December 8, 2010

SUE's interview with LadyExcalibur2010 about her fic 'The Bigger They Are'

Confirmed bachelor and career soldier, Edward Cullen was perfectly happy with his life. Until a young punk busted his windshield. Suddenly, he finds himself drawn to a beautiful woman with a LOT of baggage. AH/AU
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance - Chapters: 64 - Words: 240,770 - Reviews: 5593 - Updated: 11-16-10 - Published: 6-4-10 - Edward & Bella

AS many of you know I am a mom of a large brood of children. I have 5 boys. Those that follow me on Twitter have heard occasionally of their adventures.
My boys are:
  • Alex age 17 aka EMOTEEN
  • Tim age 15 EMOTEENtake2
  • Zach age 11 Emoteenintraining (ETiT)
  • NIK 6 WannabeEmoteen
  • and Quentin aka QT age 3
I found this story through another story I am reading when I heard there is a story with Bella having 4 boys. I squeed, hoping that the author would be able to capture the chaos and love and chaos that is a large household full of boys.
What also attracted me to this is Edward, who is NOT their father, being an outsider looking at this situation.

I know that to others a household with lots of kids looks loud and annoying and hectic but to me it says home. The thumping of the kids on the stairs sounding like elephants, the yelling across the house, the little brothers annoying the older brothers, the constant chores and making meals that are large enough for... well an army.

This fic made me laugh. It made my cry in places. It mostly tugged at my heart. NOW the author does something smart she does not try to frighten others with the antics of the kids. These are fic kids. They do not have the faults that real kids do but it gives you a taste of life with a household full of boys. I want everyone I know to read this one just to see what life is like LOL

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?
I sort of reconnected, through a mutual friend, with the woman who was the
inspiration for this particular Bella. We taught together but fell out of touch over the years. She was a military widow with five girls and later
remarried another man in the Navy, who also had kids. So… somehow, that
became "The Bigger They Are."

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?
Nope, usually I end up writing early, early in the morning before I have to
take my youngest son to school or go to class myself. It's also the only time
I get to claim the computer without interruption or without someone looking
over my shoulder. But I do usually work out my chapters in my head while I
take my run, which I do four days a week. That's when I get everything settled
in my mind, and then the next day I just have to sit down and actually write

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?
I honestly wouldn't say anything because I'm really shy about pitching my work. I write because I love words and putting them together, the way some people like to put together puzzles. So for me, that is where the joy is. If someone enjoys how I've put the words together, then I'm thrilled. But if I had to summarize the story, I'd say that it's about people we might live next door to, who clip coupons, who have mortgages, kids who misbehave, cars that
won't start, husbands who leave their socks on the floor, and bodies that,
unfortunately, are not immune to gravity. They also have love, and that makes
all of the other stuff worth it.

Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
I picture all of the canon characters for the most part – unless I am
writing them as kids. Though I did have a particular non-actor in mind for
Mac, Bella's dead husband. I read a book about a Marine who lost his eye in combat and the picture of him on the front of the book (Once a Marine by Nick Popaditch and Mike Steere) was my inspiration for that character.

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
I have the story line all plotted out before I begin posting, though I'll
change the plan if the muse dictates. I'll mention stuff in an early chapter
that might not be explored until thirty chapters later. Little things come out
about the characters that way, like Edward's little obsession with feet. I
think that's how it is in real life, we slowly learn about another person and
stuff we heard or saw when we first met them suddenly become clear.

Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
I'm too impatient and have decided not to inflict my impatience on a beta. I'd
drive them nuts. So all of those errors are my own.

Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
Oh my yes. It seems I can't stop writing, though a lot of it will never leave
my computer. I've already started working on an Emmett/Rosalie story based on the Em and Rose from Bigger. I've got a story that is almost completed about an Edward who learns, too late, that he already had everything he wanted. And I still plan to finish my other stories. It's just that sometimes the muse gets you moving on a particular story. She kept whispering in my ear about Bigger, so I've been writing it.

What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic? What is it that has kept
you here (besides your own writing)
It's strange. I wrote for years in another fandom (Star Wars). Then my son
brought me home the Twilight movie from Army boot camp. Yeah, they had watched it there. He also had sent me a picture of four young, male soldiers, in combat boots and uniforms, sitting on a floor, lined up against a wall. Every
one of them was reading Twilight. It's one of my favorite pictures, because
it's so unexpected. He brought me home the movie because he thought I'd like
it. I did. I thought Robert Pattinson was hot, not even going to lie, and I
had always loved Cedric, so I read the books. To be honest, I didn't care for
them much on the first go round. Then I read them again. I liked them more.
But I liked Twilight fan fic even better. Though I admit I might not have
ventured into it at all if a writer I admired very much in another fandom
hadn't told me she was posting a Twilight story (A Garment of Brightness) and
so I followed her over here. Now she can't get rid of me.

living with boys can feel like THIS !
Do you have a background in writing?
Well, I taught high school English for a while and wrote some material for a home school curriculum. I also used to enter those creative writing contests just for kicks. But mostly, I've just always written because I love it and I find it much cheaper than therapy. My mother saw that I loved writing and gave me my first blank journal when I was twelve. I haven't stopped since.

