The Movellas Interview Diary

I took this off and I'm putting it back up again (Nov, 2015). Enjoy! - Here you will find interviews with some of the most talented on Movellas. They will tell you about their likes, dislikes, favourite authors/books, weird talents, goals, ambitions, celebrity crushes and much more. Oh and they will also shed some light on the much debated and controversial question slash topic or whatever you wanna call it, that has been discussed since the dawn of man: is it okay to turn your underwear inside out so it can last a little longer... okay, maybe not that last one...

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9. Sakura

 

BASIC INFO

 

Name: Kathryn (Katie or Kate, whichever you prefer)

Age: 18

Your best piece of work on Movellas: Victoriana

Likes: Regina Spektor, Ikimono Gakari, Cirque du Soleil, Architecture, Languages, Telenovelas/Taiwanese Dramas, swimming, manga, singing, going to karaoke with friends, drawing, writing, going to the movies and keeping the ticket stubs, making photo albums and writing letters

Dislikes: Underaged teen porn writers, sexism, Justin Bieber, One Direction, bullies and those who purposely isolate others.

Favourite Authors: Ray Bradbury, Ken Follet, Margaret Atwood, Jane Austen

Books you recommend: 1Q84, Atonement, The Handmaid's Tale, Map of Bones, The Lovely Bones, The Hobbit, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Pride and Prejudice, The Prince, Daughter of Fortune, Poison Study, The Goose Girl (by Shannon Hale), Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. There's something in there for everyone.

What makes you stop reading a book: Well, in the case of Stephanie Meyer, a character that whines and gripes excessively, but also a blatantly weak main character who is shallow, a main character that is exceptionally static after 400 or so pages, massive plot blunders, or massive research errors (historical errors).

What makes you read a book more than once: Characters that grasp onto you and hold on and become part of your life, beautiful prose, a story you just yearn to read again.

Do you have a weird talent: I'm hyper flexible and can contort my body into weird shapes

Celebrity Crush: Natalie Portman. I'm not gay, but I would be for her. True story.

 

QUESTION TIME!

 

Hi Sakura (love the name by the by), how are you doing today? 

I'm excellent, thanks for asking :) 

So let me get this straight – you're an American Latina who is fluent in Japanese and has an immense love for all things Japanese? You sound seriously awesome! How did your interest in the Japanese culture, language and way of life etc. start? 

Well, it's a bit of a long story. I have more of a love of language, I would say. There's a part of me that dislikes Japanese things (I dislike how they handle racism, for example, as well as their handling of history during the atrocities of World War II, and while I have an appreciation of cosplayers, I hate ones who do a shoddy job of it, slap on a costume with glue), however there are many things such as calligraphy, architecture, and of course manga that I appreciate. Anyway, long story short I saw an amv of Tokyo Mew Mew when I was like, ten, and it wasn't subtitled back then or dubbed, so I taught myself enough to understand each episode. Then, when I was 13 my parents offered to enroll me in classes at Drexel University. I had to take the PSAT to be eligible (I somehow managed to score a 29 on it which I guess is ok), and I was actually underage (my future high school had a partnership, but it was only for sophomores). So I took three summers of Japanese University lessons. I've been to Japan twice, once in 2009 for only two weeks to help my father with business, and once in 2012. I stayed for a month in 2012 in Kasukabe-shi, in Saitama, with a girl whom my family had hosted before. Her family was really sweet and really patient with me. They taught me a lot of Japanese which I appreciated. They're my second family.  Some of the people are the sweetest people you will ever meet, exceptionally accommodating. Others are closed minded and will judge you solely on what you look like. But that's true no matter where you go, honestly, traveling you'll meet all sorts of people. 

 But I think the best thing about speaking different languages is being able to connect with people and talk with them and hear their stories. I was at Epcot in Disney World the other day, and I went to the Japan area, and I talked with a shop clerk from Asakusa, Tokyo, about drawing Asakusa Sky Tree in Japanese and it was such an awesome experience. I think being able to communicate in foreign languages brings with it a certain amount of pride, like "wow, they understood me, and I can talk, that's so cool." I know I say I'm fluent, but the truth is I'm still learning. I'm more fluent in Spanish than Japanese, but I'm more confident conversing in Japanese than Spanish, simply because my Spanish accent is weird (Puerto Rican, Mexican, and a bit Japanese). Also, I'm third generation latina, so my accent gets made fun of a lot which makes me insecure. Although at Epcot, the lady from Mexico thought I was from a native Spanish speaking country which made my day lots :) I want to keep practicing until I can speak better.

