Thursday, January 14, 2010

Author Interview: manyafandom & herinfiniteeyes

This week we've got our own Hope, aka manyafandom and one of her favorite authors, herinfiniteeyes.

Questions for herinfiniteeyes:

Hope: Why so awesome?
HIE: Do you mean why is DoG so awesome, or why am I so awesome? Haha. I dunno. Sometimes I think DoG is awesome because I really know what I'm talking about when I created it. This Edward is my very fantasy come to life. As for me...well, I guess it's just because I have finally given up trying to be something I'm not. I'm 25 years old, and I thought being an adult, a mother, and a wife meant I had to stop wearing my hoodies and my piercings and start wearing mom jeans and diamond earrings. I forgot that I have the power to decide how I am and who I want to be. I went back to school, and I started following my passion for writing. I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but I never actually got off my ass to write with any kind of regularity until Twilight. Fan fic showed me a way to write, almost addictively, and I'll always be thankful for that. So much of who I am is the music I listen to, or the things I read, but most of who I am is because I write. I used to say "I want to be a writer," but now that I've written so many short stories for and because I've started my book (which is nothing like my fics), I feel I can safely say "I AM a writer." The only problem I have to work on now is my split personality. I'm torn between wanting to give up everything to go live in a cabin in the woods where I can write, or fully engaging myself in the pop culture that I love so much. It's like I've got Henry David Thoreau battling with Rob Gordon inside me.

Hope: How did you get started in all this craziness? Twific, fanfiction, etc...
HIE: The year was 2008. I was a miserable, fat mom/Starbucks barista, and my Doubleday Book Club membership was about to come to an end without me ever having bought any of the 4 required books. I saw a random friend on Live Journal freaking out about some book called Breaking Dawn, and (true story), the cover appealed to me, so I decided to check it out. There were 4 books in the series, so it was kinda like fate or destiny or some much thing. (As Dr. "Froderick von Fronkensteen" once said: "Destiny, destiny, no escaping that for me!") When I received the books, I read them all over about 3 days. I'm amazed my husband didn't call CPS on me cuz I was pretty much lost to the world. After that, I read the partial Midnight Sun online, and then dove into fanfiction. It wasn't until a few months later that I got an idea and started on my first ever fic, Only As a Guest. The rest, as they say, is history:)

Hope: What was it about Twilight that appealed to you?
HIE: I've always been a sucker for first love stories and coming of age tales. I love the innocence, and that first experience with another person that just feels so intense and true because it's so new. You always root for that experience to actually be the real thing, and in this case, it was. A lot of people didn't like Breaking Dawn, but I felt really satisfied with how things ended. I'm a wuss when it comes to having people die, so I wasn't willing to let go of any of the characters I'd come to love. The only thing I would have changed is the totally half-assed relationship between Nessie and her parents. It was really sad to me that as a mother herself, Stephenie Meyer couldn't have written a more loving and realistic familial relationship with them.

Hope: You've written a ton of stories. Which one is your favorite? And why?
HIE: That's really hard to choose, but I would definitely say Delusions of Grandeur. It's taking a while to update because it actually challenges me to do research and discuss these topics. I'm trying to brace myself for a foray into watching Fox News. (I consider Glenn Beck the antichrist of knowledge and truth). For me, DoG is a story that allows me to really delve into character study and development. It's my goal to give them multifaceted personalities that show readers that just because someone is different, doesn't mean that you can't find some common ground and respect for one another. DoG Edward and Bella are very different in a lot of ways, with only the veganism and passion for animal rights/music as a somewhat tangible tie to one another, but they'll have to learn to stop being so rigid. The key to this story is not only realizing that people aren't always what they may seem on the surface, but it is also about tolerance and learning to let others speak instead of trying to drown them out. I'm not perfect on this, but I realize that it is something to strive for, so it's something that I wanted to create.

