January 3, 2011

Tanja's Interview with miztrezboo about her story 'Subway Strangers'

"Every day, my eyes search for him. A quick glimpse on a subway platform until I see him at night, in my dreams..." 
A love story between two strangers in search for something more. For Hmonster. AH

Let me just state at the beginning that this is a not an Edward/Bella fic. Sure, they ARE mentioned but this story is about Rosalie and Emmet. And while I usally don't read fics where Edward and Bella aren't the main pairing, this one is just too good to pass. It's all about feeling.

Anyway, lets start with what this fic is all about.

Everyone of you, that has to take the train daily, no matter if to work or school, probably found themself watching the people standing around on the platform, waiting. There are the school kids. The teenage girls chatting. The businessmen reading the paper or checking their emails. And people just standing around bored

Rosalie is one of those persons watching other people on the platform while she's waiting for the train to take her home from work. This is where she sees Emmet, her Subway Stranger, for the first time. Standing on the other platform. She's been watching him for months, not brave enough to go over and talk to him.

Me? I watch. I stalk my Subway Stranger and every night he plays out my fantasies of a career that doesn't involve the ties he seems to hate so much. Every night I live with the thoughts of what it could be like if I was brave enough, willing enough to have any sort of courage to walk over and introduce myself.

Everyday I see him, and in those few minutes before our trains arrive, taking us in opposite directions, I like to believe that he might be interested in me, too.
This story is about grown-ups, with grown-up jobs and grown-up problems. It's about certain things being different than they seemed to be. Rosalie is not the overly confident, maneating, woman. And Emmet? Behind the suit and tie hides a guy playing acoustic guitar at karaoke night.

Lets see what Boo has to tell you about Subway Strangers.


1. 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 was waiting for a train when there was a delay, and got to remembering the times in the past where I had this mini crush on a hot older guy who also waited for a train like I did every afternoon.  He caught one going another way but I would always wonder who he was talking to on his phone, if the ring on his finger meant he was happily married, what his face looked like under the light beard he word (the one and ONLY time I've liked a guy with a beard) and I would invent these little daydreams of his life and what might happen if we interacted.  This was obviously before I wrote stuff for fun.  So I was waiting at the station for this delayed ride home and I got to thinking about it being Emmett in the lead role and what would happen if Rosalie was the woman perving and not willing to say hello.  I wrote about 5 pages of notes in my handy dandy  "I've got a fic idea' notepad and got home and plotted it all out with the help of bemylullaby and nostalgicmiss.  
2. 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?
Music is always an inspiration. I write most of my one shots or important chapters from a song that fits or even a song that tends to sway the way my characters interact.  It can be photos too, but mostly its music. For Subway Strangers all the lyrics at the start of the chapters come from Foo Fighters songs purely because I know Hmonster4 loves the band and I could picture Dave Grohl as a kind of Emmett. And I love the band too, so it helps. 
3. 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 actually skipped this and wrote the rest out then came back LOL. 
Rose has a multitude of reasons why she doesn't talk to the hot subway stranger guy she sees every afternoon but when more than fate and chance push them together, will she let her past get in the way of a brighter future?
4. Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
In this fic in particular, Emmett is Tom Welling and mostly in suits purely because I know hmonster4 is in love with Tom and she turned me to the Tommett side with the help of lightstardust, TheHeartOfLife1 and LoreliD
Rosalie was hard to cast, because she's usually this ethereal faceless blonde in my head, but for this I played a casting game (I actually have a doc with all the regular characters and their bios and history) and I wanted someone a little more mature looking, so it ended up being Izzy from Greys Anatomy aka Katherine Heigl

5. Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
This one has been completely planned out from the start. I knew I wanted it to be about 10ish chapters give or take and I knew exactly what I wanted to happen virtually in each chapter. I have a gorgeous friend, lightstardust who helped me nut out details once I had the go ahead from hmonster4 to write this (it is after all an auction paid for fic that she bought for the Support Stacy Auction in Jan/Feb of this year) and I rounded up a few others including becklyn23 for details on NY considering she is another friend who is also a NY native.  So down to the last detail, its pretty much set in stone.
6. Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
I have three most amazing people that work not only on this, but virtually everything I write.  Lightstardust is a go to for all things Em or Rose that I work on.  She's the best questioner that I have in my life always prompting me to go back and look at things from a different angle.  She reads and prompts like a reader when I leave things out that in my head, i've seen or thought about happening but haven't got across in words.  I adore her dearly.  Then there's subtlepen who I also harangued into beta-ing this because I wanted it, to be completely honest, to be as near perfect as possible for hmonster4.  Heather is one of my favorite people in the whole world and to be asked/bought to write for her was something I was both humbled and kind of in awe of doing. Subtlepen is another great questioner and helps with flow and shifting things to keep some sort of order.. in order. 
Then there is my uber beta, beta extraordinare, love of my fic life, peas to my carrots etc etc, wearingwords/ilsuocantante. She's the sprinkles that makes everything sparkle and I honestly wouldn't write the same without her.  I love that she happened into my life while we both read each other's first big multichaps and that she answered an ad I put out on the Twilighted Forums.  She's a gorgeous person not only in fandom life but in general and I love her. That is all. 
7. Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
I've had to put Where The Road Meets The Sun on the backburner for the moment. I just have no inspiration to write for it, even though it's planned out and I have about 4 chapters in different stages of complete.  The well, it is dry on that one.  But it will eventually become completed. 
Next up I have an Emmett/Alice that I'm really wanting to write. I've got an outline and ideas constantly popping up and having to be written down, but I wont be posting until its complete in full.  So it may look like I'm in hibernation for the next few months after SS completes.
8. What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic?  What is it that has kept you here (besides your own writing)
Obviously the fade to black and...  my somewhat unpopular wonderings on what would have happened if Edward didn't return and Bella chose Jacob.  I'm one of those people that likes to explore every option.  No road left untravelled etc!  (obviously I read a LOT of Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was younger.)  
What kept me here was the quality of writing and the storytelling that people quietly shared from their own experiences and imaginations.  I've been involved in fandom since about September 2008 and even though I've pulled back a lot now, I still find things that make me 'wow' and keep me checking my inbox for updates.
9. Do you have a background in writing?  
No, not at all. I've written for fun ever since I was little but that's about it.  Obviously having a multitude of Beta's/prereaders shows that my grammar and punctuation leave a LOT to be desired.   
10. 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?
I never really worry about what the 'audience' thinks.  I write for me, I write for the 'voices in my head' and what pours out of my fingertips. If people enjoy it all the merrier.
11. 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?
One of my sister's knows. Thats it. I think I'd die a slow painful death of endless family giggles if any of them ever found out.  
12. Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most?  
Rosalie in a lot of ways, she's very sarcastic and down on herself a lot but I obviously haven't lived her life (I don't have a lot of the big plot suprises that she does!) So in a way, I don't really relate to anyone in SS at all.
13. Which RL author(s) inspires you?
This will sound awful, but there's a few books I've read lately, in big series and by NY TIMES listed authors that I've sat back and thought.. seriously? If you can writethat and get published then dammit I need to do a creative writing course, learn more about grammar and punctuation and WRITE for myself.
In saying that, I also love fantasy novels especially this one Australian writer that writes.. its pure poetry and lyrical loveliness ... the Shadowfae Chronicles by Erica Hayes.  Her words make me want to write better (and she's not part of my above mini rant.)  Shadowglass was a brilliant mix of prose and emotion and HOT out the wazoo. Go, go here and buy now. http://www.shadowfae.net/
14. Did any FF authors inspire you?  What was it that had you reading FF and thinking “I could do this”?
I don't think anyone personally inspired me to write. But there are a few now that I read and I find inspiration to write for if that makes sense?  I preread for a lot of amazing authors (lightstardust, phoenixhunter47, fngrcufs, ilsuocantante, camoozle.. ) I'm probably leaving someone out but I do a lot of prereading on the fly too for friends that need/want an extra eye.   It's basically the only way I'm reading twifanfic at the moment. I've let a lot of the wips I was reading either complete or I'm waiting for them to complete before I continue reading.  I have a new job that lets me read less and less and I've lost a lot of interest in the twific world.
15. What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Write. Write from your heart and what you know and believe in your characters and the story you want to tell. People will always like it or lump it and there will always be people trying to sway you from what's in your head.  Either these people will genuinely care about your story (hook them up as prereaders asap.. you can usually tell from the reviews or pms they leave you) or they just want you to write something there way (ignore ignore ignore). Find yourself a few amazing beta's that will question and push you to rethink your motives and ways you say things.  These people are gems and you should constantly shower love upon them. (Tonya, Meri, your Tim Tams are in the mail.) 
Read. Read a variety of styles, pairings, ratings to find inspiration in other peoples words.
Also read out of fandom. Pick up a book by someone who gets paid to write and find the love to write there too.

16. Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
Last time I did this with you Tanja I admitted my Drarry/HPDM secret love and, while I still love this pairing and have been reading a TON of Harry Potter slash fic over the past few months this time I think I'll pick something new.
Random fact: I watch too much TV and I think that's the REAL reason why I'm not reading as much anymore.  
Misfits - a UK tv show (not the band) has taken over my life and Nathan is my spirit animal. Go here to learn more - http://www.e4.com/misfits/
17. 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?
oh so hard. I think because of the nearness to this event, probably John Lennon and I'd have High Tea in a big bed with him and perhaps Jim Morrison and discuss life in general.
18. What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
Overly used characterizations.  I understand a LOT of people are new, but really, take a look around. When I started reading on FFn there were... 10k of stories in TOTAL, now its over what 200k?  Your terms and words may have been used before and FOR THE LOVE OF KITTENS EVERYWHERE BELLA IS NOT A BARBIE AND ALICE SHOULD NOT BE A COCKBLOCKER. People writing like this is shakespeare and expecting me to hunt through a thesaurus to understand their terminology.
19. What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
Cattiness. Unwanted and unwarrented nastiness over social media networks from people that know NOTHING about the face behind the penname that is just as human and has just as many faults as the many that decide to flame them.
20. Anything else you would like to add?
Tanja, your awesome, and thanks for the HPDM links ;o)



Miztrezboo said...

aww Tanja you write the nicest things about my fics! I'm so lucky to have you as a reader xoxo

KiyaRaven said...

AHHHHHH!! So nice to see my Boo getting some of the recognition she deserves. She's a wonderful writer and an amazing friend, and I love her more than M&Ms (and let me tell you, that's a LOT.)

Thank you for shining the spotlight on her very fine ass.

Kiya x

LightStarDusting said...

This is... amazing. Honestly, I love working with Boo in every capacity imaginable but the best part is that I've got her as such a lovely and supportive friend. She transcends ff for me and is someone I consider one of my nearest and dearest. Her personality comes through her writing and I think that's what makes it so easy to relate with.

Thank you for highlighting her!


neeuqpmats said...

MiztrezBoo is so adorable!! I have been lurking/reviewing/reading her stories and I love them. I especially am into the Em/Ro pairing, so Subway Strangers is at the drop everything and read right now stage in my fanfic readings. But I would LOVE to see her continue her slash story Rose and Vine, I just need a future take. ;) Read Subway Strangers, it is worth dropping everything to read!

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