Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mistress mskathy takes on the Latin Lover Gustariana

Mistress mskathy takes on the Latin Lover Gustariana
This week we have The Pack's Mistress of all things deviant and delicious mskathy talking shop with the Latina that brought us Swingward Gustariana.

MsKathy's questions for Gusta:

mskathy: I am under the impression that you're a non-native English speaker, is that correct?
Gusta: Yes, I am a native Spanish speaker. I lived in the states for a few years some time back but before that I didn't have any experience talking/living in English. I do use it constantly know when I am online (chat, boards, etc) and sometimes for work.

mskathy: If so, do you write in another language and then translate the chapter into English, or do you write in English?
Gusta: I write in English, but I feel that the process is a little more complicated or slow going than for most authors. I do most of my outlines, notes, et cetera in a mix of Spanish and English, but when I am thinking about the story and planning I do it in Spanish. I guess I think in Spanish, so the rationalization happens in that language.

I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to translations of stories. As you can tell from using an online translator there is a lot more to translations than swapping words between languages. A lot has to do with interpretation, the words we choose to use when we write are a reflection of whatever feeling we want to evoke on a reader. For example, let's say I wrote this sentence:

The way Bella touched my soul, the way her presence in my life had, and continued to change me, astounded me. I had stopped trying to find a reason for it. There was nothing logical about it. All I could identify where the effects she had left in her wake.

See the word touched? I picked touched because it implies a feeling that is soft but leaves an impression. I could have picked marked, but that felt like too much of a brand was left. Reached seemed like too little. I wanted the sentence to show that Bella's impact on Edward's life had been long lasting, but the way she imprinted herself on it had been slow and gentle.

The same applies to translating, how will someonen that didn't have the background on the thinking process know which word to choose? I tell everyone that I would have a really hard time translating my own story, maybe it is because I am too close to it. Or maybe I am just too OCD about writing! I would have to write it all over again.

mskathy: When you sit to write, do you prefer to work in quiet, or with noise? If noise, tv or music?
Gusta: It depends, sometimes I need to be in a quiet corner with no distractions. Most of the time I leave some background noise. I am not fond of absolute silence and I am also not fond of absolute seclusion. I am too ADD to sit in a corner and write, or even attempting to write without talking over what I am doing with someone. Every person has a different style they prefer when writing, as long as it works for them.

mskathy: Do you find setting aside structured time works better, or just letting the creative flow "happen when it happens"?
Gusta: Err... you read my story right? Haha! I am totally a "gotta way for the mood to strike" kinda writer. I can't force myself to write or the consequences are disastrous. Only problem with this approach is that it means my updates are slow coming. I'd like to think that the wait is worth it but who knows!

mskathy: Do you outline rigorously, or move the story forward more loosely?
Gusta: I obsess a good amount about the story, I also love my lists. This means that I outline as much as I can. I have an overall outline that I did prior to starting to write a single word. This is a long list of "who is who", "why they do the things they do", and "what are the things that happen" in the story. I also do separate short outlines for each chapter to make sure that I know what are the main objectives of the chapter. Once I hit all those points, the chapter is done.

Another reason why I outlined is because my intention was always to write a swingers story that dealt with everything but the actual swinging. I needed to remind myself of my goal because it feels like it would have been very tempting and easy to write the story differently. Would the story would be more popular if I had done it any other way? Probably, but I really like where it has gone and I will continue with the outline I set out at the beginning.

mskathy: When you're writing, do you imagine the scene in your head first, diagram the plot points first, or just fly by the seat of your pants?
Gusta: I plan, think, then I plan some more. Then I sit down and imagine it so that I can get the gist of what is going on.

It is very easy to lose track of who is standing next to who when writing. This applies specially to smut, no one wants appendages that magically appear and that do inhuman things because they were nowhere near the vicinity of other characters. Positioning and spatial relationships are important for some scenes and I like to make sure that I don't break any gravity rules or anything like that when I write.