When did you start writing and what made you want to write? 

My current AP Language Composition teacher inspired me earlier this year by teaching me about syntax and style, and I found Movellas and fell in love with writing. I loved playing around with different styles and creating new sentences, all in the mind that "I want my audience to feel like this". I think honestly, my best pieces (writing wise) are my short stories because I can convey that sense of emotion in a short span. I do have a lot of things in me that I channel creatively and sometimes when a drawing isn't going my way, sometimes it's easier to channel that into written art.

What do you think is the difference between a good story and a great one? 

A good story stays with you after you close the book. You talk with the characters in your mind, reinvent parts you don't like, then come to the conclusion that the story is fine as it is, and then try to imagine speaking with those characters again, perhaps to argue with them or shake them upside down to yell at them.

I've read some of your work and I absolutely adore and I'll say it once again, I ADORE the Manga version of Victoriana, why are you so talented? I can't even draw an outline of my hand, it always ends up looking like I've dropped ink on a page and let it dry, it looks like a fat splodge! *cries*. 

Oh god, that's so sweet of you! I can't draw hands either, honestly! I redraw and redraw and they're my most despised body part. I refuse to believe I'm talented. I just work really hard. Victoriana is FOUR years of work, of refining and redrawing and I'm still not there but I'll keep practicing. I have so much trouble drawing hot manga guys. But I'll improve. I think drawing, writing, learning, everything is a continual process so I keep everything from doodles to poems and voice recordings and look back on how I've improved and it's very humbling to see where I've come from and where I am now. At the same time I'm not ashamed by it either, so that's why I put up my older drafts of Victoriana so that they can see where I was at age fifteen/fourteen and where I am now at age eighteen.

Choose any one of the stories you've written on here... once you've done that, can you list a few actors/actresses who would play the characters if it was to be turned into a movie? 

Oh god I have to go with Victoriana

What do you think is the best thing about writing? 

Creating your own world. It's playing god in a way, and it can be a lot of fun to channel rage and passion into something beautiful.

How would you say 'I want to be an awesome novelist' in Japanese or Spanish? 

Hmm I think it's difficult to have a LITERAL translation (I never use the word awesome in Spanish for example, and there isn't really a way to say it in Japanese), but here goes nothing. 

Spanish: Quiero ser una buena novelista. 

Japanese: Sugoi shousetsuka ni naritai desu. すごい小説家になりたいです。

If you were to go to an isolated desert island for 9 months and could only take three and a half things – what would would you take? 

Not to go too traditional, but a bible because you can read it and see something new each time, a genie lamp with unlimited wishes, a bowie knife, and half of the largest chocolate cake ever made.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring authors around the world?

Keep trying, keep improving, never give up. Stay true to who you are, write what you want to write and for yourself, not for 'fans'.

Why is curry your new nickname? 

Long story short, Midnight Rogue calls me Kura. According to Scottie, that sounds like "curry" and I love Japanese curry so lo and behold, it's my new nickname :)

 

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

 

Candy or Chocolate? 

Chocolate. Love it.

Sushi or Sashimi? 

Sushi, I hate sashimi unless it's fresh from Japan, and I'm deathly afraid of food poisoning.

Cats or Dogs? 

Dogs, simply because they love to cuddle, but I think kittens are so precious!

Rain or Snow? 

Snow. I love it when the world turns white.

Rich or Poor? 

Rich, and then give a lot of my money away to help the poor.

Cola or Pepsi? 

Cola. Less sweet, better after taste.

Coffee or tea? 

Coffee. I'm obsessed with caramel macchiatos.

Sunshine or Rain? 

Rain. Not because I'm depressing but because I find it soothing.

 

Interviewee note:

Oh wow this took a while, but I enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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