May 17, 2010

Rae's Interview with theladyingrey42 about her story, Love Amongst The Ruins

Love Amongst The Ruins by theladyingrey42

Summary: Bella begins a new job at a university library, only to be haunted by dreams of earthquakes and the presence of a mysterious and tortured Edward. Can they rescue each other from their pasts, and maybe find love in the process? AU/AH, BxE. Romance/Angst 

Love Amongst the Ruins is another one of those stories that grabbed my attention right from the beginning.  TheLadyinGrey has an incredibly natural and flawless talent when it comes to writing (she says she has no formal training! Can you believe that?! *turns green with envy*). Her words float off the screen in this incredibly poetic fashion.  The emotions described within LAtR (and really all of her writing – I could fangirl on her for days about everything she writes) are so moving and gut-wrenching that I’m left feeling haunted by the characters and the emotions they are feeling.  I spent a good portion of this story either bawling my eyes out, screaming at my computer or whore-moaning at the incredibly hot lemons (and holy shit people are they fucking hot).  Both Edward and Bella are well written characters, their voices so completely defined and unique.

LAtR begins with a prologue, where an earthquake leaves Bella completely paralyzed from fear.  A terrified and worried Edward picks her up and carries her to safety.  Now this might not seem like such a big deal, but it is because Edward has intense and chronic back pain… and not just any kind of back pain mind you… his spine is twisted with so much agony and intense ache that it often leaves him debilitated for days.   This, on top of his incredibly complex and tortured past, gives us a very broken Edward. Can our favorite leading lady help him overcome his past demons? Hm. You’ll just have to read and find out. ;)

Edward and Bella meet at the library and their relationship gets off to a very rocky start and there continues to be ups and downs through the entire story.  TheLadyinGrey is known for her incredibly well-written and angsty stories and this one definitely qualifies as the mother of all angst. The reader is taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions – just how I like the stories I read to be. Currently, LAtR is at 36 chapters and as far as I can tell we are in the homestretch.

So if you’re looking for a story that is almost intimidating it’s so well-written with angst, romance and fuck-hot lemons then this story is for you.

Now on to my interview with the incredibly talented and sweet, LadyinGrey:

Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration? 
As cheesey as this may sound, my inspiration was quite simply Edward. Like so many people, I became involved with fanfic because I fell in love with his character in the original series. I found his character to be such a fascinating mix of loneliness and self-loathing and jadedness, combined with great kindness and generosity and a huge capacity for love. I spent a lot of time thinking about what could lead to a person having a similar set of characteristics, minus the vampire past. I found that there were some aspects of his personality that were irreconcilable with each other in anybody less than 107 years old, so I chose the parts that appealed to me the most as elements to build a story around. This ended up being someone very hurt and very haunted and I embodied some of that hurt in literal physical pain on something of a whim, but it’s become very central to the story as a plot point and as a metaphor.
From there, I began building a past that could have led to his being the person he is and I started to imagine a Bella who would be what he needed her to be. I think the fact that he couldn’t hear Bella’s thought in canon was critical to his eventually falling in love with her and I see a big part of her character as wrapped up in her being able to meet his needs. I found Bella’s love of literature in canon to be a good starting point and that led to the library setting and eventually the diary that became so critical to the story.

Why do you think readers should read your story?
Uh-oh, you’re asking me to say something good about my own work? *headdesk* 
I think Love Amongst the Ruins is a really complex story. It’s a love story and a redemption story with connections between the past and the present, and it’s written in a very intense style. If that’s the kind of thing you like, then I’d be honored if you decided to read it.

Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically? 

That in my world love is the most important thing … but it can’t fix everything. Specifically, it can’t single-handedly fix 29 years worth of being borderline insane. But it sure can push a borderline-insane 29-year-old toward making the kinds of changes he needs to make.
Oh, and also that while I write very emotionally charged, angsty stuff, I’m not really that serious outside of my writing. And I definitely don’t read all angst all the time. Heck, after writing my stuff, what I usually want most is to curl up with a big pile of fluff.
Give us a Random Fact about yourself
Um… I’ve been a vegetarian for ten years. So any time I write a meal and gloss over most of it that’s why, or if it contains meat be aware that I’m making it up completely.
Do you do anything special while writing a chapter? Like listen to special music, need total silence, eat a bag of M&Ms, drink heavily, whatever… 
That depends heavily on the chapter. Sometimes I need to concentrate and I need silence, but more often than not I spend an inordinate amount of time finding music to write to that helps me get into my characters’ heads. I really feel like I need to channel a character to be able to write him/her authentically. You can almost always tell exactly which POV I’m writing by my blip list. LAtR’s Edward listens to a lot of angry 90s alt-rock while Bella listens to a lot of folksy chick music.
Sadly the one thing I’ve become pretty dependent on when I need to think through the next part of a chapter is a cigarette. Yes, I know it’s disgusting, but I try to limit it to one a day and they really do help me think.
What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
Check that the link works and tweet it. Then I usually go hide. That could mean either turning off the computer completely to go do something in the 3D world or just shutting down email/gchat/twitter and trying to write in silence.
What actor/actress do you picture as YOUR Edward and Bella? 
LAtR Edward is Rob Pattinson. Absolutely and completely. He looks especially apt in the pictures of him from the Vanity Fair shoot and from Remember Me.
Bella is probably Kristen Stewart but just because that’s all I know. I’m not particularly attached to her, but she is my visual.
Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?

