Okay so I’m back posting spotlights! Ta da!
It’s been a crazy week or two which is why I completely spaced the last few times…Little Miss is teething and is being a Pissy Miss. Plus I finished Blind Oblivion (!!!!!!!) and I’ve been tweaking it with my beta…so busy busy busy.
But this gal is so fuckawesome! Like for reals, yo. I love her comments and she’s a huge supporter of mine (which I so super appreciate!) and her story Les Bon Temps Rouler…genius! Like totally! So here we go!
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
My name is Mary, but I’m better known in the fanfic world as LostinSpace or LostinSpace33.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m a 40-year-old married admin assistant and mother of two in Charlotte, NC. And because I like a challenge, I also have a side business baking and decorating custom cakes and cupcakes, and I write a little fan fiction.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
Aside from my day job and chasing after my two kids, I spend most of my time on cakes. And when I’m out of the house doing things like waiting in lines or sitting in traffic, I read SVM/TB fanfics on my phone.
What are some things you never leave home without?
My cell phone, hand sanitizer, Emergen-C, and baby wipes (and not just for the baby!) Before I had kids my answer would have been something far more glamorous like “cell phone, some fancy brand of lip balm, Fiji water, and a novel”…((sigh!))
What are some of your favorite (non-SVM) books?
The Harry Potter series, the Twilight series (love the books but hate the movies), and the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Favorite (non-True Blood) TV shows and movies?
TV: Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Shameless, Homeland, and re-runs of M*A*S*H; Movies: The Sound of Music, Steel Magnolias, What a Girl Wants, and The American President.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Josh Groban to sing for me, Guy Fieri to cook for me, and Alexander Skarsgard for everything else. ; )
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
Do you have any pet peeves?
Rude people and crappy customer service. Too few people exhibit manners anymore and good customer service seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I’m sure this will just make me sound old, but what happened to the days where good manners were taught at home and in school and where businesses truly believed that their customers come first?
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I was hit by a car while crossing the street in college and I now have a (manageable) fear of crossing streets.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla ice cream and chocolate everything else
Silver or gold? Silver. I’ve always liked it better but I actually developed an allergy to gold during my first pregnancy, so it’s no longer an option
Apple or PC? Apple if I had more $$, but PC out of necessity
White wine or red wine? Neither…wine gives me migraines
Liquor or beer? Prefer liquor, but will drink beer
Coffee or tea? Tea. I can’t stand coffee…it always leaves that nasty burnt after-taste, no matter how much cream and sugar is added!
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in, definitely! I’m very nocturnal by nature (I would make an excellent vampire!) and find myself to be the most productive and mentally active between 10 PM and 2 AM…so I take every possible opportunity to sleep in.
Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
It’s funny…I never had any intention of writing fanfics; I just wanted to be a beta reader. I discovered the FF.net site when I ran out of SVM books to read in 2009 but just couldn’t let go of the characters. Finding all of the wonderful fanfics that would let me continue my Eric and Sookie obsession was like tossing a vampire into a room full of fairies…I was hooked! I’m kind of a spelling and grammar freak, though, and it frustrated me how many fanfic authors had great story ideas, but obviously didn’t have anyone proofreading for them. So I looked up how to become a beta reader for FF and one of the requirements was to have published at least 5 stories or 6000 words on the site. I figured I would give it a go, and Les Bon Temps Rouler was born. The really amusing thing about it is that I’ve never activated my beta profile on FF. I got so engrossed in writing LBTR and reading other fics that I never had time to finish it. And now that real life is demanding so much of my attention, I can barely find time to write at all, but I have sworn to finish LBTR “come hell or high water”. I’m as anxious to reveal how rock star Eric and event planner Sookie end up as my wonderful readers are to know!
Besides SVM/True Blood, is there another book, TV show or movie that you would write for?
I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and it’s the only other one I could see myself wanting to create stories about, but I know J.R. Ward has publically stated her opposition to fan fiction, so I probably wouldn’t actually 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 always write on my laptop. I would love to write from my phone, because I always have it with me, but I just can’t type well enough on that stupid little screen!
Ever write in your PJs?
Definitely! I love to sit on my bed in my jammies with my laptop and write.
How bout naked? :o)
No way! I have a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old in the house…the only thing I can manage to do naked (with any frequency) is shower.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I have a very vivid imagination and I do a lot of daydreaming (often when I should be focusing on something else like a lame meeting at work or my husband’s play-by-play description of his day at work.) My favorite characters, actors, etc. often star in these daydreams and sometimes I glean a story idea from them. I’m a huge Josh Groban fan (refer to my answer to the desert island question) and had a sweet little daydream once about what it would be like to meet him, which turned into thoughts of what if he met a regular girl in a small(er) town and started dating her. Since Eric and Sookie are my favorite duo ever, I turned that into an A/H SVM fic.
