Thursday, 29 August 2013

Guest Post + Mini Reviews : Interim Goddess of Love Trilogy

Guest Post

Making believable characters (when your inspirations are so unreal)
-Mina V. Esguerra

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I never worried about how "believable" my characters would be, when I started. The story for my first novella to ever be published, (My Imaginary Ex) came to me rather quickly, with most of the characters already formed and sure of their roles in my head.

Then when I tried writing another story, and then another, I saw that this believability thing was going to be an issue. I didn't want each main character to seem like the same person, or worse just like me. So I started doing this to make sure I kept them separate and somewhat real:

1. Main characters are based on real-life inspirations.
Some of them know that they've become a main character in my books, and some don't, haha. But I find it essential now to peg a main character against people I actually know, and know well, so at every turn I can ask myself, what would she do? What would she say?
You think this would be a cheat, and that I as a writer had little to do now that I was just documenting someone else's life. But no -- I've had to edit a real-life reaction or event for believability, because if I wrote something exactly as it happened, no one would believe it.

2. Love interests are composites of a fantasy and a real person.
Because I write romances, and in many ways it's like writing a fantasy (because how can a guy be that perfect?) I do take inspiration not just from a real person but the fantasy that the person represents. Does this make a character less believable? I guess they do, but in real life we see guys all the time that we don't feel attracted to, and yet someone is so into him. So the Love Interest, he actually won't be the perfect guy for every person, but if someone loves him, then why? What could he do to make her (the main character) fall in love with him? What could he do to make her angry?

3. Supporting characters are based on personality types.
I did this for the first time in Interim Goddess of Love, because it was the first time I had introduced so many characters and love interests in one story. I pretty much took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test and assigned a "type" for each character. This helped me keep track of each one, and how they'd act, and what they would do when certain events happened.

Now that I've written this down, it all seems so planned and technical. Not every writer will need to do this, or need to put themselves through this, but I actually find this part fun.

About the Author

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers' Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (, she documents her experiments in e-publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series "Author at Once" and #romanceclass for writers and publishers. 


Mini Reviews

Interim Goddess of Love ( Interim Goddess of Love #1 )
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Published by: Bright Girl Books
Genre: YA contemporary, fantasy
Rating: 4 quills. 
Buy links: Amazon / Smashwords

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn't know why everyone tells her their love problems. She's never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn't stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she's going to have to take on this responsibility -- but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It's a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world's obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

While she's learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who's got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah's mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he's not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after -- or at least something that'll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he's so, well, hot.)

I'll let you know, I didn't expect such a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed Interim Goddess of Love. Hannah was a good character but pretty average nonetheless. She's the friend that ends up listening to everyone else's love life, dishing out advice but never really applying it to herself. Don't we all have a friend like that?
Hannah has always been a a magnet for people in need of some help, they just seem to open up to her and that makes her a perfect candidate to fill in for the Goddess of Love who seems to be MIA.

Let me get to the good bits. The males in the book! Oh man are they all just ........... *sigh* ..
Quin, the guy who doesn't really emote his feelings or thoughts, rough'n tough Diego, oh so sweet light Robbie and ofcourse conflicted Jake Lalisan.

All in all this was a  light read, with just the right doses of almost everything! There's romance, mythical gods and goddess', we actually learn things about the mythology of Philippines which was great to learn! I'm actually going to go ahead and get some research done ;) .

Rating : 4 quills

Queen of the Clueless ( Interim Goddess of Love #2 )
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Published by: Bright Girl Books
Genre: YA contemporary, fantasy
Rating: 3 quills. 
Buy links: Amazon / Smashwords

If you've been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don't worry -- Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity's love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn't as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It's frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she's decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn't exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it's not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it's not what people want.)

Omigosh Diego! I wasn't expecting to genuinely like him! He's got baggage alright, and there was a lot of potential between him and Hannah but I for one was all for Robbie.
Why do all the Sun gods in any mythological setting happen to be the smart, handsome ones? I feel like giving up on Quin (which I won't ofcourse), he keeps sending out such mixed signals. It's frustrating! Just get to it with Robbie!
The poor thing....

This one helps you find a lot more about each of the characters, Vida, Robbie, Sol and especially so Diego. He's at the forefront at last and it was brilliant!

Ofcourse Hannah has a new assignment this time it's a best friend Sol itself. Her boyfriend seems shady, and Hannah is going to do her best to help her friend, but just how much trouble she gets into is something you'll have to see.

Rating : 3 quills

Icon of Indecisive ( Interim Goddess of Love #3 )
Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Published by: Bright Girl Books
Genre: YA contemporary, fantasy
Buy links: Amazon / Smashwords

College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It's her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She's had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he's destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she's figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It's not like she doesn't have any options for a classic college romance though. There's Diego, God of the Sea and Quin's best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?
Ok....... wait.... what was that ending??? 
I was soooo confused about what rating I could give this one. 3.5? a measly 2? It wasn't as bad as a 2.... But .. that end... and that.. and Robbie..........

I liked this book ofcourse I did. There was so much goin on, which is great.. It's the last two chapters that had me at a loss. Am I happy with that ending? Mina Esguerra doesn't technically make Hannah choose one of the men. Sorta. She kinda ends up with both.... What? Yeah that's right. 

She loves Quin, and Quin has feelings for her too. But nooo he thinks thats taking advantage of her. And she's going to try it out with Robbie. Oh she and Quin wil eventually get together in some faaaarr future. But Robbie... :( Doesn't he deserve someone who loves him back unconditionally? I'm glad that she gives him a chance, she loves him too. But I don't really know if that's good for him.... I don't know what to think. And then the way everything ended. Like comeon!!!

Rating : 3 quills


All in all I'd give this series a total of 3.5 quills! If you love mythology, romance and short yet engrossing reads. Pick this one up!

Series rating : 3.5 quills

Giveaway time!!

Here's your chance to win, Paperback copies of Interim Goddess of Love (INT), 

Your choice of either Team Quin, Team Diego OR Team Robbie keychain! (Philippines only) .

1 comment:

  1. These sound cute! I was totally the girl who was never in a relationship but people came to for advice, so I can relate to that!