It also makes a big difference to the outcome of the story. I struggled with this recently in a scene where the characters were having a very serious discussion. I needed to show that Bella felt defeated, that she saw that there was no hope left. What better way of doing this than having her sit down? All throughout the scene she had been standing and pacing, the moment she felt the realization that her marriage is over she lowers her defenses. She sits downs and you get the feeling that its over. There is no more fight left in her.

It helps to imagine things as if you were watching a movie.

mskathy: What do you find easier to write, lemons or plot/story?
Gusta: Plot comes easier to me. I have an easier time writing internal monologue and introspection than anything else. It is why my characters spend the majority of each chapter trapped in their heads. The things that cause me the most problem are dialogue and lemons. Dialogue is especially hard because I am not a native english speaker, so I am not used to slang or just colloquialisms. I do watch a lot of cable TV so that helps.

It is funny because my chapters work in a way that I write them out of order. I write a lot of introspection and then I work on pieces of dialogue that go hand in hand with whatever the character is thinking. Then it is all put together in a way that makes sense. I haven't found a way to sit down and write in sequence or order. I write whatever comes and then I keep cycling back until I have the whole chapter done. The chapters are ever changing until eventually they feel right.

mskathy: Aside from reading and writing, what are some hobbies you enjoy?
Gusta: I love watching movies, I have kids so we dont have as much time to go out to the movies. W\e have a good collection and we do venture out from time to time to catch a new one. Not so much a fan of the chick flicks but I do love me some action and sci fi. I have been known to watch Discovery Channel and Cop shows marathons as well. My ultimate obsession is with the TV show LOST. I have been following from the beginning so it is my 1st love. I am a Lost theorist you could say, hit me with your theories and I'll chat your fingers off.

Grab your iPod and hit shuffle. What are the next five songs that come up randomly?
Gusta: This is fun! I think I have a lot more music in Spanish but this is what came up..

1) Cupids Chokehold, Gym Class Heroes (no comment.. its a fun song.. whatever... I like it...)
2) Dios nos libre, Gustavo Cerati (Cerati rocks. That is all.)
3) Blue Orchid, The White Stripes (I liked their previous album better...)
4) Jigsaw Falling into Place, Radiohead (Holy shit! I didn't remember I had In Rainbows!)
5) Bixo, Manu Chao (Love them.)

Questions from others for Gustariana:

(1) Have you considered having your stories translated into Spanish completely? (2) Do you realize how hilarious Bella's 'grocery list' moment (in Consec) really was and how relatable and realistic that really was? Did you take a poll among married women to come up with that piece of genius? ~Kasey/Love=EDWARD

Gusta: (1) Great question, you will see my translation rant in another question. I haven't considered translating my stories into spanish because it would be almost like writing the entire thing all over again. I would need to think through and pick how to phrase everything all over again. I also would not be able to write a smut scene to save my life. The thought of it makes me cringe!! Something about writing them in English makes me blush less. They are just words, while in Spanish they would carry a heavier meaning I think.

(2) Hehe! Funnily enough that seems to be the scene that most people relate to or comment on. When I started thinking about how safe/comforting/boring Bella's and Jake's sex life needed to be the first thing I thought of was that list. It was the first idea I had and I had to use it. I've never had to resort to grocery lists in my head ( I need to throw that in there! haha) but I think everyone has had an experience in their lifes that their head wasn't in the game. I also like to start chapters from a weird place inside a characters mind so that worked out perfectly.

(1) Has your frankenknee screwed your sex life up at all? (2) Does Mr. Gustariana know how we worship you and Swingward? (3) Do you have a 'list' of your favorite sex positions that you and the Mr. Gustariana check off?

Gusta: (1) My bummed knee has been a nuisance for a long time now, to many aspects of my life. I look forward to gaining full motion. And that is all I am going to say about that. :-P

(2) Mr. Gustariana knows I write, he knows its graphic but I try to assure him its not the most graphic stuff out there. He is the only one that knows what I do. That is why I am so nervous when people know and use my real name. (BTW, if you do know it, let's keep it between you and I ok? haha). He knows it is about swingers because he saw the banner. He took a look and said "Why a swing? Ohhhhh!". He hasn't read any of it and doesn't plan to. I personally think he is scared what he'll find!

