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Other people will get comfort from my stories - Author Janel

Updated: Apr 8, 2021

Author of book - Claiming Time

Janel Micah G. Barrios

Interview by Sharon Swathi Gaddala

J. M. Gasilla Barrios her friends calls her JM or Micah. She is 23-year-old, third-year college student taking up the course of Bachelor of Science in Business and Accountancy majoring in Financial Management, she is currently studying at the University of Nueva Caceres. lives in Naga City, a small city situated on the island of Luzon here in the Philippines. She is the eldest daughter and has a younger fifteen-year-old brother and she is an introvert.

Sharon - Who or what inspired you to write these books?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - I have always been passionate when it comes to writing. It was my outlet when I have been going through the darkest time of my life. Reading was the only thing that I can do which transports me out of the reality of being bullied as a kid. Growing up, I made it a mission to share the world that I make through the pages of my paper to other people who are also going through what I went through and to comfort them with my stories.

Sharon - What can you tell us about your book?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - The first book that I published was “Neglected”. It is dystopian fiction which is set in the aftermath of World War Three. The idea of what will happen after the war and having one government and one religion intrigues me thus the whole story of Neglected is born.

“Claiming Time” on the other hand was very much different from the first story since it’s a mystery. The idea of seeing Time not as a number on the clock but as a person intrigues me. “What if Time is a person? Someone you can interact with? And, the only one who is witness to a mystery?” Thus, the whole novel was made.

My newly released book “Fallacies and Confessions” differ from the first two. I treat it as my dream book to write. I always envisioned myself writing something unique ever since I started writing and this is one of my childhood ideas for a book. This is the first time that I introduced my other hobby, cipher making. At the same time, I set my story in my home city, Naga City, Philippines.

Sharon - What Genre is your book and why did you make that choice?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - I like writing mystery fiction because I love being intrigued. I always found myself asking questions and answering them in a form of a story.

Sharon - How long did it take for you to complete these books?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - More or less than a year per book, including the editing and publishing. I am still in college which means I have to equally budget my time writing and studying. It was not an issue for me though, it was a bit easy to write the stories as long as I am set with the idea I going for with the novel.

Sharon - What was the hardest part while writing these books?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - Honestly, I encountered different challenges per novel. They are like the representation of the trials I went through during the time that I was writing it like my first.

“Neglected” was my first book to be published and it was hard doing so when I didn’t own a laptop or a desktop computer. The draft was scribbled on the pages of legal pads tucked inside a plastic envelope. I have to borrow a laptop from people who were willing to let me use it for a few hours.

I think that is the hardest part that I went through for me to be able to publish.

Sharon - How did you come up with the Title of this book?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - I got a list of titles I think is unique and intriguing for me to work with. It was never a problem for me to come up with a title, all I have to work with is to come up with an idea of a story that will be fitting for the title I came up with.

Sharon - Did you design your book cover or hire a professional?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - The cover for “Claiming Time” and “Fallacies and Confessions” were made by the professionals with the publisher I am working with and I can’t be more than grateful for that. “Neglected” on the other hand was made by myself.

Sharon - Did you self-Publish or use a publisher? Who was the publisher and how much time did they take to publish your book.

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - Neglected was released through Amazon Kindle. Claiming Time and Fallacies and Confessions was through a traditional publisher in the United States. It probably took more or less than a year to be released.

Sharon - How did you celebrate after you completed your book?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - A family gathering is a tradition. I invite some family friends as well and we talk over some good home-cooked meal.

Sharon - How do you deal with negative reviews on your book review?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - So far, I didn’t have any yet so I am hoping that it will stay that way. But, if ever I got any. I have to be careful in understanding the context of the review. It can always be a chance for me to improve myself and I know for a fact that I have so much to improve.

Sharon - When did you start writing?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - Since I was a kid, as I said it was my outlet through my darkest time and it saved me from falling into depression.

Sharon - How many books have you written?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - I just published my third book this January 6! Yay! I also working on stories that I am hoping to be published in the future so I hope everyone’s looking forward to that.

Sharon - Who is your favourite Author and why?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - There are so many authors that I looked up to. I was an avid fan of Twilight when I was in High School so Stephanie Meyer was the first one that came up in my head when I am asked this question. But, I also read so many books written by so many authors in different genres like Dan Brown, Barbara Cartland, J.K. Rowlings, Danielle Steele, and John Grisham, and even Victoria Holt. These are the authors that accompanied me through my journey while I made myself an author as well.

Sharon - What advice would you give to a writer, for their first book?

Author J.M. Gasilla Barrios - Just write. Don’t let anything or anyone discourage you away from what you want to achieve. You have a story to tell and you have the right to tell it. Be patient and work hard, everything will be worth it in the end.

I like them because the complexity of them being read together forms these unimaginable ideas and genres in my head and made me feel something different in every book they write.


To Follow the Author

INSTAGRAM - @jamicah_barrios
TWITTER - @JMG_Barrios

We wish J.M. Gasilla Barrios all the success for her book.

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