Kind of a mix. I had about a two-page outline of major plot points when I started but it’s very fluid within that framework. A couple of parts of the story have expanded well beyond my original intent and some have diminished slightly. Oh, and everything always takes longer to tell than I expect it to. But the big arc has never changed.
Do you believe in HEA? What is YOUR definition of HEA?

Yes and no. I love HEAs and I always want one, but I don’t think every story should necessarily have one. I think stories should be guided by what the characters would do if they were true to themselves and sometimes that leads to something other than an HEA.
In my world, happily ever after is my main character finding satisfaction, hopefully in both him/herself and his/her partner in a healthy and loving relationship where each person can be him/herself.
Give us some insight into your current and future fic projects! 

I'm also writing a story called "In the Twilight of My Life," in which Edward and Bella meet when they are much, much older. Like, in their seventies.
And because I wasn't in over my head deep enough, I signed up for the Twi25 this round. Should be … interesting.
What brought you to fanfic? To Twilight? 
My best friend made me read Twilight and I got completely hooked. Mostly because I found Edward’s character and his and Bella’s love story so compelling. After I’d re-read the books about a dozen times and could recite significant portions of Midnight Sun from memory, I went trolling the internet for more and found Wide Awake. Reading that story opened up a whole new world for me and I’ve been completely obsessed with fanfic and Twilight ever since.
What is your background in writing?

Ummm … cathartic mostly. I have absolutely no formal training whatsoever, but it’s something I’ve always done to help me process things and give voice to whatever I’m feeling.
That said, I pretty nearly stopped writing cold turkey about 5 years ago. I was recently married and really busy and disconcertingly content and I had nothing I really needed to process. Twilight and fanfic are the things that finally got me writing again for the first time in years, and for that I will always be grateful to them.
FANTASY TIME: If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward FF or SM’s which one would you choose and what would you do? (If you do not LIKE any of the Edwards feel to substitute an actor here. Rob, Kellan, PFach or Jackson)

Oh. Dear. 15 minutes you say? Not enough time for the real fantasy. So let’s say hunterhunting’s Edward from CW&IA and I’d make him get naked and I’d draw him.
What is your FF pet peeve? 

Present tense versus past tense fuckery. Oh and folks using the same damn plots over and over.
What is your Fandom pet peeve? 

I honestly do my best to stay away from any and all drama. I’m kind of a recluse and I can barely handle real-life drama much less virtual drama. It does make me very sad when I hear about authors getting really mean emails or reviews or PMs just because the story took a turn that the readers didn’t like.
Which character do you identify with the most (either in your story, in the saga or both)?
Hmmm… I’d say Bella from New Moon, only with the ending chopped off and Lolashoes’ “My Yes, My No” inserted instead. I have a long, proud history of unrequited love and of having been dumped and the numbness and pain Bella felt in canon felt so real to me. The whole taking-him-back-no-questions-asked thing doesn’t resonate, but the way Lolashoes reworked the ending to include a lot of love and talking and analysis feels like something I can identify with in a very real way.

Which RL author inspires you?
Um… there are real life authors? Seriously, I haven’t read a non-Twilight-related book in almost a year. If I have to dig back into memory, I would say Gabriel Garcia Marquez for his writing style. I <3 magical realism.

Did any FF authors inspire you?

Oh gosh. So many of them do. Hunterhunting and americanxidiot and in particular and so many others in general. Really anyone who is brave enough to put themselves out there and let us enjoy their prose is an inspiration to me.

If you could ask any Twilight Cast member a question who would you ask and what would your question be? 

I’d ask Rob if he needs a hug. And not a fangirling. OMG I want to hump him hug (which I totally would, of course). A nice, comforting hug because the poor boy looks so stressed out.

Anything else you would like to add?

Not really. Thanks so much for asking to “talk” to me!



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