Thursday, January 21, 2010

Author Interview: jennde and Profmom

This week we have author of Rabbit Hole & Lucky Charm and Co-Author of The Fates & Breakfast at Tiffany's Profmom72 and Jennde the author of Unplanned and Finding Home.

jennde: Okay, where would you like to start? I guess I'll ask you some stuff first?

Profmom: Sure. I'm good either way.

jennde: Easy question first. What inspired you to write Twilight fan fiction?

Profmom: I'd been obsessively reading fanfiction for a few months, I was intrigued by the idea of writing, but it wasn't something I'd ever done, so I wasn't seriously considering it. I decided to put myself out there as a beta, and right about the same time, and idea popped into my head (what became Lucky Charm), so while I was engaging in the writing process with Heather, I decided to jump into my own.

jennde: Speaking of Lucky Charm (which made me bawl my eyes out), did that idea just literally pop into your head, or was there something that triggered it?

Profmom: I don't think anything triggered it. I liked the idea of someone altering luck. I didn't think it was going to be so damn sad. I actually thought it would be more of a romantic comedy, but apparently, that's just not my thing. My characters always seem to go a little morose.

jennde: I don't think they're morose. I like to think of them as introspective.

Profmom: What about you? Same question

jennde: I was forced into it by Vixen1836. I was strictly a reader, until she announced the Age of Edward contest. I mentioned on the thread for her story Black and White that I thought it was a cool idea but that I couldn’t enter because the entries required smut, which made me nervous. She PM'd me, encouraging me to at least try to write something. The result was a one shot called Infamy, which wasn’t bad for a first try, but looking back, there’s so much I would do differently.

Profmom: Well you brought up smut right off the top, and I have several questions related to that (from the Queen Perv herself, of course). I liked this one: UST or lemons? Which is harder to convey?

jennde: Um, I don’t think I’ve really tried to convey UST yet – although I have something in the works.

I have such a hard time writing lemons. I feel sick after I post a smutty chapter. There would be nothing worse for me than to be one of those people who writes bad smut but doesn't know it. Am I one of those people? You can tell me, it's okay.

Profmom: haha... Do you have a lemon writing process?

jennde: Not really. I just kind of muscle (haha) through it. I spent the whole time I wrote my first lemon blushing like a school girl. It's easier now. I just treat it like I would any other aspect of the story, because that’s what it is. My lemons aren’t gratuitous, they’re always an important part of the story.

How about you? UST or lemons? Which is harder to convey?

Profmom: I think UST is harder to convey than a lemon because to me that really is something that hooks a reader and builds interest. If you get that right, the lemons are less consequential.

Let me follow up on that question. What do you think is essential in a good lemon? What are your pet peeves?

jennde: Oof. Um

I think a good lemon, for me, is sexy without being raunchy. It's not overly graphic but conveys the action. Some of my pet peeves are the terminology that is sometimes used. Throbbing, slippery, wet cores and such. Also, I have never met a woman who would refer to her girly parts as her "cunt", but I've read stories where Bella uses that term to describe herself. And no man refers to his boy parts as his "length."

Profmom: LOL. So true.

jennde: Your turn: What do you think is essential in a good lemon? What are your pet peeves?

Profmom: I think my answer is pretty identical to yours. I like to get carried away in the moment, and if I'm too caught up in the way something is being described, I tend to just skip it and move on to the plot. Ultimately, the most important thing to me is that however the experience is being described is consistent with the characters developed.

So if Bella is a shy virgin, her language would reflect that. If it's not consistent, then it should somehow be explained. Hey, maybe Bella is shy in real life but a crazy sex goddess in the bedroom.

jennde: Excellent point. I noticed you didn't answer my question regarding my lemons. They stink, don't they? You can tell me, I'm wearing my big girl panties today.

Profmom: No. You're dealing with complex issues--real sex issues as well as time period. I don't envy you.

Another question from
Nina. Do you ever just have an itch to just write smut? Like lots and lots of smut?

jennde: No. I only enjoy it in the context of a story.

How about a question that has nothing to do with sex?

