April 11, 2010

Hannah's Interview with Alcyone about 'AB Type'

AB Type by Alcyone(23)
(AB Type at Twilighted)

Hi there. I'm back again, with another blog post. This time though it's not for Harry Potter, or even AU-H. It's for vamp-fic, specifically Volturi vamp-fic...

Summary: The Greatest Story Ever Told, by the Greatest Historian of the World. Aro has lived, figuratively speaking, for three thousand years. Have you ever wondered what he has seen and done?

Now don't click away!!! Granted... there is no Edward or Bella in this fic. But don't you wonder what someone as old as the Volturi has seen and done??

Aro. What has he seen and lived through??
Well, I do.

It centres around Aro. It is the story, told from Aro's perspective, of his life. From before he was turned to, at the moment, about 500 years into his vampire life.

First things first. This is amazingly well-written. It's set up as if Aro is telling you his story. He occasionally goes of tangent, 'censors' his own language, because 'ladies are present'. Just amazing writing.

Second... Aro as a character is complex. In many fics, he is painted as evil. There are not many people who are just evil, with no humanity or 'good bits' to them. Aro in AB Type is just the same. Of course he is uncaring about humans, they are just his food source. He's bent on power, as are Marcus and Caius, but that isn't his only defining feature.
Aro loves, he feels guilt, he feels all those emotions that we associate with, for example, Edward. He just doesn't let those feelings hinder his quest for power.
Basically, you start to sympathise, in the very least for Aro in this story.

The characterisation of the supporting cast is just as complete. Marcus and Caius are there of course, and the three of them have mates. Now as this was begun before even Eclipse came out, Alcyone created original characters for their mates: Lidia (Marcus), Adelina (Caius) and Anna (Aro).
All these characters have detailed personalities, and several of them have just as detailed background stories!
Anna has a seperate story, Angerona, shedding light on hers.

Alcyone also explores the gifts that the vampires have, including the ones she has given to her characters. She shows how the characters deal with them, either as the one with the gift, or the others on the receiving end. It's fascinating.

The amount of thought and work that has gone into this story is clearly apparent. If you want something completely original, completely different from any Twilight fanfic that you have read, I wholeheartedly recommend this fic.

Now, I found this fic way back before I met, well probably, any of you! But promptly forgot about it...

The other day, I was reading a post on TLYDF about the lack of Volturi fics, and I remembered this one. So I went searching for it. I read and finished the 21 chapters in 2 days. The day I finished I contacted Alcyone, asked for an interview. Later that day... we sat down for the interview.

And here it is:
Hannah: hi
Alcyone: hey
H: how's it going?
A: very slow.
H: are you ready for this then? lol
A: Let's do this thingy!
H: yeah! lol
okie dokie...
just a bit of unscripted stuff now...

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Some random fact.
A: I have no idea. Um, English isn't my first language?
H: wow
so your first language is?
A: Yep
H: cool!
That makes your writing even more impressive lol
A: lol. one of the pains for my betas too.
H: lol
A: I tend to write directly from Spanish sometimes and some idioms don't cross the language barrier well
H: don't worry! Sue, our chief at the blog has issues with english sometimes too! as her first language lol (Sorry Sue... ;) )
A: lolol
H: no they don't do they? I took French so I know something about trying to write in another language...
ok first proper question then...

Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration?
A: I'd wanted to read a good Volturi story for a while
And there were none
H: there are a bit slim on the ground aren't they
A: And I was so ridiculously in love with Aro.
It was worse in '07
H: yeah i bet...
Aro is awesome, in that evil sort of way lol
What made you tackle the whole of Aro's backstory?
A: That he is! So finally, I decided I wanted to write something for them, mainly because I had Aro's voice in my head and it was driving me insane
I've always been fascinated by the darker mentalities in literature
I wanted to see what could have shaped him to what we see in the series
H: well I tend to find them generally more interesting than the 'good' ones lol
A: They most definitely are. A lot more fun to write too. They can get away with murder. Literally.
H: I thought that was very brave to tackle 3000 years worth of history
A: Brave. Insane. Masochistic. Interchangeable.
H: yep!
next question?
A: sure

Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically?
A: Ranting: I started writing this back when there were only two books. I KNOW THE NAMES OF THE WIVES ARE WRONG. DEAL WITH IT.
Seriously: There isn't much that comes to mind.
H: lol I can never remember the real names of the wives...
A: Neither can I. >_>
I think the only thing that I really want readers to know is that I don't see them as evil. Antagonistic, yes. Selfish, yes. Enamored of power, defintely. But not evil. Pure evil is so...uninteresting.
A: It's the gray area that is fascinating and Aro's mind has a lot of that
H: Yeah, after reading it I don't see them as evil. Definitely in the grey area.
A: Okay

Why should readers read your story?
A: Because I wrote it and it is amazing.
A: ^^
H: That is true lol
A: Seriously. It's a different take on the Volturi, one that I don't thnk has been done (at least to this extent...)
H: I haven't seen anything like it, certainly, though to be honest I haven't scoured for Volturi fics...
A: lolol. Well, I have. And while there are introspective character one-shots, I don't think their formation has been handled. And, many times, no matter what sort of story they're in, they come across as these horrible beings and I just want to stab the author's eye out.
H: Yes, in yours, you definitely feel sympathetic at least for Aro and the Volturi. I personally love the females you've created.
A: I had too much fun with their wives
H: Really strong characters, and Lidia is reminiscent of Alice to me
In a good way
A: I sat down and just asked myself "What kind of women would put up with these men?"
H: I know Alice can sometimes become a characiture of herself
A: That she can.
H: That is a very good question
A: From that brainstorming session, I got Lidia and Adelina. Anna was harder.
Aro strikes me as the type to get bored easily. So I needed someone to challenge him. At the same time, she couldn't be so incredibly amazing that she was unrealistic. Perfection is also boring.
H: Yes, I  imagine getting someone who seriously has no problem with Aro knowing their every thought all the time would have to be strong, secure etc. Exactly how Anna is.
Yes, perfection is boring. Flaws are what make us who we are.
A: And yes. To know that every time your husband touches he knows *everything*, you need to be very sure of yourself
H: Exactly... it's a scary thought.
A: next?
H: ok

So you do anything special while writing a chapter like listen to special music, need total silence, eat a bag of M&M's, drink heavily whatever …?
A: I need music. I need music to do everything. I cannot even bathe and dress myself without music.
So I'm always listening to something. And it helps set the mood
And chocolate. Chocolate keeps me happy, which helps me write
H: Cool. Music is always good to have in the background... as is chocolate lol!

So do you have a soundtrack to your stories?
A: Not exactly. I listen to so many things while writing, it'd be impossible
H: Any particular type of music you like to listen to then?
A: I mostly stick to rock. Fights get metal. Teasing, playing around, light rock or sometimes pop/rock.
H: Nice
A: With AB Type, if anything would form a soundtrack it'd be the sung nursery rhymes. ^^
H: Yes, I was going to ask about them. What, I suppose, inspired the use of nursery rhymes?
A: The contrast. The irony. The darkness of their actions, their not so admirable thoughts with the nursery rhymes accompanying and sort of showcasing them. Sort of like how I see Aro's mind. Playful and childish and very, very dangerous.
H: Oh thats awesome. Great!
Yes, Aro definitely has a mischievous side
A: He's like that little kid you bemoan his always getting into everything, but when you don't see or hear him, you panic because he is definitely up to something then
H: Lol!
ok next question

Gerard Butler: Aro

What actor/actress do you picture as Aro and the other characters?
A: I never really tried to picture them. I was happy with my mental image and that I know I will never find in real life. For a while, I used Gerard Butler in icons and banners as Aro. Mostly because of the smile. That disarming grin that's all "I didn't do it"
H: Gerald Butler... nice! We like a bit of man candy on our blog lol. He'll do very nicely!
So you have a banner? Could you send me a link for it?
A: If I can find it, sure!
H: Thanks!
ok next

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
A: Fly by seat of my pants thing
I planned the first two chapters. After that, it just exploded
H: Wow, I'd have thought this would have need planning lol. It flows so well though! Do you have an endpoint in mind or plot points you want/need to hit?
A: I had wanted to cover all the history up to New Moon, but I don't have the time or energy to devote to it. So I'm thinking of wrapping up this plot soon, which would take one more chapter. And then the end, the very end, which I've had planned since I started this.
Finally, we learn who Aro is telling his story too
H: Ooh nice!
ok next...

