Wow…so yeah I’m a complete and total fail, huh? I say I’m gonna do a spotlight on Wednesdays and Saturdays…and I space completely on this past Wednesday’s post. Bad Kelpie, BAD! And now it’s waaaay late on Saturday…double bad!
But here I am with an awesome, fairly new author. I first found her story Winds of Change, which was for the ‘I Write the Songs’ contest. Seriously good story, btw. Lets dive right in and hear from her though.
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
My given name is Alyssa, but growing up with that name was not easy since it wasn’t popular until the late 90’s and I was born in the mid 70’s. Most of my close friends call me by an abbreviated version, Lyss. My cute as a button niece calls me Wyssa, but I usually go by Alyanne or just Aly on FF.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
I don’t think I’m very interesting but here goes. I’m an out of work (hoping to remedy this by fall) Middle School Science teacher. I currently work part time in a franchise that offers educational enrichment programming in science. Its part educational, part entertainment and all fun! If I got paid more I’d do this full time, but alas. I’m a single thirty something and I help my recently single brother with my four year old niece.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
I work and job hunt. I baby sit my niece whenever needed and generally stay home a lot to avoid spending money I don’t have. So plenty of time for writing!
What are some things you never leave home without?
My money clip, which has all my money ID and random cards I may need and my purse, it holds everything else.
What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
Oooo…I love this question. Okay, by far my favorite author and book series of ALL time is Tamora Pierce and her many wonderful books about the land of Tortall. I first ran across her first book, Alanna: The First Adventure, when I was in Junior High (you know back before they were called ‘middle’ schools). And since then I’ve been a devoted fan and have read almost every book she’s written (that I know of). I also love the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rolling and the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. I also enjoy reading Nora Roberts. How she comes up with so many diverse characters, all with various backgrounds and layers, I’ll never understand but will continue to envy and buy.
Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
I actually don’t get HBO, so I only ever get the opportunity to watch True Blood when they release the seasons to video, which means I’m always a day late and dollar short from everyone else. I usually try to avoid a lot of Drama because I get enough from my brother in his ‘real’ life so I tend to go more for the reality competition shows. My favorites include, So You Think You Can Dance (in the summer), Dancing with the Stars, and currently I’m watching Face Off. I love watching people create something from nothing. That show truly fascinates me. I also love the crime/humor shows like Bones and CSI:NY. Okay I know those aren’t particularly funny but I like the science involved and I do find some of the dialoge on those shows a riot! (I’m weird, what else can I say.)
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Okay, I think any red-blooded woman with eyes would know why my first choice would be Alexander Skarsguard (sp?), I guess if I were stranded on a deserted island with him I’d have to talk to him eventually which is fine because I bet he’d be interesting to talk to but I’d probably just stare for the first few days. Second, I’d choose David Boreanas (sp?) for the same reasons as I’d pick A. Skars….he’s just nice to look at. Last I’d choose Amy Adams. I LOVE her! Not the same way as I LOVE the other two but she has such pretty hair (I have this weird attraction toward red heads- don’t have a clue as to why) and I also think she’d be nice and interesting to talk to.
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
Hmmmmm……I actually have a list and I’ve managed to already check a few off but next I’d like to visit Ireland (maybe it’s my obsession with red heads?) and New Zealand. I know that’s two places but like I said I have a list…..it’s kinda long….be lucky I only mentioned the two. I could prattle on for days on this subject.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Yes, unfinished stories! I hate that! Damn people, if you’re not going to finish a story take it down until you do decide to finish it, if at all. Its soooo annoying to get really into the plot of a good tale and then it stops dead. UGH! It’s just slightly worse that reading a story that only updates once every 6 months or so. I’ve gotten burned enough that before I read a story I always check 3 things, the word count, the publish date, and when it was last updated.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I keep a toothbrush and mouthwash in my car. If I’m on a particularly long trip, I’ll dry brush my teeth while I’m driving. You should see some of the weird looks I’ve gotten.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not. (I can’t pick just one so I’m gonna do them all and let you choose.)
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla if it’s ice cream and milk chocolate for everything else.
Silver or gold? Both! I look best in gold jewelry b/c of my skin tone but I love the simplicity of silver. Brushed silver is beautiful in picture frames.
Apple or PC? I’ve never really tried Apple for any length of time but I know the set up is totally different than my PC but I’d still be willing to give it a shot.
White wine or red wine? I don’t drink alcohol of any kind (unless you count what I get in cough syrup) so this and the next are a ‘no opinion’.
Liquor or beer?
Coffee or tea? I prefer Chai tea or Sweet tea. (I am southern after all.) I can’t stand the taste of coffee because it’s way too bitter for my sensitive palate.
Sleep in or get up early? I’m a night owl so I’m always burning the midnight oil. I know being a teacher is kinda the opposite scheduling wise by I’m a riddle of contradictions.
Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
I started quite recently actually. Wind of Change is my first story and it was originally intended as just a one shot for the ‘I Write the Songs’ contest. I got this idea I hadn’t really seen anywhere else so I thought I’d give it a whirl. It’s kinda taken on a life of its own at this point.
Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
I won’t say no, never. But at this point, I’m going to stick with SVM. As much as I adore the books by Tamora Pierce, as I stated above, I think writing any FF for her already brilliant work would be almost sacrilege to my inner ‘tween’ that first discovered her books and found a heroine..I thought there could be something added to or improved upon with the SVM series so that’s where I’ll stay for now.
