April 6, 2011

Sue's Interview with Beegurl13 about her story 'The Maiden'

Raised by a Comanche tribe in 1870's Texas, Bella must learn to live in an ever changing world. What happens when she loses the man she loves, only to find another man she wants more, but he's married... E/B, M, AH. FAGE2 story written for ZenOneness
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 16 - Words: 79,332 - Reviews: 834 - Updated: 4-3-11 - Published: 3-15-11 - Bella & Edward - Complete

As you all know by now I have a real affinity for period romance fics. So today I am bringing you my review/interview about the story The Maiden.

The Maiden is a story that takes you to the wild west. This fic is not so much a history lesson as it is a story about romance and life and finding the true love.

THINGS I like about this fic:
Kate... you will fall in LOVE with Kate. I know I did. She is an amazing character and her love for her husband Edward and his love for her... wait what? You mean Edward and Bella are not married in this story? Yes that is what I am saying. Edward has a different love in this story. DO NOT let this deter you from reading it. TRUST ME all you E/B lovers this one is NOT to be passed up.

Here is why. Seeing Edward deal with the different women in his life is not to be missed. Yes, Bella does come in here. Yes, they do have a connection.
HOWEVER he is already married. He does not cheat on his wife.

This story is a good one for those that want to see how a loving character deals with her own mortality. Honestly I could even do without E/B portion in this story. I just wanted more Kate. More Kate, PLEASE give me more Kate. She was fabulous.

She becomes friends with Bella, who is also called pale swan because she was raised by a local tribe after her parents died. She barely remembers her parents.

ANOTHER thing I love in this story: there is no bad guy. No evil person out to get anyone. This story deals with relationship dynamics and the depth of different kinds of love from parental love, the love of friends, and romantic love.

Read it and let me know what you think.

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?
For this story, the ‘spark’ was a prompt from ZenOneness.  I wrote The Maiden for the FAGE2 (FicAwesome Gift Exchange 2).  I took part last year and had so much fun that I decided to try it again.  I think I’m having more fun this time, if that’s even possible.  :)

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 prefer to write in quiet, so I usually do it during the day when the kids are at school, or late at night when the kids are sleeping.  :D  It's just less distracting that way for me.  But if the mood strikes, I can write through just about anything.  I think music, movie scenes/videos, and stories can help get me into a certain mood, but I always end up singing along with the song, or watching the movie, or reading WAY more than I should, and then I don't write.  :D  One of the things I like to do is to go over a scene when I'm showering.  Weird, I know, but I can go through dialog and it's 10 or 15 minutes of time when I don't have to think about anything else, and I can focus on that and not be disturbed.  :D  I don't know, it works for me.  :D

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?
The story is set in the early 1870's in north Texas, just a little south of the city Amarillo.  Years earlier, when Bella was a little girl, her parents died, so she went to live with a local Comanche Indian tribe.  She was happy, things were good, and she loved that way of life.  Fast forward 10 years and she's ready to be married to the only boy she's ever had feelings for, and she's looking forward to starting the next part of her life.  Too bad, 'cause out of no where comes Edward, a man who challenges everything she thought she wanted.  He makes her reconsider all the decisions she had made and question whether or not she really wants them.  THEN the Indian Chief tells her that she has to go live with him...and his wife, who is knocked up.  Mhmmm, oh yeah.  :D  So Bella/Pale Swan puts her plans on hold to go help someone else, and in the process she loses everything she had and is forced to embrace a new life.  Then, to top it all off, Edward, the man who's turned her world upside down, is horrible to her.  She doesn't know why, but she isn't happy about it.  She's also not particularly happy about the fact that his wife is quickly becoming her best friend.  It would be much easier to hate his wife Kate if she was a horrible shrew, but she's not.  She's sweet, kind, loving, friendly...all around perfect, and everything Bella/Pale Swan isn't.  Bella/Pale Swan fights her feelings, the same way Edward does, only to find out that maybe they didn't need to at all.  Huh, wonder why?  :)  It's an Edward/Bella love story, that I've tried to keep as real and honest as possible.  I've done a TON of research, trying to make everything authentic, and I haven't even put in as much angst as I usually do.  :D  Kinda shocking, I know.  :D

Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
For most of my stories, I see the actors from the movies.  Every so often, I see Alice a little differently, but most everyone else...yeah, I'm good with the actors they cast. Especially Edward... Oh, holy hannah!  :D

For this story I picture Rob and Kristen as Edward and Bella/Pale Swan, and I see Kate Bosworth as my Kate.  I see Little Wolf (Jacob), Carlisle, Michael, and Esme as the actors who play them in the movies, and then for Alice…well, she’s a baby, so I see a pudgy little blonde haired, blue eyed baby.  :)

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
This story is planned out, start to finish.  I wrote the first half with just the ideas in my head of where it was going and what I wanted to do, but by the second half, I made myself write an outline.  I kept thinking up random extra scenes that weren't going to advance the story, but instead just add more detail.  It was already WAY longer than I'd originally planned, so I went and made me an outline!  :D

I usually just plan stories out in my head, but every once in a while, I'll outline.

Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
Oh man, I've gotten SO lucky in the beta department.  I've had a couple girls help with one thing or another - BittenBee and wickedcicada - but my regular beta's are coldplaywhore, who beta's one of my chapter stories, and MaggieMay14, who beta's my other chapter story and everything else I write, including The Maiden.  They have all been incredible, and I have learned SO much from them.

I have to mention too, I have some prereaders that are just as important to me as my beta's.  The two girls that have been with me since really early on are Twilight44 and Unchanged Affections.  I couldn't do it without them.  I've had several friends preread for me too, EdwardsBloodType, MeowVemulapalli (my RL BFF MissyV), Jasperlover16, and Lori B.  Plus my newly acquired Fic Wifey, Mrs. Robward.  :D  I have a harem, seriously, but I could NOT do it without them. It always amazes me, I can send the chapter to 4 girls and every one of them finds something different that needs to be fixed or changed or altered.  I trust them completely and I know I'm a lucky, lucky girl.  :)

Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
Huh, do I have any other projects going on...  :D  Yeah, I do.  :D  Aside from The Maiden, I have 2 chapter stories that are in progress, I try to do different things for benefit compilations, I like to enter things in contests, I write things for people's birthdays, I make banners for my stories & all kinds of other things...  :D  I've always got something going.  Once Maiden is done, Mrs. Robward and I have a collab that will be going into a contest, then I'll get back to my two chapter stories, What Hurts the Most and What I Really Meant to Say.  I also have another EPOV section to write for my o/s Baby, an alternate ending for another o/s, Clipped Strands of Fate, and then the wifey and I are doing another collab for that Fandom for Sexual Assault Awareness charity thing, which is headed up by my uberbeta, coldplaywhore.  I keep thinking I should focus on my own stuff, and then these charity things come up and I can't stop myself from wanting to help in some little way.  It's fun....  :D

What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic?  What is it that has kept you here (besides your own writing)
Well, I was talking to a friend about the fade to black scenes in Breaking Dawn, saying how I wished we knew if Edward really was good at EVERYTHING, and she said, "I know he is.  Here, read this..."  She gave me a link to The Office, and I read what was written of it up to that point.  It was hot, and then when she gave me links to Wide Awake, Scotch Gin and the New Girl, and Resisting Edward, I was hooked.  :D  We soon found Tropic of Virgo, Art After 5, Bittersweet Symphony, and then I found The Forbidden Room.  That was it, I never looked back.  :D

The thing that keeps me coming back is that I love these characters.  When I first encountered fanfic a few years ago, it was stories written for the tv show Roswell.  I loved them and thought it was a really great way of keeping the characters alive.  Plus I liked seeing them in different story lines, so that's the same way with Twilight fanfic.  I love Edward and Bella and I love seeing them in real life situations.  Aside from that, I love all the people here.  I've met women that I have SO much in common with, that I never would have met otherwise.  It's incredible to find someone that you just connect with and that you can swoon over RPattz with one minute, and then trade recipes with the next.  :D  Plus I feel much more normal with the groups of women I associate with here.  In my RL, there are a LOT of women that I know who have perfect lives, or at least make it seem that way.  It can get a little discouraging when everyone else's children listen to what they say, and everyone else's husband offers to take the kids for the night so that their wife can have a girl’s night every week.  In fan fic, I've discovered I'm not the only one with imperfect children, and I'm not the only one with a hubs who hates RPattz.  It's comforting...  :)

Do you have a background in writing?
Nope, I never dreamed of writing.  I never even liked to read before this all happened.  :D  I'm not an avid book reader, I haven't read even one of the Harry Potter books, I have read maybe 2 classics, if I'm lucky, and I cheated on my high school book reports.  :D  I skimmed Grapes of Wrath, you happy?  :D  I always thought I was too detail oriented to write.  When my friends first thought about trying to write something, I said, "I'll help you come up with a storyline and all the background details, but I'm not a writer."  :D  I knew I was wordy, especially after writing a 23 page paper for a sociology class, when only 9 pages were required.  :D  But once I started writing, I loved it.  It was therapeutic, almost.  I couldn't stop...

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'm always shocked when someone likes what I write.  I read stories written by other people and they are so beautiful.  The detail is perfect, the words flow together seamlessly, the characters are complex...  I know I will never write anything as good as that.  I don't even try to write that kind of stuff.  I try to write what I like and what I would want to read, and if anyone else likes it, then cool.  If not, then at least I like it.  I've learned you can't please everyone, so why try?  I don't worry too much, and I'm not nervous when I post things.  I know if something I write is really horrible, my beta's or prereader's will tell me.  I trust them enough to know they don't want to see me fail, and they'll say something if I've written horrible dribble.  :D

Basically, I usually think most of what I write is crap, but every once in a while something will fall out of my brain and I'll think, "Hey, that's kinda good."  I like those moments.  :)

