I have another author spotlight for you! And this one…wow! All these teenagers are astounding me…and intimidating me. Which is slightly depressing when you think about it, but dayum am I proud to be part of a fandom where the writers are this great!
This girl is 15…FIFTEEN!!!! And I didn’t know that until I started posting this interview which just makes her story Twisted that much more astounding to me. She writes in a much older voice and I honestly didn’t know she wasn’t at least 18 or 19, if not early 20’s. Truly, she’s amazing.
And enough of my fangirling worship…read on to actually 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?
I’m Wildheart22, or Cassidy, Cass, Cassie, Casey, Casandra, Or even Quesadilla if you’re my gym teacher. Really, it’s Cassidy, but for some reason people love to give me weird nicknames.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m a fifteen year old girl who lives in New York-the snowbelt part, which is so much less glamorous than the city part. I like writing, drawing, music, and pretty much anything creative.
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
I do a lot of drawing and painting, I play the flute, read, listen to a lot of music, and play soccer. I also spend a lot of time with my new puppy lately. He’s really needy. Sometimes, if I want to be an overachiever that day, I throw in some schoolwork and homework too.
What are some things you never leave home without?
My phone, wallet, a book, and usually a sketchbook and pencils.
What are some of your favorite books?
Wow, I think if I put them all it would take twenty years to answer! The Mortal Instruments series is definitely my favorite, and I really like the Shadow Fall series, the Nightshade trilogy, and a lot of other YA books and series. I also read classics, too. Lots of Charles Dickens.
Favorite TV shows and movies?
My favorite TV show for so long was Supernatural. Now, it’s shifted to The Walking Dead, Lost Girl and Once Upon A Time. My favorite movie(that’s not based on a book) is War Horse. It made me cry so much but it was so good.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Hmm…my first choice would definitely be Jamie Cambell Bower because he would be able to act like Jace the whole time, and it would be amazing-and plus, I’d need something nice to look at wouldn’t I? I’d also choose Stephan King, because he could entertain me for pretty much forever by telling me stories. And then I’d pick Jenna McDougall, because I’d need a girl to talk to and she’s also an amazing singer and could be our source of music.
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
This is going to sound so stereotypical, but I would probably want to go to Paris. Ever since I learned about its history years ago, I’ve wanted to go there. I could see the Palace of Versailles and The Louvre.
Do you have any pet peeves?
People who chew with their mouths open. It really kills me a little inside when people do it near me. And people who borrow pens and don’t give them back, because then I have to borrow pens and never give them back.
What are some of your favorite foods? How ‘bout comfort foods?
This one is hard because I love all food. But I really love pumpkin pie. I usually only get it once a year on Thanksgiving and I look forward to it all year. It just reminds me of family.
What’s your favorite scent-one that says “home” to you?
Liliac. Ever since I was little, my mom always put lilac scented candles around the house, and it’s something that will always remind me of home.
What kind of music do you like? Any you absolutely can’t stand?
I love literally all music. Or at least a little bit of each. I think the kind I like the least is rap, but I still listen to a bit of that every now and then. I’ll go for one week sure that a certain genre is my favorite and then it switches the next week, so really it depends on my mood.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I love horses. I used to do horse shows, but I haven’t in a loooong time.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate. I used to only eat vanilla, but sometime around seventh grade it switched to chocolate when I decided that vanilla was like eating plain ice.
Silver or gold? Silver. I’ve only ever worn silver jewelry, and I think I got that from my mom because she hates gold.
Apple or PC? Apple.
White wine or red wine? I’ve never had either, but white wine just seems really classy so I’ll go with that one.
Liquor or beer? Liquor. I think I’ve tried beer once in my life and I hated it.
Coffee or tea? Coffee. I need my coffee, or people see a very nasty side of me.
Sleep in or get up early? Get up early. The earlier I’m up, the more I can get done with the time I have for the day.
Okay, now for the good stuff.
What are your preferred fandoms for writing/reading?
The Mortal Instruments, definitely. I’ve only ever written in two other fandoms, and I never really got the same thrill out of it. It was kind of dull to me because nobody was all that enthusiastic.
What kind of environment do you write in?
Pretty much anything. Whenever and wherever I have time. I write on google docs so I can access everything from anywhere, including on my phone when I’m in the car or school.
Ever write in your PJs?
Every day. Seriously. I usually wake up in the morning about half an hour before school to write and I’m always in my pajamas.
How bout naked?