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 usually write in my room on my PC while sitting sideways on my big ugly chair. Sometimes when I’m going out or I just need that tactile sensation, I’ll use my pencil and note pad to write in because I don’t own an iPad or anything ‘modern’ like that. I don’t like to do it often unless I need it for inspiration because I HATE rewriting stuff!
Ever write in your PJs?
Often and with gusto!
How bout naked? :o)
LOL! *grins like the Cheshire Cat* Maybe, perv.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing? Where does anyone get inspiration?
I pull from my surroundings and the people I know and love. I have written a few of my own experiences especially where my niece is concerned. I have a scene early in I think chapter 2 or 3 of Winds of Change (WOC) where ‘Sarah’ is wearing Sookie’s bra, panties, and high heel shoes after playing ‘dress up’ that is an exact telling of what my mother and I caught my niece doing when she was two. In fact she still likes to wear my shoes particularly my heels, around the house. It’s adorable.
Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
Not really but I do try to keep a chapter a week as my norm. If I don’t my readers tend to get antsy. And I refuse to be one of ‘those’ writes that starts a project and then abandons it.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I’m not much of a planner when it comes to writing. I tend to just write what comes to me as it comes. I keep most of it or at least the general direction and plot points locked in my head.
How do you deal with potential writers block?
I usually go clean something or I walk and clear my head. Sometimes I just have to wait until inspirations hits me upside the head.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
I’m not interested in writing horror and I can’t take suspenseful stories and since I’m constantly ratting myself out I’m no good writing them. Other than that, I haven’t really written much but I’m interested in seeing what else is out there. I’ve actually begun writing a period piece set at the beginning of WW2, but I won’t be posting that until I get a much better grip on where I’m going with it.
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
The hardest thing I think is keeping up the pace of once a week updates. That’s why I’m going to write until I’m almost finished with my next story before I begin posting it. That way I can post as often as I want and just worry about editing. I know that’s what California Cat has done and since I LOVE her work and the frequency she updates, I’ve decided to do the same. This also cuts down on the possibility of not finishing the story. If I don’t post until it’s done or almost there, then I don’t have to worry about not finishing.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
Sometimes I use catch phrases or song titles for the chapters but I always try to have them match the content of that chapter so the reader has an idea of what’s going to happen.
Which character do you identify with the most?
Sookie. I think that’s why I started reading the books to begin with. I saw a few episodes of the first season of True Blood and had a desire to read the books, which in my opinion are ALWAYS better than the movie or TV show. Anyway, Sookie’s life and character in the first few books is very similar to my own, which made her so relatable to begin with. Though I’m not telepathic or Christian, and I like to hope I’m not as whiny as she’s gotten, most of the rest is very similar. I too have an obnoxious, idiot, man-whore of a brother (at least he was before he got married and started a family). I lost my beloved Grandmother in a horrible car accident when I was 17 and took a really long time to get through it. I’ve had very few relationships with men and the first ended badly…not as bad as Sookie’s but it felt that way at the time. I also grew up in a small southern town where everybody knew me, and my family, and you couldn’t sneeze without someone knowing about it across town five minutes later.
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
Since I’ve only really written the one multi-chapter and two one shots, I’m going to say I haven’t written enough to have an answer to this question yet. Although my other one shot entry for the ‘I Write the Songs’ contest, ‘Where Ever You Will Go’, was especially dear to me. After nearly twenty years, it helped me gain some closure on my grandmother’s death.
Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
Not really. They seem to view it as just a hobby and believe I could be spending my time on more productive pursuits. Hence the verbal diarrhea I’ve been exposing you lovely readers too.
Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
I LOVED book four, Dead to the World! (Doesn’t every one?) I think it’s truly telling of Eric’s core personality without all the masks he’s required to wear because of vampire society and the thousand years of being virtually alone he’s had to endure. I also think this book proved just how shallow Sookie can be and how uneducated she truly is. A basic Psych 101 class in college could have helped her figure this issue out. After the first season of True Blood and they started to veer so far away from the original books I just lost interest in the story.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
Don’t know. I’m still waiting for one that really stands out. Although, I consider it a pretty large compliment whenever anyone leaves a review, no matter how small it is. It always makes my day.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I feel people are entitled to their opinion and I know one day I’m liable to press someone’s buttons wrong. I just try to see it as a way to improve and not let it be personal.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write what you know and if you can’t write what you know then write what you like. Write for your entertainment and your benefit. In the end your opinion is the only one that truly matters. If others like it too then that’s great, but ultimately nothing more than gravy.
Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
Anything by Missy Dee, you just can’t go wrong with her stuff and she’s amazing! I’m addicted to EricIzMine’s Multiverse so if you’re one of the few in this fandom that have yet to read it yet do so now! I’m also enjoying Birds of a Feather by chicpea, War at Heart by ChannelAddict, Nowhere to now Here by MegMacD, the Tilted Kilt by My Secret O (love all her stories), and The Playground by makesmyheadspin. A few of these authors are known for their very spicy lemons so if you’re not of age, you didn’t hear about them from me.
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
I don’t have a word press site so you can really only find me on FF for now. Maybe in the future if I get the inkling and knowhow to set up a word press account I’ll definitely let it be known but for now FF is it.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thank you so much for asking and taking the time to listen to me ramble.
And there it is…the end of yet another great interview. Well…the interview-ee anyways. :) go check her out and leave her some love! Peace yo!
…yeah I have no idea…