From LikeToRead: You've written a few AH stories and then RH which was AU. How do they compare? Is it easier or harder to write about vampires? Which did you like better?

Profmom: That's a good set of questions, and I'd expect nothing less from LTR. It's tough though. They are all such different kinds of stories. I grew to really dislike RH because it was AU necessarily more than it was complicated, and there were too many vampires to keep track of.

I think I'm at a point through where I think in writing fanfiction, I'm less likely to go with AH. I like the challenge of dealing with the characterizations that SM introduced. It seems so much has been done in AH at this point, and if I have a good idea, I might be more likely to see if it's something that fit original fiction.

jennde: I have a question from staceygirl aka jackbauer regarding Rabbit Hole. How did you map out the mystery part of Rabbit Hole? How did you keep all the characters straight?

Profmom: When I started RH, I had pre-written a lot, and I wish I had actually gone ahead and finished the whole thing. It became quite complicated to keep it all straight, and I'm certain that there are holes I missed. I had a general idea of certain things that had to happen toward the end, but there were definitely shifts occurring all along the way. There was a domino effect. One thing meant I had to change something else. I got very frustrated with it.

I had an outline that I was constantly adjusting.

And re-thinking.

jennde: Were you happy with the story overall? How did you feel when it was complete?

Profmom: The relief I feel to have completed that story is astronomical. When I was near the end, I went back and re-read the story, and I found there were a lot of parts I was proud of, and I can say that yes, I'm generally happy with how it turned out. It was consistent with my vision.

Profmom: I have combined questions from Nina and LTR here. Finding Home is set in the 1940s and the language that you use and the dialogue is appropriate for the time. How do achieve this? With you writing a period story, how much research to you have to do to be accurate to the era? It seems unbelievably daunting and I wonder how that has affected your process. Do you think you'll write another historical?

jennde: I put in a ton of research. I'm constantly worrying about a certain phrase or figure of speech and how appropriate it is to the time. Also, it's set in the US during WWII, where something as simple as baking a cake brings up a host of issues. Bella wanted to bake Edward a birthday cake and throw him a little party. There was sugar rationing, so I had to figure out how Bella got the sugar to bake the cake. Did she have to use a ration coupon? How much would she have been rationed? Would it have been enough for a cake? Could she borrow from a neighbor? So I can't just have Bella bake the damn cake and that makes the writing process a little tougher than it would be if the story was set in 2010.

Also, I wrote this scene, that has since been cut, where 1940s Bella gives her first blow job. I had to have my beta research what a relatively innocent girl of the time would call a penis. That's a lot to ask anyone. God Bless you, Lucette21.

I don't think I'll do another historical fic. It can be so research intensive that I sometimes lose my mojo because I have to stop and look something up – it really is quite daunting. But I guess you never know.

Profmom: Anything that requires research definitely challenges the writing process.

jennde: Also from Staceygirl aka jackbauer, What is the most frustrating part of writing fan fiction? What is the best part?

Profmom: I admit for me the most frustrating part is trying to figure out why some things don't resonate with audiences. It's de-motivating to write a story few people read.

The best part is twofold: the sense of accomplishment and the people. The group of friends I've made in this experience, particularly H and all the women from the BAT thread have been so supportive, and I wouldn't have met them if I hadn't attempted writing.

Same questions back to you please.

jennde: The best part has been the friends I've made. I never thought the day I went looking for fan fiction that I would meet so many great women and men who have become true friends. I'm pretty standoffish in RL, so it's been a revelation for me.

I think the most frustrating thing is just making sure that I get everything right for the era in which I write. My oneshot that takes place in current times was easier to write because I could focus on the emotion and not if Bella was going to be shy or what word she would use for penis.

Profmom: I think this was another LTR question and it segues nicely: What is your favorite part of the writing process? Coming up with the initial plot idea? Planning/outlining the details? Actually writing it?

jennde: Coming up with the initial plot idea, definitely. I have a head full of plot bunnies. Some work out, some don't. I recently outlined a whole new story based on an old movie I saw.

Profmom: I really enjoy writing the initial phases of the story. Once I have an idea, I find that the beginning comes quickly. Not so much the planning part (OMG H would laugh if I tried to say I liked planning), but just getting going, building the characters. I think that's fun.