Hope: DoG Bella is rather feisty and passionate about her political and social viewpoints. How alike are the two of you or how much of you is she?
HIE: DoG Bella is practically me in high school. She begins the story very judgmental, bitchy, and close-minded. She's more into politics and activism than I was, but I still considered myself a socialist and quoted The Jungle by Upton Sinclair a lot. I wanted to take who I was in high school and meld that with who I have become, to give that angry girl a chance to redeem herself and grow up. I was straight edge, vegan, and extremely liberal. I was very outspoken. I have tattoos and piercings and I hacked off all my hair to "Reflections" by From Autumn to Ashes. The major difference is, I've never gotten to make out with a hot tattooed/straight edge vegan musician. *Sad face*

Hope: A lot of your stories are pretty smutty, not that that's a bad thing. But how do you make them all so different in the smut department? What's the hardest part about writing smut? What kind of advice do you have for someone wanting to write a smut scene that never has?
HIE: They are pretty smutty, aren't they? When it comes to writing a smut scene, I use a lot of inspiration in the form of fantasies and other smut scenes I've read that I didn't feel were perfect. I try to balance out different locations, different moods, and different positions to spice things up. I hate writing the same scene over and over again, so I try to keep it changed up as much as possible. The hardest part about writing smut is questioning if I've taken it too far. Sometimes I feel like I could get WAY nasty if I wanted to, but I don't wanna scare off readers. Maybe I'll try it sometime and see if they go running, lol. I actually get a lot of requests to help writers with their lemons or UST situations. When I know I'm gonna write a smut scene, I try to get myself worked up for it by thinking of fantasies and looking at sexy pictures. I'm not really talking porn, because I feel like just the suggestion of sex is sexier than a blatant display in terms of building up the sexual tension in myself that will translate into my words. If you're not feeling sexy and kind of turned on by your lemon as you're writing it, then you know it's probably not going to give the readers the reaction you're hoping for. I'll cut my hubby off for a few days and once I'm ready to jump him, I know that's the best time to write the lemon scene. Works like a charm.

Hope: What is your favorite part of all this craziness or as it's otherwise called "The Fandom"? What's your least favorite part? Have you ever had a moment were you wonder how you got here? (I do all the effin' time)
HIE: I think my favorite part has to be the friendships I've formed with other writers/readers, but something that has really blown me away is the Delusions of Grandeur readers who have decided to try veganism after reading my story. It's so unexpected and really awesome that I've inspired people to try something new through my characters. Also, I have heard from a few All Work and No Play readers who have shared their personal stories with me, and it's really touching to have them open up to me. My least favorite part is the feeling I get sometimes of elitist tendencies among the really popular writers. I wonder sometimes if their popularity has more to do with who they are than their actual skill in writing, which only bothers me because I consider myself a writer and I feel like it's more important to recognize someone's skill and talent. I also really hate when people have a good story but need a better beta. I call it "When Good Stories Have Bad Betas." And yes, I do sometimes wonder how I got here and why I can't walk away and spend more time working on my original material, but I just keep coming back for more because it's fun and I want to finish what I start.
Hope: I feel the same way about not walking away, it's why I stick around.

Hope: What can we look forward to in the future from you? What ideas are floating around in your noggin? That is after you finish DoG and AWNP. ::glares::
HIE: In the future, I'm not certain. I've got a lot of ideas, but I question if I should keep writing fic or if I should just go for the original stuff. I have thought of doing a Real World type of storyline, or one about the Cullens as childhood stars on a tv show...but I still have some one shots that I said I'd expand, and who knows? I just have a lot of ideas and I love writing the stories, but as school gets more intense and work on my novel picks up, it's hard to find the time and motivation to work on my fics.
Hope: Can I get a few DoG spoilers? You know you love me :)
HIE: I can tell you that Edward's about to the point where he'll need to really think about what's true for him and what is a product of Carlisle's influence. He's got a lot to sort out, but he'll be stronger for it. There will be a situation that comes to a head soon. Esme's going to incredible, naturally. That's all I will say for now;)
Hope: You realize that you didn't really tell us anything there. But you have me all a curious as to what type of situation is coming to a head.