(3) Nope, she said popping the p loudly. (This kitten sacrifice is dedicated to those that hate the P popping. For all you peta folks, no real kittens were harmed in the making of this interview)

I want to know how/why @gustariana made the jump from reader to writer...that is so freakin' petrifying to me. -Melba87

And also, Gusta, you have probably answered this ? before. What inspired you to write about swinging? -JAustenlover

Gusta: I was a reader for a long time before I attempted to write. I always thought writing in English would be impossible to me so it seemed like a crazy idea at the time. After a few jokes and a bet I tried my hand by writing Lujuria. At the time I said I could "cross something off my Things I'd like to Try before I die List". I had already developed a network of people I talked to on Twilighted so it wasn't as frightening but now that I think about it I was pretty insane.

I think that the fact that I started off with a lemon, basically getting the most difficult part over with, helped in a way. I also discovered that I enjoyed weaving a tale and thinking about backgrounds and the reasons why people would try or do things. The lemon was supposed to be a full threesome and I realized that in my head I couldn't picture E/B/R going the whole way. I kept thinking of reasons why it would be more realistic for other things that happened. And so I fell in love with finding ways of bringing my realism into the fics. I am a pragmatic dressed up as a romantic. So it is hard for me to digest the stories where everything goes well and nothing ever goes wrong. I guess you could say I discovered I love angst, maybe not reading it as much as writing. And then Consecuencias happened.

That was the long answer, the short one is that I was insane when I decided to try this, but I don't regret it. If anything, it can show people that even if you don't speak the language all the time, and you are always pulling towards the unhappy ending, you can write if you set your sights to it.

In regards to Consecuencias, the reason why I chose the story was because I was thinking I hadn't found a story with swingers on it (not saying there aren't any. I just hadn't seen any at the time. I am in NO way implying I invented swingers... never... I don't even own the deed to my house yet). Back then, polyamorous fics were not as prevalent so it seemed to me that swingers would be the ultimate taboo to try. I wasn't a "writer" yet and I had asked another author to write the fic for me. She agreed but I kept thinking about the premise, and it slowly took overy my brain. I talked to her and asked her if I could just do it myself and she agreed since the idea and the outline were developed by me. By that time the outline had turned into a study of the reasons why people would go to great lenghts to maintain a marriage, and the very convoluted ways that one can find love.

Gustariana, if you had to choose between LOST and Twilight which would you pick and why? If you could trade places with one of the characters on LOST who would it be and why? Same goes for Twilight. Ninapolitan

Gusta: Good question. For shits and giggles Twilight, for serious theorizing and overall geekiness LOST. I've spent longer following LOST but I haven't looked into the Fanfic aspect of it yet. LOST canon is way more complex than Twilight and if I go there I may never come back to Twilight. Twilight has a component of socialiting with other people that I don't have yet on LOST. I am a Lostie at heart but the social butterfly in me loves the Smeyer universe.

I would like to trade places with Juliet on Lost. She is my favorite female character, she kissed Jack and she shagged Sawyer. From the guys I would have to say Ben is my favorite character, I wouldn't trade places with his manipulative crazy ass but I <3>

Is it easier for you to write in Spanish or English? from spotzle

Gusta: I haven't written any fiction in Spanish, the last time I wrote anything in Spanish was in college. Engineering, Economy and Philosophy classes lend themselves to very proper Spanish. I have no idea how to write smut or fiction in Spanish. There is an aspect of "feeling" the words more in Spanish as well. In English they are just words I string together to form an emotion so they are somehow easier. The process is longer but I don't get embarrassed by writing as much as I would in Spanish.

Gustariana's questions for MsKathy:

Gusta: What prompts you to select a story to read over others?
mskathy: A personal recommendation from a reader I trust is the number one motivator. If the premise is interesting, I'll usually give it a go for 1-3 chapters, depending on my available time. If I can't get into it within 3 chapters, I typically give up.

Gusta: Is there a particular characterization in fanfic that you do not enjoy or get annoyed with? (i.e. Alice the shopaholic, Emmett the jock, etc)
mskathy: Truthfully? No. I guess I'm easy that way, I just really love how each person can put their own spin on them, even if it's a particularly overdone spin.. this might also be why I fall into the cliche trap at times myself.

