An Interview With AnnSepino
Getting to know the Wattpad authors
Ann is an independent author from the Philippines with a passion for writing including poetry. I want to thank her for taking part in this interview, and wish her the best of luck in her writing journey.
What made you become a writer?
I was raised on fairy tales and folk tales, and my childhood afternoons consisted of escaping to the library, and reading all the children's books I could find. I was also very involved in literary activities during elementary school, including writing for competitions, and contributing to the gazette. Writing eventually became second nature to me, and it helped me foster traits like discipline, efficiency, optimism, and sportsmanship.
What brought you to Wattpad?
My college friend was the one who convinced me to set-up my first Wattpad account back in 2013. She’s a certified hopeless romantic, and I used to write poems and short stories for her as birthday and Christmas presents. I had to close that first account in 2016, because I became very busy with my studies. Shortly after becoming an indie author, I realized that there were still quite a few restrictions when it came to publishing, particularly for story genre and length. I decided to create my new profile as a sort of reprieve from those restrictions, so I could write anything and everything without having to limit my imagination.
What is the latest project you're working on?
Because I like to constantly challenge myself, I currently have two works in progress on Wattpad. The first is a YA romance called Good Guy, and follows the story of a college freshman who has to navigate both school and a budding relationship with her schoolmate. I first wrote it because of a dare, but somehow it has evolved into a story promoting the appreciation of cliches and formulaic romance tropes. My second story is Fireside, an anthology about Hestia’s relationship with the other Greek gods and goddesses. It’s my attempt at creating a ‘slice-of-life series, mythology-style.’
Have you ever been published outside of Wattpad?
Yep, and on a bunch of stuff now that I think about it. I once entered a competition about environmental preservation through literature, and the short story I submitted was published after it, and three others won. I was also part of the school paper in college, so it was impossible not to publish anything at all. I currently have a few books out, but nothing too big or flashy yet. I’m still trying to gain my footing when it comes to ebooks, because the process is quite different from just putting up new chapters every once in a while.
What's your greatest achievement as a writer?
Receiving feedback from readers, whether it be positive or not, will always be my greatest achievement. It means that somebody out there was willing to set aside a few minutes of his or her day to read my stories. It’s a very humbling thought, and it encourages me to become better at my craft.
What are your writing goals?
I really want my stories to inspire others, and provide a respite for those having a hard day. I want the worlds in my head to serve as healthy, safe escapes for readers. More importantly, I want my brand to help erase the stigma about creative ventures being less important than analytical careers, because it was this very venture that honed me to become adept in other fields.
What's your favorite thing about writing for Wattpad?
I love interacting with other storytellers. I love that we can encourage each other to continue our passions. Writing is considered a ‘lonely’ profession, especially if one is just starting out, but the sense of community on Wattpad has been amazing.
What's your pet peeve about writing for Wattpad?
The fact that some people still view Wattpad as their ‘last and only chance’ at getting published or noticed saddens me. I think such an outlook demeans both one’s talents and the website. It doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than using Wattpad as an 'end of the line' to one’s writing career, we can use it as our training ground. I personally consider Wattpad a boot camp for developing my writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
Aside from Wattpad, are there any other sites you've written for?
I used to publish my stories on another writing site called Booksie, under a different pen name. Unfortunately, they never upgraded the aesthetics of their site while I was on there, and it made the book lists look cluttered and difficult to navigate. I think my old profile is still there though.
Where do you see your writing journey in five years?
Hopefully by then, I will have established myself as a mid-list author. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I think aiming to become an international best-seller immediately is neither rational nor realistic when one is just starting out. My long term goal is to develop a comfy career doing what I love, without any regrets about going into said career.
How would you feel about someone making fanwork based on your stories?
Yes! I'd be thrilled. Fanfiction is probably one of the genres I will never, ever be truly good at, so I would be incredibly impressed and honored.
Which Wattpad book, that you've written, do you feel best displays your writing talents?
Fireside would have to be the one. Its narrative closely resembles the style I use in my published novels, and Hestia’s character embodies the core values that I blend into my female protagonists. Working on it really challenges my versatility in terms of emotional and psychological range, as well as mastery of shifts in POV.