Hey-o! It’s me again! (Duh, right?) Anyhoo-I have a new spotlight for you. This chick is so completely awesome, it’s like…not even funny. Except that she is funny. Yeah…I’m running on about 3 hours of sleep and a fucked shoulder so forgive my less than stellar commentary (and spelling-good grief you should see this before I correct it!!!) Anyways, I kinda just…I don’t actually remember how I found her, but I absolutely *devoured* Battle of the Bands, which coincidentally was the first ever Mortal Instruments spotlight I did. And I seriously like couldn’t stop reading it. And I cried when it ended…not cause it was sad…but because it ended. Yes, I am a dork. But this girl definitely deserves every bit of praise I can heap her way and a hell of a lot more if I’m being honest. So check out what she’s got to say, cause she’s hilarious all on her own. I’m slowly working my way through her other stories (I live for weekly updates on A Tale of Two, btw), so there’ll be more of her spotlights heading your way soon. :)
Alright, kisses lovelies! Read on and enjoy!
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
I’m simplymoshingintomordor, or smim. I also occasionally go by Aragorn. Depends on my mood.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m a 20-year old girl from the South East of England who gets far too emotionally invested in fictional characters and doesn’t quite know what to do with all these feelings. Writing about them helps lessen the pain somewhat, but my heart is still a vast abyss of anguish and frustration.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
I’m in the final year of my Maths and Economics degree so that takes up the vast majority of my time, but when I get a second away from the soul-crushing integrals, I like to play guitar. I’ve been in a band since I was about thirteen and though my bandmates are all at different universities now so we don’t get as much time to practice, I’m still on my guitar every chance I get. I also watch a lot of football. Man United till I die.
What are some things you never leave home without?
My phone (generic, I know) and my iPod. I usually also have a guitar pick somewhere on my person at all times and I went through this phase a few years ago where I wouldn’t leave the house without my replica sonic screwdriver. You never know when you’re going to be in a sonic screwdriver emergency.
What are some of your favorite books?
Lord Of The Rings always tops the list. I don’t think anything will ever even come close to that. But other than that, I love The Inheritance Cycle, The Edge Chronicles and I’ve recently gotten into the Throne Of Glass series too (fantasy galore, basically). Obviously I also adore the Shadowhunter Chronicles.
Favorite TV shows and movies?
Oh goodness, too many to name. On the TV show front, I’d have to say Smallville, the usual BBC shows and Gilmore Girls. Also Friends, because who doesn’t like Friends? Reality-wise I love The Apprentice, Don’t Tell The Bride and basically every trashy documentary Channel Four can throw my way. Give me all the trash.
In terms of films, there’s the obvious Middle Earth epic that rules my life, but Equilibrium is an amazing standalone, as well as Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Absolute classic, that one.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
First off would be Jared Leto so he could serenade me with that husky voice of his and I feel like he’d have plenty of awesome stories to tell. The second would be Max Irons, just because Max Irons. And the third would be Bear Grylls so at least one of us knows how to make a real fire.
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
New Zealand. I need to go to New Zealand. You can probably guess why.
Do you have any pet peeves?
For someone who prizes herself on being ‘pretty chill’ I do have a fair few, I must admit. The vast majority of those have to do with pedestrians and their insistence on throwing themselves in the path of my car, or other drivers who like to cruise along at 10mph on a 40mph road. I wouldn’t say I have road rage, but I sometimes have road rage.
What are some of your favorite foods? How ’bout comfort foods?
The majority of my favourites are Punjabi dishes – can’t beat the good old homemade stuff, but I basically inhale pasta. And pizza. Everything beginning with P, really. My comfort food go-to is cheese and crackers with HOT salsa. Breaks the rule there.
What’s your favorite scent-one that says “home” to you?
This is going to sound super cheesy but it’s that smell of grass after it’s been raining. I spent a lot of time in Wiltshire when I was growing up and Kent is pretty green too, so that always reminds me of home.
What kind of music do you like? Any you absolutely can’t stand?
I like whatever sounds good to me – I’ll give anything a listen at least once, but about ninety-eight percent of that falls into the rock/metal spectrum. Even within that my taste varies wildly and I can listen to something as soft as This Wild Life one second and then switch to The Black Dahlia Murder the next. 30 Seconds To Mars and The Word Alive are my absolute faves though. As for music I can’t stand – again I’ll give anything a try – but Hip-Hop and RnB are generally just not for me. There needs to be at least a guitar or two in there somewhere.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I’m obsessed with green olives.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.
Silver or gold? Silver.
Apple or PC? Apple! My computer won’t let me type anything otherwise.
White wine or red wine? Neither – I don’t actually drink. Though I do prefer White Grape Shloer over Red Grape, if that’s any indication.
Liquor or beer? Again, neither.
Coffee or tea? That’s a hard one. I have at least one cup of each every day, but for now I’m feeling coffee.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in. Always.
Okay, now for the good stuff.
What are your preferred fandoms for writing/reading?
For writing it’s definitely the Shadowhunter fandom. Cassie’s created so many wonderful characters to play around with and I’m deeply in love with about half of them. Having just finished the latest Bloodlines book, I’m very into Sydrian fics at the moment and I’m currently on the hunt for some Throne Of Glass ones. I may give those fandoms a shot myself at some point.
What kind of environment do you write in?
I usually write pretty late at night, so I tend to be in bed or somewhere near it.
Ever write in your PJs?
It’s harder thinking of times I haven’t written in my PJs, so yes!
How bout naked?