What was your inspiration for Unplanned? Did you plan for it to be so sad when you started writing it?

jennde: I wrote Unplanned for Nina's DILF contest. I was home one day and she tweeted something like "Where are all the DILF entries?" I wanted to give her one, so when I got in my car to go the supermarket, I thought about my ideal man. Someone who was completely in love with his wife, but also an outstanding father, just like Mr. jennde. And then I thought of something Mr. jennde always says, and that's that he's terrified of losing me. And the rest just kind of flowed after that. I also thought it would be interesting to explore the concept of young, struggling parents.

Speaking of one shots, also from staceygirl aka jackbauer. Just This Once was very successful as a one shot. Why do you think it was so successful?

Profmom: I don't have a clue.

jennde: Hahahaha. Fair enough. Moving on…

Profmom: It's true. I really don't know why it resonated more than other things I write.

jennde: Because it was sweet and full of longing and love and it just made you want them together so badly.

That's what I think, anyway.

Profmom: Aww.

Well, what do you think about Unplanned?

jennde: Um…

It's really, really sad, but there's something so noble about Edward and his sacrifice for his daughter. And about him staying true to Bella for all those years. I don't know. I think we all want a partner who would love us that much, even through death.

I have one for you from Nina. If you could rewrite one part and one part only of the Twilight saga what would it be and why?

Profmom: I've never made it a secret that I think SM drew us in with some intriguing characters, but there was so much room for more development of them. I think if I had to pick ONE thing, I would say as long as she introduced Renesmee (which I thought was stupid), then she needed to let us see Edward more as a father. I felt like he faded a bit out of BD in a way.

jennde: Ugh, I agree. The whole Renesmee thing was bad enough, but then Edward disappeared and that made it so much worse.

Profmom: What you would re-write from the Twilight series.

jennde: Ugh, um, most of it...

Everything after Edward comes back in NM

The asinine "vote"…

Profmom: Other than Mr. Jennde's fear of losing you, are other ways you draw upon personal experience when writing?

jennde: Hold on, I'm still tearing apart Twilight.

Profmom: Okay. LOL Feel free.

jennde: Sorry, it is the reason we’re all here, I guess. To answer your question, Not really. I was talking about this with the aforementioned Staceygirl recently. She writes what she knows. Nothing I've written is even close to any RL experience I've had. We were ruminating on why that was. We came up with nothing.

How about you?

Profmom: Nothing by way of overall story, but certain scenes or lines may come from experience. For example, I used to shred paper when I was nervous or insecure. I never turned it into art, though. And I wrote about this in an interview elsewhere, but a couple of key scenes in Just this Once come from real life experiences. But the characters aren't really me, and they don't react like I would.

jennde: You know, I take back what I said. Many of Edward's experiences with a young Grace in Unplanned were taken from real life.

Profmom: That's very sweet.

jennde: Here's another from. Staceygirl aka jackbauer. Do you cuss in real life as much as your characters cuss in your stories?

Profmom: This always cracks me up. Of course, we all know my characters don't cuss as much as many do. I guess the answer is yes, because I like to think my characters cuss discriminately rather than gratuitously.

jennde: That's what makes me crazy about writing Finding Home. I can't have them say "fuck". At all. And sometimes a good "fuck" is just necessary and appropriate.

Profmom: So true. In more ways than one. *Cough*

jennde: Oooh.

Profmom: We are on the perv blog after all.

jennde: True enough.

Profmom: So speaking of JB, I believe you recently tried to corrupt our dear friend, what kinds of things do you think are essential to a mature woman's pleasure?

jennde: Oh, boy. Let me just say that she needed to be enlightened, no corruption intended.. To answer the question, I think a woman should know what makes her feel good. I think she should know how to pleasure herself and her partner. And I think women should in no way be embarrassed if they enjoy sex and orgasms. It's perfectly natural and it feels good, dammit.

Switching up a bit, from Nina: Canon vs non-canon. Thoughts? Do you have a favorite non canon pair?