Hope: You obviously want to be a professional writer (good for you, btw). What genre do you see yourself writing? Why? And when is all this going to happen? Tell us a little bit about the novel you're working on, please.
HIE: I want to write literature. Fiction. I don't see myself as a romance novelist, but I may write a few erotic novels to pay my way through my masters degree if I can't get financial aid to cover my ass. I just knew from the time I was young that I was born to be a writer. I used to write plays in elementary school and make my siblings act them out. In junior high, I cowrote some stories and in high school, I was big into writing poetry and short stories with a fantasy element. I'm working on a novel right now that is basically based on my life, but with a different twist. In 2006, I had a baby who died at 6 weeks old. I decided to get pregnant again right away and I now have a healthy daughter and my husband and I grew closer and stronger from the experience. The novel is about what I imagine would have happened if we'd gone the other direction and grew apart. The woman in the book is severely depressed and stagnant in her life with her husband, and she makes poor decisions. It's a book about how society tries to dictate what happily ever after means to us, and how we need to learn to be happy with our lives and who we are without worrying so much about what the rom coms and the chick lit tells us about life and love.
Hope: Wow, that is an amazing story, you've triumphed over something that could have destroyed you. Your book sounds very interesting and something I would defs pick up ion a bookstore.

Hope: What does the husband think of all this fanfiction stuff?
HIE: I dunno, I'll ask him. BUBBA!!! He says: "Um, I'm just very happy that you found something you enjoy, and that you practice your writing like I told you to." My hubby is really supportive. He jokes sometimes about how much time I spend reading fan fic, but he never ever complains about my writing. He probably knows I'll be his sugar mama someday:)
Hope: Can you share your favorite Vegan recipe with us? Pretty please, i'm always on the lookout for something yummy.
HIE: Let's see...well, I could share with you the vegan orange pound cake recipe I recently made. I swear, I ate like two loaves of this in the course of a week. No wonder I'm having trouble fitting into my jeans.
  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (that's vegan butter)
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c silken firm tofu (Mori Nu is best)
  • 1 prepared Egg Replacer or use Ener-G
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c fresh squeezed OJ
  • 1/4 c soymilk (plain, not vanilla)
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest (wash the orange so you don't get wax in your zest!)

Preheat oven to 325F. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla together. In a food processor, blend the tofu, soymilk, juice, and orange zest until smooth. Mix with the butter and sugar, alternating with the dry ingredients until it's well combined and fluffy. Grease and flour your loaf pan, then pour batter into the pan and bake for 45 mins. Then turn the heat up to 350F and bake for another 15 mins, or until a toothpick or knife comes clean. Cool and then you can either eat it like that, or make a glaze to pour over the top:
1/2 c powdered sugar 1/4 c orange juice
Hope: I made this this weekend and it's a-may-zing. On a side note: do you now how hard it is to find vegan butter in rural North Carolina? Very hard.

Questions for herinfiniteeyes from around the fandom:

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?
HIE: Good question. I guess I knew that I kinda dug it, but honestly, the first time I was totally into it was when Hopey started All I Ever Knew. That story was like...oh my god. I just...I just can't even tell you. The minute an update came, I'd shove my hubby away from the computer and I wouldn't even breathe until I was done reading. (Okay, so I probably just breathed on the sly, because normal breaths would have distracted me from the awesomeness that is this story). It was one of a kind before, and because she did such an awesome job with it, there are hundreds of other E/J stories now. I can't wait until she finishes it.
(Hope: sneaking a note here to say you are impossiblely sweet for the above. I blush and get a stupid grin on my face when someone says something like that about AIEK. I'm equal parts flattered and embarrassed.)

