Clubhouse Chat: Janine Bernaldez

Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. For those of you who are not a member of the clubhouse won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or invite to the clubhouse tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation I’ve had with a guest over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, about their work in progress, or latest book release. I’ll be talking to all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Hey Paula!  First, Thank you for inviting me to the clubhouse.

It’s lovely to have you here, Janine. Before we start let’s put our order in for refreshments. What would you like to drinks?

My favorite drink is none other than COCA COLA! I like chocolate drinks as well but my first love is always COKE 🙂

First let me ask you how many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?

Let’s just say, too many to count? 😝 One of my biggest struggles as an author is that I have too many ideas. Sometimes I end up writing a bunch of outlines and chapter 1s and end up never finishing like 90% of them. I think only about 10% is on my computer; 30% are on my notebooks (I write on whichever notebook I could grab at the time), sticky notes posted all over my wall, and a bunch of scribbled chapters written on scratch papers of varying sizes which I keep on my drawer, and the rest are still on my brain.

Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter? If you write short stories do you plan your story, or let the characters lead you?

I am more of an “outline” kind of writer. When I have an idea, I don’t just write a synopsis but draw a full outline. I tend to run it over my head and picture out how it would end. I’d go crazy if I won’t. You know the feeling when you read a book and it’s a cliffhanger? I get anxiety over it if I leave my stories hanging.

Choosing only five of your favourite authors.  Can you list them in order 1 begin at the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?

Whew, this is a tough question as I have more than 5 favorite authors and I adore them in equal measures. But if I’d really have to choose only five that had really influenced my writing, I’d choose:

1. Devon C. Ford- My current WIP is a Post-apocalyptic Romance Story and I couldn’t count how many times I read (and listened) to Devon’s “After it happened” Series. From the moment I read the first book, I was hooked, and since then I have been trying to emulate his writing style.

2. Tina Marie- Aside from my love of anything Post-Apocalyptic, I am obsessed with anything that screams Romance. Tina had me wrapped-up in her spell as I became an instant raving fan after reading her book. I love the way her characters are so relatable and the way she wrote her stories, it was like a roller-coaster ride. She was one of those authors that could make her readers laugh out loud one moment and cry the next. I can still remember how I caught myself grinning like a loon. So whenever I write a romantic part, I sometimes go back to her books and study how she described each scene, especially the “meet-cute” part.

3. Ley Esses- As my genre sometimes requires action, I always add action-packed books on my reading list. Ley Esses is my fave on this one. One of the most unforgettable characters I have ever met from all the books I have read was Ley’s character BLACK. I’m not sure what drew me to him but whenever I write an action scene, I would remember him.

4. Mary Pearson- I am 26 years old but I still devour YA Dystopian books like they are a piece of cake (I know some of you are also guilty of this! 😁)I found her books really thought provoking and I have never been so attached to a love story than the love triangle in her series Remnant Chronicles. Lia, Rafe, and Kaden are really deep characters, and whenever I draw up a character profile for my stories, I would go back to my notes from her books (yep, another secret I have that some authors also do) and try to dig as deep on my characters like she did with hers.

5. Leisa Rayve- last but certainly not the least is Leisa. Her book, Professor FeelGood was one of those books that made me cry rivers. She had this effective way of drawing her readers in through a masterful way of writing the depth of pain, insecurities, and the love her characters feel, especially if you are someone who can truly relate to what those characters are struggling with. I am saving my notes from her book for when it is time for me to write that heart-wrenching scene where I’d break my Protagonist, Ginny, into pieces.

The Lovely Janine Bernaldez

 When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?

Sometimes I do. What I notice is that, I tend to write deep stuff whenever I’m in my “depressed” mood and lighter stuff on other days. I think most of us can’t avoid this especially when we are too engrossed in writing, we won’t notice that we had actually written our hearts out until we had the chance to read our work during editing.

 Were any of your characters inspired by real people?

Yes! Most of them are especially the characters on my current WIP, Tangled Ever After.

Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books (or stories, play, poem) whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc.

Writing a book for me is not just putting my own thoughts and ideas on paper but it was more like spilling my guts out. I had learned that I could use writing to cope with my depression as it gives me the opportunity to really delve deep into my own thoughts and feelings. It gave me a medium to release the tension inside of me. I did discover something about myself and it was a reality I am not sure how to deal with. That was also what prompted me to write my current WIP in the first place. I’m sorry but I won’t be sharing any of it here though as I might spoil the plot of my story yet. 😁

Janine’s Facebook Page

 What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I usually schedule writing during the afternoon around 2:00-4:00pm. But I don’t really write on a daily basis although I am working on making writing a habit. And when I sit down to write, sometimes I don’t just write but end up researching almost half the time. And it’s funny how we authors procrastinate at times. For me, I would know that I am about to procrastinate when my mind would start to wonder about something, (related or unrelated to what I am currently writing) then I would open Google and start researching things I may or may not use at the moment. Sometimes I could catch myself and get back on track. But most of the time, I would find myself getting lost on all the things I find on the internet.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I am writing under a pseudonym as my real name doesn’t really have a nice ring to it. My last name is hard to pronounce, let alone to remember.

How do you select the names of your characters? & do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?

The names just pop out in my brain. Most of my characters are inspired by real people so mostly, when I start writing, I already know most of their backstory.

 Tell us a little about your latest writing project.  Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?

My current WIP is a Post-apocalypse Romance set in my home country, Philippines. The romance arc was something I have been thinking of for a long time really and my characters are based on real people. The idea came like a slap on my face when I was in the darkest phase of my depression. It was something that I found out about what I really wanted and what I really feel about someone and I wanted to use the story as a symbol of letting the person go. I decided to finally let go of that hope and the baggage that comes with it through writing it.

Thank you so much joining me at the clubhouse, Janine.

Thank you for having me. May I have a look around before the car take me home?

Of course, there’s no social distancing here or masks. Just find me when you’re ready to go.

Janine has left some links one to her book for a sneak peek of Tangled ever after: And one to her Facebook.

If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.

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