Do you have a posting Schedule? If so what is it?
A: 10-15 minutes after beta sends it back, it's up

And what do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
A: Make sure the formatting isn't screwed up. And then go and get myself ice cream. Or just the aforementioned chocolate.
H: Nice. No nervous ticks on the internet straight after then? lol
A: Nope. I write for myself and if it's up then it made me happy. I'm my own worst critic and I refuse to upload anything until I'm certain it's passable. By my standards.
H: I get fidgetly lol straight after... not sure why.
Ok next...

Do you believe in HEA?
A: No.
Wow, that sounds kind of harsh, doesn't it?
H: Lol you are not the only one who has said that
You've alluded to a non-HEA of sorts regarding Marcus so it doesn't surprise me that you said that
A: lol. I don't want to kill Lidia. I like her. But in canon she died, so I have to off her. At some point. :(
In my case, I think I prefer indeterminate endings. The plot is resolved, but it doesn't necessarily mean *everything* is resolved and wonderful
A: Life doesn't work that way
H: Fair enough
Ok next question

Give me a list of your current projects AND do you have any more fic plans in the future?
A: ...you really don't want a list
H: Lol it's long?
A: You have no idea
H: Ok lol
A: I've promised a few friends fics and, well, they've piled up
H: Ok then just your next project?
A: It's a Batman fic
Which I need to stop procrastinating on
H: Ooh interesting!
procrastination is so much fun though!
A: That's the problem! It's so enjoyable!
H: I know the feeling... student here
I can procrastinate with the best of them if I have an exam coming up
A: Exactly. Especially for those classes you have to take, but don't care for
H: Yep

What brought you to fanfic? To twilight?
A: Aro. I was browsing the Twilight Lexicon one morning and I read the character sheets and Aro's name caught my eye. At this point, I had only heard of Twilight. I had never read it. I read the brief little paragraph they had on him, hunted down his thread in the forums, learned he was apparently insane and happy and a little evil and I fell in love.
I wrote the first chapter of AB Type before I read Twilight and New Moon
H: Wow.
A: There's a fangirl for you
H: You practically nailed him without reading it lol
A: I enjoy his character type so I had some idea what direction to take
H: I saw on your FF.net profile that you write for other fandoms. How long have you been 'in fanfic'
H: ?
A: Since I was eleven or twelve.
Reading, at least
H: I suppose Aro is a little stereotypical... lol
A: Writing, 13
Yes, he is. But he's fun nonetheless
H: Thats about the same as me... I discovered HP fanfic lol at about 12.
Never wrote anything for HP though
A: HP was my intro too. Never wrote enything either.

What is your background in writing?
A: I've been writing since I first learned how to
Years and years of practice
A: I haven't had any formal training
H: Have you always wrote fanfic in English?
A: Yes. As the series were in English, it was easy to slip immediately into English
H: Do you read a lot of fanfic?
A: Not recently. I stick to authors I know and my list of favorites.
Or recs from friends
H: Ok then,

Fantasy Time

If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward FF or SM's, which one would you choose and would you do?

Alcyone has a thing for the bad guys ;)
If you do not LIKE any of the Edwards, feel to substitute an actor here: Rob, Kellan, PFATCH, or Jackson.
H: Maybe Michael Sheen? lol
A: Nope. Cam Gigandet. His James should have won at the end
H: Ooh controversial! lol
A: Despite knowing what happened, I kept rooting for him
Just...the abs and the face and the everything

What is your FF pet peeve?
A: Author's notes
They don't go in the middle of the story
H: Oh yes! That is not good... when you're reading and a random A/N comes up! Really kills the flow.
A: Another thing I despise is "This is my first fanfic so please take it easy on me"
H: Yes. Very true...
A: That is like begging for a chainsaw enema in the form of a review
H: Lmao

What is your Fandom Pet Peeve?
A: The entire "team" thing
They scare me
And not in a good way
H: Yes, they get very... vocal about it
I suppose I'm technically Team Edward, as in I root for him. But I like Jacob too...
And I don't hate on others for being Team Jacob... totally not necessary.
A: The protagonists irritate me so I was never very welcome in any team lol
H: Lol

So apart from the Volturi, who is your favourite character?
A: Ben and Angela
They're only the sane ones
H: Lol you could be right there.
So none of the Cullens?
A: I liked Carlisle in Twilight. After, I could stand him, but I didn't love him.
H: Ok
I like Carlisle, though he's a bit quiet in the books
A: Oh and Garrett. Not Cullen, but I love Garrett
H: I find anyway...
So you like the background characters :) thats cool!
A: I guess I picked it up from one of my favorite authors. The background characters have just as if not more a fascinating story to tell than the protagonists
H: Very true.
Ok next question...