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 hide it, if that's what you mean.  :D  Most of my family and some of my friends know that I write stories online.  Most of them don't read or care about Twilight, so they just smile and nod their heads, saying, "Oh, that's nice for you."  I’m relatively certain they think I’m mentally unstable.  :D  I'm kinda glad, because even though I don't write many lemons, I do write some.  :D  That could get a little embarrassing...at church...if my friend leaned over to me and said, "Hey, so you know when you wrote Edward unbuttoning Bella's blouse in the back seat of his car?  Yeah, so about that thing she did with her hand..."  :D  I don't need that.  :D

I'm half way thinking that once The Maiden is done, I'll PG rate it a little bit and send it to my sisters, see what they think.  We'll see.  :)

Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most? 
I usually identify with Bella, but I think that's pretty natural.  I'm a girl and I was kind of the girl that was good, but not great.  I get that.  :D  The feelings of inadequacy and all.  Plus I understand the whole longing after the perfect boy thing.  I grew up with some cute boys...you can ask my bff MissyV.  She knows what I'm talking about...  :)

Which RL author(s) inspires you?
Oh gee, I don't even know.  :D  I don't read enough actual books to even have an idea on that.  :D  I guess anyone who is brave enough to write a book and put themselves out there is pretty great.  I don't know if I could do it.

Did any FF authors inspire you?   What was it that had you reading FF and thinking “I could do this”?
My uberbeta coldplaywhore encouraged me...  :D  That counts, right?  :D  I've been able to meet a lot of authors and the ones that inspire me most are the ones that are consistent in their writing.  Meaning, they see a story through.  They aren't afraid to take chances and do things a little different.  They take the good criticism along with the bad, and keep going.  Also, the authors that are "Big Name Authors" and yet they take time out to reply to reviews, or to talk to people on twitter, or even just follow back people on twitter.  I don't know why some authors get so hung up on the number of people they follow.  I have a pretty simple formula for what I do.  Basically I'll follow back anyone that wants to follow me as long as they tweet in English (that's the only language I know :D ), they have more than 5 tweets that they've written, and they aren't spammers.  Easy peasy.  :D
If I had to name a few that I admire, I'd do with BrattyVamp, EdwardsBloodType, sleepyvalentina, and ItzMegan73.  I adore them all, everything about them.  :)

And the thing that made me think I could do this...  I thought up an angsty story line and my friends said WRITE IT!!!  So I did, and I won the contest I entered it in.  After that I thought maybe I could do this...at least a little bit.  :D

What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Get a beta and prereaders.  They will save your life time and time again.  :D  Find someone that "gets" you and that you trust.  Not everyone works well together, so find someone that can be critical with you, and that you know you can trust.  Also, write what you know or what interests you.  It will be better that way, I think.

Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
Random fact... Santa Claus puts Green Olives in my stocking every year.  The Easter Bunny leaves them in my Easter Basket, too.  I love Green Olives.  :)

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?
If I'm being sarcastic -

Real person?  RPattz, and I'd say two words...I'm pretty sure you can figure out what they'd be.  Let's just say the first one rhymes with Luck.  And the second word would be Me.  :D
Fictional person would be Edward Cullen from any one of my favorite fanfic stories.  I'd say the same two words that RPattz would hear.  :D

If I'm being real, I'd say my Grandma that died when I was 16.  I miss her.  And I think I'd be crying too much to say anything.  :D

What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
I don't like it when punctuation is really messed up in a story.  Or when tenses are all over the place.  Yeah, those things drive me crazy.  :D  Oh, or when something is just WAY too over the top and unrealistic.  :D  Like when Edward says "I love you" two minutes after meeting Bella and they live happily ever after.  Yeah...okay.  :D

What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
Rudeness.  :D  I don't like rudeness in real life, and I don't like it in the fandom.  I think we should be supportive of others and encourage them.  Why tear someone down?  We're all supposed to be having fun, so why be mean?  I don't get that.  I'm not into all the drama stuff, I don't get involved with that, though I do get upset when people go after my friends.  I may have ranted one time on Twitter...  :D  But it was worth it, and no one unfollowed me, so I guess I wasn't too far off base.  :D

Anything else you would like to add?
Well, this might be a little embarrassing, but I literally screamed when I got a PM saying you wanted to interview me.  :D  Aside from last week on the PIC FF Corner blog, where I do reviews and author interviews and stuff, no one has ever asked if they could interview me, or rec one of my stories.  It was so sweet of you.  :)  I have amazing readers that pimp my stuff out on twitter and that tell their friends, and I feel so blessed to have that.  Word of mouth is a wonderful thing.  :D  And I have a few author friends that encourage their readers to check out my stories, and that always makes me all teary.  :D

In short, I love this fandom.  I love the charity work that is done here.  I love the friendships that are built here.  I love the amount of creativity flowing through here.  I love the distraction it all offers me from my every day life.  I love that people like me and actually want to talk to me here.  :D  I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after writing something.  And I love that people have been so lovely and wonderful to me.  It means more to this boring little Mormon housewife from Arizona than you could ever possibly know...  :)

And don’t knock boring little Mormon housewives from Arizona that take their kids to swimming lessons during the 112 degree summer heat.  We’re all here because of one…  :D


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