Anyway, the truth is, I like reading male slash. I'm not so much on the female slash. I think I'm a gay boy in a woman's body. If I could be born again, I'd be a gay boy, I think:) I never really felt the need to hide that it turns me on, because I'm pretty much an open book. I'll share anything.

From EJsantry: 1. You showed us such a new twist on Angela and Ben in your o/s, Begin Again. What made you decide to make Ben a well-built bakery god, and Angela a former teenage mom?
HIE: I wanted to make a realistic story. It's so easy to write stories about Edward being larger than life (or sexier than he ought to be), but with Ben it was like...none of that pressure to make him superhuman sexy was there. I wanted to make him a real guy, but still sexy in a way that's very accessible. He's not terrifying, he's not a sexual god, he's just this really genuinely good guy who loves Angela and who actually exercises to get his godbod. I just really enjoyed making him someone absolutely lovable, which is why he's modeled after Adam Brody. Adam Brody is like my perfect example of someone who could be the nice guy next door, but who also happens to be insanely adorable. As for Angela, she was more difficult. I wanted to give her wisdom beyond her years, and make her an interesting character. I felt like a simple way to do that would be to give her a teenage mom history, because something like that will make a woman grow up really fast. She's been burned before, and she's shy, which is why it was so important to have Bagel Ben be this comfortably sweet, sexy guy who wouldn't overwhelm or threaten her. She needs to be loved in an easy, comfortable way...not a demanding way, if that makes any sense.

2. Do you prefer to write one-shots or full length stories?
HIE: I really like O/S because I can write a little sexy something and stop it there without having to work out the ramifications of the characters' actions...but I do really like full-length stories because they're more of a challenge. I have to keep each chapter fresh and interesting, and I can't just have silly things happen because I'd have to find an explanation for them. I like being able to develop characters and make them grow and change over time.

Questions for manyafandom:

HIE: Do I have to come put your feet in cinderblocks so you'll finish writing All I Ever Knew? Or should I just fly out there and babysit your chitlins after I've locked you in a room with your computer?
Hope: I just posted a freaking chapter this weekend. There was buttsecks and everything. Ugh. No, no need to go to such extreme measures. ;P I won't go into the boring details, but lets just say I have a ton of writing obligations to finish before I can focus on AIEK/AIEW. Trust me, I want to get back to my boys really freaking bad, especially Eddie's side of the story.

HIE: What made you start writing All I Ever Knew?
Hope: Honestly, I don't remember. Okay, I lied, I kinda do. When TA came out, people kept asking if Edward and Jasper would ever get physical with each other. Well, the idea appealed to me, but it wasn't right for that story. I was a fan of slash/yaoi already and at the time there wasn't a whole hell of a lot in this fandom. So, I decided to start a new story with Edward & Jasper together. My main thing was that I wanted it to be fluffy and funny, TA is an angstfest and I wanted a fluffy outlet.
HIE: Were you hesitant to post a story about homosexuality between two beloved Twilight characters? Did you fear a backlash at all?
Hope: Umm...sure? Kinda, sorta, maybe. I definitely didn't expect the almost overwhelming positive reaction it received. I was expecting backlash, but I didn't get any. Which is a total shocker, if I'm being completely honest. Who knew the fandom dug the Man-love so much?

HIE: First with The Arrangement and then with AIEK, it seems like you enjoy taking chances with your stories. Do you feel that way too?
Hope: I guess. ::shrugs:: I mean, I don't set out to 'take chances' or 'push envelopes' or anything like that, and I don't think I really have tbh. I do enjoy doing something different though, but I don't go out of my way or to extremes to be different. I look at it this way; if I'm the only person doing something, than there's no one to compare me to and my craptasticness isn't as apparent. Also, I am a unique and beautiful snowflake (that's a joke people).

HIE: How has being part of the fandom changed you?
Hope: Yeppers, it's made me way more cynical and untrusting. That's kinda sad isn't it? It's also helped me to figure out whats genuine and whats bullshit as well. But more than that, I like feeling as if i'm a part of something, that there are people out there just like me, ya know? Even with the BS, drama, ego's, clique's, haters and everything else it all boils down to each and every one of us being fans of the original work, seeing the flaws in it and not really caring.

