This week we are thrilled to be featuring Aileen Santos, author of Someone Like You (Two Wolves Press, 2016). This past year she was published in two anthologies, Wherever I Find Myself: Stories by Canadian Immigrant Women published by Caitlin Press and Currents published by Ricepaper Magazine. Aileen’s flash fiction story, Work of Art, was featured on Dying Dahlia in April 2016.
What inspires you the most?
Listening to music and the constant struggle of the human condition inspire me most. I’m fascinated with the struggle within us to do good, to choose good, though people are often broken inside. It’s interesting for me to observe how this brokenness can affect our actions.
Who are your favorite women writers?
I tend toward Asian writers. Two are Evelyn Lau and Jhumpa Lahiri but I especially enjoy reading emerging or new authors who write through the lens of diverse realities.
What does your writing process look like?
I journal every day to exercise the writing muscle. As for stories, I write snippets in the notes section on my phone but do not write linear stories. I may start something and then a year or a few years later, while I’m working on something new, I will dig it up to see if it fits with what I’m currently working on. A huge part of my writing process is reading every day. Even if I’m not writing, I’m always reading and I find this helps my craft immensely.
What advice do you have for fellow women writers?
Support each other, whether that means meeting up for coffee to talk about what you’re working on, showing up for readings or posting when a fellow writer has an event or accomplishment. I’m not very good at using Twitter but I try to do these things on Facebook and Instagram.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on many things at once. Just like my novel, it did not take shape until the very last year prior to publication so I’m not sure what it is yet. It has no shape or form. I’m simply writing.