February 7, 2011

Sue's interview with Sheviking about her fic 'My Viking'

 


Bella is captured by Vikings and brought with them to their home country where her new fate awaits. Can she ever find happiness being a slave? Will it make a difference that she is given to Edward to be his bed thrall? Rated M for old time lemons.
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 48,214 - Reviews: 2588 - Updated: 1-6-11 - Published: 12-5-10 - Bella & Edward

As many of you know I get my recs from Twitter. Mostly I stalk many people and while I'm in lurk mode I read tweets. That is how I came across this little jewel. I was watching some people chat in my feed about this VERY hot, very lovely period fic. Of course I tweetjacked (for those not on twitter this means you type in TJ kind of a twitter excuse me) and I asked them what fic they were talking about.

I am known for loving period fics and I was told to go read it right away. So I did and...

OH my!

I love period fics because I am a fan of history. Sadly there are some cultures I really do not know much about and some I only have a cursory glance at from my pathetic high school history classes (insert joke about American education here) 

This fic is about Vikings (big shock from the title right?). Edvard (Edward spelled in a more norse way) is leader of a clan of Vikings. His brother returns with some captives including a very lovely English woman who has been captured with the intent of her becoming Edvards bedthrall.

Now in his culture this is a place of honor. In her culture this is a mortal sin.
It is this culture clash (along with the hot as hades sexin) that gives us our story. Of course I am not going to take this as actual history and to those out there, reading fic thinking this is a good way to pass a history test, I do hope you also read your text book. Please remember these stories just give us a general overview of things.

I love watching Bella awaken to realize that this pagan group of heathens that she has been forced to be with is really not all that bad! They are accepting of her, loving their families, caring for their community, hard working, etc. 

I also love the duality of Edvard which is why she calls him MY viking. She wants him to always be the sweet gentle man he was when they spent time together in... well you are just going to have to read it because that part made me *SIGH* 

Now lets join who has to be one of the hardest working fandom members:
  • she is a student 
  • she is a mom of a 2yr old 
  • she writes fic 
  • AND she is pregnant! 
As a mom of 5 my hat's off to you hon. At least I have a staff to make my stuff work around here. *SAAALUTE* 

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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?
Well, I spend an exorbitant amount of time on Facebook. More specifically in the group now called The Fanfiction Addiction where we talk about our favorite stories. One day we were discussing historical fanfics and BellaDonna Cullen, one of the fabulous ladies from the group, said that it was a real relief to write a story set in her hometown and this was one way to avoid all the research that comes with writing a historical fic. Well, the problem is that I live in Denmark and nothing even remotely interesting happens here (in my opinion, at least). I told her that the only way for me to make a story intriguing in this setting was to go back to the time of Vikings or something like that and then I would have to do research anyway. Being the wily minx that she is, BellaDonna immediately encouraged me to write the story. I dismissed the idea, but then of course my OCD-like brain took over and I couldn’t let go of the thought again.
Because it is part of our history lessons in school, I already had a basic knowledge of the Vikings that once inhabited my country, and the story quickly developed in my head after I gave into the idea of actually writing it.

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?
Not really. I need complete silence to hear the voices in my head (yeah, I know I sound crazy but that’s how it works for me) so I have to be home alone or at least my two year old daughter has to be asleep for me to get any writing done. When the house is quiet I just immediately fire up the laptop and try to get as many words out before real life emerges from her bedroom, all droopy-eyed and sweet and needing a cuddle or a glass of milk.

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?
Say, don’t you just love Vikings as much as the next person? Well, I have this story where a Christian woman is kidnapped and forced to become a sex slave to their chief. Yeah, that sounds pretty awful, I know. But now imagine that he’s really handsome with a killer body and ends up giving her mind-blowing orgasms in the process. Not too shabby, eh?

Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
Usually my Edwards or in this case, Edvard, is Robert Pattinson. In this story he’s more muscular and of course has shoulder length red hair. Imagine Eric Northman’s body and Edward’s face basically….Mmm…*Drools on laptop*

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
I started this intending it to merely be a one-shot so I hadn’t given the story line a whole lot of thought when I posted the first chapter. Now I have a general outline but I don’t stick to it if I’m suddenly hit with inspiration.

Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
Yes! I am fortunate enough to work with a fantastic lady named Melanie. Because English is not my first language there will always be flaws in my writing that she thankfully corrects for me. I am a bit of a perfectionist and I couldn’t stand to publish something that hasn’t been through her capable hands. She is just such a lovely person all together and I honestly wouldn’t want to write anymore if I didn’t have her to support me.

Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
No other writing projects are planned since I’m writing three stories at the same time plus I have one which is on hiatus. Plus I am expecting a new baby any day now so my plate is going to be full.

What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic? What is it that has kept you here (besides your own writing)
I think what brought me here initially was dissatisfaction with Stephenie Meyer’s infamous “fade to black” during Edward and Bella’s honeymoon in Breaking Dawn. I know it’s a book for young adults, but come on! I wasn’t expecting anything graphic but just a little something would have been nice. Someone suggested that I read a fanfiction where the honeymoon was in a bit more detail and it just sort of went from there.
What has kept me here is not the smut which brought me here, but rather all the fantastic stories and authors I have come upon. After reading fanfiction for more than a year I am losing interest in the stories that are just basically lemon after lemon with no plot whatsoever, but thankfully there are so many talented writers in the fandom that are able to create great stories with both plots and lemons.

Do you have a background in writing?
No. I’ve always read a lot but the stuff I’ve posted on ff.net is the first I’ve ever written.

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 have been extremely well-received by the fandom and for that I am truly grateful. My first story was pretty awful in terms of both grammar and writing style, and I am thankful that my readers were able to overlook that fact because a lot of flames probably would have scared me off for good.

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?
My friends know that I write but none of them are terribly interested in Twilight or fanfiction in general. My lovely husband is my complete opposite in many ways and doesn’t give a crap about literature. I had him read a snippet of a chapter from one of my other stories, and I could see his eyes starting to droop after the first few minutes. He tried because he’s a sweetheart but reading fiction just isn’t something he’s interested in. Now he just lets me do my thing in peace because he knows it makes me happy.
My parents don’t get it at all. My dad asked me how much I get paid and when I said that I write for my own enjoyment and not to make a profit he looked at me like I was crazy. Needless to say, he isn’t a big literature buff either.

Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most?
Not really in this story seeing how the characters are so ingrained in the time they are living in. Bella is very religious and that’s definitely not something that we have in common, but she’s interesting to write because her way of thinking is so foreign to me.

Which RL author(s) inspires you?
RL authors? They still have those? (Kidding, mostly)
Actually, between my studies, taking care of my family and writing/reading fanfiction there hasn’t been a lot of time for regular novels. I’ve read a lot of different stuff thanks to my university studies but I don’t have a favorite author per se. I like Ian McEwan, Larry Brown and Junot Diaz but also lighter stuff like Charlaine Harris’ True Blood books, and I had a real soft spot for Anne Rice before she became all ‘born again’ and refused to even comment on her vampire and witch novels.

Did any FF authors inspire you? What was it that had you reading FF and thinking "I could do this"?
There are many FF authors who I love and they inspire me every day. Among my favorites are CescaMarie, Savage7289 and Lolashoes who are all just brilliant writers and I can read their stories over and over again without ever getting tired of them.
I have no idea what or who made me think “I can do this”. An idea just popped into my head and I started writing.

What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Write an outline so you know where your story is heading, get a beta who you work well with and write a few chapters in advance before posting anything to take the stress off in the beginning. (Personally, I have never been able to do the latter but I’m an impatient person, so…)

Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
Um, I hate ironing? Really, just doing laundry all together. Actually, housework in general is something that I hate (except cooking and baking) and if I were rich I would totally hire a maid to do all that for me.

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’m probably supposed to say someone like the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa, but I’m going to have to go with David Bowie. Just 15 minutes of him playing me a few of his songs would be fantastic. Or Robert Smith from The Cure would do nicely if Bowie was busy.
If I had to choose a literary person I would go with Stephenie Meyer and ask her if it’s true that she has an M-rated version of Twilight locked away somewhere in a safe. I would love to read that!

What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
Pet peeves? That’s stuff you don’t like, right?

