Okay, this is one of my many backlogged spotlights…so…here it is! Go check her out, cause she’s amazing!!
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Kelly, or as more people know me, Kelpie.
And you are?
My url/username on just about everything related to fanfiction is Scheherezade06. Scheherezade for the legendary storyteller, 06 for my birthday. You can call me Tam, which is short for Tamara.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
Oh, gosh, well, I try to keep my fanfiction-writing internet presence seperate from my personal/professional internet presence. I’m a middle school teacher who writes young adult fantasy novels. I’d really rather my students not find my M-rated fanfics and know that they were written by their teacher!
So, without saying too much, I’m a teacher, a mom, a wife, and a giant nerd!
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
Think about writing! Change diapers, watch TV, read. I’m really boring!
What are some things you never leave home without?
Heh. I’m known for my gigantic purse. Even before it got morphed into a diaper bag (or when I grab a small clutch for a rare night out), I had/have to have chapstick, nail clippers, medicines, tweezers, gum, a pen, and my phone. In my regular, day-to-day purse, you will also find a sewing kit, a first aid kit, a tape measure, hard candy, earbuds, dental floss, lotion, hydrocortisone, Q-tips, wet-wipes, mini-screwdrivers (for glasses repair), a water bottle, eyeliner, wallet and coin purse, and feminine hygiene products! So, if you ever need anything (like a safety pin or something), just ask!
What are some of your favorite books?
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman; Lightning, by Dean Koontz; the Dresden Files series, by Jim Butcher; the Wheel of Time series, by Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson); the A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R.R. Martin; For Love of Evil, by Piers Anthony… I could go on all day!
Favorite TV shows and movies?
The Princess Bride, Labyrinth, Army of Darkness, The Fifth Element, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Pride and Prejudice, Bicentennial Man; Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Sherlock, The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, Chopped, Good Eats, Sailor Moon, Ranma ½, Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, Forever Knight… Off the top of my head.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
I’m gonna be boring and practical!
- Les Stroud (AKA the Survivorman), for obvious reasons
- Neil Gaiman, for conversation
- Diana Gabaldon, for conversation
What is 1 place you’d love to visit?
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit England, Ireland, and Wales. I’d love to visit Japan.
Do you have any pet peeves?
YES. Bad grammar and not using your turn signals. And Lots more.
What are some of your favorite foods? How ‘bout comfort foods?
I’m a meat-and-potatoes kinda girl. I’m also super picky. I love fish and chips, cheesecake, burgers, fries, milkshakes. For comfort foods: Chicken soup, french fries, brisket, pasta salad.
What’s your favorite scent-one that says “home” to you?
My favorite scent is honeysuckle. One that says “home” would be my husband’s deodorant. =)
What kind of music do you like? Any you absolutely can’t stand?
I like a little bit of everything! I’m partial to upbeat rock and pop-y stuff, but I grew up on 90’s country and oldies. I even like some rap and a little dubstep. I can’t stand anything purposefully made to sound lo-fi. It gives me a headache.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I can’t whistle.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla. Never cared for chocolate.
Silver or gold? Silver. Don’t like yellow/orange.
Apple or PC? Ugh… I’m bilingual? Apple, I guess. I love my iPod/iPhone/iPad, but my computers are all PCs.
White wine or red wine? Don’t care as long as it’s sweet!
Liquor or beer? Liquor.
Coffee or tea? Neither? Unless it’s Chai tea. I’ll drink that.
Sleep in or get up early? Depends on the day! With a toddler, I rarely get to sleep in early, though, so I guess I’ll choose that!
Okay, now for the good stuff.
Why and when did you start writing fanfics?
I think my first fanfic was after I watched the finale for Forever Knight and thought, “oh, no. It can’t end like that!” So I wrote, “Forever Knight, a Better Ending” on lined paper. In high school a friend of mine introduced me to my first fanfic website, where I started reading/writing Sailor Moon and Ranma ½ fics.
It’s kinda snowballed since then!
What are your preferred fandoms for writing/reading?
I read OUAT, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, BtVS. I used to read a LOT of Ranma ½ and some Sailor Moon, and I had a Twilight phase.
I almost exclusively write OUAT now, though I have written BtVS, HP, R½, SM, The Host, Twilight, True Blood/SVM, Megamind, and others I know I’m forgetting!
What kind of environment do you write in?
Until last year, I exclusively did first drafts in spiral-bound notebooks. I have hundreds of them in boxes in my house. For NaNoWriMo 2013, I decided to try to skip a step and just type my stories. Since then, I haven’t gone back. I do most of my writing on my laptop while sitting on the couch!
Ever write in your PJs?
