I always get a bit nervous when I sit down to read a high school-centric Twi fic. Many times authors seems to oversexualize or dumb down the characters, thinking that high school kids everywhere act the equivalent of all the Gossip Girl and 90210 teens combined. The same fear persists when I venture into the slash realm as well, and the pickings of quality, high school slash fic have been slim. When I came across OfTheDamned's fic, Your Biggest Fan, I gave it a shot and am incredibly glad I did. OfTheDamned treats her characters with respect and caring, providing realistic dialogue and situations.
In Your Biggest Fan, Edward and Jasper are best friends who run track. The each come from very different backgrounds, with Jasper having a loving pair of parents and Edward only having a neglectful dad and scornful sister at home. He escapes to Jasper's whenever he is able to, and soon realizes that his feelings for Jasper have grown further than that of just friends. The story is told only from Edward's point of view, so we really are able to get in his head, which also includes his neuroses and fears. Thankfully, Jasper shares many of Edward's feelings and after some minor miscommunication, the two set out to figure out what they want...together.
This fic has threads of angst, innocence, sweetness and humor laced throughout an well told, well written fic. OfTheDamned is certainly an up an coming slash author to keep your eye on and it was my pleasure to learn more about her!
Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed! Sit down, get comfy and let's do this thang ;)
My pleasure! I’m so excited to do this! :)
1. I'll start out with the burning question us fellow addicts always wonder...what brought you to Twilight? To Fanfic?
Oddly enough, those are two very different stories. I found Twilight from my brother, who had it sitting on the floor of his car. When I asked about it, he said some girl was trying to get him to read it (he didn’t) but that I might like it. He wouldn’t let me borrow it, saying he had to return it to her, but it was still sitting in his car months after I finished the entire series.
As for fanfic itself, I followed Angel, my first vampire love, here. And then he popped my slash cherry for me. :P After that, the jump to twific was easy.
2. Were you always a slash fan or did you dabble in <gasp> canon/'regular' AH fics first?
I started with canon pairings, before I even knew what slash was. The first fic I ever wrote was actually an E/B canon oneshot, but with very little Bella. I still read canon fics too, because even though slash is hotter there are some really great E/B fics out there too. Either way, I mostly read AH/AU, because Canon Bella drives me up the wall. Can you tell? :P
3. Where did you get the idea for Your Biggest Fan? What was your inspiration?
I kinda hate to admit it, but I got the idea from a song. My favorite song by a band called Voxtrot – no one I know has ever heard of them, oh well – is also called Your Biggest Fan. The key lyrics that got my attention were ‘I used to be your biggest fan…/ for a moment you looked tender and I knew/ that I could never ever touch you/ because you might touch back’. I had fun coming up with tons of scenarios that would lead to that scene. I actually decided to do slash because I thought a young coming-out story best epitomized that hesitancy to touch :)
Really, though, the fic as it is now has absolutely nothing to do with the song, or any of my original ideas about it. The first thing I wrote was the scene in ch. 6 where Edward walks out of Jasper’s house feeling miserable and rejected, and originally it had a lot more references to the song.
By the time I had written the chapters leading up to it, though, the song lyrics and the way I’d written that scene were basically obsolete and I gave up on my fic having anything to do with the song. I actually like it better that way, knowing that my story isn’t based on anyone else’s work.
4. Is Your Biggest Fan all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
Both? I know where it’s going and how it’s going to get there. I don’t have chapter outlines, though, and what I think will be happening soon ends up getting pushed into later chapters. I have this tendency to just write and write and write. Almost every chapter I sit down thinking I only have a few scenes to cover, and the next thing I know it’s 9000 words. Oops :P
5. Your Edward/Jasper are so damn adorable. What actors do you picture as YOUR characters?
Thank you! I’m pretty fond of them too. ;) I actually had a mental image of the characters when I was reading the books, and even the movie didn’t manage to replace them. I always imagined that what made Edward so ‘sharp’ was his glaring expression, so I pictured him with just a tiny bit of youthful roundness to his face – not the gaunt look that Rob Pattinson portrays. I also thought Jasper would be a little taller, and broader. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jackson. A lot. Enough to give him his own file on my computer :P But, basically, the Edward and Jasper I picture in my mind don’t really exist. :P
>Plus, even though there are some ridiculously gorgeous Edwards and Jaspers out there, my characters are still young and boyish, and a lot of those models end up looking too old for my story. BUT, I was scrolling through Twislash’s pics a while ago and came across this:
When I saw it I just thought, those are my boys! It has the sexiness and the intimacy I think they have, but still highlights their innocence. Look how open and vulnerable that Edward is!It’s just perfect. Except they both need longer hair, and Jasper’s should be wavier :P
6. What's the hardest part about writing slash in your opinion?
Haha. Of slash specifically? Well, for starters, I am not a gay man. I have no idea what a prostate feels like (heaven on earth, apparently), so that’ll be interesting to write…
>Other than that, the hardest thing I’ve come up against is reviewers that are iffy on slash. I don’t mean flames, which I thankfully haven’t had any of, but just people who admit they’re uncomfortable but keep reading anyway. Those reviews are good, because even if they’re uncomfortable they are still giving my fic and, by extension, E/J a chance. It seems like that brings pressure with it too, though, because if they’re not sold on slash then I feel like it’s my responsibility to write a story that can convince them that there’s nothing wrong with same-sex relationships. Of course, I know that isn’t up to me alone, but still. The first time I got a review like that I realized that anyone who writes slash is also making a bit of a statement.Not that it’s changed the way I write, since I’m already blatantly pro- E/J, but it was still something I thought about.
