I have another spotlight for you!!! Who’s excited??
Yeah I thought so This chickie has some frickin awesome writing cred, man…
I dunno what’s wrong with me. Anyways, she’s written 5 SVM stories and they’re all over on ff.net for your reading pleasure. So, let’s hear what she’s got to say.
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
Maria, also known as Mazza666.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
Other real hobbies are embarrassingly thin on the ground, I’m afraid. I definitely spend an above-average amount of time in London’s bars and restaurants – so I hope eating and drinking counts! I’m a bit of a filmbuff too, and also go to the theatre a lot. And I love to travel. Spain and Viet Nam are two of my favourite places to go, but really anywhere with good food, sunshine and a bit of history works for me.
What are some things you never leave home without?
My Kindle. Carmex.
What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
I love the classics: Anna Karenina is my favourite book, I’ve read the Great Gatsby about twenty times, I love Middlemarch too. I’ve always been into historical fiction as well – I’m a huge admirer of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall novels and Jospeh O’Connor’s Star of the Sea is another of my all-time favourites. I devour anything about Julius Ceasar too. But I also have a thing for paranormal fantasy – I re-read the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning all the time. If you haven’t read it, I heartily recommend it.
Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
God that’s so hard – I have so many. My favourite film is definitely Last of the Mohicans, with Heathers, Dangerous Liasions, the English Patient and the Princess Bride all coming a close second. TV-wise I love Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified and the Vampire Diaries. I’ve always been a huge Buffy fan and I could watch season one of Veronica Mars over and over again for eternity.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Adele – in my fantasy world, I’m already best friends with Adele! The girl likes a drink (I’m assuming that we’ve got some rum on this island!) and I think she’d keep me laughing even when I wanted to cry. Plus, she’d be able to sing songs around the campfire;
Gordon Ramsay – because he’d know what to do with a fresh fish and a coconut better than most;
Bear Grylls – the man drinks his own pee, he can survive anywhere!
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
I’m a big Asia fan but I’ve never been to Japan. Sushi in Kyoto is definitely at the top of my want-to-do list.
Do you have any pet peeves?
People who are passive aggressive. Just come out and say it, damn you!
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
Charlton Heston’s brother was the priest that baptised me. I’m neither religious nor right-wing (or indeed American), which is why that fact always amuses me. That said, I have spent many a Sunday afternoon on the sofa in front of Ben Hur…
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Sleep in or get up early? Definitely sleep in. I’m terrible at getting up in the morning.
Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
I think I started in 2010. I’d been a reader for about a year but had never been brave enough to actually put something out there. I was actually working from home one day and just got the idea for my first story, Lifting the Veil, and had to write it down. Needless to say, I didn’t get any actual work done that day but I did post my first chapter late that night and it just went from there.
Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
I’m a huge Vampire Diaries fan (the show anyway, I’ve never read the books). In fact I love Damon Salvatore almost as much as I love Eric Northman. Almost! I’ve read some TVD fics but so far, I’ve resisted the urge to write anything.
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 don’t have a set location but always on my laptop.
Ever write in your PJs?
How bout naked? :o)
I think my laptop probably gets a bit too warm for that to be a viable option!
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
No, my stories definitely don’t have much of my real life in them – I guess it’s not that surprising when you’re writing about vampire-fairy wars and Second World War romances! I don’t know where I get my inspiration from, I just always try to write something that I think that I would like to read myself.
Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
No, no schedule (as those readers waiting patiently for a Gerrybag update will confirm!)
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I definitely plan them out. I tend to know exactly what I want to cover chapter by chapter. I certainly change and adapt my ideas as I go along within that, but I don’t really vie from the original plan and structure.
How do you deal with potential writers block?
I don’t really get writers block. For me, it’s more of a case of whether what I’m writing is good enough to post. For that, I always think putting something away and coming back to it in a day or two gives you a fresh perspective.
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?
Definitely. I find it much harder writing All Human stories, keeping the characters and their action in the confines of reality. I generally prefer letting my imaginiation go wild and it’s easier to do that with canon or particularly AU fics because of the supernatural elements.
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Finding the time. I know some writers can churn out great chapters on an almost daily basis. I am certainly not one of those!
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
Not really, although Gerrybag is the first of my fics where I’ve actually named the chapters. That story is set in the Second World War, so I use vaguely miliatary terms that fit with the events of a particular chapter. So, for example, “Capitulation” is the chapter where Sookie finally sleeps with Eric for the first time (I don’t think that’s much of a spoiler!)
Which character do you identify with the most?
I think you always have to identify a little with your heroine, don’t you? I’ve never really understood those people who love SVM but hate Sookie. That said, my friends would probably say I’m most like Pam. I certainly have her sarcasm.
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
I loved writing the Dark Side of the Light. It’s full of Eric and Sookie banter which I find a joy to write (and is one of the main reasons I loved the books in the first place) and the chapters just seemed to leap onto the page for me. I guess I’m most proud of the concept of Gerrybag simply because, as far as I am aware anyway, noone has tried a fic like it before.
Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
My family and friends know I write but my husband is the only person who knows that I write fanfiction. He finds it amusing more than anything else but he’s also pretty supportive!
Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
Club Dead has always been my favourite book. It has everything – a great plot, very hot interaction between Sookie and Eric, that hilarious dance secene with Sookie and Tara, Sookie staking Lorena and breaking up with Bill. What’s not to love?
My favourite True Blood Episode is I Will Rise Up in Season 2. I doubt I’m alone – bullet sucking, Sookie’s amazing Eric dream, Godric’s suicide. I don’t think True Blood has ever been that good since.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
I’ve been lucky enough to have been given a lot of very kind feedback from my readers but I think I’m probably most flattered when I get a review that says that someone has stayed up all through the night reading because they couldn’t put down one of my stories. I’ve been there with certain fics, so I know how it feels to get so absorbed with a good story, and it’s very nice to know that one of my stories has had the same effect on others.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I think constructive criticism is actually really helpful: it’s good to know what you’re doing right and what areas need improvement. That said, there will always be the odd person who feels it is okay to be rude or overly demanding in ways that they probably wouldn’t be in real life, simply because they are shielded by the internet. Most people in the fandom are incredibly supportive and understand that you are not a professional writer, that you are doing this as a bit of fun, in your spare time and for free etc., so when you do get a scathing review you just have to let it wash over you and move on. Reading all the nice things other people have to say about you always helps!
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I would certainly advise people to give it a go. Writing can be so rewarding and writing fanfic is a good way to dip your toe in. There are new writer contests all the time and they are a great way to get started. I would also recommend planning your stories out if you can and getting a beta if you think you might need one. You can have the greatest premise in the world for a fic but most readers will only give you a chapter or so to prove yourself, and you will lose them with bad grammar or spelling and an incoherent plotline.
Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
Alas, she’s no longer writing any more fanfiction but if you haven’t read Seastarr08’s SVM stories, do yourself a favour and look her up immediately. I don’t actually have many new stories on alert at the moment – I need some recommendations myself!
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
I’m only on Fanfiction.net but hopefully see you there!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
So, there ya go! Go check her out!