Straight Talk with Clarissa Yip

It’s time for Straight Talk.  Take it away, Clarissa!


When you are getting ready to start a new book, what’s the first thing you do?  

Oh boy, it’s not pretty. I sit with a note pad, 8 different color pens, and poster board. It’s a plot fest! Oh and I need my sparkly markers. I like getting to know my characters and drawing diagrams to see the plot lines, and of course, I have a GMC chart also. More than anything, I think I just like coloring…


How do you celebrate when you finish writing a book?

Wine! Probably a good dinner. And lots of cake. Chocolate, please.


Have you had any fun fan moments since you became a writer?  

I’ve had some sweet moments, some very nice and encouraging emails that ask for the next book in some of my series, and also seeing awesome reviews makes me feel good.


If you could have dinner, coffee, or drinks with a fictional character, who would you choose and where would you go?

Hmmm…I’m going to say Max from True Connections. He’s a sweet guy, at times overbearing, but he’s good at getting back at Lia when she tries to out do him. He is after all her nemesis. They make me laugh when they’re together. Besides, Max is hot.


Do you usually begin a book with a character or a plot?

Usually with a character, I would say. It’s horrible, my muse likes to let me think I’m in control since I’m such an character-driven writer, but then after a few chapters, she wreaks havoc and spins everything into crazy directions.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests you’d care to share?

I enjoy scrapbooking, playing video games, and also learning new languages.


What was the inspiration for your book?

Max and Lia’s story started off around Valentine’s Day, and I thought it would be so funny to see their nosy grandmothers try to bring two people together who thought they had always hated each others. When they’re in the same room, it’s just funny imagining what each would try to do to annoy the other.


How difficult is if for you to come up with a title for your books?

I hate naming books, but this one just came to me, since True Connections is actually the name of Lia’s business. It just felt fitting to the story since Lia is subconsciously, like everyone else, looking for her own true connection.


Who would play your hero/heroine in the tv or film version of your book?

I’ve always envisioned Max to be someone like Colin Farrell or Jude Law, and Lia to be Natalie Portman.



Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Ohhhh, my list could go on forever. But most of all, don’t EVER give up! Stay motivated, keep perseverance, and realize each failure and success is a milestone to something bigger.


What jobs have you had on your way to becoming a writer?

Well, I’ve been a content editor for a few years, but I’ve always been an avid reader since I was nine. It’s been interesting watching romance evolve through the years, and I still enjoy the older books. And I have to say I’m a full time student in anything that I do. When I decide to learn something, I make it my job to learn everything I can. But then you can never stop learning no matter what age you are.


Did you have any interesting experiences when you were researching your book, or getting it published?

I don’t think my journey has been that much different really from other authors. It’s being able to realize where you are at in your learning curve and what with the digital boom, I think everything has been interesting and totally fast-paced. The need for social media and author platform building seems to be a more pertinent tool for survival in this industry.


Who are your favorite authors? What authors have influenced your book?

My favorite authors would have to include J.R. Ward, Jude Deveraux, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Judith McNaught…my list could go on forever.


Are you a pantser or a plotter?

I’m a little big of both. I start out as a plotter then I end up pantsing everything because my muse decides it’s funny.


Where does the magic happen?  Where do you write?

Usually in my office, but I have to say my favorite place to write is on the beach, blue waters, fine white sand, surrounded by hibiscuses, and soapy sweet smell of the ocean…. I’ve lived in Hawaii for three years and my muse had been in her glory, running around free. Well, it was a golf course at a resort we lived at, but there were 3-4 lagoons that we hung out at. * sigh * She still hasn’t forgiven me for moving back to the mainland.


Aside from writing, what do you do in your free time?  

Depends on my mood. But you’ll never find me cooking in the kitchen. Lol. I actually enjoy catching up on all my TV shows, going out with my friends and discovering new places near my home. Or I could be locked up in my cave, being distracted by the Internet. Then I end up berating myself for not working. Lol.


Do you prefer print books or eBooks?

It depends. Lol. I have an iPad, a Sony e-reader, and a Nook, so I’ll have to say eBooks, but a lot of my “learning resources” I prefer to have in print. I like paper.


What’s in the works for you?

I have a few series in progress, but otherwise there are too many projects to list. You’ll just have to wait and see. * wink *


About Clarissa Yip


Contemporary romance author, Clarissa Yip, leads a life of adventure and mischief. Constantly on the run, she’s forever seeking the next best story and anything to fuel her imagination. Her dreams involve finding the ultimate way of sharing her world with yours. From the Hawaiian island of Oahu to the beautiful season-changing New York, you never know where she’ll be. Find Clarissa on Facebook and Twitter or drop her a note at


Connect with Clarissa at her website | blog | Twitter | Facebook









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10 Replies on Straight Talk with Clarissa Yip

  • HI Clarissa! Wonderful interview! Laughed out loud that you won’t get near the kitchen, and you picked some mighty fine lookin actors to play Max! Love it – big congrats the book is on my to read list!!

  • I love Colin Farrel – he would make a great Max!
    Great interview – I love the sound of your plotting methods – I definitely need me some sparkly markers!


  • That’s so funny because I prefer my craft books in written form too, but my leisure books in digital format. I think because if I want to go back to certain page it’s a little harder on the Ipad.
    Gr8 interview 🙂

  • I need my research books in print, otherwise I prefer digital lately. I love that you plot in color! I didn’t know that. I’m also surprised to learn that you can write on the beach – I’d be way too distracted, but it’s awesome that you can do that. Fun interview 🙂

  • I want sparkly markers, too!

    Sometimes I think plotting is really just a way for me to justify buying cool office supplies. That’s why I try to be a pantser as much as possible. It’s cheaper. LOL

    Nice interview, Clarissa. Welcome back to the mainland. 🙁

  • Clarissa rocks! I am spending time with her latest book and taking a break from Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

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