Gusta: If you had to pick a particular "genre" of fanfic to read permanently what would it be? (i.e Angst, Fluff, etc)
mskathy: Fluff, hands down. In fact, I read very little angst. I have enough things in my real-life that bring me down, I read fanfic to make me laugh and pant and think dirty things (I can admit it).

Gusta: Would you say you personal experiences shape the way you write fic? Do you "write wha you know" or do you use writing as a creative outlet for things you would like to explore?
mskathy: I would hope my personal experiences shape the way I write. I try to use a combination of writing what I know and have experienced and doing enough research to write outside of that scope, as well. In fact, I think one of the most fun things about writing can be the research! I love to learn about new places and things to do.

Gusta: What is your writing process? Do you outline? etc.
mskathy: I often joke that I have outlines for my outlines, but the truth is, it depends on the story and complexity. Also, I outlined a lot more diligently in the beginning, with TTH especially because it was a collab - we wanted to make sure we agreed on the vision of where it was going and weren't stepping on each other's toes. Most of my stories have both plot outlines and character outlines, and then each chapter has an outline as well, to get granular. Yes, Mistress, on the other hand, I began as a very loose, fun story to write - it has no outline at all. I like being flexible with where a story goes, so I do look at and consult my outline, but if I'm writing and something doesn't work, I don't hesitate to change it. In fact, anyone that has known me more than 5 seconds has probably heard about my problems with Emmett in Discovery of Bella Swan - he was outlined to be one of her main love interests and the fucker refused to kiss her passionately. I'm still angry with him about that. And, yes, I do talk to my characters in my head sometimes.

Gusta: What made you decide to write twific?
mskathy: I never would have taken the plunge without the encouragement of a friend. She asked me to co-write for jandco and withthevampsofcourse Christmas Collab contest last year and I was so flattered (and scared shitless). We worked together on a oneshot that grew into the multi-chapter Trip Home story. Unfortunately, she dropped away from writing TwiFic, but I am still hopelessly addicted.

Gusta: Outside of Twilight, are there other fandoms you play in?
mskathy: Nope.

Gusta: Is there a plot you have seen done that you say "man, I wish I had thought of that!"?
mskathy: All the fucking time, srsly. I'm so jealous of the bitches that write and the concepts they come up with sometimes.

Gusta: If you could be an extra in any of the Twilight movies, which scene would you like to see first hand? (Sorry, no shirtless Rob, think of another one)
mskathy: What a great question! Any of the movies? *taps chin* I think I'm going to go with the baseball scene from Twilight. 'Cause I wanna see Jackson twirl that bat.

Gusta: Free Association for MsKathy
Core -> apple
Petal -> flower
Twilight -> moonlight
Toe -> foot
Quiver -> member
Throbbing -> ache
Hot -> passion
Bronze -> gold

Questions from others for mskathy:

Is your pen really red? You beta the biggest authors in ff, why do you like it? What is your favorite fic ever? What’s your favorite thing about writing The Trip Home? ~tby789

mskathy: tby789, you crack me up. My pen is not red. My pen is purple (now that I figured out how to change it in OpenOffice). Why do I like betaing? Purely selfish reasons. It makes me feel good to help other people, and I like to read 'clean' stories. I mean, clean grammar/spelling-wise, of course.

My favorite fic ever? That's just mean. I can't pick one. Sorry. What's my favorite thing about writing TTH? I absolutely LOVE when I get a review or PM that thanks me for showing someone an alternate view of life and love and relationship structure. Also, it's just kind of a hot topic for me to think about, heh.

from FloridaChickie
1. Do you ever think you missed your calling to be a sex therapist? You have given some great nuggets of advice over on the boards, that sometimes I think you would have been perfect in that role!

Truth? I sometimes do. I wish someone would pay me to write an online sex column; that would be my dream job!

2. You tend to write a lot about desserts in your stories. If you could swap yourself into one of your dessert related scenes, which yummy one would you partake in? How many calories are burned during each scene? ;)

Hands-down, the B&B scene in DBS. Infinite calories are burned, such that Bella never gains a pound from all the food I make her eat (that bitch).

