April 11, 2010

Sue's interview with HappyWanderer, Author of 'Bad Press'

Bad Press by HappyWanderer

Summary: With the heirs to his hotel completely out of control, Carlisle hires PR pro Bella Swan to do damage control. Will she be able to tame the infamous playboy Edward Cullen? AH, OOC ExB. Rated M for language and lemons.
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance - Chapters: 12 - Words: 73,802 - Reviews: 1605 - Updated: 12-13-09 - Published: 10-2-09

I completely forget how I found this fic but I do not care how, I read it anyway. I am just THRILLED that I did LOL!

Bad Press, hmmm... what can I say? This fic shows the whole instant connection thing between B/E, AND starts out really freakin funny!

Bella is a publicist type person. She helps people who are in the limelight with their public image. Edward is a bad boy in charge of his family's luxury hotel. They meet when Edward is filling in for a bartender at his hotel and Bella is on the world's WORST blind date EVER (cracked me up how bad it got).

So where is the conflict???

Edward just thinks Bella is some hot chickie. Bella thinks Edward is just some bartender. The next day they find out they will be working together with Bella causing all kinds of upheaval in badboy Edward's life.

Can they work together to improve the image of the motel?
Can Bella convince Edward that, while Bad Press gets the word out about you, it is not a good thing??

HappyWanderer tells me all about it here!!!

Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration?
I had a really bad blind date! It wasn’t as bad as Bella’s in Bad Press, but I still found myself fantasizing about all of the ways I could be rescued from that bar. I came home and jotted down the pick-pocketing scene with Edward and Alice, feeling that at least the night hadn’t been a complete waste.

At first, I planned for Bad Press to just be a funny o/s leading up to a great lemon. But the more I wrote, the more I realized that the bar scene would be an interesting set-up for two characters that are naturally at odds in the real world. I liked the idea of a fierce competitiveness between the professional versions of Edward and Bella that was at war with the natural chemistry they discovered before ever knowing they were enemies.

Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically?
Right now I’d like my readers to know that I’m not on hiatus, nor have I abandoned BP. I have recently entered into the eye of the perfect storm of RL crap, and it has slowed my writing process down considerably! With the holidays, the economy messing with my job and now going through a move, I’ve been at a serious loss for computer time. But I want readers to know that I’m writing every chance I get and that the next chapter of BP is always a priority for me and coming as soon as possible!

Lately I’ve been thinking about a sentiment AngstGoddess003 expressed on her profile a few months ago: I could win PowerBall tomorrow and STILL be stressed out about my next update.

Why should readers read your story?
I like to think it’s because I take the non-canon approach to the extreme. My Alice is a kleptomaniac and Jacob is the flamboyantly gay best friend. The fundamentals for a fanfic are all there (the basic story of how Bella and Edward get together), but I don’t take anything else seriously. I have fun playing around with my entire supporting cast, and I plan on doing so until the end of the story.

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...?
My honest answer is that I HAVE to have cigarettes on hand. (PSA: Don’t smoke kids! It’s BAD!) I can write in any environment and under any circumstance, but I have to be able to take a quick smoke break randomly to keep the thoughts flowing.

What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
Hide under my desk. Lol I’m extremely humbled, and usually shocked, by the positive feedback I get after I post a chapter. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling insecure when I post the next one.

When I post a chapter, I send up a silent prayer that it’s liked as much as the last ones were. Then I pour a drink and dive into writing the beginning of the next chapter, that way I can keep the transition from one chapter to the next smooth.

Do you have a soundtrack to your stories?
Not at all. I listen to music only when I need a jump start, and it’s usually bands like Muse or Kings of Leon. But even then, they aren’t really songs that relate to the mood of the story/chapter, but just music that allows me to tune out the world around me and write.

What actor/actress do you picture as YOUR Edward and Bella?
I’m actually still using the same mental ideals of Edward and Bella that I had in mind when I read the series before seeing the movies. Like many readers, before Robert and Kristen embodied the roles, I had my personal version of these characters in my head when I read the books. That actually goes for ALL of the characters. Emmett is still the gruff guy I envisioned before ever hearing the name Kellan Lutz.

Even when I’m reading other fanfics, I still picture those ideals instead of any actors. Maybe I’m odd, but MY version of Edward can never be topped in my head.

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
I have an outline for my entire fic. However, it’s a loose outline and I let the characters speak for themselves and surprise me any chance they get. For example, I had no idea Alice’s pick-pocketing was going to lead to kleptomania. It just happened as I wrote that chapter!

I know where Bad Press is going in a “big picture” sort of way, and I have the major plot points mapped out. But the small twist and turns along the way I let evolve as I go.