How about your creative self-confidence? By nature writers tend to be a notoriously insecure lot so how are you finding the online writing
I figure that there are always going to be people who don't like my work. And
there will be some people who do. And either way is okay. I write because I
find joy in it, and if someone happens to enjoy it, then that is just an added

a mom of many can dream can't she?
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?
I don't think I have a "devoted following" but hopefully I do have some
readers that find some enjoyment in my little stories. That's really all I
could ask for. I'm playing in someone else's sandbox, so the devoted following
belongs to her. I try to never take my words – or myself – too seriously.
I'm not writing anything that will change the world. There are a million
writers out there that are better than me. This is fan fiction, which is
supposed to be fun. And I'm having fun.

But no, no one in my family really knows about my "hidden" life. Though they did know about my Star Wars fiction, and I vowed never to give them that weapon again. They're merciless, LOL!

has nothing to do with the fic just random stuff
Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the
Actually, Edward and Jake. I've lived my whole life surrounded by males –
literally. There's a severe shortage of estrogen around here. So I've come to
appreciate the way the male mind thinks, even if I don't always understand it.
I connect with Jake (at least in Bigger) because he's a sweet kid who reminds
me of some sweet kids I have in my own life. Emmett is based, in large part,
on my favorite nephew (shhh….don't tell the others) who has always been kind
of a troublemaker, but not in a mean or vindictive way. I worried like any
mother when he became an Army Ranger and I celebrated, with much alcohol, when he got out of the Army and was home safe and sound. Now he's with Border Patrol, so I have a whole new set of worries. Of course, that rambunctious boy is now expecting his second child with his wife, so I guess he's kind of grown up now. But he still likes to pick on me.

Which RL author(s) inspires you?
Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Sharon Kay Penman, Frank Herbert, Alison Weir (nonfiction stuff), and Rosemary Hawley Jarman.

more random pics
Did any FF authors inspire you? What was it that had you reading FF and
thinking "I could do this"?
I still don't think "I can do this." I think "I can try to do this." There are
so many writers that inspire me.  This list is by NO means complete, but here
are a few that come to me right away: miaokuancha, rtgirl, djoneal, and oh so
many more. While I have read and appreciated some of the "big" stories in the fandom, I find myself gravitating more toward the undiscovered gems. And there are SO many absolutely wonderful stories out there that just haven't gotten the "break" they needed to be recognized. I was lucky enough to have a reader (greeneyedgirl17) who had a large readership and who recommended my story.
That was sheer luck and I know it. So I love it when MY readers will clue me
in to a lovely story that's getting lost among the crowd. And I love to share
those stories with others.

What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Just write. Keep writing. Listen to constructive criticism, but don't let
anyone else change your vision of the story. Don't write to be popular. Don't
believe your own hype if it happens. I prefer to write what I can relate to,
but not everyone works that way. So write what your muse tells you to write.
Don't write a certain type of story just because you think it will get a large
audience. Write the story that is inside of you that needs to come out. Stay
true to your muse, above all.

Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
My husband and I once drove twelve hours (each way) to get chicken wings from a place called "Wild Wings" in Charleston, SC. And it was totally worth it. Our kids thought so too.

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 tell Fran from The Stand that Harold was a conniving little moron and to
leave him in Maine.

What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
Oh, that's a loaded question. I'll just say that I think everyone needs to
remember that this is fan fiction. We're playing with characters that someone
else created. If someone is reading my Twilight fan fiction, it's because they
love Twilight. That's what drew them in, not my story. I realize that and I'm
grateful that Ms. Meyer is kind enough to let us twist her characters into our
nothing to do with the story ...
own molds for our own entertainment and amusement. We're riding on someone else's coat tails already and if we forget that, I think we're doing ourselves and our readers a disservice. Be honest and fair with your readers. Don't jerk them around. Don't play games with them. If they've been generous enough to give you their time when there are SO MANY other stories out there, then return the respect. I guess that bothers me the most, when readers get the shaft and I simply lose all interest if I see that going on. There are too many excellent stories out there already that I'd like to read. As writers, we owe our readers our gratitude and respect. They don't have to read our stuff. There are a lot of other stories out there, so for them to give ours a moment of their time is a big deal. Don't forget that.

a common find in our house
What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
I spent a lot of time in another fandom (Star Wars) and there is definitely a
different feel to this fandom. Not saying it's a bad thing, just different.
For me, all of this is for kicks and giggles. I still have a very, very busy
real life and a lot of people around me that I both take care of and who take
care of me. So it's not a peeve, exactly, just a difference. Twilight is just for fun, and for me, that's enough. I prefer, as Han Solo would say, to "Fly

Anything else you would like to add?
Nope, just that I'm shocked that anyone would want the random mental ramblings of a middle aged woman.

And thanks!!


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