April 8, 2010

Sue's Interview with Kristen Nicole about 'The Caged Bird'


The Caged Bird by Kristen Nicole, on Twilighted

So sorry this post is getting to you later than normal today, my dears, but my inner post writing muse is currently being drowned by snot.

Sad, I know.

Let's get down to business before the sneezefest starts up again!!

The Caged Bird
All Human AU – Shy, overprotected Bella Swan lives an unassuming life with her religiously zealous mother, Renée. When she has a chance meeting with town hellion Edward Cullen, Bella begins to realize that perhaps the sheltered life she’s been leading isn’t so much a comfort as it is a cage

I saw the description for this fic and I said ummm, religion and sex? No, thanks .....

and avoided it.

The banner did not give me any clue as to why I would want to read it, and I had no idea who the author was.

I forget which friend of mine said SUE YOU STUPID HO READ IT!

Whoever you are, THANKS!!!

Bella is a sheltered gentle girl. Her mom is a religious zealot who does not allow Bella to associate with anyone she deems unworthy.

Sadly for Bella, everyone including her own father are considered unworthy.

Bella attends a private school where the kids think she is weird and they torment her horribly.

Bella's only solace in life is her volunteer job at the library.

That is where she meets Edward...


Yessssssss! Bad boy Edward.

OK, I will stop spoiling the plot for you and I will make some observations about the writing itself.

Has anyone here seen or read Stephen King's Carrie??

(Yes, Sue's brain takes us on weird trips. Bare with me.)

IF you have seen or read that story you will get what I am saying. If not scan down to the interview.
Carrie suffers from ridicule and overprotection (skip the supernatural stuff folks, I am only talking about her suffering).

This story reminds me of Carrie...minus prom and pig's blood, and the shower scene with tampons and pads being pelted at her...

See! TOLD YOU my brain takes us on weird trips.


Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration?
My idea for writing The Caged Bird came from all the time that I actually spend at the library. I work at a public library, so the location and the patrons and the staff are all near and dear to my heart. It’s always a good idea to “write what you know,” so I tried to keep that in focus as I outlined the plot for this particular story. I’m also a huge fan of poetry (as anyone reading my story can already tell), so I wanted to take a famous title and work the story around it. Any poet that I’ve incorporated into the story – Angelou, Atwood, Sexton – all have had a significant impact on my own life. I’ve found that there are a ton of people out there who aren’t necessarily familiar with great poetry. I thought that including a specific verse that tied to each chapter might be a good way to showcase a poem that you may have never heard before, but might actually get you interested in learning more about the author. Huh. It must just be the librarian in me coming through!

Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically?
I think that something my readers should know is that I come from a very strict Southern Baptist background. There’s a reason that I know all of the biblical stuff that I implement in Caged Bird – because it was drilled into my head at a very young age. I don’t ever need to look that information up, because it’s already all floating around in my brain. There are times when I feel like I have over half the bible memorized. I don’t think this Bella is me (I honestly see myself as more of an Edward – I swear like a sailor, I kid you not), but I wanted to create a character that I’ve come into contact with personally. I’ve seen plenty of CB Bella’s… teenagers whose parents have limited their viewpoints to such a degree that they are completely naïve when it comes to real-life situations. Kids who get pregnant because they were never told about birth control. These are the people I wanted to write about. Also, I think it’s important for my readers to realize that I understand I’m being extremely over-the-top when it comes to the characterization of some of my characters. I know that not all Christians are going to be mean, evil or judgmental – most are sweet and wonderful! I’m just writing for entertainment.

Why should readers read your story?
Because you’ve got nothing better to do? I kid, I kid. It’s hard for me to promote my own work sometimes. I’ll tell you what some of my amazingly awesome and lovely reviewers have said that they like about TCB – it’s got a mysterious plotline, the Bella is very likable, and people can relate to the story even though not everyone is familiar with the religious aspects.

Any more fic plans in the future?
Yes! I’m always writing, even if it’s not Twific-related. Something that’s been burning in the back of my mind as I write TCB has been a storyline for a Civil War fic. I’m a huge Civil War buff (I own so many books on the topic it’s not even funny – I’ve read through Foote’s 3-volume Narrative about a billion times now), so the idea is really exciting to me. I’m not going to reveal the details yet, but I plan to start outlining when I get closer to the end of TCB.