Ummm…maybe a couple times? If being in a towel counts, then yeah. I always get a lot of ideas in the shower, so as soon as I get out, I try and get it down.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
Occasionally, I take something that happened in real life and transfer it to my stories. If something particularly traumatising happens to me, it might end up in a story later. Usually though, my inspiration comes from music. In my story, Twisted, the main character sprains her wrist and the whole thing came straight from when I broke my wrist in ninth grade.
Do you write on a schedule?
Not really. Just, whenever I’ve got the time or the inspiration. The majority of my free time goes to my writing.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
Usually I just sit down and whatever comes out is what I write. I’ll typically take that and kind of fit it into a very basic plan for what happens. Of course, it’s really vague and usually I end up with a completely different story than I planned out.
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
I have to have music. I can’t write without it. My only superstition is that if I write it out by hand before, it’s usually my best chapter.
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
I like to think I’ve got the angsty stuff down to a ‘t’. I’m okay at romance, humor and drama, but I think action is my absolute weakness. When I write action, it all gets rushed and blurred together.
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Probably trying to fit the characters into how they are in actual books. Even with AU stories, like Twisted, I try to keep some of their true personality in it. And when they’re not AU, it gets so much harder to make the characters true to the books.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
When I used to name chapters, I just gave the main topic of the chapter in the vaguest way possible so people could get an idea of what it is, but it wouldn’t spoil anything. As for my stories, I try to find one word or a couple words that fit to the story as a whole, and another thing I like to do is use the main theme I’m aiming for and make that into a title.
Which character do you identify with the most?
I’d say Clary, from the Mortal Instruments. Basically because she’s got a short temper, freckles, and she likes art.
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
So far, Twisted. I like that I get to write a character who’s really just a sociopath-cough cough, Sebastian. You don’t have to play by the rules when you’re writing a character like that, and it’s so much fun.
Do you talk to your family about your writing?
Not really. They know that I like to write, and that I used to get good grades in writing class, but that’s about it.
What is your favorite book/episode in your preferred series?
My favorite book in The Mortal Instruments is City of Lost Souls. I like that one specifically because that’s when I think Clary really started to be a badass. I mean, she was in the other books, but especially in City of Lost Souls.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
It was probably in seventh grade, when I first started to discover how much I loved writing. I’d gotten an awesome grade on a creative writing assignment and my teacher actually put on the grade sheet ‘you WILL be a writer’. That’s stuck with me my whole life, and I actually still have that paper. She’s the reason I love writing like I do.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I think the worst criticism I’ve gotten is from people in real life, more than people on FanFiction. It’s people who I’ve seen online and had the displeasure of talking to every now and then, who think that people on FanFiction are the people who have minimal talent that go there just to get praise for hardly any work. But, because I know that they’re wrong and they’re the ones missing out, I just kind of brush it off. I just don’t let it bother me. They can say what they want, but that doesn’t make them right.
What is your favorite/least favorite part about your preferred fandoms?
My favorite part of the Mortal Instruments fandom is the Valentine’s day jokes. That’s also my least favorite part. Okay, just kidding. Really, my favorite part is how supportive, hilarious and honestly, just really deep the fans can be. My least favorite part is…yeah, probably still the Valentine’s day jokes.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write. Seriously, the only way to improve your writing is to write more. You could look up as many tips and self-help books for writing as you want, but the only way to really get better is to do it.
Have any recommendations?
Some of the stories that have me really hooked right now are A Tale of Two by ‘simplymoshingintomordor’. I love pretty much all of the stories from this authot. The Big Apple by ‘Arlynn62532’. That one hasn’t been updated in a while, but I’m still anxiously waiting for another chapter. Undefined Darkness by ‘Wherondale’. I love this one. It’s so deep and the characters are so well-developed it hurts my heart to read a little. But in a good way. And actually, Nine Steps Back by ‘Thalie Marie Grace’, who was also interviewed.
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
Well, I’ve got a tumblr that I started a long time ago to post stories to, but never ended up doing that. I might start up again soon, posting some ideas for both Twisted and a new story I’m thinking about once Twisted reaches its end. I would actually end up using it a lot for then next one. My tumblr is WritingBetterInBlack
(BTW: Her ff.net profile is here.)
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Thank you! It was so much fun :)
So yeah. Like I said, she’s awesome and I absolutely adore her stories. And I’m super excited to hear she’s got another one planned. *Eeek!* Her recs are spot on and I’ve actually spotlighted one, two more are on my list and I hadn’t heard of the other so yay!!!!
Anyways, go read her story, check out her stuff and leave her some love! Adios lovelies!!!