you can’t be awesome at it overnight. You need to practice. You need to put in the hours. You need to train your brain to string the proper words together. You need to be open to learning new things and improving your craft. You can only get better with practice and time. And really, when you write, you want to create something you’re proud of, something you know you put your best into (though this can be hard because whenever I read something I’ve written that’s been edited already, I still want to change how some sentences are worded). Writing can be lonely, painful, and draining. But it can also be fulfilling, thrilling, and intoxicating. Whenever anyone tells me they want to write, I tell them to just do it. And keep doing it. And keep doing it.

That’s what I plan to do anyway. 🙂

About Only a Kiss:

Title: Only a Kiss
Author: Ines Bautista-Yao
Publisher: Chamber Shell Publishing
Date of Publication: November 29, 2014
Genre: contemporary romance

Here in the Philippines, Only A Kiss paperback is now available at the National Book Store and Fully Booked.


When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.

Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.

But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.

Goodreads link:

Purchase links: Amazon |
The book is on sale for ONLY $0.99 until February 14, 2015.

About Ines Bautista-Yao

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head:

She posts on Instagram and tweets @inesbyao and her author page is



Giveaway Time! ❤

Ines is giving away lots of things!

For Philippine residents:

One (1) winner will get a signed paperback of ONLY A KISS, a gift card from FILA, and a back issue of CAST comic book

Two (2) winners will each get a signed paperback of ONLY A KISS, light up laces, and back issue of CAST comic book

For everyone:

Five (5) winners will each get an ebook of ONLY A KISS

Here’s the link to the rafflecopter:

Giveaway ends on the 23rd of January. Good luck! ❤


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