7. Let's talk about your writing style for a bit. Do you do anything special while writing a chapter like listen to special music or do you need total silence? Do you eat an entire bag of M&Ms or drink heavily? Perhaps peruse the Corbin Fisher website? *winks*
The weirdest thing about my writing is that most of it happens away from a computer or paper. I like to plan the upcoming chapter out in my head really extensively, down to the exact word choice, phrasing and sometimes even punctuation. (I know that sounds neurotic, but it’s not… not really. I promise.) It helps me set the tone of all the distinct moments I want. After that, it’s just a matter of writing it all down and filling in the gaps between the sentences I’ve already mapped out. Actually, it’s a really fun process. It’s led to several interesting conversations with my beta, though, where I swear up and down that the next chapter’s almost done, even though I haven’t actually written a single word yet. :)
8. What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
Anything else! I wait for the new chapter to show up in my own inbox (which turned out to be a good thing during FF’s little fail last week), and then I walk away. Gmail threads all my reviews when they come in, and I like seeing that little count in the parentheses grow before I read them :P
9. Do you have a soundtrack to your stories?
I write in silence, actually, so I haven’t picked any songs for ‘mood music.’ Sometimes I hear a song that reminds me of a story I’ve done or am working on but a lot of them are so random it doesn’t seem worth putting them into a playlist.
If anyone else thinks there’s a song that totally matches YBF, I’d love to hear it :P
10. Do you have any more fic plans in the future?
I have a lot of ideas for short projects in the near future. I took unfair advantage of the ‘no time limit’ that I got on my Fandom Gives Back fic, so I only just got out this week. I feel like the bidder should get to read it first, since she did win it and all, but she has said that I can post it. It’s called Copperhead, and hopefully that’ll be up on FF by the time this interview is posted :P Other than that, I’m going to write another chapter of Power, and I’ve promised that there will be some JPOV outtakes when YBF is all over. I’m actually looking forward to those, because when I have Jasper (or any other character, really) go talk to someone “off screen” I usually plan out their conversation in my head anyway, so I’ll have a lot of material to pull from.
As for longer fics, I’ve had several ideas. I’ve toyed with the notion of an Edward/Seth fic, because even in the canon the puppy love is evident :P Also, I have the first four chapters of an E/B fic written that I never posted just because I couldn’t think of a good title. I have no idea if I’ll ever do anything with that, though, because then I tried slash and that is just way more fun :)
11. Time for random FF questions. What's your biggest FF pet peeve?
Overly formal dialogue! Mostly, I hate it when characters explain things to each other that their best friend/sibling/closest-whoever should already know, like their occupations or backgrounds or what stresses them out about talking to their parents. That’s what narration’s for. A lot of the time that exposition ends up in stuffy dialogue that pulls you out of the story and practically has a flashing neon sign in the margin that says ‘Warning! This character is delivering information!’ We’re all guilty of it, I know. Early on, I caught myself doing the ‘oh, btw my father is a doctor’ thing in YBF, even though Edward obviously knows that because he lives with them – duh.I definitely did my best to edit that out.
Also, on the long list of clichés that bug everyone, calling eyes ‘orbs’ is on the top of my list, especially Bella’s chocolate orbs. I don’t think anyone ever – ever! – looks at a girl and thinks, “Wow, she has nice orbs.” If they do, they’re not looking at her eyes. :P
12. What do you LOVE to see in FF that you read?
Minor references to the canon in otherwise-AU fics, or little jabs at it :P Little easter eggs that remind us that even though the story has nothing to do with SM’s Twilight, it’s still the jumping-off point for everything. These can be incredibly clever, like giving a character a personality quirk that seems completely random, only to point out ten chapters later that it might actually explain some of a canon character’s behavior. I love those little, “oh yeah! I can totally see that!” moments that make us reevaluate what we already know.
*OK FANTASY TIME*
That’s why we’re all here, after all ;-)
13. If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward- FF or SMs - which one would you choose and what would you do?
The adventurous side of me would want Tattward from Clipped Wings and Inked Armor, and I might just ask him to ink me. For him, I’d get a tattoo. I don’t know what he could do in 15 minutes though, so maybe I’d just ask him to show me all his tattoos and piercings. *All* of them.
The anti-needle side of me, though… hrmm. I think I’d want to hang out with Rich Kid Edward from Mr. Horrible, just so we could talk silly-talk and make fools of ourselves but have fun doing it.
14. If you could ask any Twilight Cast member a question who would you ask and what would your question be?
I don’t even have to think about that one :P JR, without a doubt. I think if I only got one question, I’d ask him to put on cowboy boots and dance to a country song with me, cuz he seems like he’d know how to twirl a girl around pretty damn well. But then I’d probably break down and beg him to take back artistic license of his hair in the movies, because it must bug him as much as it bugs us :P
15. Do you have any slashy rec's for us that you think others *must* check out?
Absolutely! Broke and Love Between Sexes are both wonderful but under-appreciated fics, and Elvelethril has started a new fic with gay Punks, which rarely show up in the slashdom. Also, Touchstone67 and Domward’s Mistress are expanding their award-winning oneshot into a full story, Mergers and Acquisitions, which promises to be amazing.
For one shots, Tuesday Night Poker might just be the hottest thing I’ve ever read, but The Italian Job is a close second.
Thanks SO much for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing you!! xo
Thank you for having me on this crazy-acrynoymed blog :)