Which character do you identify with the most?
A: Aro. Hands down. I can get into his head so easily it's scary. And I can follow his train of logic. o.o
H: Hmm... I don't know whether to be worried or not! Lol!
A: Don't worry. I'm not an ages old vampire bent on retaining and increasing my power (that you know). There's just something about his happy-go-lucky demeanor hiding the fact that there is an analytical mind that reminds me of me
H: Lol that's ok then!

Any character who would you like to see yourself with? Either as buddies or more?
A: None of the freaks. I'd stick with the humans. I'd so do sleepovers with Angela.
And movie!Jessica is adorable
H: Not a great fan of the vampire-ness then?
Yes she is! Love Anna Kendrick
A: Does it show?
H: Lol
A: I don't know, there's just something about the vampires and werewolves as a whole that doesn't do it for me.
H: It's interesting that you write a vamp-fic when you don't really like them. I would have thought you'd be all about AU-H fic...
A: lol That's only because I'd love to hang out with the humans. But the Volturi as vampires are just so much fun to try to unravel
H: They have so much time which leads to a lot of scope I suppose
A: Which is good and bad, depending on how you look at it. The amount of research to write one time period alone terrifies me
H: Yes! I know! I write a fic set in Tudor times... equals quite a bit of research. I noticed yours seems very well researched. The myths and gods etc.
Fitting them around the vampires is really cool
A: I still took quite a lot of liberty. Although, I can't deny it was fun playing with the different myths. The vampires invented all the myths about them so wh couldn't they have inspired others?
H: Lol that's true! I like seeing the names of myths and stories we all know, like Remus and Romulus, Helena and Paris etc.
Reminds you how old Aro actually is!
A: Which, even when you know it, you don't quite wrap your head around it. I know I had a lot of moments of "...damn, he's really *old*" while writing.
H: Yeah, I mean 3000 years is a hell of a long time... even 25 years ago seems like a long time ago (not that I was born then... lol)
Do you think you will write anything between the end of this bit and 'now'? Maybe random points in time?
A: I'll probably have him mention some things, but I don't think I'll go into detail. Then again, I might just end up going for anotehr twenty chapters. Life is weird sometimes
H: Lol I won't complain AT ALL if you do another 20 chapters!
A: ^^

Which RL author inspires you? Did any FF authors inspire you?

Cam Gigandet. Just because.
A: Gabriel Garcia Marquez who is the one I mentioned who drove home that even the background characters have a story. He wrote one novella about a character who was only mentioned--in passing!--once in his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
H: Oh nice
Shows how deep authors create their universes
A: Exactly. And most of his other works tie into each other so it's a mini-universe he's created and kept adding to.
H: Any FF authors then?
A: FF authors, I can't think of any
H: lol ok

Because Sue insisted on more Cam Pretty
Any recs for us?
A: Anything Lomesir and Geographee
H: What sort of thing do they write?
A: Lomesir has a thing for getting into the Cullen's heads and giving you startling insight. If I could hug Musings I would. As for Geo, well, I actually like her Edward. And that's *huge* praise coming from me
H: Ok! Well I shall link them up for the readers' pleasure and perusal! I shall check them out too

If you could ask any Twilight Cast member a Question who would you ask and what would your Question be?
A: Cam Gigandet. Can you please sign whatever it is I have on hand?
H: Lol
I shall put some pretty pics of Cam up in the post... that's the best I can do. lol
A: Please do!
H: Ok last question!! lol

Anything else you would like to add?
A: What really happens in BD: the Volturi come, rain hailfire and brimstone and win. Angela and Ben become Queen and King of Washington. Garrett and Kate are off being awesome somewhere. The end.
H: Lol!
So BD... not your favourite?
A: Why ever would you say that? ^^
H: Hmm... I don't know lol

H: Well that's it! All 103 questions lol
Hope that wasn't too bad for you?
A: Can I go get food now, mom?
Nope! Not at all
H: Lol well it has been very nice chatting with you!
A: You too!


Thanks to Alcyone for putting up with my questions for two hours... :)
I hope this has intrigued you enough to give it a go. And if you have any other Volturi recs, I'd love to know!


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