Sunday, August 9, 2009

Adorablecullens & Love=Edward talk it out.

Adorablecullens & Love=Edward talk it out.

The creator of Balticward, Teddyward and one smokin' Daddyward Adorablecullens and the shacks BadGirl Love=Edward discuss all things AC.

Questions for Adorablecullens:

Love: Have you ever written non-fanfic stories before?
AC: I wrote fiction when I was young (which was quite a long time ago since I am old now). But once I started writing for a living, it became very difficult to find the energy to write more once I got home, so I stopped for many years. I have written professionally for and been published in any number of trade publications and magazines, websites, etc. A few years back, I started doing some journaling and found it satisfying. Then FF came along at just the right time of my life. I started writing Silence & Security on Christmas Day last year and never really looked back.

Love: Have you considered submitting any of your writing to publishing houses?
AC: Yes, I have, but have not done so. I'm just not in that space right now.

Love: Can I be your apprentice? ;)
AC: Depends. Can you cook?

Love: You have a particular style of writing...very romantic, in fact. Have you considered expanding and writing outside of that box with say...slash fic or even non-canon or multiple couplings?
AC: When I started writing FF, I wouldn't remotely consider writing anything other than ExB. Hell, it took Algonquinrt months to convince me to even read slash. After writing three stories of ExB, I'd now be willing to try something different, but I admit I'm not terribly experimental in that regard. I'd probably write the other canon couples at this point, and would consider Edward/Jasper slash. But I'll leave the multiples to the experienced writers.

Love: Do your friends/family know about your FF writing, and if so, what's their take on it?
AC: Are you fucking kidding me? No one knows about this. I would die of embarrassment. I'm 40, for crissakes.

Love: Is Edward Nariovski's character inspired by someone?
AC: Edward Nariovski Cullen's character as it appears in the GYL chapters of the story is based loosely on someone I know, yes. Algonquinrt calls him "Balticward-the-Real". He and I are no longer fight when placed in the same room (but believe me, we used to), but we are not romantically involved in any way. We are, however, excellent lifelong friends. He would absolutely crucify me if he knew I based an FF character on him, no matter how distantly. Balticward's character in the rest of the story is entirely fictional.

Love: What has been the most consistent reaction to Behind Enemy Lines by your readers?
AC: A lot of people really want to either screw Balticward or tear him a new one. Sometimes both simultaneously. Probably the number one request I get is to have Balticward and Bella get married. Sorry folks, that's something you probably won't see. But if I did decide to write a wedding, Bella would probably be six months' pregnant with their second child. The first one would be a ring bearer or flower girl. As most of my European friends say, "Why would you get married before you were pregnant? What is the point?"

Love: How difficult was it for you to write BEL? There were a lot of very emotionally intense scenes in the story which had me bawling like crazy (thank you!) and I can only imagine that they must've been hard to write.
AC: BEL was incredibly easy to write on some levels - it practically wrote itself. The characters took over my life and absorbed every minute of my day. I was basically writing FF all day long at my paying job. Fortunately, I was in a low-demand type of position for about six months at work, which coincided directly with the writing of BEL. Not exactly my finest hour professionally. (Things have changed since then at work, which is why I'm on hiatus right now. I'm extremely fond of my job and vice versa.)

Yes, some scenes were very intense. I based the refugee camp in Arivistan roughly on the one that developed in Albania out of the Kosovo crisis of the late 1990s - virtually overnight, a camp housing hundreds of thousands of people exploded in the middle of Europe. I was working for PLAN International when that crisis erupted, and I had several colleagues who visited the camps in Albania and brought back incredibly gut-wrenching stories of the appalling conditions there. Geographically, Arivistan stood in for Estonia. I also used Estonia's climate since I had a very strong image in my mind of a refugee camp frozen in winter. I drew on a lot of Nazi imagery for Aro and the camp itself. So yeah, there was a lot of emotionally challenging material to work with - in contrast to the two characters, who are both fairly tightly wrapped at the best of times.

Love: How does it feel when you hear that BEL is considered (by many) one of fan fiction's ALL TIME BEST?
AC: I've never actually had anyone say that to me. BEL doesn't even have 3K reviews - I'd probably look to The Submissive (tarasueme is a master storyteller) for that honor. It's nice that anyone would consider the story the best of anything, but the thing I appreciate the most is how many people said they learned something by reading it. Some college-age readers said that it made them want to consider a career in international development. Other people said that the story inspired them to read up on refugee issues. Those reviews really mean a lot to me.

