August 3, 2011

Sue's interview with Kas90 about her fic 'Strawberry Wine'

When Bella goes back to NC to help her sick uncle, she runs into the boy who she fell in love with when she was 17. But what exactly happened that summer? Will they ever get their HEA? What stays with us more-our 1st love or 1st heartbreak?
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 22 - Words: 106,861 - Reviews: 893 - Updated: 7-28-11 - Published: 12-30-10 - Bella & Edward

I was on Twitter as usual and have been noticing this fic being rec'd over and over again. People squeeing, people getting all excited when it updated. So I figured I would give it a shot.

In one evening I had read all of the 22(at the time) chapters that were posted. I did not stop to review, I just read. I could not click fast enough to get to the next one... It has been a long, LONG time since a fic has done that for me.
Strawberry Wine, the song that this fic is VERY loosely based on, reminds me of a certain summer many, many years ago and a boy I knew and  a girl that was very into him. This fic captures that feeling well but takes it a step further.

What happens when you go away from the summer love? Well you grow up. You remember that summer with fondness. When something simple reminds you of it you smile. You never really forget that first love. In some ways this can be good. You will remember the sweet memories. What if that first love taints all others that you meet? What if no one can live up to that memory of what you think was perfection?

In the logical part of your mind you KNOW he was not perfect. He was a kid, you were a kid and the two of you were not perfect. Reality rarely matches the memory you have of something. That is where this fic takes us.

Bella, at age 17, goes to spend a summer with her uncle on his horse farm.
Edward works on that farm. We know they start dating of course what I like about this part of the story is while it is a sweet summer romance it is not perfect. Granted, he is a bit more cheesy than most real boys at that age would be. I can forgive it in this story because he uses his corny lines to make others laugh.

This story alternates between those summers of Bella being 17 and the present time when Bella is 40. She goes back to Charlies, this time to take care of him because he is a sick older man. I like uncle Charlie in this story a LOT. He is conniving. We find through these chapters that, after Bella left the first time, she did not keep up with what was going on in this small town.
She has no idea that Edward did not go off and do all the things he said he dreamed of doing. She has no idea that many of her friends have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse.

I cannot say much more except that, so far, the story is limited on angsty stuff that T loves. It is on the fluffy side but not the super sweet, hurts my teeth, kinda fluff. It has some very real aspects to it (virginity loss that is fumbling awkward and not full of orgasms -THANK YOU KAS!!)

So if you trust me and my recs give this one a go. Leave the author some loving. Tell her SUE sent you and make sure to let me know what you think of it because I want to know if you like it!


my fav wine
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?
The song Strawberry Wine has always been one of my favorites, but the ending of the song has always pissed me off, so I wrote a book to fix it. I write down my fic ideas in my phone, and I still have a Note that says: “Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter---Write about 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?

I can write a chapter in about one or two sittings, but starting is my hardest part. I’m usually just on my couch, headphones in, and Pandora playing in the background. You’re not allowed to judge me for this, but I usually have The Last Song Playlist going on my Pandora when I write for this fic. It’s just full of good love songs.

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?
This is anyone’s love story. We’ve all had a first love, and the majority of us lost that love at one time or another. This fic is about re-living every emotion and feeling that comes with falling in love for the first time, but then reading how much sweeter it can be the second time around. I try to write this fic as realistically as possible, but there is still an edge of mystery to it since it takes reading both the younger and older years to understand everything that is happening. I just hope people love reading it as much as I love writing it.

Do you picture particular actors for your characters, or are they someone else entirely? If so, who?
Only Edward, Bella, Jacob, and Riley are the same. Uncle Charlie is Ed O’Neill (Jay from Modern family or Married…with Children). Dianna Argon (Quinn from Glee) is my younger Rachel, and I don’t have anyone specific for the older version. And then Seth is Mark Salling (Puck from Glee). For Uncle Charlie and Seth, especially, I just couldn’t go with the actors who are in Twilight. It doesn’t fit the characters that I have written.

Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
The outline is finished (only 30 chapters!) and all of the major events for each chapter are planned out. However, all the small details, lead up, dialogue, etc. is created on the spot. I think that way I have a lot of leeway with the tone/feeling of each chapter, but I’m still forced to stay on point so the story doesn’t run away from me.