Profmom: If I understand this question, she's asking mostly about pairings. As you know, I like writing secondary characters and developing their backstory, but I generally stay pretty close to canon pairings. I have a couple of exceptions where a character has a past that involves a non-canon partner, but they end up canon in the end.

How about you?

jennde: To borrow a phrase from the very woman who asked the question, I am Tragically Canon. I don't read non-canon. Squicks me out.

Wanna do the required PPSS questions?

Profmom: Oh sure. It would bring me great joy.

jennde: You and me both.

Okay. Any tattoos?

Profmom: nope

jennde: me either. Next.

For 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?

Profmom: I've read slash, and I enjoy it if it's a good story, though I'm not sure I would consider it a turn on for me. I think it's a challenge to do it well, to get male voices right and to understand the relationship.

jennde: I've read it, but it is, by definition, non-canon, which I already stated up above does not do it for me. I'm all for gay love in real life, though. Not my business to tell someone who to love. And sadly, my home State Senate defeated a gay marriage bill today.

Profmom: Grrr

jennde: I know…

Profmom: How frustrating. I advise the gay straight alliance. Our typically liberal state was equally disappointing a couple of years ago.

jennde: Sorry for the PSA in support of Marriage Equality. Back to the pervy questions.

What is your favorite sexual position?

Profmom: missionary is my favorite, or a variation thereof.

jennde: I enjoy most everything with Mr. jennde. I'm a lucky woman. I like missionary also, and it's variations, even though it’s not popular to admit it. We’re trendsetters.

Favorite ff ever?

Profmom: It probably depends on the day, but I think Beautiful Beat is always up there for me. It deals with the lack of sacrifice in BD and brings out more of Edward's conflict in the whole thing. Plus americnxidiot is quite simply my favorite fanfic author.

jennde: I would say IVO, partly because I was one more fan fic away from stopping altogether when I read it, and it got me hooked. I only read AU when I started, and the pickins were slim.

Profmom: How long have you been reading?

jennde: My sister left Twilight at my house when she came to stay for Christmas in 2008. I read it in one day, then went out and bought the rest - I then subsequently returned all of them. I was disappointed. I sought out FF maybe a month later. So probably a year.


Profmom: I read the series in August of 08, just after the release of BD. I thought the concept of fanfic was kind of odd. I remembered seeing it when I read HP but I just didn't get into it, but I simply couldn’t let these characters go, and it was the only way I could get a fix, so I suppose I started reading fanfic in September or October of 08

jennde: I just wanted something better. Something to satisfy me after the disappointment that was everything after Edward came back in NM.

Profmom: When this posts, it will be almost exactly a year from when I started writing/posting Lucky Charm.

jennde: Oh, wow! What a way to mark your anniversary.

Profmom: Yeah.

Actually I guess it was 1/8, but close enough. :)

Tomorrow's my anniversary LOL

jennde: Lucky Charm was the first story to really make me feel. And I mean FEEL. Good Lord, did I cry...

Profmom: I didn't even realize it was so depressing. I thought it was going to be worse, and I lightened it up. LOL

jennde: I can't even imagine what I would have been like had I read the unlightened version. I just felt everything that Bella and Edward did. The writing was so powerful.

Profmom: Thank you.

How do we follow that up with toys?

jennde: It's all true. I think you were the first author I fangirled for.

Let's segue with this. Do people in RL know you do it?

Profmom: Yes. I'm not too shy about it. People know I do research in the area as well. So, it is kind of a natural topic of conversation. I have a colleague at work who has read my work.

jennde: And what did he or she think? Had they heard of FF?

Profmom: Yes, it was actually a funny conversation and appropriate for the PPSS.

Somehow, we got on the Twilight topic, and she said she'd just started reading fanficiton, and we talked about how graphic it was.

She said something like "Yeah I get into a story and then I call my husband and up and say, 'come home now; we're having sex.'"

When I first started reading, my husband came home one day, and I asked how his headache was. He said, "it's there." I told him to get rid of it. He said, "Have you been reading fanfic again?"

So anyway, we shared these stories so I felt okay letting her read Lucky Charm.

jennde: Nice. It must be cool to have a RL friend/colleague to share this with.