Well, I have an almost irrational hate of certain spelling and grammatical errors that I unfortunately encounter a lot in the world of fanfic. Writing “breath” instead of “breathe” has got to be number one. You’ve all come across it, I’m sure: Bella gets all catatonic because Edward is oh, so handsome, and it actually makes her forget to breathe (which is completely ridiculous, by the way, since it’s controlled by the autonomic nervous system and works even when you’re unconscious) and he leans down and says in a soft, velvety voice “Breath, Bella.” UGH!!! I hate that! It always makes me think that her breath smells like kitty litter and he’s alerting her to that fact. Romance is pretty much ruined for me after something like that and more often than not I flounce on the story. Yeah, it’s petty and childish but I just can’t help it. I really loathe reading something like that.

Then there’s the standard stuff like Bella always smelling like strawberries, Edward constantly pinching the bridge of his nose, Alice being a hyperactive pixie with a shopping addiction and so on. (I’ve committed some of these “no-no’s” as well, when I first started writing).
Oh yeah, and this really irks me, as well: When I read about Bella losing her virginity many, many authors are under the mistaken impression that the hymen is a “barrier” located a few inches inside the vagina when actually it’s just a little extra skin located around the entrance. Once that dick gets inside there’s nothing holding it back, no “barrier” that needs to be broken. I don’t know why so many people believe this but it’s a common mistake that I have encountered often.

What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
Recently a very well-known fic ended with two (in my opinion) brilliant epilogues that showed a very realistic ending to a high school relationship once fame and long-distance was thrown into the mix. The couple broke up, he eventually married someone else and she ended up engaged. Now, even though there was a second epilogue on the way and the story wasn’t over, it didn’t stop many of the readers of the story to throw absolute fits and talk shit about the author. They told her that she was scum, that she should be ashamed of herself, that she had made them waste almost two years of their lives reading her story.
I was stunned. Completely. It was her story. Her vision. She took time out of her life to write it and shared it generously with the rest of us. For free. And they had the nerve to treat her like that?
And for what? Because she chose not to do the cookie cutter ending of Edward and Bella riding off into the sunset together? The second epilogue was posted and the author did in fact end the story on a very happy, albeit untraditional note. But I am still reeling from the insensitive manner in which the author was treated by so many of her so-called fans. Do they not realize that there’s an actual person behind the username on fanfiction.net? I honestly wouldn’t blame her if she just pulled her story and never returned to the fandom after something like that.
It also seems that rather than being happy for an author who manages to get their story published, many readers are resentful because the author then has to pull their fic from the internet. I am always thrilled when a writer gets that opportunity. To make a living doing what you love? That’s the dream!
I am fortunate to have the most supportive and loyal readers and have only rarely come across negativity, but in general I would like there to be more appreciation for the wonderfully talented people out there who make up this fandom and share their hard work with us.
I also read that only about 2% of fanfiction readers leave reviews, which is just astoundingly low. Let’s see if we can’t crank that up to at least 5 % shall we, people? J
So, yeah. *Getting off my soapbox* That would be my Fandom Pet Peeve.

Anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank everyone for all their patience and understanding that I haven’t been able to update as frequently as I used to because of my pregnancy. I will be extremely busy with the new baby and the rest of my family for the next period of time, but I have every intention of completing all of my stories. Thank you, again.

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5 comments:

FL95 said...

Love the interview!

Love for sheviking! Total stand up lady!

xoxoxoxoxo

Patty said...

Love her stories, love the interview and happy to read I'm not the only one who gets peeved withe the bad grammar and smelling pistakes.

Curious as to the HS fic with the two epilogues, as it appears I have managed to avoid it completely... Author and title please?

tigger1 said...

Ah my favorite momma bear. She is a totally classy wonderful lady. It is a privilege to be her beta and her friend.She has grown so much in the time I have know her as a writer and her work just gets better and better. She is generous to work with and funny and smart. And lovely. Great interview....
Melanie

joiceprado84 said...

i really loved this tory and all the other she writen is sogood and is impossible stop read it!!! and now I´m curious too for know what this fic she say in the end lol
thanks for the interview i loved have a little inside of your head
xoxo

Kate said...

Thanks for the interview, I just love all of sheviking's stories.
To joiceprado84, I believe the story with the 2 epilogues is 'High Anxiety' by EdwardsBloodType (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5222490/1/)
I wasn't aware the author had received such hatred which is even more ridiculous given that the two epilogues were posted within hours and you could read them back to back... People are crazy!

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