Love: In a perfect world, what actor would you choose to play BEL's Edward in the movie version of the story?
AC: That's a topic of considerable discussion among the ladies on Twitter. Of course, RPatz is always going to be on that list for me - I read Twilight for the first time after the movie had already been cast, so Edward has alway been RPatz in my mind. Someone once suggested Chris Pine, which I thought was an interesting choice. But I feel pretty compelled to branch out that list to include Eastern European or Russian actors - not that I know any. I'm pop-cultural illiterate.

Love: Who would play your Bella?
AC: Oh hell, I don't know.

Love: Can I get an autographed copy of BEL? I wanna keep it as a collectors' item for when you become famous.
AC: Sure.

Love: If you could bone any literary figure (NOT Edward Cullen), who would you choose?
AC: Not Edward Cullen? That's fucked up. Well, Eric Northman from the Southern Vampire Mysteries has got to be on that list. And ... uh ... was Cedric Diggory legal? Naw, that's really wrong, he was way too young. There's something pervy about copping Harry Potter's cherry, but again, fucked up.

Love: Boys? Girls? Menage?
AC:You know, Algonquinrt and Ms Kathy and I have had long discussions about this. I'm going through a difficult divorce right now after a 17-year relationship. After all the grief I've had in the last couple of years, swearing off men seemed like a really good idea. Of course, I seek out Ms K and Algonquinrt for advice - maybe I should become a lesbian? So Ms K says to me "AC, what do you think of pussy?" And I'm like "Well, Ms K, I'm okay with pussy. I can look at it." And she's like "No, AC, can you stick your face in it?" And I'm like "Uh ...." And she says "Honey, you're probably not cut out to be a lesbian." Sorry for the lack of perversion, Kasey ... I think I'm 100% into boys. So far, only one at a time, please.

Love: Have you been informed that in order to be featured in the PPSS we (the PP) must have a look-see at your boobs?
AC: Honey, you don't want to see my boobs. Trust.

Love: What's your flavor when it comes to the ideal HOT man? And no, you cannot say, "Edward Nariovski Cullen," (or Masen, or any of his fanfic incarnations).
AC: See, that's a difficult question for me. I'm 40, coming out of a wretchedly dysfunctional relationship and (yes, this is true) haven't had sex for more than seven years. Honestly, I see that part of my life as being over now. Intellectually, I know that's likely not true. But emotionally, I'm not there yet. Although admittedly, the waiter at our local diner (who is probably young enough to be my son) is pretty delish. I consider RPatz to be my "safe" mid-life crisis.

Love: You: Dominant or submissive?
AC: A year ago, I wouldn't even have known what the question meant. Catch me in another year, and I might know the answer.

Question for both:

Do you have any tattoos?
AC: Nope. And unlikely to get one. My sister got one after her divorce, and I thought she was a total knob for doing it.

What is your favorite sexual position?
AC: See above about the number of years it's been since I've had sex.

Favorite FF ever?
AC: Oh fuck, that's a difficult question. I could never narrow it down to just one; I probably have a dozen or so faves for a whole bunch of different reasons. TTH for the love. Mr Horrible for the laughs and the brilliantly subtle personal development of the characters. The Submissive for the genius story-telling. In the Blink of an Eye for the brilliant characterization. The bottom line is that I love reading stories that reflect the author's true passion. Stories like La canzone della Bella Cigna (by philadelphic) or Art School Confidential (by farkle) are stories I'm reading right now that I love because they involve topics the authors are intimately involved in (in this case, music and painting, respectively).

Hardest Part about writing fanfic?
AC: Not getting fired from my job in the process.

Do people in RL know you do it?
AC: Absolutely not.

If I looked under your bed right now what would I find?
AC: Dust bunnies for sure. Two of my daughter's hankies - I guess she was sleeping with me last time she had a cold. A hair elastic. I compliment Kasey on her choice of wine - Malbec is my fave!

For those of you that use 'toys', which is your favorite?)
AC: LOL ... Algonquinrt virtually walked me through the purchase of my Rabbit. I was terrified. I keep it buried under a pile of paperwork in my desk and pray that no one finds it.

If you could be in a relationship...would it be the same characters that you'd want to bone, or is there someone else you find more relationship worthy?
AC: Who wouldn't want to be in a relationship with Lola's Loveward? There's something about boning my own characters that seems a little ... I don't know ... incestuous? Taboo? My characters are too much like children to me.