Do you have a posting schedule? If so what is it?
I started out with a once a week schedule, but I made the error of posting BP before having several chapters written already. I’ve learned my lesson on that one since I caught up to myself rather quickly, and now operate under the schedule of “write and publish as fast as possible.” I’m hoping that I can get myself back to the once a week schedule at some point.

Do you believe in HEA?
For fanfic, absolutely. This world is a decadent indulgence for those of us in love with the Twilight characters, so I’ll always write with the HEA. That’s not to say that I won’t read a fic without HEA; there are some great fics out there with angsty goodness that are beautiful. But I’ll probably always write a HEA for my stories.

Give me a list of your current projects. Do you have any more fic plans in the future?
I’m working with BriannaMarley on a collaboration that we hope to get started in the near future. I can’t share too many details, other than we’re planning on bringing “sexy Chiropractor Edward” to life. We’re putting together a preview of the fic for MsKathy’s Haiti fundraiser, so be on the lookout for that.

What brought you to fanfic? To Twilight?
I owned the first book for several months before ever actually reading it. I bought it since I’d been seeing it everywhere, and it sat on my book shelf for a while until I needed something to keep me entertained during the holidays. And like many other fans out there, I finished Twilight in less than twelve hours and rushed out the next day to get New Moon.

I stumbled upon fanfic on imdb.com, of all places. I was looking up who was being cast in the first movie and noticed a forum posting titled, “If you’ve finished the books and want more…” The posting had a link to “Wide Awake” by AngstGoddess003, which had about 15 chapters posted at the time. I spent a Saturday afternoon reading it and thinking how awesome the concept of fan faction was. After that, I was hooked.

Come to think of it, I don’t think I left the apartment that first weekend… Instead I started countless amazing fics on the site and became the addict I am now.

What is your background in writing?
I wrote for magazines in college and have always been a closet novelist. Other than that, there isn’t much to speak of. Bad Press is my first fanfic. (No, I do not write under another alias.)

Fantasy Time!
If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward FF or SM's, which one would you choose and would you do? If you do not LIKE any of the Edwards, feel to substitute an actor here: Rob, Kellan, PFach or Jackson.
I have a huge crush on the Edward in Scotch, Gin and The New Girl. He’s the epitome of the kind of bad boy I love, and I fantasize about BEING the Bella in this fic. Perhaps this means I need therapy, but I just don’t care.

I’m also a closeted Jasper/Bella fan and absolutely adore circe290’s Jasper in Full Circle and its sequel The Sword and the Shield. You thought Jasper was a badass in Eclipse? Read these fics and you’ll be drooling!

What is your FF pet peeve?
I’m pretty forgiving about most fanfic clichés and patterns, but when Bella has an orgasm when she loses her virginity I tend to roll my eyes to the point of them practically falling out of my skull.

What is your Fandom pet peeve?
When people forget that the folks writing a fic, starting an auction, writing a blog or running a fansite all have careers, families, etc. We’re doing what we do within the fandom on our personal time and from the heart. No one gets paid for this stuff!

Which character in your fic do you identify with the most? Any character who would you like to see yourself with? Either as buddies or more?
Probably Bella, because I can relate to her constant need to please people and appear perfect. I’ve had challenges, both personally and professionally, where it’s been difficult to say to myself, “Who cares what people think?!” Bella in Bad Press is an extreme exaggeration of that, but I can definitely relate.

On a lighter note, I’d LOVE to have my version of Jacob as a BFF! Which RL author inspires you? Did any FF authors inspire you?

ObsessingOverEdward gets top billing on this matter; her stories are just amazing. The dialogue always flows, her plots are always unique and damnit if she can’t make me cry at some point in each of her stories!

When I first started toying around with the idea of posting Bad Press, she was the author I reached out to for guidance. She not only gave me a ton of advice, but was also there for me AFTER I posted my fic and offered her continual support.

Any recs for us?
There are a ton of Jasper/Bella fics out there that are amazing and beautiful but don’t get nearly enough appreciation simply because of the pairing. So I want to rec: First Love Lost & Last Love Found by Oracle Vas, Full Circle & The Sword and the Shield & Serendipity by circe290, A Murmur of Fire in the Vein by ElleCC and When Darkness Turns to Light by Janna Banana.

If you could ask any Twilight cast member a question who would you ask and what would your question be?
I would ask Jackson Rathbone if I could have his babies. No shame, I think he’s super HOT.

Anything else you would like to add?
I may be biased on this issue, but I happen to think that I have the best readers in the fandom. The support, understanding and love I get from my readers is absolutely amazing. No matter how bad my day gets, I can read any one of my reviews and feel better.

I’d take them all out and buy them a drink if I could. But I’d need a lot of money…and a REALLY big bar.


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