November 12, 2010

Sue's Interview with CescaMarie about her fic "Dead on My Feet"

This story has been pulled by the author

Recovering from a serious illness, Edward knows what it is to be invisible but obvious to everyone around him. Bella, who has watched a loved one die of protracted illness, understands the tightrope-act of life in an unpredictable body. Alienated by his disease, Edward finds a friend in Forks' newest resident. The only problem is that she sees far more than anyone else does – including the things he doesn't want seen.

THIS is not the usual type of fic I read, mainly because it has some VERY sad parts and deals with some very angsty topics. The thought of a teenaged boy dealing with cancer absolutely shreds my heart. I have teenaged sons, and yes, I am one of those freaky moms that when she reads something that happens to a child I can SEE my child in that character. Add in that, he is a teenaged boy and my heart breaks watching him go through these things.

NOW in most fics I am able to separate myself from the action. I read the story and I think "this is nice, a good diversion from the busy noisy life of a mom of 5". A romantic fic takes me places my real life does not go, a fantasy fic does its job. Well THIS fic grabs my heart, rips it out, stomps on it a few times, then pastes it back together with one line of hope.

ALL of the characters in this story will grab you. Alice is the little sister of Edward, the cancer patient. She is the ray of sunshine. She is the one that gave part of herself to save her big brother. She sees his survival as her job. Esme is the mom trying to hold it all together. She worries like moms do. Emmett is the big brother. Protective, annoying. Edward, well, he is the heart of the story IMO. I do not see him as anything other than a 17 yr old boy who has been given a horrible circumstance to live with. He went from being "normal" to having cancer and watching his body betray him.

The heart of this story is the descriptions of what each character lives with and how they cope. Bella is a "bad girl" new to town who does not see Edward as the sick kid but she also does not see him as a potential love interest. She just sees him as he is. She does not care what he was because THAT Edward is no longer there.

SO why do I think you should read a fic that is heart breaking? Because it is that damn good. This fic will strike a cord in everyone who reads it. We have all, in some way, had our lives touched by cancer even if it is remote. When she talks about how his body has changed and his skin has changed I see my Dad who died from Pancreatic cancer. I see my healthy sons and wonder how they and I would cope with this. Dead on My Feet is NOT a fic to miss.


What was it that gave you the 'spark' for your story? Was it a picture? A moment or event? Can you remember the initial inspiration?
It strolled in fully formed and gnawed at me for a few days before I sat down to write. I was in the middle of another project at the time and didn't think I would pursue it; I just wanted to get the plot bunny out. Seven months and 23 chapters later, here we are.

I have a tendency to write about disease and disability, but I don't know what inspired me to write about cancer this time, or to do it in the way I did. I just sort of trusted the process and the results weren't that bad.

Do you have a particular process when it comes to your writing, perhaps a certain mood, environment or music? Do you have any 'triggers' to get you in the writing mood?
I used to need to be in the mood to write, but over the years I've developed
more self-discipline for it. I do like good music, though, and this story has
a long playlist. One of my pet peeves is people reading over my shoulder, so I
usually sit with my back to a wall and spend every available minute writing.
Working on a weekly deadline with structured chapters and an outline helps
keep me motivated.

Give us an elevator pitch. Say you're in an elevator with a prospective
reader for 2 minutes – what would you tell them about the story?
You'll meet characters that remind you of the best and ugliest parts of yourself. You'll laugh and cry within the same paragraph.

Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
They're themselves. I've seen the Twilight movies, but reading the books I never pictured the actors as the characters. Their features were always a little more fluid and familiar in my mind. The characters I write are the same way.

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
The whole thing is planned out. I was puttering at first, but I could very clearly see where it would go if I were to pursue it. When I made up my mind to post I already had ten chapters written and the rest of the story plotted.

Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
My beta is my good friend and partner in crime, Daedalus. He doesn't putter in
fanfiction much, but he betas my work because he loves me. And I bake cookies.

Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
I have some planned, and some in process. Finishing "Dead On My Feet" is my focus right now. I want to finish it well, without distraction.

What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic? What is it that has kept you here (besides your own writing)
I was a Harry Potter fanfiction addict for a long time, and I poked into the Twi fandom out of curiosity. Good stories keep me here.

Do you have a background in writing?
I do. Nothing high profile or even interesting. It's just local journalism and I volunteer for a literary journal.

How about your creative self-confidence? By nature writers tend to be a notoriously insecure lot so how are you finding the online writing experience?
Lol notoriously insecure writers need to learn how to own their vision. There
are chapters that I get butterflies before posting, but I wouldn't change a
thing about them. I believe that what I'm working on is good, even if it's
sensitive, controversial material, and that I have to see it through. It's all
about having the balls to stand behind what you make public online. 

Do you tell your friends and family that you're an online author with a devoted following, or is this something that you tend to keep for yourself?
A few people know. Daedalus, obviously, is aware of it. One of my old friends hounds me for early teasers of the chapters. My mother is aware that I write a popular story, but she hasn't read it and has no idea what it's about. After every piece of criticism I've ever received, I'm still a nervous little girl
about showing work to my mom. She's Mensa smart and wickedly perceptive.

Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most?
I identify with both Edward and Bella more than the other characters. I identify with Edward as an ill, alienated teen, and I identify with Bella as a
self-loathing oddball.

Which RL author(s) inspires you?
Here's my top ten list: Diana Gabaldon, Jay Asher, Mordecai Richler, Michael Ondaatje, Louise Erdrich, Margaret Atwood, Anita Diamant, Christopher Moore,
John Donne, and Chaucer – because I'm a dork like that.

Did any FF authors inspire you? What was it that had you reading FF and thinking "I could do this"?
There are many I admire – too many to name – but the inspiration comes not so much from the writing, but from the wonderful people they are.

What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Read a lot, get lots of feedback, and don't quit at the first sign of negative feedback. Nobody's first stab at writing is a masterpiece – that takes time and the mindset of a sponge.  

Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
I'm a synaesthete.

If you could have 15 minutes with anyone alive or dead real or fictional
who would it be and what would you say to them?
I'd talk to Elisabeth Lagueripierre and find out why she became a fils du roi
so late in life, and why there's no evidence of her family in Paris before the
immigrated from St. Sulpice. Because I'm an archive dork like that.

What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
Clichés, overused plotlines, and oversimplified emotion. 
just becaus I find it cut and CescaMarie
said it reminded her of Edward and Alice

What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
I have two big ones. One is people who feel the need to announce why they aren't reading a particular story any more – because it's difficult to just
click the little X at the top of the screen without vindicating such an
action. My second pet peeve is reviewers who feel the need to summarize the plot to the author (with the details wrong), and then tell them how to write the story from that point forward.

Anything else you would like to add?
Eat soup. It's good for you.


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