As for my own experiences (and personality traits,) they do appear pretty frequently. The Goddesses who are Sookie’s friends in LBTR, actually exist in my life, just with different names. And I wrote Sookie’s breakup with Bill based on a relationship breakup in my own past. So yes…definitely drawing inspiration from my own experiences.
Do you write on a schedule? If you do, how do you keep to that schedule?
Heavens no! Right now I have so much going on outside of writing that I’m lucky if I get a paragraph written per week. Lately I’ve been trying to do a little writing during my lunch breaks at work. I just eat at my desk, put my phone on do-not-disturb, and hope that no one comes by my cubicle.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
A little of both. With Les Bon Temps Rouler, the overall story idea came to me and I sat down and jotted down a general timeline. I have all of the major events charted, but to get from one to the next I just write whatever comes to me…which is why it sometimes takes me so long to put out a new chapter.
How do you deal with potential writers block?
I make myself sit down and write even knowing that I’m struggling and probably not going to keep what’s being written at the time. I’ve written an entire chapter of drivel and then gone back and deleted it and started over. Somehow, just the act of putting words onscreen initially can be enough to jumpstart my muse.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
None that I’m consciously aware of.
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
AH is the only genre I’ve tried so far, but I would like to take a crack at a more canon/AU story next. I can imagine it will be considerably more difficult, though, just because there are so many existing details to remember. Readers are generally more forgiving of AH fics because you are creating a totally different world and just filling in their favorite characters as the “actors”, so to speak. With canon writing, though, there’s a whole history of events and details that fans are loyal to and they will only allow you so much leeway for making changes.
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Coming up with new storyline ideas. I am so envious of other authors like MissyDee who constantly have new ideas for stories bouncing around in their heads. I got the idea for LBTR almost 3 years ago and since then have had only one even remotely plausible new story idea. (And by the time I finish LBTR, it probably won’t be inspirational anymore.) I love crafting the story, but coming up with concepts in the first place is tough for me.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
I am terrible with this! It’s the reason I don’t name my chapters. I love how some fanfic authors come up with cool titles and/or song lyrics to go with all of their chapters, but if I had to do that, I’d never get any actual text written.
Which character do you identify with the most?
I think this is the most common answer, but its Sookie, primarily because the SVM world revolves around her and she’s the one whose feelings we are exposed to firsthand. I’m far less foolishly obstinate than she is, though. If you tell me to stay inside because opening the door could get me killed, my @ss is staying inside!
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
N/A – so far I only have one story
Do you talk to your family about your writing? How do they feel about it?
No, this is sort of a “secret life” for me. My husband used to ask me about what I was writing and I told him in general terms that it was an SVM fanfic (and what fan fiction is, because he didn’t know), but he stopped asking me about it awhile ago.
Which is your favorite SVM book? Favorite True Blood episode?
SVM: Dead to the World; TB: “I Will Rise Up” from Season 2 – the Eric/Sookie dream sequence in that one still surpasses everything for me
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
Winning a Fangreaders Award last year for Les Bon Temps Rouler. I didn’t even know I was nominated until the winners were announced and I nearly fainted! That was such an honor.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I’ve been so fortunate – probably because I only have one story thus far – to not have received much criticism (at least that I’m privy to.) I have had a few readers catch mistakes that I’ve made, especially where I’ve contradicted something written in a much earlier chapter, and I so appreciate that. With a story as long as LBTR, it’s hard sometimes to keep up with all of the small details. I love hearing my readers’ thoughts and ideas, though, and I truly welcome criticism, as long as it isn’t presented as a personal attack.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
(1) Find a beta – There is nothing more distracting to me in a story than spelling, grammatical errors, and unfortunately Spell Check and Grammar Check programs just don’t catch everything. A beta is a must, especially for new writers and those who know that spelling, grammar and/or sentence structure are not their strengths. (2) Just do it! – Don’t let the fear that you are new and not as good or experienced as everyone else stop you. Every author – fanfic and otherwise – had to start somewhere. Can you imagine if Charlaine Harris never had the courage to share her writing with others? I was shocked by the immediate positive response from my very first chapter of LBTR. Fanfic readers crave new fics in their selected fandom and they are incredibly open and accepting of new writers.
Have any recommendations? What are you reading at the moment?
I’m always looking for new SVM/TB fics to read and I figure other readers are probably like me, so I’ve recently started posting at least one SVM/TB fanfic recommendation at the end of each of my chapters. There are some great stories out there and some of my favorites that I’m currently reading are:
Dead Man’s Hand, by eys1214
When I’m Not Looking, by MissyDee
Weapons of Destruction, by Queenhaq
Wiles, by Mortissues
Absolution, by ChanelAddict
Amnesia, by jc52185
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
The only place I post my writing currently is on FanFiction.net. (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2553327/LostInSpace33) I just don’t have the time right now to keep up a blog. But if you’re into cake, I have a Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/McDonoughCakeDesigns
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thank you for considering me for your blog! Being included makes me feel like a legitimate fanfic writer.
So go check out her story…and her cakes! Ah shit…now I want cake!