Aha nope, I haven’t tried that one yet.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
Normally, yes. I find it’s always much easier to write about something you’ve experienced before so, for example, A Tale Of Two is heavily inspired by my second year of university. With Battle Of The Bands I sort of just let the story take itself wherever it wanted, but I drew on some experiences from my own band whenever I had to write a scene with Mallard Massacre. The way the boys interact is basically the same way the four of us behave around each other.
Do I put real life into my stories?
Yes, I do. I exaggerate sometimes for the benefit of the story, but like I mentioned, the events of Tale Of Two have been based by a lot of things that actually happened to me last year. If something funny happens to me in real life, I see no reason why it can’t happen to my characters too.
Do you write on a schedule?
It depends on my update schedule, really. I try to pick a day of the week that I can dedicate to my writing and during the holidays I wrote a little every day.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I usually have a general idea of where the story’s going to go and what the main plot points are going to be from the very beginning, but other than that I just go with the flow. With A Tale Of Two I had to do some pretty rigorous planning because of the importance of the dates and all the time constraints, but there’s always room for deviation.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
I don’t have any superstitions but I always pick an album before I’m about to have a decent writing session and play that on repeat until I’m done. I’ve been jamming a lot of William Beckett recently.
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
Humour is by far my favourite genre. I don’t have to think much when I’m writing a crack fic, but I definitely struggle with romance. I think I just about get away with it, but I get so stressed out having to write anything vaguely intimate. It’s been easier with A Tale Of Two because the characters are older so I don’t get as grossed out haha…
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Again, it’s the romance, but more so with the development of it. My own instinct is to delay that part of the fic for as long as possible, but obviously it tends to be the plot point that readers want the most. It’s hard finding the happy medium where I think I’ve drawn out the tension long enough, but the readers haven’t already killed me for it. My life is fraught with danger.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
The title is usually spontaneous, but I always like to have a theme for the chapter titles. So for Battle Of The Bands they all started with ‘Trying to/not to,’ the two crack fics either start with Jonathan or Valentine respectively, and the chapter titles for A Tale Of Two finish the title itself e.g. ‘A Tale Of Two Dumpings’ or ‘A Tale Of Two Meetings.’
Which character do you identify with the most?
Without a doubt, it’s Will Herondale. I get him completely and he’s one of those characters that I would literally defend to the death. I didn’t identify with either of the female protagonists much while I was reading the books, but I alter them somewhat in my fics so that I can understand them better. Obviously I try to keep them in characters as much as possible, but I like to emphasise the personality traits that I can relate to most and that helps me when it comes to writing them.
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
Weirdly enough, I’ve had the most amount of fun writing From Switzerland With Love. I adore Valentine and I love getting into his head to crank out a chapter of that every now and then. There’s no pressure. No time limit. Just pure, unadulterated Valentine Morgenstern. Concept-wise I’d have to say it’s A Tale Of Two, mainly because it’s the closest to my own life. We’ve had new neighbours move in recently and I haven’t met them yet, so every time I walk past their door now I’m always just thinking…what if? It wouldn’t be a bad fantasy to live out.
Do you talk to your family about your writing?
All the time! I’m a bit of a diva, really. I don’t tell them exactly what I’m writing about, but my mother is always checking up to make sure it isn’t interfering with my work or sleep. With Battle Of The Bands I used to consult with my sister a lot because she’s the one who initially got me into the Shadowhunter books, so whenever I had an idea for the plot, I usually discussed it with her first.
What is your favorite book/episode in your preferred series?
I don’t think I really have a favourite with The Infernal Devices, because each book caused me about as much pain as it did joy – though as a whole series, I do prefer it to The Mortal Instruments. The London thing did it for me and Will Herondale sealed the deal. Of the Mortal Instruments, it’s between City Of Glass and City Of Lost Souls. So basically, the more Jonathan the better.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
It doesn’t take much to make me smile but the compliments that have stayed with me the most are the ones when people say that if I ever released a book of my own, they’d buy it. For someone to have looked past the world that they love and the characters that they know so well to actually enjoy my writing in itself is…well, incredible. The whole reason I joined fanfiction again is that so I could improve my writing enough so that I could do my own series justice. I’ve had it planned out for years but I never thought my writing was good enough to get it down on paper, so compliments like that are a massive confidence booster.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I’ve been lucky enough that I haven’t really had to deal with any real criticism (yet). Occasionally someone will be annoyed by what a character has said or done, but that’s perfectly fine. Everyone’s different and so we’ll all react to situations differently. If people do have ideas on how I could improve my writing, I’d honestly really appreciate it.
What is your favorite/least favorite part about your preferred fandoms?
My favourite part is how supportive everyone is, particular within the Shadowhunter community. I don’t really have a bad word to say about them.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just go for it. If there’s a story you’ve had in the back of your head for a long time, or one that just occurred to you three minutes ago, write it down! I keep a notebook of all my ideas – no matter how absurd – just in case they ever become something more than a scribble. You’ll never get better unless you try, so if you’ve been too scared to publish your writing before, don’t overthink it. Take a shot.
Have any recommendations?
In terms of books, I’d definitely recommend the Throne Of Glass series to those of you who haven’t read it yet. I haven’t enjoyed a series that much in quite a while. In terms of fics, I’ve got most of my favourites added to my profile.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
If I linked her twitter wrong, then forgive me…I don’t actually use twitter. I have one but never use it. Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed and I hope you’ll go check her out, cause-again-I’m a little bit in love with her. Purely cause she’s such a sweetie and writes so well. :P So go shower her with love and I’ll catch ya later!