Love at First Spark: Clare Elisabeth Marquez (Author Interview)

Photo: Dan Whale/Unsplash

Welcome and step right up to "Love at First Spark", a blog event featuring #SparkNA authors! Get a bit intimate and learn more about the awesome people behind your next favorite romance reads. Check out the blog event schedule and the list of participating authors here.

Fun fact: I share nickname with our featured author today. Both of us are called, "Jang" and I think that makes us instant friends. Join me today as Clare Elisabeth "a.k.a. Jang" Marquez takes us for a behind-the-scenes look on her new book, "Simply Joei".
Questions and Answers

  1. What is your inspiration in writing “Simply Joei”?
    “Joei” was actually inspired by Katie Holmes’ character in the late 90s TV show Dawson’s Creek. I liked her name Josephine and her nickname was Joei. The name and character stuck so when I was plotting my manuscript, it just came back to me. I’ve always been fascinated with how she may seem very subdued, a bit reserved, and a little insecure, but I saw these as strength in her character. Not everyone can be loud or highly opinionated, not everyone can be the center of attention. Joei clearly was not any of that. She was a careful woman who learned to take risks in order to be happy. To get the man she loves, of course!

    Jake is a man who created his own image in my head. I have this strong, alpha male in mind who knows how to go after the woman he loves, knowing she’s the only one he can love for the rest of his life. That’s why he had to do the best he could to get the girl.

    The title Simply Joei was something I felt fitting for the story of Joei. It wasn’t even in the list of my initial title choices, but I was happy to have decided on naming the novel with this one. It was inspired by an old 70’s song Simply Jessie by Rex Smith. The title speaks for itself, I reckon. That no words are needed to describe the simplicity that is Joei.

  2. How is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks in your writing process?
    Writing Simply Joei was a result of an online class with Mina Esguerra. It was rewarding to have finished the manuscript just in time when the class ended. There were deadlines and these were challenging for me because I keep a day-job that also requires attention. So I tried to find time to really sit down and write just to be able to keep up. But it helped and it worked. Finishing the novel was the reward for me in the whole process.

    Writing is not easy, at least for me it isn’t. There are days when I just stare at my computer without any words to write. Then there are times when ideas would pop in my head in the middle of the night or during errands. These thoughts always end up in my cellphone notes or some small piece of paper I carefully keep to transfer to the manuscript I was working on. It would be nice to have unrestricted time to just think, plot, daydream, and just write. But I guess, like most in life, we need to find time to do what is important to us. Since writing is important to me, I make sure to give enough time to do it.

  3. If you will be given a minute of face to face encounter with any of your book characters, who would you want it to be with and what would you say to him or her?
    It’s would be interesting to meet Kate (Joei’s best friend). She is the total opposite of Joei in so many ways. So writing her was a total flip of the coin!

    I was actually in the middle of editing her story and Kiko (they were secondary characters in the book Simply Joei). I would ask her what’s up with her?! She is not an easy woman to understand – but I may be speaking about the vast majority of womankind.

    I would tell her: “Kate, get a hold of your hang-ups, your tumultuous feelings so you don’t get clouded in your actions and decisions over your relationship with Kiko. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing what’s right in front of you!”

    And we don’t want out MCs ending up broken and crying and not having her HEA, right?

  4. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
    Time is of the essence when it comes to an emotion as simple yet complex as love. That being said, “love” at “first sight” lacks that element of time to grow into something solid, something substantial. I reckon ‘at first sight’ seems instantaneous, because I take it literally as one simple meeting of the eyes (though it could be a meaningful one) between two people.

    So I don’t believe in ‘love at first sight’. I believe, though, that it’s a natural tendency to feel an intense pull of attraction with a glance, but love is such a big word to label that moment. Love takes something fundamentally strong to fully grow and last long, possibly a lifetime.

    But everything is relevant in this world! We define our lives by our own definitions so if others out there feel or think otherwise, of course, I respect that. On top of my head, I think of a parent, a mother or a father, meeting their newborn for the first time and I can imagine the overwhelming emotion of love - “love at first sight” - in that instance. So I guess, it is possible, after all, right?

  5. Give us your best banat or pick-up line.
    Me: Whatcha doing?
    Guy: Nothing.
    Me: (Moved close to whisper) … Wanna do nothing together?

  6. Finally, use “spark” in a sentence.
    “One tiny, ebbing spark began a journey of a lifetime love”
About Clare Elisabeth

Clare Elisabeth Marquez enjoys sitting in her pajamas while looking out the window from her
amazingly massive writer’s desk, reveling in the glorious beauty of mountains capped in pure white snow as she sips her warm, soothing coffee.

Then she wakes up.  And writes.

A closet romantic through and through, C.E. Marquez is a long-time voracious reader, writer and dreamer, never failing to believe that dreams can come true to those who wait … and do something about it! Her towering piles of notes of hand-written stories (since she was ten!) are her well-kept treasures, tattered and bruised waiting for its chance to see the light.

She writes about the things that matter: love, life, and all others in between.

You can contact her through  – but only if you want her to reply!

Find more about Clare Elisabeth: Twitter |  Facebook | InstagramGoodreads
About Simply Joei

Pay -up Time! Or Is it?

One never gives up on true love. So Jake didn't.

Holding on to the one that shouldn't have gotten away, gorgeous Jake Calleja - engineer, entrepreneur and all-around hunk of a man - brings up old debt to bring in possibilities of future love with the beautiful and elusive Josephine Telencio. The two had a brief but unforgettable "history" in college, a past that Jake would seek to bring back in order to bring his "Joei" back in his life. To face their "unfinished past" entails a make-believe relationship for the sake of an ailing matriarch, an unforgettable country drive into the heart of the storm, a family drama of the queen mother and the wicked sisters, the inevitable supermodel ex, and lots of sparks in between.

A story of second chances and risking it all for a journey to a lifetime love - Jake and Josephine will take you to laughs and tears, to the highs and lows, to knowing when to hold on ... or to let go.

Are things better left in the past? Or will true love prevail in the future?

Series: Standalone
Publisher: Spark Books, an imprint of Anvil Publishing
ISBN: 9786214201075
Year Published: 2017
Number of Pages: 184
Simply Joei is available at National Book Store and Powerbooks branches or order online here: Amazon | Anvil Online
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