Profmom: Do you share?

jennde: My husband knows, mostly because keeping it from him was very stressful. He's surprisingly supportive, but for his occasional snarky comment. But that's the way we are with each other about a lot of stuff. My sister knows I write and is very supportive and a great cheerleader.

If I looked under your bed right now what would I find?

Profmom: A whole lot of crap. Summer shoes, a body pillow from pregnancy, some art work we don't have hanging right now.

jennde: Dust bunnies. And I think maybe my daughter put a teddy bear under there for me in case I get lonely. She does that.


I don't partake, myself.

Profmom: Oh hm. Well. okay.

jennde: I just perked up. I was getting tired...

Profmom: So a couple of years ago on a parenting board, someone posted a link to these liberator shapes things. Husband and I thought they looked cool.

Had them express delivered.

And I can say they have become very expensive chairs for the girls to watch TV.

jennde: Hahahaha. Too bad, but at least they have some use.

Okay next. Do you currently have more than one sex partner?

Profmom: No

jennde: I have a question from Daisy3853. Is it awkward writing lemons you know your friends will read, or reading them when your friends wrote them?

Profmom: If it's done well, I'm into the story so I don't think too much about it, and I don't think I've written anything that really felt embarrassing to me.

jennde: Your lemons are pretty tame, I think.

Profmom: Yes. So it probably doesn't stress me as much.

jennde: For me, it's awkward when anyone reads my lemons. Mine are tame. I mean they take place in 1942 (except for the one in Unplanned) but I still get a queasy stomach before I post them.

Profmom: Kind of combining here. Do you have a favorite Edward or a favorite couple in Fanfic?

jennde: Stutterward from Nina’s The Wingman is hands down my favorite Edward in all of fan fiction.


Profmom: Crap. I wasn't prepared to answer.

Well actually, maybe What You Thought You Knew. That Edward really rocked my world.

jennde: Oh, yeah. He was something else.

Profmom: I like sweet Edwards.

jennde: Me too. I don't enjoy cruel Edward.

Profmom: Agreed.

jennde: Speaking of WYTYK. That was written by your sometimes writing partner HMonster4. Which do you prefer, writing alone or collaborating?

Profmom: Strengths and weaknesses to both. I think collaborating can be more fun--particularly if the partnership is good, and I have the best.

jennde: Will you and H be wrapping up The Fates soon?

Profmom: Yes, very soon. Only 3 more chapters.

jennde: Then what's on tap for you?

Profmom: Not much. I'm doing the Twilight 25 this round. I am also doing the Support Stacie auction. But I don't plan to start anything else.

How much is left on Finding Home?

jennde I’m about halfway through. I have ideas for two other stories, one will be very short. But only after I finish FH. I don't want to lose focus.

Profmom: Smart move.

Do you have any desires/plans to write original fiction?

jennde: Um...I don't know. Maybe some day. I don't think I'm a skilled enough writer to seriously consider it yet. How about you?

Profmom: Well, I did start a novel in October with Nanowrimo. It needs a LOT of work/revision. But I'd like to plug away on it. More of a self actualization thing than anything else. I don't really see myself as a writer.

jennde: But you're good. Really good. You even have fangirl or two *cough* Me *cough*

Profmom: Ha. You're very sweet. I have fun; I get frustrated; It was a dream growing up but I never actually wrote any fiction before this, so it really is a sense of accomplishment.

jennde: If it's something you've always wanted to do, then congratulations on doing it. I'm not sure many people get to say that.

One final question from Staceygirl aka jackbauer. Does it hurt to be so awesome?

That's a real question

Profmom: OMG

jennde: And I thought I was bad

Profmom: Oh, no. You're not. But she's very good to me.

jennde: Yes she is.

Profmom: See, I told you I made the best friends.

jennde: No doubt.

Profmom: You've been very kind to me too. I'm lucky.

jennde: It's my pleasure. You inspire me to be a better writer and you handle yourself with class and maturity. I admire that.

Profmom: Okay, now I'm blushing

jennde: HA! After all these pervy questions, that makes you blush? Bwahahahaha

That's it for this week. Check back next week when our own Emmy gets down and dirty with TBY789.