Do you currently have more than 1 sex partner?
AC: Excuse me while I roll on the floor laughing.

Questions from others:

From Emmy/pippapear

Have you considered trying to publish the Mirrors? Friends who don't read twi or ff of mine are in love with...
AC: No, I haven't. I don't consider Mirrors to be as publishable as BEL, but all things are possible. I'm very pleased that so many people were open to the genre and "got" the story. I really was afraid people would think I'd lost my mind when I started writing it. I shouldn't have under-estimated the fandom in that way.

All your fics are very different - where has your inspiration come from? In all 3 of your fics there is a sense of healing to the main characters, that all of them have to move past their past & its events...
AC: That's a mighty insightful question. My therapist says that I project in my fiction ... and she's probably right. I could use some healing at this rather disastrous juncture of my life; if I can't find it in real life, I guess I try to find it through my fics. S&S helped me come to terms with my own failure to rescue my soon-to-be ex-husband from mental illness. BEL was ... well, my therapist said it was about the same thing ... a woman trying to rescue a man all alone, under impossible circumstances? Draw your own conclusions there. (That was a humilating therapy session, I can tell you.) The Mirrors is based on one of the first stories I wrote as a teenager - the folk tale that Grandpa Jack shares with Bella and Edward about the princess. You know, the future leader beseiged and smuggled into another world where she meets the love of her life. And returns to reclaim her world in triumph. But I managed to exorcise a lot of demons about my own father in the process of writing The Mirrors - yes, Charlie in that story was based on my own father and virtually every line of dialogue was a quote from him. I find it cathartic to bring a strong character through a challenging time successfully ... it gives me hope that I will also emerge from the other side of this darkness intact.

In all 3 stories the physical acts of love assist in this and seem quite integral.. Is that a deliberate plot device?
AC: Look, great shmexing does not a plot make (but it doesn't hurt). I don't think I could write a story that was all shmex; it has to be part of the plot or not at all for me. I strive for good, readable stories that require the reader, if not to think, to at least stretch his or her imagination a little. A few readers took exception to the lemons in The Mirrors, feeling that they were gratuitous. Interestingly, Edward's sexual awakening was deliberately scripted to match his growing self-awareness - it was the most plot-related shmex in all my stories. But that's the beauty - and the peril - of writing: You never know how the audience might receive a story element. And while I don't hold with changing your story to appease your fangirls (hello, Breaking Dawn anyone?), I also think that ignoring their feedback entirely is equally dangerous. If multiple reviewers are telling you that you missed the mark on a plot point - or better still, they're telling you that your story is horribly offensive or simply sucks monkey balls - odds are you should be listening.

From Nina/ninapolitan

If BEL Edward is based on anyone, can you please send me his address? I'll gladly pay for it however you want me to. And I mean that.
AC: Oh honey, you can have his address. And good fucking luck with that. You could possibly have met your match with Balticward-the-Real.
Nina: I will take you up on that! haha. I'm an insane Italian with a fiery streak that would set his nuts on fire (post orgasmic glow of course haha) I'm kidding, I'm kidding (no, I'm not)

How does it feel to have nearly ever member of the PPSS fangirling your ass on a daily basis?
AC: The crowning glory of it was when you drunk-emailed me over the Balticward entry for Smut Monday, Nina. I'll probably save that email for the rest of my life.
Nina: Not one of my finest moments, but I also look upon that email fondly hehe, and that fucking SM entry! Jesus

You've got one of the strongest minded couples ever written in the fandom, Bella embraces her 'take no shit' attitude and Balticward well, he's just fucking hot even if he's pigheaded. This isn't a question as much as a big thank you for writing them as you did.
AC: Yeah, they are both stubborn buggers, aren't they? I love that about them. Like many people, I felt that Bella was too whiny in the books - I love writing a stronger, more self-confident Bella. And Balticward wrote himself so beautifully in this story ... he's so fucking difficult. I like strong characters, and I've tried to give each of my Edwards and Bellas their own unique strengths in each of my stories. In many ways, I would characterize Teddy and Swan from The Mirrors as the strongest of all my couples - the battles they fought against their own inner demons are in some ways far more terrifying and violent than anything Balticward and Bella faced in Arivistan.