Do you have a Beta and would you like to give him/her a shoutout here?
Ginginlee is my fantastic beta who has been with me since chapter two. SparklingTwilight betas when she can, and she is also amazing. But my pre-readers also give invaluable feedback: lizzylillyrose, morethanmyself, and sammielynnsmom. All of these ladies are invested in this story and are always so quick to get the chapter back to me so I can post! I love them all dearly.

Have you got any other projects going on? Any planned for the future?
My other WIP, How HoboJoe Stole Christmas, is on hiatus until Strawberry Wine is finished, but I only have about two chapters left to put into that. I have a fic idea in the works, called With A Bullet, but I probably won’t start posting that until a few months from now. I also want to try my hand at Original Fiction. It can’t hurt, right?

What was it that brought you to Twilight fanfic? What is it that has kept you here (besides your own writing)
My first fanfic was Wide Awake, which I stumbled upon on Twitter, and at that time I had no idea what fanfic was, and I started reading, and I was like what the fuck? But I haven’t been able to stop since, and that was almost two years ago! I stay because I love reading and writing, and the fandom allows me to do both with others who love it just as much as me. RL friends just don’t understand. Who else is going to obsess over Rob’s sideways haircut or how someone else flounced the fandom with me? No one in my RL even knows what a fandom is. Their loss.

Do you have a background in writing? 
The only writing I’ve done before the fandom was my college history papers. Edward Cullen is a lot more interesting to write about than Andrew Jackson, I assure you. 

How about your creative self-confidence? By nature writers tend to be a notoriously insecure lot so how are you finding the online writing 
It’s easy to share my writing with people online because in my head, they aren’t real. Sure, I talk to them all the time, laugh, cry, rant, spill my heart out to, but I’m still hidden behind a computer. Want to flame me? Okay…delete. However, my confidence in sharing my writing with people in my personal life scares the shit out of me. But writing online, sharing it with people who are actually real and being encouraged by them has given me the confidence to share it with some of my family and friends. I like writing, and I like my finished product. I think it’s absolutely fine for an author to say he/she has enjoyed their work. This fandom has given me that confidence.

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 drunkenly told my mom about a month ago, which turned out better than I thought it would. However, I haven’t brought it back up to her since. My older sister reads everything I write, and she and I have actually bonded over it. My roommates obviously know about it, since it’s all I do when I’m in the apartment, but outside of that, people know I write, I just leave the whole Twilight-fan-fiction-obsession-craze out of it. I get less side-ways looks that way.

Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most? 
I think every author puts him/herself into the characters, and there is a bit of me in Bella. However, Uncle Charlie is by far my favorite because he is my father in almost every way. I want Seth as a younger brother, and I’ve had friends who are just like Rachel.

Which RL author(s) inspires you?
I just love Jodi Picoult because of how much investment she puts into each of her stories. They feel so real because of how much time she researches to make them perfect. I love her dedication, and I hope one day to write something as believable and affecting as one of her books.

Did any FF authors inspire you? What was it that had you reading FF and thinking "I could do this"?
Um, not really. I’m pretty sure I was on the better edge of tipsy the night I wrote/posted the first chapter to my first muti-chaptered fic. I just kind of dove right in.
What advice would you give to an aspiring fanfic writer?
Just do it. Everything is written one chapter at a time. Just write what you feel, and it will all fall into place. Oh…and GET A BETA!

Give us a Random Fact about yourself?
I had to get the top third of one of my fingers sewed back on when I was six. I’m lucky I still have feeling in it, otherwise typing would be a bitch.

What is your FanFic Pet peeve?
Misuse of commas. I can deal with the terrible clichés and even the most common ‘cringe’ words; however, if dialogue tags are used incorrectly, my soap box comes out.

What is your Fandom Pet peeve?
Too many specific ones…just the general hate, I suppose. We’re all here because we love Twilight/reading/writing. There is no need to hate on one another. If you don’t like them, unfollow and stop reading their stuff. Drama is unnecessary.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’m still amazed people are reading the stuff that comes out of my head. I’m very humbled and truly thankful.


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