Okay, out next spotlight is for a girl who is very special to me. Not because I know her in real life or have had much interaction with her at all, but she was the first author that I ever reviewed that actually responded! It made me feel so good to know that someone was actually reading and appreciating the fact that I liked their story.
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
I’m Keri, aka Belleviolette :)
So, tell me a little about yourself.
Well, let’s see. I’m 32 and Canadian (born and bred in Montreal). I’ve loved writing for fun since I was little, but only stumbled onto fanfic when I started reading the SVM books. I read the stories for quite awhile before I took the plunge and started writing my own. I’m a self-professed nerdgirl, who loves to live in the fantasy world rather than RL (well, really, who doesn’t?). I’m a trained graphic designer/illustrator who has gotten a little off-track in life. Trying to get back on is tricky, but I’m working on it. :)
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
It sounds obvious, but I read like a maniac! Lol. I’m also very artistic, so I paint, draw, etc. And since I’m a good little Canadian girl, I relish the winter because of hockey season. I love it!
What are some things you never leave home without?
My iPhone, my e-reader, and a notebook. I find sometimes ideas strike you in the weirdest places, so it’s good to have just in case. I also have a serious makeup addiction (no thanks to being raised by an Avon lady), so I can’t leave without my makeup bag. Sounds silly, I know, but I can’t help it!! :)
What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
My absolute favorite books aside from SVM are definitely the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. I think she’s brilliant, and she inspires me everyday. I also loves John Green and anything he writes.
Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
I’m a proud Supernatural fangirl! Those boys are practically part of my family after 8 seasons. I love Generation Kill (who can blame me, right?). I am a huge Doctor Who fan (which makes me a Whovian, heh heh). I love absolutely everything Joss Whedon has touched, so Buffy, Firefly, and The Avengers are definite musts. My favorite movie is Almost Famous, because it still makes me cry. I’m not ashamed!
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Oh, that is an evil question! Okay, I’m trying to control my little fangirl heart when I answer, but it’s not working! Alexander Skarsgard! There! I said it! Because he’s ridiculously beautiful, and still seems to have a brain in his head. Dave Grohl because he’s a brilliant musician. And Tom Hiddleston. Again, because he’s adorable, but is genuinely the happiest celebrity I’ve ever seen. Dave can serenade us all. Lol.
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
You’re going to laugh, but Sweden. I want to LIVE there. I’ve been obsessed with visiting since I was little and had a morbid fascination with Abba. I blame my parents. Of course, it helps that Stockholm is filled with Skarsgårds! * giggles *
Do you have any pet peeves?
I hate ego more than anything. I think it’s the source of a lot of other bad qualities in people, like thinking you know more than someone else. Ego makes people mean, and makes them patronize others around them. It makes me ill. Especially when egotistical men talk down to women like we’re second-class citizens.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I have bird fear. Not the cute little hoppy ones, but gulls and crows and whatnot. I blame Hitchcock.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla. At least for cake and ice cream.
Silver or gold? Silver. Gold makes me look trashy, for some reason.
Apple or PC? Apple, but I’m poor, so I have to settle for PC.
White wine or red wine? White. Red gives me migraines :(
Liquor or beer? Depends on the mood. I did get into the rum last night, though!
Coffee or tea? COF-FEE.
Sleep in or get up early? I am NOT a morning person. I’ll sleep whenever, and wherever I can!
Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
I’ve lived all over Ontario in the last few years, before moving back to Montreal. Different things brought me to different places, but I was living in Kitchener (about an hour past Toronto) in 2010 when I started reading fanfics. I never knew how much wonderful talent was out there! It just inspired me. I used to write on my own a lot when I was growing up, but I hadn’t in quite awhile. Reading other peoples’ work made me decide to give it a shot again, just to see if I could. It was so liberating, and made me so happy! Hearing peoples’ feedback keeps me going. The community is so supportive, it makes me proud to be a part of.
Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
I would LOVE to do the BDB series, but I know J.R. Ward isn’t one to condone fanfics based on her characters. Which is completely fine, I fully respect her decision. But I would love to sink my teeth (no pun intended) into those characters. Again, she’s brilliant, so I’m not even sure I could do it justice.
What kind of environment do you write in? Do you prefer using a pen and paper, a computer or some sort of mobile device to write?
I need utter quiet, and usually need to write late at night when the world is asleep. I’m not one to even write with music playing. Maybe it’s my child-like attention span? Lol. I type on my laptop, quite often when I’m laying in bed! I type faster than I write by hand, so it’s more comfortable on the computer.
Ever write in your Pjs?
Anytime I come home and intend to stay in for the duration, I’m in my Pjs! So the answer is yes, all the time, for sure!
How bout naked? :o)
Nah, it gets too nippy! Haaaaa ;)
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I think if I were writing a story that was completely angst-ridden, then I’d be pulling from my own life a lot more. I guess, since I use writing as an escape, I tend to go for more romantic tales than anything. I’m dreadfully single (yes, I hate being single, it sucks), so I tend to write the male character (cough, ERIC) as what I’d want in a partner. I suppose that’s the benefit of writing your own stories… the characters can be whoever you want them to be.
Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
I don’t think there’s anything I do in life that is on a schedule! I tend to be a little scatterbrained.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I do plan things out, at least a few chapters in advance. But I never stick to it. I always end up veering far, far away from my original plans.
How do you deal with potential writers block?
I’ve been dealing with horrible writer’s block for awhile. I think it’s mainly because I psych myself out too much sometimes. We are our own worst critics, and sometimes when I’m writing, I’m so convinced that it sucks, that it won’t make sense to the readers. When that happens, I tend to lose my train of thought to the point where I just have to stop and walk away. I suppose the way I deal with it, is by getting messages and support from readers. It just reminds me that I’m doing alright. Then, I suck it up, and go back to the story. I’m working through a horrible block now, so we’ll see if it works ;)
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Not especially, but I suppose that I make sure I have everything I need within reaching distance so I don’t have to get up and break concentration. Drink, perhaps food, and my notebook. Nothing much else, though. I don’t have to write in lucky underwear or anything, hee hee. :)
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
I am terrible at writing angst, purely because I don’t like it. To each his own, of course, but I need to be in a happy place, and I figure life is full of enough angst on its own! I’m a kittens, happy little clouds, and fluffy romance kinda girl. :)
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
For me, writing canon stories are the toughest. The one I’m working on now, I’ve never been so intimidated. I’m terrified I’ll get the details wrong, or I won’t write a character correctly. I know this is obviously my own take, and I’m writing my own perceptions, but I want to do the stories – and the series – justice.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
My methods are not very original, I’m afraid! I use song titles, like so many others.
Which character do you identify with the most?
Sookie, for sure. I think in my current story especially. It’s the romantic notion of ‘how can such a powerful, beautiful creature fall for a mere mortal like me’? I think it’s why women are so receptive to paranormal romances. To be chosen, to be loved by this gorgeous, mythical creature… who wouldn’t fall for it?
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
While I had a ball writing my first story, Chance Encounters, I think I’m really in love with Spellbound the most. Again, because I’m a sucker (haha) for the paranormal romances. I love the concept best because I incorporated the idea of “Beauty and the Beast” into it. Fairy tales are a part of everyone’s childhood, and to be able to wrap that into the SVM world has been a lot of fun.
Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
My family is aware of it, and I guess they are supportive of me being creative, but they just don’t get the fan fiction thing. I hate the awful stigma that surrounds it. People think the worst of fanfic writers, like we’re the ultimate losers or something. I think it’s really sad that most of the ridicule (in my experience, anyway) comes from the people who have no true passion in life, and haven’t even cracked a book outside of school. Very sad.
Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
My favorite SVM book is a lot of peoples’ favorite! Dead To The World, for sure. I am and will always be an Eric lover, which is why this book is the most dog-eared on my shelf. * Le sigh *
My favorite True Blood episode is in season 2, I Will Rise Up. The series took a lot of liberties, but having Godric as Eric’s maker was genius. To see Eric beg him not to meet the sun… I cry every time. And it’s such an important character development for Eric, too, showing what a big heart he has for those close to him.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
I got a PM once, and I hate that I can’t remember who it was from. Last year, I went through a lot of crap in my personal life, and ended up not writing for a long time. But this message I got, it was telling me how profoundly she loved the story, and how talented I was. She was encouraging me not to give up, and to remind me there were a ton of people out there who love and support me. It made me realize how lucky I was, and how much I love the writing community.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
Honestly, I’ve been really, really lucky. In 3 stories, I’ve gotten maybe 3 negative-ish reviews. I just don’t respond. The last one I got was from someone reading Spellbound, who told me she hates how soft Eric is, and how mushy the story was. So, why read it? Why are you bothering to comment on that? If I don’t like a story, I stop reading. Nobody is forcing you! Just sayin’.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t think, just do! A RL friend of mine is just getting into True Blood and fanfics. She’s always wanted to write, but she’s a little nervous about it. I say, why wait? There are so many wonderful people out there to encourage you, why not do something that makes you happy? I’m certainly one of the many who would welcome a PM if someone needed some advice, or words of encouragement. My door, so to speak, is always open! :)
Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
Staying in the fanfic realm, of course, there are so many to choose from! I adore anything from MissyDee. She’s got a wonderfully dirty mind, which makes me love everything she does, of course! Makesmyheadspin is fantastic, I love her! Maybe I’m partial, but I love anything Gabrielleblue does. You would never know English is not her first language, yet she writes circles around me!
I’m reading mainly fanfic right now. I’m almost finished Need, by Sheba6086. It’s so romantic and lovely. Just what I need right now.
For books, I just finished another J.R. Ward novel, Heart of Gold. I loved it, too, but again, I love everything she does. ;)
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
Yes, please feel free to drop me a line! I’m on Twitter, @belleviolette1. I’m on every now and again.
I’m mostly on Tumblr, though. You can find me under HuntersandVikings.tumblr.com.
And of course, Belleviolette on ff.net.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thanks for thinking of me, Kelly! You’re awesome! <— awwwww thank you!
Xoxo Keri :)