April 10, 2010

Sue's Interview with WriteOnTime about 'The Port Angeles Players'

Some of you may or may not know this but once upon a time I envisioned myself an actress (go ahead and laugh at that I know I DO!!)

I was heavily involved in Community Theater


Imagine my GLEE when I found a fic about


The Port Angeles players


Link to the Forum about this fic

Link to the actual FIC

Edward is an awkward handsome doc who just wants to be a real boy!

Bella is shy but comes alive on stage

what happens when these two get the lead roles in a community theater's production of Much Ado About Nothing?


and all the other stuff that happens during a shows production

I was so excited to get to interview Nina. She does a TON of stuff in fandom that I really love. She is like super Beta and taught Ciaobella (author of Living Backwards) to not be afraid of the Comma!

(not that I know what those squiggly things are for)

Present at this interview were

Nina aka WriteOnTime
AngryBadgerGirl AKA AngryBadgerGirl who Sue is superfan for
Tracy aka CiaoBella

So let's join this group of seriously funny ladies as I try to interview someone MUCH smarter than I am after my dear beloved hubs plyed me with alcohol !!

The Port Angeles Players

Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration?
My inspiration is a story that Kurt Vonnegut wrote. A short story called Who am I this Time? The female protagonist gets involved in a Community Theater production of "A Streetcar Named Desire". The male protagonist burns up the stage, but becomes a social retard offstage. I thought it was fun to marry that concept to "Much Ado", which is all about misunderstandings in relationships.

Really, though, I had a writing professor in college who told us that every single work of fiction is based on one plot, and that plot is "the handsome prince rescues the beautiful princess from the ugly ogre". I did not steal from Vonnegut - I stole from my creative writing professor! LOL

Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically?
Probably that TPAP was meant to be an antidote to angst. The reason it is silly and fluffy is because there is sooo much angst in this fandom. God bless the women who are writing the stories with all the angst. I do not wish I was getting drunk and cutting... It is so much easier to read about the hot doctor, who is charming and sweet.
TPAP is there to heal you. It is there to help you, so you are not reading things that make you want to die. I am there to save you from your misdirected angst.

There is such a dearth of humor in this fandom. It is so much harder to write funny and present it in such a way that the conversations don't feel forced.
Much like the Oscars, when it comes to getting awards for fic, it is usually the angsty stuff people go to. Literature is meant to be an escape. We live in hard times, much like the great depression. We need to be transported to a world we WISH we lived in.

I don't want to know the cutters. I want to know the happy people!

With my fics, you need to assume an appropriate and well-timed erection of suitable duration and appropriate size and girth. Nothing that would qualify him for scientific study. He is perfect in whatever way that might be in your head.

Why should readers read your story?
Because hopefully, if I have done my job, it is a good escape for a while. It makes you want to live in the world they live in. It distracts you from the things you should be doing, like earning a paycheck and keeping your house clean.

So do 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 …?

I honestly can write anywhere, at any time. I prefer to not listen to music. I need to create the mood internally, rather than rely on external prompts.
I spend days and days going over conversations in my head, like the chapter where she calls him Sir Jack of Ass - I'd originally had her calling him something else there, and it just wasn't working. Generally, the conversations have all occurred in my head and I just transcribe. Banter is like a sudoku puzzle. A line might be missing, but once you plug it in there, the house of cards stands.

What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
I am not stressed at all. I come from a background of creative writing workshops. I press the button and say LOVE YA. It's gone, I don't stress about it. After I am happy with it, that is all I can expect. I am not responsible for anyone else's happiness. I can't worry about it. For me, I have done my job by writing. What people say about your fic is infinitely less important than what you think of it.

Do you have a soundtrack to your stories?
NOPE. I deliberately leave things vague. I know my characters and what motivates them. They do not have faces, they don't have songs, none of that. I am assuming that the reader has songs which are poignant to them. If you are going to enjoy it, you should have something you like - I won't force my tastes on you.

