Author Spotlight: alicialeila

It’s Wednesday (am I the only one who sounds it out as I type??) and that means author spotlight time!

Yaaaaayyyyy! (I’m imagining Kermit going nuts here…)

Anyways, this author is a wonderful girl. She’s very interactive with her reviewers and her story (even if it’s the first one) is the shit. Seriously. I awwwww’ed and cried and laughed…she’s got talent. So…let’s hear about it then, huh?

Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
Pen name is alicialeila, but you can call me Alicia!

So, tell me a little about yourself.
Well, I’m a 21 year old university student, majoring in English Lit. I’m Canadian, born and raised in Montreal. I work part time as a waitress. I’m a lover of books, television, and film.

What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing fanfiction, I’m probably doing schoolwork, which means either reading, writing, or watching films. Or I’m watching television – I’m a huge TV person. I’m very much a homebody, so I spend a lot of time with my family, too. Or I’m on tumblr, which unfortunately is very addictive.

What are some things you never leave home without?
My blackberry, which often doubles as my mp3 player, lipgloss, and I try to keep some change on me, which I use mostly for coffee.

What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
I’m a big fan of Russian lit—Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, A Hero of Our Time. I really loved Pat Barker’s Regeneration. I like a lot of ‘classics’ because of school, I suppose.

Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
I love a lot of TV shows: Six Feet Under, The Wire, How I Met Your Mother, Dexter, The Sopranos, New Girl, The IT Crowd. I also recently got into Hart of Dixie and Teen Wolf because they’re kind of adorable. I’m planning on watching Supernatural soon because the show, and the fandom, seems so awesome.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Askars, for obvious reasons.

Bill Hader, because I love him and he would make me laugh, and that’s important to me.

I’d need a gal pal, so I’d bring Jennifer Lawrence with me. She’s a good actress, close to my age, and from what I’ve seen she’s pretty goofy and hilarious!

What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
Well, because of my fascination with Russian literature and culture/history, I’ve always wanted to visit Russia. California would be warmer, though, which as a Canadian sounds pretty awesome right now, and I’ve always wanted to visit. Plus, I could potentially run into a certain Swedish actor there. ;)

Do you have any pet peeves?
People who walk very slowly when you’re trying to get somewhere. And when people are constantly on their phones when they shouldn’t be.

Tell me one random thing about yourself.
Hmm…I have a tattoo of an ampersand that looks like a heart on my wrist.

Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate! I’m a typical chocoholic.
Silver or gold? Silver (sorry, vampires!)
Apple or PC? Apple. I just bought a MacBook Pro in September after saving up during the summer, and I love it. It’s my baby.
White wine or red wine? Red wine. But I’m not much of a wine drinker either way.
Liquor or beer? Liquor!
Coffee or tea? Coffee! I’ve become a coffee addict.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in. I mostly get up early, and fantasize about sleeping in.

Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
Well, I started reading fanfiction about a year ago, and I loved it so much. I came across some really amazing stories and writers. I’ve always been a reader and a writer privately, and fanfiction seemed like a good way to practice writing in a more public venue. I was to shy to do it at first, but finally this year I just decided I’d try it. And I’m glad that I did, it’s been so fun!

Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
Honestly, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’ve ever been as invested in a TV/book series as I’ve been with True Blood/SVM, or in a couple like I am with Eric and Sookie. They’re special!

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 write on my laptop, but I have a little journal that I make notes in—I draw timelines, or plot out vague outlines of chapters. I can pretty much write wherever. I like to write in my room, lounging on my bed, but I’ve actually written at school before, too. I felt weird, but a girl’s gotta do what a girls gotta do!

Ever write in your PJs?
Of course! That’s the comfiest way.

How bout naked? :o)
Ha, I can’t say that I have.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
Well, as I’ve only written one story so far, I can honestly say that it’s not really drawn from my life experience. But I think my interpretation of Eric and Sookie’s relationship is a reflection of what I’ve observed about others around me, or in the stories I’ve read or watched. A lot of the inspiration I’ve had, so far, has been from music, or stories from films/books.

Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
Well, for my first story (On a Lonely Night) I didn’t really write on a schedule. I started the story when I was on my winter break, so I wrote as often as I could. When I returned to school, I usually wrote on Thursday nights/Fridays, and tried to post on Saturdays. But when I got really excited about chapters I wrote more often.

Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
For On a Lonely Night, I wrote chapters as I posted, with a very loose outline in my mind. That worked fine, because I knew it wouldn’t be a very long or complicated story. But in the future, I’m definitely going to take time to plot and outline before I start writing, especially if the stories are going to be longer.

How do you deal with potential writers block?
I like to read other fanfictions that I really love. It gets me exciting about writing again, because I want my story to be finished and as awesome as my favorites!

Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Nope, I can’t say that I do.

Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
So far I’ve only written AH. I’d love to try and write vampires, but I have to have a really awesome story idea first. Maybe I’ll rewatch True Blood and something will come to me. Or maybe I’d try a one shot. I’ve been thinking about writing a sort of fairy-tale/AH story, so maybe that will come to fruition. Lots of possibilities!

What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
So far it’s been getting the actual time to sit down and write for a significant amount of time. Unfortunately, it’s not always the top priority, even if I wish it could be. But once I get started, usually it goes pretty well.

Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
I’m really horrible at thinking of titles, and I’ve always been. Like a lot of authors, I like to use song lyrics or titles. That way they’re snappy, and when people put the story or chapter in context of the song, they can come out with a different or deeper meaning/interpretation.

Which character do you identify with the most?
Sookie, I think, both in my story and in the books/True Blood. I don’t think I’m like her, exactly, but I can relate to her. She’s got an innocence and a sweetness to her, but she also has a fire, and a drive to survive and be happy. I feel like I embody those things as well, and I sometimes struggle to reconcile the two.

Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
Well, I’ve only written one story. But I really do love it, and I had fun writing the sweetness/adorableness. I’ve got a lot of ideas rolling around in my head, though, that are far more elaborate than On a Lonely Night, so we shall see!

Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
I told my Mom about it, but I don’t quite think she understands what fanfiction is, though I tried to explain it to her. But I told her I’ve been writing a story on this site, and that I’ve gotten a good response. She knows I’ve always aspired to be a writer of some kind, and this is a kind of practice for that, in a way, so I think she thinks it’s a pretty positive thing.

Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
I’m sure these are pretty common favorites, but Dead to The World is my favorite SVM book. As for True Blood, I Will Rise Up is my favorite. I think I’m probably in the majority with these!

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
Well, a few people have said that they couldn’t believe it was my first story, and that I was doing a good job for my first one. I was very flattered that I didn’t come off too much like a newbie!

How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
So far I haven’t gotten anything too harsh. But as to the criticism I’ve gotten, I just take a moment to consider what the person is saying, without letting it get to me personally. You can’t please everyone, so as long as I’m happy with what I wrote, I hope I won’t become too discouraged by criticism. But I’m sure I’ll have harsher criticism in the future, especially if I write a longer/angstier story.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Well, I think I’m kind of still in that category, but so far all I’ve got to say is just do it. I was nervous to get started with writing and sharing my work, but once I did I found that I loved it. Writing, but also sharing your writing, is kind of a liberating thing, actually, and very cathartic. Make sure you have someone to talk to, also. I don’t use a beta, it’s not really something I thought about, but I’ve got a good friend who reads the story, who I know I can talk to about it, and that helps.

Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
For fanfiction, I’m reading pretty much anything that MissyDee is posting. I also love the story ‘Not So Great Expectations’ by ChanelAddict. ‘Pretty Kitty’ by ficlit78 is a fantastic story, and I know it’s very popular in the True Blood fandom! All the stories that are listed in my Favorites list on my profile are ones that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and that have inspired me in some kind of way.

For non-fanfiction, I’m mostly reading stuff for school. But I bought the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series for summer reading!

And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?

On WordPress:
(I’m not quite sure that I’ve got the hang of WordPress yet, but I’ve got one!)

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thanks for the awesome questions!

Like I said, she’s awesome and you really need to go read her story…and hopefully she’s got more in the works. I’d suggest dropping her a line and letting her know how freaking amazing you think she is…might help her get u some new reading material. :o)


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