3. Any particular scene or story plot that has been taken straight out of the life story of MsK?

mskathy: GAH - yes! Many, in fact. ;)

Where did you get your inspiration for TTH? is any of it based on PERSONAL experience? -siouxchef

mskathy: I've been completely up front that TTH began as a collab project, so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my co-author's involvement. I believe we were just brainstorming about crazy ideas and hit upon that one. It has obviously evolved far, far past our original intent, but that's where it came from. Is any of it based on personal experience? Well, sort of.

Oh, wait, you wanted DETAILS? Yes, I know people who have been in relationships like that. *snicker*

You're the masta-beta for some pretty heavy hitters in the fandom. If you had to pick one to screw who would it be and why? If you were able to write ONE out-take from those authors (that you beta) whose would it be and why? -ninapolitan

mskathy: Wait, I can't pick just one author to screw! Are you trying to get me into trouble? I could never pick just one of my lovely hoors. Great question about the outtakes.. If it has to be an author I beta for, I'm going to pick the easy/lazy route and say an outtake from The Training, which hasn't begun yet, so I'm semi-cheating.

Questions for both Gustariana and mskathy:

Quick question to those who enjoy/write m/m slash...when did you first realize it was something that was a turn on? And did you ever feel the need to hide that it turned you on? -seamonkologist

mskathy: As far back as I can remember, I've watched shows with "ghey" themes. Have I ever felt the need to hide that it turned me on? Sure, I don't bust out my box set of Queer as Folk when the in-laws are around and such, but with my friends? I'm pretty surface and WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

Gusta: I don't read a lot of slash, nothing against it. I have been sucked into the E/B ship and it sailed with me in it. I think that in the end what matters to me most is a good love story. Regardless of who is in it.

from BeckLyn23:

Are there any plot lines or pairings you flat out dislike? (I'm considering writing and posting a story but your answers will be very beneficial and keep me from being embarrassed)

mskathy: I'll be honest; I am not a Jake shipper. I also don't read stories that have rape or other abuse intended to titillate. As part of a well-thought out and sensitive plot/story? Great. Extraneous/graphically written? No thanks, it's just not for me.

Gusta: I ship old school, I don't dislike any particular pairing but I've found that I am more attracted to canon pairings. I am told I am missing a world of Jasper and Emmett love out there. I have read non canon pairings, as long as the story is well crafted I can deal, but my heartstrings always tug a little when Bella is not with Edward.

In terms of plot lines I don't read stories that contain abuse, incest or rape that are used to cause shock or drive review counts. I have read stories that contain rape and it has been dealt with with caution and great sensibility, and that is completely different.

Is there a story you'd like to see done? What's completely overdone?

mskathy: Hmm.. what's overdone? I don't know, I'm a believer that an excellent author can put an original spin on any storyline. What would I like to see? More realism. More real-life plots with everyday problems.

Gusta: Fics come in waves in the fandom. There was a Doucheward Era, for example, and so on. Every storyline is fair game as long as it is dealt with originality. I personally have decided to read more stories that have grown up B and E in them. There are a lot of high school fics and I need to hear about a HS story from a few people before I pick another one up. The grown up B and E and AU fics seem to be on the rise and I see a lot of great ones out there.

Are the smexing scenes from previous experience? If not, have you done them now that they're written? Even if from other stories (Please don't tell me I'm the only perv who has recreated a scene from fic)

mskathy: Some are, some aren't. I can honestly say (sadly) that nothing I've read or written has made it into my bedroom. That doesn't mean I haven't WANTED it to ;)

Gusta: Mr. Gustariana has vetoed this question. He says he'd rather not know what "ideas" I get from reading fanfiction. Ever.

Have any of you ever met in person? Would you?

mskathy: I've met 4theluvofmary (HI STEPHIE!) and would gladly meet any and everyone that would want to meet up. I'm a social butterfly that way.

Gusta: I've met acireamos, who is my cyber soulmate and bff. She came over for spring break and we sipped on 'ritas while our husbands laughed at us tryign to explain to them the appeal of a sparkly vampire. I am going to Twicon so I am going to meet a few other author soon!