What actor/actress do you picture as YOUR Edward and Bella?
NO faces, no one. I give them the basic "look"/body composition that SM did. So again, Bella is a brunette, Edward is.. I am anti-bronze hair. It is ridiculous to me. In my other fic, Breaking News, he has 'autumn splendor' hair and I make fun of it. He has green eyes and fucked-up color hair (another person in the skype interview said "and SHE CUT HIS hair." SO Sue, why do you not know who said this? Well because I was typing as they were talking sooooo...i "THINK" it was Tracy) There is an unnatural obsession with his hair that is clearly about Mr. Pattinson, so I cut it. This way he is not running his hands through his sex hair all day!! I do not give you a face, you can picture whomever you want that will make your panties damp and - GO - just imagine that he is beautiful. It can be Usher, George Clooney or Rob. I will not judge you. Well, maybe I will judge a little bit, but I won't talk about it!

Was the story all planned out or did you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
I did not plan it out. I knew where I was going to end up, but let the fic take a scenic route. I didn't come up with S.C.A.M.P. until chapter 13 (This is a really funny group in the fic. If you are a Shakespeare fan, you will find it seriously funny!).

Do you believe in HEA?
I write happy stuff!! If you have a question about that, acquaint yourselves with the dictionary's definition of "happy"! LOL I am not having a cutter conversation. If you are looking for emo cutters, you need to look elsewhere. No cutters, no kitties! I don't really write angst (<3 you HH - it was just an example and not raised as any kind of critique). My angst is rational doubt. When adults are trying to negotiate a relationship, there is always rational doubt; i.e., is this person who I think they are? Can we work together? What is he/she thinking? All natural tension.

Give me a list of your current projects AND do you have any more fic plans in the future?
Do you want to know about the curtains I am making?
I am always busy with something, but for Fandom, I beta for AngryBadgerGirl, ciaobella27, Tallulabelle, Spanglemaker9, littlesecret84 and acciobourbon.

Sue : gee that's it?

ALL: THAT'S IT!?!?!?!

Sue: sarcasm people!

I also write Breaking News.

What brought you to fanfic? To twilight?
Weirdly enough, someone shoved Wide Awake under my nose. It is a gateway fic, the Tom Collins/rum-and-coke or pot of the FF world. I read the books, because my niece is heavily into twilight. Edward is a flawed hero, so I saw the appeal. When I read WA I wanted happy things.
I bumped into AngryBadgerGirl and she is responsible for the fact that I am in the fandom.

ABG: I am blushing worse than Bella now

I am working on an original story. FF has kind of a creative writing workshop vibe. I wanted to do a warm-up exercise for my original piece, and that was TPAP. There is also a bit of an action/adventure element in my original story, and so "Breaking News" is my writing exercise to practice that, before I finish my original piece.

What is your background in writing?
I double-majored and double-minored in college. One major was English, with a concentration in writing. And also, as a publicist, I have routinely, for the last 20yrs, done everything from press releases to speeches. I put words in people's mouths.

At this point, SUE is feeling SERIOUSLY dumb LOL.

If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward FF or SMs which one would you choose and would you do?
If you do not LIKE any of the Edwards, feel free to substitute an actor here. Rob, Kellan, PFATCH or even that skinny dude with the poofy hair.
Umm, it's almost not fair. I really like TPAP Edward, but I would not get naked with him. I write about people I would have to dinner. He is engaging. I wrote him because I like that quality in the people around me. I would like to meet the Edward from Hydraulic Level 5, because he is a writer, a serious writer. I would like to just sit and talk with him about fiction.

If TNGUS can deal with my hypothetical 3rd nipple, he can come over and grope me so long as he is not judgmental! If he can accept that, IT IS ON!

Here is where our convo disintegrated to discuss Nina's hypothetical 3rd nipple. I wish I could type fast enough to have kept up with them. There was some REAL comedy GOLD brought up here, but sadly I had had two beers, and I was feeling it!