HIE: Do you ever get tired of fanfic? Does it sometimes feel like it's getting too cliche, or too catty, or too elitist?
Hope: Yes, but then a story will come along and knock my socks off, or make me laugh, or make me think and it's new and exciting again. I think, like with all cliche's it becomes one if you let it. What was once an innovative plot or character device is now a cliche. As far as Catty & Elitist; Yes, definitely. I hate to generalize or stereotype, but with a group of women this big not everyone is going to get along. Never gonna happen my friend. It's all boils down to petty bullshit, jealousy, stirring the pot and going out of your way to be bitchy. Which I don't get, but doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

HIE: Do you think you'd ever write a book, or original fiction stories?
Hope: Maybe, one day far off in the future and only if I get the 'right' idea. I'm not a writer, never claimed to be. I do this for fun and as a creative outlet.

HIE: You've developed many friendships in the fandom. Do any of those translate into your real life as well?
Hope: Yep! I've meet quite a few people at Comic-Con. Which was a complete blast btw. There are a close few that I consider, I guess, "real" friends, that I trust implicitly. But my philosophy is that just because you've never met someone in person, doesn't mean it doesn't affect you the same or that you don't have the same bond as you would with someone living in the same town, that you see everyday.

HIE: When you read all these stories about mind-blowing sex and fantastic romance, does it ever make you feel disappointed with your real life?
Hope: le sigh, yes sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I have an awesome sex life with the hubs (hehe, like y'all really wanted to know that), you'll get no complaints from me. But even if your life was like what we read in fic, you'd want something more or at the very least be curious or envious of it. It's an escape, it's supposed to be phenomenal.

HIE: If you could pick one character from a romantic comedy as your ideal male lead, who would it be and why? (Oooh, I super wanna answer this question too, haha.)
Hope: Oh please, Oh Please answer this too! I really want to know. Okay, well are we talking fic, movies or books? Fic; I haven't a fucking clue honestly. There doesn't seem to be one that encompasses my ideal leading man. Movies; probs Mr. Coulson from Never Been Kissed, without that whole falling in love with a student thing. Books; it's kinda lame but I really dig Mitch from Meg Cabot's "Boy Meets Girl". He's loyal and funny and hot and attentive and doesn't over do it.
HIE: "MR. COULSON ROCKS MY WORLD! OOWW!" Haha. I guess from a movie, I'd pick either Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything for his sensitive side or King Leonidas from 300 because, um, abs and super hot sex scene, anyone?? From a book, I of course will always love Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (as if you had to ask!) because I will probably always love dark and broody, or Jace from the Mortal Instruments series because he's so sarcastic and hilarious, plus he sounds hot with all those Marks on his person...and I'm nothing if not a sucker for tattoos.
Hope: I almost said Lloyd, ge was beat out of the number one spot by a hair. I haven't read Mortal Instruments yet, it's on my list though.

HIE: Which would be your favorite Edward of all time in the fandom?
Hope: He's such an ass, but I can't help myself; Balticward from Behind Enemy Lines. I'm really digging on A Rough Starts Dadward too.

Questions for manyafandom from around the fandom:

From EJSantry: 1. You seem to be endlessly infested with the plot bunnies. Ever consider having a contest in which people have to choose from YOUR plot ideas and write an o/s?
Hope: Bwhahaha, no. My ideas aren't that interesting, tbh. Or I don't think they'd appeal to anyone but me. But also, I like my ideas and hope to one day write them all. And you make it sound like I have 100's of fully formed ideas that i'm squirreling away for later use. That's simply not the case. I do have around 3 multi-chap's and 6-8 One-Shot/Short story ideas that I plan on writing.

