August 20, 2012

my interview with SleepyValentina about her fic The Heir and The Spare

has to be the best ever manip !

You all know I love comedy. Something you might not know about me is that I also love to laugh at gossip column writers, mainly because I know so many writers that could come up with:
1) funnier articles 
2) more convincing, believable gossip 

What is fun about gossip is there is usually a small smidge of truth in the article,
be it the location or that someones name is spelled right--SOMETHING in that article is slightly true!

I love to laugh at the pictures I love to see the manips even the really, really bad ones.

Enter a witty woman I know.
Her snarky sense of humo.r 
Her vivid imagination.
Her love of making fun of things.
Add in a dash of a made-up Brit family, and a provocative  image...
<<No, I do not know if that is THE image but for me it is a great one!
This is the story of Edward, the "Spare to the Heir", the irresponsible brother, the joke of the royal family, gossip fodder really.
And Bella, the not-as-attractive sister to Esme, who is engaged to heir Carlisle...
What do we have ?
Funny antics

Each chapter starts out with an article from a gossip rag, then you get the comments at the end of the online article (just like you would at any web site), and then, just like in the gossip web sites, you will find the usual cast of characters. You get to the point where you start to "know" these fake usernames; they each have their own voice and some of the best original characters I have gotten to "know" in a fic.

So give it a shot!  You will enjoy this one, trust me.

What was it that gave you the “spark” for you story? Was it a picture a moment an event? Can you remember that initial inspiration?

During last year's Royal Wedding, I became fascinated by Pippa Middleton.  Here's a girl who, despite her sister, no one (around here, anyway) had really heard of until she served as Kate's maid of honor. At the end of the ceremony, they showed her walking out with Prince Harry. I remember thinking a hook-up between those two would be a tabloid dream come true. 

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?

It depends on what I'm writing. I wrote huge portions of Art After 5 with Radiohead's "True Love Waits" on repeat, and I listened to a lot of Portishead and The Smiths while writing Fall to Ruin One Day. For period pieces, I find having playlists helps.  Musically, nothing has called to me from The Heir and the Spare. I have a desk, but I do most of my writing on the living room couch. If the words don't come to me, I jump to a different doc and work on something else for a bit.

Give us an elevator pitch. pretend you are in an elevator with a prospective reader for 2 minutes - what would you tell them about your story?

I'm having the most fun with The Heir and the Spare that I've had writing in years, and it shows. It's fluffy and laugh-out-loud funny, but it's not lacking plot. Plus, it has a snarky, intelligent Bella and a gorgeous misunderstood prince. Add some tabloid articles and a Greek Chorus of gossip-blog-reading royal watchers, and you've got the perfect antidote to fandom angst. 

Do you picture actors for you characters? or someone else entirely? if So who?

I almost never picture real people as my characters. Usually, I have a picture in my head and that's what I go with. 

Is the story all planned out or is this a fly by the seat of your pants sort of thing?

Oh, this is definitely planned out—it has to be.  In the chapter that most recently posted, there was a bit of a big reveal. But if you go back read from the beginning, you'll see the clues are all there.

Do you have a beta? Would you like to give them a shout out here?

Originally, I wasn't going to use a beta for this one. I wanted to get back to how I wrote Art After 5—near daily updates, and when a chapter was done, I posted. Then my husband told me he'd beta, and when he's not on business trips, he does.  My fellow EBS betas Detochkina and LJ Summers also look at chapters before I post. My chapters tend to be pretty clean when they go to beta, but having more than one person pre-read makes me confident that characterizations and such come across as intended. 

Have you got any other writing projects going on? Any planned for the future?

I'm always working on Darkrooms and Safe Light, and I think I'm on something like the third rewrite of Art After 5 as an original novel.  


  Do you have a background in writing?

I have a bachelor's degree in English.  

How about your creative self confidence? By nature writers tend to be a notoriously insecure lot.  How are you finding the online writing experience?

I can handle criticism when it pertains to my writing. I did theater for years, so I'm used to being critiqued. I am, however, very bothered by the extent to which assumptions are made about me based on my writing. We don't assume horror writers are serial killers, but somehow writing sex and romance is viewed differently, that it's based on the fantasies of the author. It's infuriating and frankly, borderline misogynistic. That being said, for every "DIAF you pedo cunt" review or PM, I've gotten a dozen encouraging ones. I try to focus on them. 

Do you tell your friends and family that you are an online author with a devoted following, or is this something you tend to keep to yourself?

I used to be very secretive about it, but now it's pretty much out. If anyone thinks less of me for it, they haven't had the balls to tell me directly. 

Is there a particular character in your story that you identify with the most?

Ha! Troll E. McCavetroll. No, really.   

Which real life author(s) inspire you the most?

I love the Bloomsbury Group, particularly Virginia Woolf and David Garnett.  

Did any fanfic authors inspire you? What had you reading fanfic saying, ”I can do this!”?

Giselle-lx inspires me every day to be work a little harder and be the best writer I can be. Truth be told, I started writing fic because my husband travels so much and I needed a way to amuse myself after the kids went to bed.
 What advice would you give an aspiring fanfic writer?

Write the story you want to write. Focus on quality, avoid clichés, and the rest will come.  

 Give us a random fact about yourself.

I need white noise to fall asleep.

If you could have 15 minutes with anyone alive or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and what you do?

Jesus Christ. Mostly, I'd just listen. 

 What is your fanfic pet peeve?

Women who write men who sound like women.

 What is your fandom pet peeve?

People going on and on, "Oh, there's so much negativity in the fandom." All it does it spread the negativity. 


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