Most of the time!
How bout naked?
Don’t think so?
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I definitely put real-world experiences in my novels. Not sure about fanfiction. And as to inspiration, I get it from a lot of places. My most popular ‘fic happened because I was listening to the radio on my way to work, and a familiar song came on and I suddenly heard one of the lyrics in a character’s voice. Then the whole tale started spinning around that one line, and that’s how Two Princes came to be!
Do I put real life into my stories?
In my novels, yes!
Do you write on a schedule?
Kinda? I mean, I have a toddler, so I really only get to write during nap time or after he goes to bed. During the school year, I can write in my classroom before and after school and during lunch!
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I’m mostly a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer, though sometimes I’ll jot down an outline or a couple key events that I know I want to happen later.
How do you deal with potential writers block?
With my first novel, I got stuck for over a year. Then a friend suggested I do a writing exercise where I switch point-of-view and write from a different character’s perspective. That worked like a charm!
Otherwise, taking a break or powering through and just writing poorly until I could make it through the block. It really depends on why you’re blocked. “Writer’s Block” isn’t just one thing!
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?
I tend to write at a young-adult level or at a very-adult level. I’m not very good writing in between.
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Dialogue! Sometimes I agonize over a turn of phrase, saying it outloud to try to capture the character’s voice. I’ll rewrite a line several different ways to see which sounds most like the character and go look up scripts to see if they ever use certain words/phrases if I can’t remember off the top of my head.
I also do a LOT of research. I’ll spend hours researching something that only affects a single line of a ‘fic. For Two Princes, I researched nautical terms, royal forms of address, horseback riding, ballroom dancing, and boatswain’s whistles. I also did a lot of script-reading to get my dialogue just right. I like using lines from the source material in AU fanfiction.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
Yeah, I suck at that… I like song titles because they give the reader a sense of what to expect, I think. I also like numbers. Song titles that start with a number (like Two Princes) are my favorite!
Which character do you identify with the most?
Okay, this is where I’m weird. I don’t really do that. At least, I don’t write ‘fics for characters like me. I want to write about the characters I’m attracted to, not the ones like me. =)
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
My Once Upon a Time/Harry Potter crossover ‘fic is a lot of fun! Two Princes was an amazing experience, but it’s done now. Concept-wise, I’m partial to my naughty OUAT ‘fic, Ten Hours.
Do you talk to your family about your writing?
About my novel-writing, yes. About my ‘fic-writing, not so much! My husband thinks fanfiction is a waste of time (!!!). I told my mom about ‘fic writing, but she also seemed to think it was a strange thing to do.
What is your favorite book/episode in your preferred series?
I make all my students watch Blink, from Doctor Who!
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
When my students ask about the next book in my series of novels, that makes me feel wonderful. As to fanfiction, the best review I ever got was for my OUAT/The Walking Dead crossover piece. The reviewer complimented my writing in general, my capture of the characters, my adaptation to the genre, my dialogue, and two particular scenes, all in the same review. I just reread the review over and over with my mouth hanging open. It was really affirming! The only compensation fanfiction writers get is reviews and recommendations, so, that was a good “payday”!
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I can usually brush it off. Two of my family members dislike my novels, and it makes me a little sad, but everyone has different tastes. In fanfics, it’s mostly the same. If I make a mistake, I’d like it pointed out, but if you just dislike my writing and don’t have anything constructive to say, then I’d rather not hear it.
There’s a huge different between, “You suck at writing (Character)” and “You keep having (Character) use modern jargon, and it really feels out of character.” I think the point of a critique is to help the author improve. So, structured criticism is good stuff, but people just saying “I don’t like it” is not so much.
What is your favorite/least favorite part about your preferred fandoms?
I love the sense of community, but I hate the cliques that form around ships. Ship and let ship, I say. And don’t ever insult someone else’s ship. Also, if your ship isn’t canon, just accept that. I ship plenty of crackships, but I’d never get up on a soapbox and scream at people about the ship. I certainly wouldn’t ever say anything negative to the actors or writers. That’s probably my least favorite: the “Fans” who send hate.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
WRITE! Constantly. Every day. And READ. Read books, poetry, magazine, everything. Understand the rules of grammar, punctuation, and style so that you will know when and how to break them effectively. When you feel ready, share your writing with others, even if it’s just one person. Even if it is anonymous. It will be terrifying, but it will also be thrilling!
Have any recommendations?
Oh, my goodness! I could ramble for days. I’ve got a Fic Rec page on my Tumblr. Can I just direct you there?
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
So, yeah there ya go. Go check her out…Two Princes was literally my existence for a few weeks while I was reading it. *le sigh*