What is your FF pet peeve?
If your going to write sex, you need to be comfortable writing about sex. Get naked with the idea, stroke it, pet it, make the idea of writing about sex moist! Ugh - "moist" is a terrible word, but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say. Give sex a cute nickname. Play with it. Don't look at what anyone else has done. If you are connected to the emotional experience that is going on between the characters, your sex will be good sex and everyone will have a fun, satisfying experience.

I do not know a shy person who becomes a sex fiend when their clothes come off. When you really love someone and you are shy and nervous and you are having the biggest moment ever, sex, and it is as close as anyone can get, it is NOT the time to get all Dirk Diggler with it. Hold on to the emotions the characters are feeling. The truth is two people getting to know each other that way will always be hot. Talking about the penis and wetness is not sexy.

I want to be close to you, I want to make you feel good. THAT connection is something more writers should focus on, rather than talking about the calisthenics involved. Sex is not purely physical. What is going on in their heads is more interesting than Tab A goes into Slot B. I have never had anyone ministrate me!! LOL I might be a bit put off by that! What really puts me off is the laving. It should NEVER be applied to a romantic sexual situation. If a cat does that to his ear, it is not something you would want your lover to do to you! Laving does not do anything good for me; it is a sexual cul de sac.

What is your Fandom PetPeeve?
I guess the clique-ishness. I do not like that people are mean to new writers. They forget that FF is about people learning to write. It is all about serving the characters that SM created. If you want to write you own stuff, then do it. If a certain fic is not for you, MOVE ON. Do not backbite about it. The point is to NOT to make others feel excluded, or bad.

Which character do you Identify with the most?
I identify most with Rose. I think Rose gets a horrible rap in a lot of fic, because people like to turn her into this raging bitch who is cold. They forget that canon Rose has some strong feelings about the danger of having this human being in their lives, and she stood by Bella during her pregnancy against her family. In my life, I am always the best friend and not the main character. I am the DD in the middle of the insanity.

Tracy: she is very good at it
Sue: I tend to be the quirky sidekick in RL

Any character you would like to see yourself with? Either as buddies or more?
I really like a properly written Alice, not a raging shopaholic who is annoying. She is a timely communicator of information. She is helpful, she is there with the safety pin when your hem is falling down. She is the one to tell you not to take I-95 to Manhattan.

Which RL author inspires you?
Margaret Atwood
Dorethy Sayers
Georgette Hyer
Charlotte Bronte, Emily is wack.
George Elliot
if you are writing romance, Austen. P&P is adults being romantic and witty and funny.

Did any FF authors inspire you?
Everyone I beta INSPIRES me. I am stupidly lucky that they let me touch their stuff!

(Both Tracey and ABG said 'YOU CAN TOUCH MY STUFF!' At the same time too, which is funny as HELL).

Any recs for us?
Girl With A Red Umbrella. It is so swoony and sweet.
Living Backwards
Brown Study
AccioBourbon's Peter drabbles
Bella Swan: Zombie Killer. A MUST-read: it's BRILLIANT
Something Wicked This Way Comes..
Rhapsody in B ...
Dryler's Bright Like The Sun. She writes the best Carlisle I have read in Fic, SO FUNNY.
Geek Love by sassanwench
Those are the ones I run to first.

(I know my readers will find this odd, I am reading most of those LOL)

If you could ask any Twilight Cast member a Question who would you ask and what would your Question be?
I have not seen either movie so I don't have a great deal of experience with it... hmmm.
I can't answer that. I have no question. The characters in my head are so much better than any movie could ever be. It is never as big, or as magical. I would just want to get them into a group and say, "It's okay, I understand. I am here for you." We would hug it out. I know I would be very angry if someone put me in something that made me look like I had a fat ass, or put me in a prairie dress, or a tweed vest. We would hug out the anger.

Anything else you would like to add?
GOD, no. I think you know more about me than anyone else in my life.

Tracy asks :When are you gonna post Chapter 7 of Breaking News?

I am about halfway through with it. I am hoping to post on Monday.


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