Being the crazy-compulsive writer that I am, I've decided to take the plunge and write my third novel this November, while putting the finishing touches on my July novel. (That one is 85% finished, by the by; the endgame is there, and the only thing left is to set up the big fights and other intense scenes in proper chronological order.) It's actually not too bad, since we have two long weekends this month to get cracking - one for Halloween/ All Saints/ All Souls, and another for Eid-al Adha - not to mention that my admission to UP Diliman is now... ahem... pending.
Until then, here's a little primer on what to expect from this year's novel, a murder-mystery thriller called Her Name Is Veronica. This interview is basically a modified version of the Proust Questionnaire, but with a few creative edits.
NAME OF CHARACTER: Veronica San Luis (birth name: Veronica Leilani San Luis)
Role in Story: Titular main character
Occupation: Call-center agent for Manpower Resources, Inc.
Age/ Birthday: 25; born March 1, 1986
Physical Description: Everyone at work says that I look like Rhian Ramos.
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Personality: May ganun? (I have one?) But I'll say that I can be quite defensive and driven. I'd rather keep to myself, though, since I've always felt different from everyone else.
Habits/Mannerisms: I don't like having chatmates and textmates. But I love, love, loooooove coffee, and must have at least two cups a day to survive.
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Background: My mom was a caregiver for a wealthy, powerful man named Lionel Berkeley. I don't know how it happened, but somehow Mommy got pregnant, and she gave birth to me in Hawaii with Mr. Berkeley named on the birth certificate as my father. Five years later, my mom died while protecting our family from armed robbers in our home in Pasay, and my Uncle Jojo (who's now in Canada) took over the task of supporting me from elementary to college. I now have a degree in political science from Ateneo de Manila. thanks to the
Internal Conflicts: Hello, my mom is dead, my dad's family wants nothing to do with me, and I was raised by a transvestite. What do you think?
External Conflicts: See above. I think that's part of the reason why I'm shy.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Graduating from Ateneo de Manila with a BA in Political Science.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Two words: shoe sale.
What is your current state of mind? Blah.
What is your favorite occupation? Not this one.
What is your most treasured possession? A Hawaiian gold necklace given to me by my Mommy.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? Apart from Mommy, Uncle Jojo, and my cat Hayden... don't know, haven't met him yet.
What is your favorite journey? I haven't really traveled much.
What is your most marked characteristic? My curiosity about people.
When and where were you the happiest? When Mommy and I used to live in Tramo, before she died. Also, my admission and graduation from Philippine Science High School and Ateneo.
What is it that you most dislike? Plastic people.
What is your greatest fear? The Berkeley family. Long story.
What is your greatest extravagance? My red wedges from Toms.
Which living person do you most despise? My boss. Fake personality, fake American accent, fake everything.
What is your greatest regret? That I only got to use my US passport once, when I went to Disneyland with my Tita Lumeng. I also regret not meeting Lionel Berkeley.
Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to do my own hair and makeup.
Where would you like to live? My own condo in either Eastwood or Bonifacio Global City.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? I miss my mom.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Somebody who's really... nice, I think? Not fake.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Someone who's simple and pretty.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I'm shy.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? People who try too hard.
What do you most value in your friends? They make me laugh, and they listen to me.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Mr. Darcy. Both from Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones.
Whose are your heroes in real life? Again, Mommy and Uncle Jojo.
Which living person do you most admire? Not a lot. I admire my Uncle Jojo, but it hasn't been the same since he got "engaged" to that guy in New York.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Girliness. If I could turn back time, I should never have listened to my titas who won't shut up about the whole dalagang Pilipina ideal. Uncle Jojo was more of a lady than all of them.
On what occasions do you lie? I'm a call-center agent. I get paid to speak with an American accent to sell products that I've never used in real life.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "Hott." I know, it's so Paris Hilton.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My shyness. I want to be more outgoing.
How would you like to die? With honor.
What is your motto? Always err on the side of caution.
Family: Mom - dead. Dad - doesn't care, then he died. Uncle - migrated. Other titos and titas - don't get along well with them.
Best friend: Some friends at work, but not real BFFs.
Confidante: My cat Hayden, who died last year.
Love interest: If they were going to make a movie out of my life, it would be Tom Hardy.
Person You hate: Too many to mention. Though the guy who keeps sending me those creepy messages at my workplace is up there on the list.
Person I like: Can't I just talk about guys I find cute instead?
Person I want to be: I know that he's sorta-kinda one of "them," but I've been reading up a lot on Linus Berkeley ever since I read about him in OK! magazine. He strikes me as the "black sheep" of the family because he does not look like a high-class snob and he likes to party. He also does a lot of work with charity and micro-finance loans for third-world countries. Someday I would like to meet him.