Author Spotlight: Jan of Arc

It’s spotlight time!

I’m very excited about this one cause this gal is awesome! She has awesome stories, she runs a festive fic exchange, is prt of random-fandom (a site I’ve only begun to explore since I did this spotlight) and is just an overall badass chica! Well, in my opinion anyways.

I’ll let you judge for yourself, since ya know…that’s the whole point here. :)

Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?

I write under Jan of Arc but most people just refer to me as Jan.

So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m in my mid-thirties, married with two gorgeous little girls. I work part-time as well as training to play roller derby, playing simcity social and, of course, writing fanfic.

What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
Facebook stalking, skating, working and, sometimes, I try to be a parent

What are some things you never leave home without?
Cash – I always have at least £1 in my pocket just in case, Lip balm, cigarettes and a lighter.

What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
A Song of Ice & Fire – GRR Martin, The Necroscope and Vampire world series – Brian Lumley, Watchers & Lightning – Dean Koontz, The Stand – Stephen King.

Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
Big Bang Theory, Supernatural, 2 Broke Girls, Star Trek:TNG, Fringe and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
I’ve cheated a little
Mr. T
Dirk Benedict
Dwight Schultz and
George Peppard (deceased so does he count if he’s only there in spirit?)
Together they make the A Team, which means we wouldn’t be stranded for very long

What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
Ooh it’s a tossup between Athens and Las Vegas. But I’ll go for Vegas because there’s a bigger chance of seeing Elvis impersonators

Do you have any pet peeves?
Many. Too many. You’d be quicker asking me about stuff that doesn’t annoy me. A couple of the biggies are people who stand at the bus stop for ten minutes with you and wait until they’re in front of the driver before taking out their wallet to pay the fare and checkout assistants who spend far too long chatting with the customer in front of me.

Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I have a scar on my tongue from when I bit off the tip when I was 2. It was a bizarre chute incident.

Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla – it’s lighter and less likely to cause migraines.
Silver or gold? Silver – I think gold looks dirty against my skin.
Apple or PC? PC – I prefer to have a choice with the programmes and systems I use.
White wine or red wine? White, at a push, not a wine drinker. It makes me sleepy.
Liquor or beer? Liquor – you can’t do shots with beer. Not properly anyway.
Coffee or tea? TEA! I’m a total tea jennie, I need at least 2 cups before leaving the house.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in. I’ve got kids, I get up early often enough as it is

Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?

I started writing fanfic in September 2009. I’d watched season one of TB the previous year and read all the books before season two started. I loved the SVM books so much that only a few episodes into s2 I was disappointed. I discovered fanfic by accident, trying to find forums and sites with people who felt the same as me. When I found there was maybe only 8 pages of stories, I was pregnant and had some complications that left me housebound from 7 months gone. When I read everything that there was to offer, I had some ideas – so I wrote them *shrugs* I’m in the fortunate position of knowing what kind of plot lines have been used (and overused in some cases) in the fandom. I think that keeps my ideas fresh and interesting.

Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
I’ve written for Big Bang Theory and have also written a Friends/Buffy crossover and a Chuck/Supernatural crossover to promote a writing challenge.

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 always jot down my initial idea in a notebook and work out the major happenings on paper before I go to my lappy and start typing. I used to occupy a corner of a large dining table but we did some moving around and now I have my own desk – but I’m facing a different wall and it’s been hard to write since that. Feng Shui writer’s block

Ever write in your PJs?
All the time. If I have to get dressed on my days off work I feel hard done by.

How bout naked? :o)
Does yelling for my husband to bring me a note book while I’m in the bath count? It was a really awesome idea.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I have no idea where my inspiration comes from. My train of thought can be incredibly random, one minute I’ll be thinking about what to make for dinner – the next I’ll be thinking about how cool it would be if Eric was a superhero. Quite a lot of my real life experiences and personality traits go into my writing – that’s unavoidable with fanfic because we didn’t create Sookie, so we have to go on our own thoughts and reactions when we’re writing her.

Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
No, I tried to write on a schedule and failed miserably. I suck at updating on a regular basis, I can churn out a chapter a week for a couple of months and then nothing for a couple of months. I’m always apologising for that

Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I always have a beginning, middle and an end. I might take a few detours once my fingers tap at the keyboard, but I try to keep it on track.

How do you deal with potential writers block?
I wallow and moan and complain and feel sorry for myself. Then I start writing something new and before I know it I’ve got 4 projects on the go at once. Then I’ll attempt NaNoWriMo again and end up with writer’s block from December until February/March. It’s a yearly occurrence that there’s no way to avoid

Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
No, it’s bad luck to be superstitious.

Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
I tend to find writing rom/com to be easier than serious stories, probably because I tend to try and always see the funny side of everything. I’m not a serious person, but I can turn my hand to a story lacking ‘Teh Funneh’ if the ideas are flowing.

What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Finishing them. I start new stories all the time, then lose interest or hit a block and they languish for months on end.

Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
Mostly they come from song or movie titles or a play on those titles.

Which character do you identify with the most?
Canonically – none of them. But I’ve written human versions of Sookie that I identify with heavily.

Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
I loved writing Electric Limbo because I could really let my geek flag fly and throw in all the references to geek pop culture that are woefully absent in other fics. Concept-wise, I like Jumping the Void because there’s so much scope for variation from chapter to chapter.

Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
Yep. Hubs is cool with it, my Mum doesn’t understand the concept of fanfic or the desire to write creatively but she supports it in her own way.

Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
Favourite SVM book would be Altogether Dead, book 7. Favourite TB ep would be the S3 Finale, but then S4 started and they forgot that they had that episode.

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
They’re all great, I’m lucky that I’ve got a small group of regular readers and reviewers that I can have a real back and forth dialogue with – the fact that they want to discuss what’s going on in my stories is all the compliments I need.

How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I don’t receive a lot of criticism, I’ve never been flamed or anything like some fanfic writers have. Really the only criticism I get is that Sookie and Eric aren’t jumping each other’s bones quick enough.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The more you write, the better you get. Don’t compare yourself to others, keep writing and in time you can look back and see how much you’ve improved.

Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
Be There by Ooshka is the only SVM fanfic I’m following right now. I’ve recommended a couple of BBT fics on the Random-Fandom review blog. I’ve not been reading fanfic as actively the last 4 or 5 months.

And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
Live Journal, ffnet, Random-Fandom and I’m still in the process of building a wordpress blog. I’m Jan of Arc pretty much everywhere

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

Heh. See, I told ya. Awesome. So go check her out nd leave her some love!

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