2. Does having stories that so many people love and read bring you as much stress as it does pleasure?
Hope: You lie, no one loves me. Actually, I think it brings more stress than pleasure honestly. I always feel like I have to get it perfect, that I have to exceed expectations & each new chapter has to be better than the last. That's a lot of freaking pressure, let me tell you. And that if I don't, y'all will finally realize that I suck and am a hack and banish me from the fandom.

Standard Perv Pack questions:

Hope: I'm not answering these, I did that last time. Not that much has changed.

Do you have any tattoos?
HIE: I have seven tattoos and two piercings. "Have Faith" and "Trust in Chaos" are on the inside of my wrists, I have a shooting star on my left forearm to celebrate my 3rd anniversary with my hubby (cuz we saw a shooting star on our first date, which is how I knew I had to marry the dude), an angel on my left upper arm that says "birth love rebirth" and an angel fetus on my right upper arm that says "birth of love" (that one was for my son Jonah before he passed away). On my back, I have a huge straight edge tattoo and a treble clef wrapped around a bass clef with the Icelandic word for "attachment" beneath it. As for piercings, I have a monroe and a vertical labret.
Hope: Wow, that's a lot. I love that all of them have deep meaning to you.

What is your favorite sexual position?
HIE: Either on top or from behind, but I'm not pick so long as we both have fun.

Favorite ff ever?
HIE: I think I already answered that, LOL. Some of my favorites (aside from anything Hopey writes) are starfish422's Over the Top and Oxymoronic8's Innocent, Vigilant, Ordinary but I also love some lesser-known fics that I'd love to see more of, including maniacalmuse's Deconstructing the Swan and silentnc's Practicality. Maybe I could get KatieBelleCullen to write more, too. I don't care what, I just love whatever she writes.

Hardest part about writing ff?
HIE: On my end, finding the time and energy to write. I'm a full-time student, and my husband is also. He goes to Berkeley, so his homework is incredibly demanding. I also have a 2-year-old who thinks she's Princess The-World-Revolves-Around-Me and a job as a tutor. I try to keep my life balanced, but finding the time to write is difficult. Also, sometimes I get hurtful reviews or I lose a contest that I thought for sure I could win, but those are things that just keep me writing and keep me motivated to be better at what I do.

Do people in RL know you do it?
HIE: Yep. I've posted links to my FF profile on my Facebook and I'm very open about it to my friends. I know once I'm able to admit that I write erotic Twilight FF, then I can safely say I have no shame:)

If I looked under your bed right now what would I find?
HIE: Hmm, a couple empty purses, a pillow, probably some Barbie shoes, a dirty sock or two...

For those of you that use 'toys', which is your favorite?
HIE: See, most everyone raves about the Rabbit. I bought one and I don't see the big deal. My favorite toy is this guy, I know, it's terrifying. I have many names for it, including "The Challenger" and "The Vagina Destructor." Haha.
Hope: OMG, ouch! My vag clenched just looking at that picture.
HIE: I know, it's doozy. But hey, that's why Astroglide was invented, right? HA! (I'm so disgusting, I know.)
Hope: I'm more of a Pjur girl myself. Still, even with lube, that's just a little bit too much for me to handle.

If they could be in a relationship...would it be the same characters that you'd want to bone, or is there someone else they find more relationship worthy?
HIE: If I could choose, I'd combine Edward from Only As a Guest with Edward from Delusions of Grandeur. I love my husband and he's the one for me, but man...I've ALWAYS wanted to be with an inked up vegan/straight edge musician. Though I have to say, happy BabyDadWard in OAG is based a lot on my hubby. He's very romantic, understanding, and supportive. He's the best husband I could ever ask for.

Do you currently have more than 1 sex partner?
HIE: (I'd like to mention I accidentally mistyped "HIE" as "HOE" when I went to answer this, LOL.) No, just my hubby. He's all I need;)
Hope: That is fucking hilarious.

That's all for this week. Tune in next week when JennDe and ProfMom72 take a turn.