There was Ben Godfre with HOFY, so who do you picture as your Edward when writing? Aside from Robert Pattinson.

mskathy: In my head, it's always, alway, always RPatz. Always.

Gusta: I am a bad fan, in that I don't picture anyone in particular. In my head I see features from different people. I think at times it is Rpattz.

Would you read/write a fic that didn't include smexing?

mskathy: So funny you asked this; I am working on a fic that I think will be T-rated and won't have any smexing. I have in the past read stories that don't include the smexy times, and I would definitely in the future.

Gusta: Totally, I started reading in the T world and I still read T stories. I am attracted to a good story, regardless of rating.

Which character from a Twi FF would you most want to be romantical/sekshual with?

mskathy: Edward and/or Bella from The Submissive/The Dominant (tarasueme) or Alice from Behind Enemy Lines (adorablecullens), 'cause I can't limit my options with just one.

I don't think I can ever imagine myself that way with a character, I am an odd duck that way. Sadly, my feet are firmly planted in reality when it comes to that. I can tell you that I have my favorite Edwards and my favorite Bellas, they change depending on what I am reading but here are a few:

Los Eduardos:
Cullen's Island Naughty Doctor
Port Angeles Players Sweet Dr. Hottie McActor
The Lost Boys Britward
Super Secret HighwaymanWard from The Highwayman

Las Bellas:
Consecuencias Bella, I think she is cool and real. (This is probably the most conceited thing I've ever done, mentioning my own work. Gah!)
In the Blink of an Eye Bella, also very real and very much her own person
Breakfast at Tiffany's Wellibella, she is sweet and cuddly

I have also a list of "Bella's I would love to shake into logic" and "Edward's I want to slap upside the head".

MSkathy and Gustariana - Every been to a swingers party? Or been involved with bdsm scenes?

mskathy: No, and yes.

Gusta: No and No :-) The most amazing experience I have ever been involved with that also was the most painful was childbirth. Needless to say it was not as fun as it is cracked up to be.
mskathy's nosy note - BDSM doesn't have to be painful, bb!
Gusta: I kid, I kid... It was funny though! Come on... say it. It was damn funny!
mskathy: it was funny :)
Gusta: I did research The Lifestyle before I started Consecuencias, so my whole knowledge is based on that research and my own crazy imagination. In real life I am pretty vanilla. Well, maybe a little vanilla with Dulce de Leche mixed in.

Do you have any tattoos?

mskathy: No

Gusta: Not yet.

What is your favorite sexual position?

mskathy: If I answered this would spoil an upcoming PPSS Poll! Yes, that's my way of weaseling out of answering ;) What's your excuse, Gustie?!@ hehe

Gusta: errrr.... Mr. Gustariana veto'ed this question? Yeah.. that's going to be my excuse!

Favorite ff ever?

mskathy: I can't chose just one, sorry. I'm poly with my FF loves.

Gusta: I am with mskathy on this one. I have many favorites. They vary depending on my mood/season/day of the week/weather/etc.

Hardest part about writing ff?

mskathy: Lately, it's been finding time.

Gusta: Finding and developing a plot that hasn't been done a million times. And doing it so while trying to keep the story believable. Also dealing with developing characters that don't fall in love instantaneously when we all as readers crave instant gratification and HEA's full of babies that don't cry at night.

Next week we have the pervy pretties melissa228 and our own manyafandom.


Camila said...

I really enjoyed this interview and getting to know a little bit more about you two fantastic ladies.

aciremama said...

awwww! loved the interview, chicas! i do think gusta should come out with a how to book for busted knee sexology! surely mr gustariana wouldn't mind...right?

fun learning more about two of my favorite authors! can't wait to see the other interviews!

Ninapolitan said...

Another great interview!!! Thanks ladies for taking the time and sharing your passion for the craft.

Emmy said...

Wow you too ladies are so intelligent and deep! & LOVELY!

What a great interview.. You too are so cute - It read as if you were sitting have a bottle of vino together.. :)
Thanks gals.