What actor/actress do you picture as Ed/Bella
It’s going to sound crazy, but I honestly have no clue who I’d put in as Edward/Bella in TCB. I think the greatest part about any book (or fic for that matter) is the imaginative process that the reader goes through. You are allowed to place in whatever face you’d like for these characters, because you are given the opportunity to do so. I think it’s what makes reading so wonderful. As the reader, you get to make the decisions. I haven’t heard from any of my readers who they imagine my Edward to be, but I’ve heard from quite a few people that they imagine my Bella to be either the lead in “A Walk to Remember” or “Saved!” – the Jena Malone comparison thrills me, not going to lie.

Do you believe in HEA?
I think it’s important that we have things like HEA in fic and in literature, because it allows us a break from the realities of actual working relationships. In actuality, no real life couple is going to have a Cinderella story. People are flawed and difficult, and that’s going to translate out into their relationships. The most important thing to remember is that any relationship is going to take massive amounts of work. Love is something that requires cultivation and attentiveness. Do I think that people can stay in love for their whole lives? Of course I do – I only need to look at my own parents to see that’s the truth. I do know that love is a commitment, and that “happy” is entirely up to the individual.

So you do anything special while writing a chapter like listen to special music need total silence eat a bag of M&Ms whatever ...
Okay, here is where I reveal my OCD. I like to drink massive amounts of coffee while I write (it’s the only way my characters stay out of the emo department), and I also like to chew gum if I’m at a scene where there’s a lot of action. I can’t do WC with other people – which shames me to no end – because I get distracted so easily. I’ll start using all my best funny lines on other people, and then I feel like I can’t put them in my fic. If I’m writing lemons, I need to listen to sexy music to put me in the right frame of mind. Sometimes “sexy music” equals booty jams, and then I’ll get up and dance in the middle of my living room in my underpants. For everything else, I listen to up-tempo punk rock like Bad Religion or the Misfits or the Buzzcocks. If I have to write sad-bastard stuff, I’ll usually listen to Neko Case or Tegan & Sara. I’ll only write on my work computer or my Macbook, on the original MS Word document. I usually have the television set to HGTV on mute, because I like to look up from my writing every once in awhile and mock the people on House Hunters. If I’m stuck in the middle of my plot, I’ll go take a shower. It’s the only way to get my brain working again. Have I completely alienated everyone at this point? *crickets*

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?I have a general outline of what I want to occur in TCB, but not any kind of real schedule as to what’s going to happen and in what order. I knew where I wanted my settings to take place, and who I wanted my characters to be, but I find that if I try to pinpoint exactly what I want to happen, it turns into robotic slop. I’ve always been this way. Even in college, I never once created an outline for a paper. My modus operandi is generally to come up with a title, and go from there. My brain works in very funny ways. I have to be in the right frame of mind to be creative. When I write a chapter of TCB, I usually sit down and type it all out in one night because there will be a phrase or an image that will set me off. I also find that it keeps the plotline more suspenseful for my readers if I don’t know what I’m going to be writing all at once. I do utilize betas (Lisa89 takes care of mine for me, and she’s an absolute DOLL), and I think everyone should. I don’t care how wonderful at grammar and characterization you are, when you read back through your own stuff you’re going to miss something. Even famous authors have editors.

Do you have a posting schedule? If so what is it?
I post TCB every Thursday. I send out teasers as review-replies every Monday. It seems like people have been enjoying this, so I’ll keep it up for as long as I can!

Gimme a fic rec what do you like to read? and WHY
My absolute favorite right now is “Lost Boys” by Hwimsey, but I’ll try and recc out something that people might not have heard of before. “15 Step” by Jenny Jerkface completely owned me this past weekend. I like the fact that her Bella is screwed up, but unapologetic. She’s strong and likable, even though she’s grumpy. Her Edward acts like an actual teenage boy, which I think is lacking in most fic. It’s hilarious watching Bella shoot him down for the first few chapters. I’m also a music junky, and she uses really amazing lyrics from insanely good bands as the backdrop for Bella’s thoughts.

So there you have it

This is a well written story. I FEEL for this Bella but make NO mistake, she is not just sitting back on her hiney in her homemade skirt.

This girl has strength and she strikes back in ways that are just marvelous. It really makes the mama in me CHEER FOR HER!!

Thanks, Kristen, for the interview babe. It was awesome to hear from you and I am so glad that you were all giddy to be here. I am still shocked that authors say SURE OMG THANKS!! LOL.


VOTE VOTE VOTE! If you dont know what your voting for, then go look at the poll for this week. Pics of Rob that impregnate or something like that.

ALSO I am interviewing:

TNGUS this Friday. I need Qs so send me some and I will work the boy over HARD!

CHUBWARD is gonna be at this interview too, and he wants some loving so send Qs for Chubward at the same time.

We cant have Teas with out Qs! Get those to me by Friday at the LATEST!!!!

ta ta for now!!


No comments:

Post a Comment