WEBTOON might just have one of the largest collections of diverse stories that can all be found in one place. You can read a few chapters from a horror WEBTOON before slipping right on over to a romance story. And if you are feeling rather cheeky, you could go from that to something high fantasy or sci-fi. There is no end to what the platform offers. One particular genre we love is their young adult stories. They range from romance to fantasy to everything in between. We recently had the pleasure of talking with creator Ingrid Ochoa about her young adult romance series The Kiss Bet and what it’s like bringing the story to life.
Julia Roth: We are over the moon in love with The Kiss Bet! What has been your inspiration behind the series?
Ingrid Ochoa: Thank you so much!! I’m so happy you enjoy The Kiss Bet! It’s been so fun to write and create!
I love to take a lot of inspiration from my personal feelings about things happening around me. I’ve always loved to use writing as a form to express my feelings and emotions about things I’m dealing with. Although all characters are fictional, many are based on people and friends in my life who have gone through similar things with me.
JR: Did you initially set out to create a romance WEBTOON?
IO: Yes! I think I’ve always been drawn to romance for some reason. I’m just a hopeless romantic, I guess! Even though I’ve written other stories that are action, drama, or even horror, most of my stories tend to have a strong romantic storyline happening. I just think romance is something most of us can relate to. We’ve all had feelings for a certain someone at some point in our lives. Romance is a very relatable topic, I think!
And I love writing about all the feelings and things that happen to us humans as we go through any kind of process of either falling in love or developing a crush, or even heartbreak. A big part of my wanting to write about this topic is to help me learn to deal with my romantic emotions, and I love seeing people connect about the same topic through reading my stories.
JR: We are well into the third season of The Kiss Bet. How many more seasons will we get?
IO: To be honest, this question has been something I’ve been trying to figure out for a while. If it’s up to me, I could keep writing it forever because I feel very attached to these characters! I just want to see what happens to them for the rest of their lives. But I guess that’s not realistic. So while I don’t have an exact answer, I certainly have ideas I am working on for future seasons!
JR: Who is your favorite character to draw?
IO: My favorite character to draw is Skyler! She’s one of Oliver’s bandmates. I’m just kind of proud of her character design. She’s very pretty!
JR: What have been your biggest influences for the series? Are there specific shows or books you enjoy that help your creative process?
IO: Things that I grew up watching or reading that I think led me to this point are most Studio Ghibli Films, Howl’s Moving Castle and Whisper of the Heart being some of my favorites. I also have a lot of influence from anything Rumiko Takahashi has written, like Inuyasha or Ranma ½.
JR: Can you explain a bit about your creative process? Do you have the story mapped out, or is it something you let grow naturally?
IO: So, this is my first time doing anything like this. Writing a whole story from beginning to end and posting week by week. I’ve never taken any writing classes, so I’m not sure of the correct processes professional writers use. I’ve tried mapping out the whole story several times, but I’ve learned that every time I write an episode, I surprise even myself with sudden things I wasn’t expecting. So yes, I definitely love letting it grow naturally!
I do have a general idea of where I want to go, but I can’t be too detailed about how to get there. I let most of that happen on its own as I write week by week.
JR: Who is your one true pair?
IO: I have an answer in mind, but I don’t want this to spoil anything. I think I’m waiting for the end of the story to share all my feelings about this topic. So ask me again down the line!
JR: What has been your favorite part of The Kiss Bet so far?
IO: Something I’ve loved is how much it has resonated with people in a way I absolutely never expected! I love hearing from readers about how they are going through similar things as the characters from my story and how much they are either learning or just feeling connected with someone else going through similar things. High school romance is tough! It’s the time when we first start to experience these feelings of growing up and caring deeply for other people. It’s fun to read how many people went through similar things I did in high school.
JR: Do you have plans for future WEBTOON Original series? Would you create another romance series? Would you consider continuing Adventures Because of Wesley?
IO: I definitely do! Some are already in the works! I’m very excited to move on to new things someday because I feel I have so many more stories to tell! As for Adventures Because of Wesley, I really hope I get a chance also to tell that story since it’s one I’ve been working on for many years!
JR: Do you have any favorite WEBTOON series that you read every week?
JR: What do you like to do outside of creating The Kiss Bet?
IO: I love music! I love singing and playing the ukulele and making up cute little songs! Right now, I’m learning the guitar and having so much fun with it!
- Tavern Talk Thursday: Shows to Watch for the Dungeons and Dragons Lovers - September 21, 2023
- Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: SALVOR HARDIN - September 20, 2023
- Saturday Morning Webtoons: ANYTHING FOR YOU and NIGHT OF SHADOWS - September 16, 2023