From seamonkologist

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?
AC: I was so freaked out the first time I read m/m slash; I was like WTF is this? But then as I started to read more and branch out, I realized it could be 1) hot and 2) even more romantic than the traditional fic. Really, Ms K's TTH is my north star for love; I've never seen a story that better portrays love than that. So no, I don't have any problem with reading slash and admitting that it be just as hot, just as romantic as any other kind of fic out there. It's all in the writing, after all.

Questions for Love=Edward:

AC: So Kasey, do I get to ask you questions? I have one. WHY THE FUCK DON'T YOU FINISH YOUR STORY?
Love: BWAHAHAHA! I'm too gad-damned busy reading fanfics, for Pete's sake. It's a sickness for me. I wake up, grab my cellphone, and plow through the next batch of updates. I'm still behind on many, in fact - like 118 many. Yeah.

I've got the damn story outlined but keep getting distracted by highly talented REAL writers with their goodies. With that said, TTW will update this month. Promise. ;)

From seamonkologist: 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?
Love: Hopey's AIEK was my 1st venture into reading m/m slash and while I found it surprisingly hot, I'm not keen on the romance factor of it. Call me a perv, but I much prefer the 2-dogs-in-heat aspect of it, versus the loving. With that said, Kath's TTH made me fall in love with the idea of a 3-way romance/sexy times, with ME, of course, as the guest star (3rd).

Do you have any tattoos?
Love: Nope, but I've got a tattoo book with specific artwork selected for when I do get them (in key places, hidden from everyday view)

What is your favorite sexual position?

Favorite FF ever?
Love: I'm interviewing AC because her Behind Enemy Lines is my fave piece of FF!

Hardest Part about writing fanfic?
Love: Finding the time, not getting distracted, and losing your momentum (mojo).

Do people in RL know you do it?
Love: Yes and no. The H has seen a couple of paragraphs but I don't want him to read. Only one other person in my real life has seen most of my writing, but I've sworn him to secrecy.

If I looked under your bed right now what would I find?
Love: Let's see...I'm typing this from my bed, so I'm gonna peek (wish me luck)...
A-ha! Dust bunnies...a missing empty bottle of Malbec...a scrunchie...shit, time to vaccuum!

For those of you that use 'toys', which is your favorite?
Love: BWAHAHAHA! I'm gonna credit my lovely Beks (aka Bekah Boo) and say that she turned me onto Tantus' Barney. That and a 'clone' of someone's appendage. 'Nuff said...

If you could be in a relationship...would it be the same characters that you'd want to bone, or is there someone else you find more relationship worthy?
Love: Relationship or just bone? I'm guessing it's about the characters in our stories, right? I'm confuzzled. But anyway, the two aren't mutually inclusive (or exclusive) of one another. With that said, I'd love to bone (and marry) Carlisle Cullen (or Peter Facinelli). That's no secret, though.

Do you currently have more than 1 sex partner?
Love: Well bite yo tongue, child! This IS a public site, you know! I plead the 5th.

Tell next time...


philadelphic said...

review count be damned, I think BEL is the best fanfic I've ever read. This is not to belittle any other fic, many of which I hold very dear. It's just that BEL is my favorite- quite possibly because you've got my favorite Edward AND my favorite Bella, stomping all over the world like Big Damn Heroes. I reread it often.


Love=EDWARD said...

YES, philadelphic! You're so on the money. Review counts be damned, indeed. I never go by that.

In fact, I think that some authors are aces at self-promotion and it's the driving force behind high review counts (not to discount their talent, of course). But, as far as I'm concerned, a fic that can walk me through a range of emotions - being SO evocative - as well as being well-written and unique speaks volumes for me as a reader. Hence why I adore AC's writing.

Twilighter620 said...

I'll sound like a broken record but I must agree.

I only left one review while reading BEL, because I was too busy jumping to the next chapter. It's a story that I'm proud to admit I've reread several times. I definitely think BEL is the best fanfic I've ever read.

Not to mention it's changed my perspective on a lot of things. You can count me in as one of those college students that was definitely affected by the content of the story. That's more important than any amount of reviews.

Emmy said...

I just want to thank AC for her extremely honest, sincere (same thing I know!) and from the heart answers, particularly to my questions..

I find your stories and writing even more impressive for what you managed to channel and present.
Thanks! :)

I honestly could not say whether I preferred TM or BEL...
They both own me..
This writing needs a bigger audience..

Thanks to the gorgeous K for the questions - love you both!