Thursday, February 4, 2010

Author Interview: Starfish422 & EJSantry

This week we have author of Over The Top and Deep Dish starfish422 (Katie), and EJ Santry (Bethie) author of Diseased Affair and Incubus.

Questions for each other:

Bethie: Ladies and gentlemen, my lobster, starfish422.
Katie: **nods demurely** Thank you, dearest. And you all know my sweet Bethie, EJ Santry! :)

Bethie: First things, first. How did you get to be so awesome?
Katie: I's a natural-born sender, baby. :)
Katie: Whatcha readin'? :) What makes you squee and Tweet?
Bethie: Real books, I just started the Mistbourn trilogy. In fan fiction, I am currently reading 75 stories. No joke. The ones that make me squee and tweet lately: Anything (not a story name, I mean all of her stories) by itzmegan, Devil's Angel, Daedalus In Exile, Marked, Stranger Than Fiction. I also just finished reading all the Officer and A Gentleman Contest entries. Way to show up for that one, people! I do put everything I am reading/reviewing on my blog. How about you, bb?
Katie: Non-Twi, I just finished Great Expectations. Loved it. In fanfic, The Cannabean Betrothal, Edward Wallbanger, Fault, Errors & Omissions, Company Loves Misery; as well as some others that haven't updated in a while. There are a couple I haven't mentioned here because I'm writing a rec post for the Twislash blog next month and I'm saving them for it. :)
Bethie: Wallbanger! Definitely on my list of ones I jump on. I am also reading Fault and Company Loves Misery.

Bethie: When did your interest/fascination/obsession with slash begin?
Katie: It began with QAF. I'd never watched/read "teh ghey" before but oh holy hell, was it hot.
Bethie: It's no secret that you LOVE Queer as Folk. If one of the boys decided that he was suddenly into vagina and only wanted to spend his waking moments servicing you, who would you pick?
Katie: Is this a trick question? :) OMGBrianrightthereyeahyeahfuckmebaby.

Katie:'s profanity filter: on or off?
Bethie: There's a profanity filter?
Katie: Dude, yeah. For your reviews and stuff. If you have it turned on and people swear in your reviews, it ****s it out. Mine is off - so people can swear with reckless abandon (why hold others to a standard I couldn't meet myself, LOL?).
Bethie: Shit. Do you think I would fucking use a profanity filter? :)

Katie: Tell me about your relationship with your dad, Bethie, and how it relates to Charlie in Diseased Affair.
Bethie: My mom left when I was 3 years old, my dad was 25. I relate HUGELY to Charlie for this reason. My dad, like Charlie never remarried. He was too busy being two parents. So, when I decided to write this story, it was very important to me, despite levels of comfort in communication between my characters, that Charlie was a dad. Little nuances of my own dad is there. Like my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple years ago, it was caught VERY early, and he just decided to have his prostate removed, no cancer today. Anyways, the only reason I found out about said cancer and the surgery, is that they wouldn't do it if he didn't have a "someone" waiting. He would have most certainly had it all done and never told me otherwise. Still always trying to protect me. I owe that man the world.
Katie: **sniffles discreetly**

Bethie: What is the easiest emotion for you to write? Hardest?
Katie: There are two that I feel as though I do justice to when I write them. One is sexual arousal - in the foreplay stage. I think that's an emotion, right? The sort of wondering, wanting, desiring...yum. The other is angst. I have the angsty scenes in my head well in advance and they rattle around and percolate in there for a long time; I think I have my best lines of dialogue in those scenes. Hardest to write is comedy. Too easily comedy breaks down into something contrived. It's a balancing act that makes me stressed. Do not want.

Katie: Where'd ya lose your virginity?
Bethie: For me, it was in a bed at boyfriend's house when I was 17. It was nice. You?
Katie: Know what's funny? I was in Delaware Ohio - which is, what, fifty miles from where you live, Bethie?
Bethie: Delaware isn't even 50 miles. More like 20. I feel like I should go to that spot now and lay flowers or something. LOL!
Katie: I'll gladly give you the address if you like. LOL

Katie: When smexin' - music or no music?
Bethie: None. The kids are always around, so unfortunately most of the time there is some level of "being quiet".
Katie: Lights on or off?
Bethie: On. I like to see what's happening. If there can be a mirror in line of sight, all the better, too.

Katie: Afternoon Delight or Midnight at the Oasis?
Bethie: Whenever the mood strikes. There has been more and more afternoon delight on weekends lately.

Katie: Who's on your "list"? You know, the list? Who's yours?
Bethie: Honestly, I don't have one written. My list would probably contain people who I not only found attractive, but who could give me an experience outside of the daily, kwim? For example, I think James McAvoy is hot, but I don't think fucking him would be anything new...except if he was a talker. That accent. OK, he goes on the list. So off the top of my head: Clive Owen, Chris Pine, Pierce Brosnan, Hugh Jackman, Mario Lemiuex,...
Katie: Am I the only person who does not get the Hugh Jackman attraction? I was impressed with him at the Oscars last year because I had no idea he could sing and dance, but still - nada. My list: at the top is Gale Harold. He's been the real #1 since I first saw him, when QAF debuted in Canada. That's 10 years ago this winter. #2 - the fandom's worst-kept secret - is J.Action (Jackson Rathbone). #3 - Wentworth Miller. #4 RPattz. The #5 space I prefer to keep open - it's a floater space. Sometimes it's Chris Pine, sometimes it's Jared Padalecki. This morning, because I was redtubing Henry Cavill last night, he's the one. I might even consider evicting Wenty from Spot #3. May I just say:

Katie: You have a week and an unlimited budget to go anywhere you like (and childcare has been taken care of) but can choose only a single destination. Where are you going?
Bethie: Ooo...good question. I'm going to Ireland. I am a history nerd, but an even bigger geneology nerd. This is where my people hail from. Same question back to you.
Katie: At this time of year when it's ungodly cold, it would be really tempting to say Cuba or someplace warm. If I have to choose, though, I think I'm going to Greece. Gorgeous sparkling seas, amazing food, beautiful landscapes. Sounds heavenly.

Katie: Let's step outside the Twifandom for a moment and discuss the Winchester boys. You would be on Team Sam or Team Dean?
Bethie: I have not made it past season one. DH and I watched it together, and I don't know what happened, but we never watched more. We both loved the show, what we saw of it. But, I got to say Dean, because he wouldn't bat an eyelash to toss you on the hood of his car and make you forget your name.
Katie: As has been the topic of many a Twitter debate, I'm a Sam girl (yes, haters). And as I see it, all you Dean fans can fight over him. Sam and I will be using our time much more productively. :)

Katie: Muse on some great unanswerable question for me, bb. Something you'd love to know the answer to.
Bethie: I guess one that always baffles me is why people flock to hate. My body physically reacts to anger, discrimination, and hate. I will never for the life of me understand why people join the choir when it comes to those emotions. Why is someone's physical appearance a precursor to who they are or who they can be? Why is someone's natural inclinations wrong if the results are love? In today's world why would a government, at any level, want to create laws that discourages love and family? What possible satisfaction is there in making another human being feel like shit? I just don't get it, bb. I just don't get it.
Katie: Nor I, bb. It makes me sad; but it also galvanizes me to continue to speak out about that oppression. As important as it is for the LGBT community to fight for their rights, I think it is equally important that their straight allies to stand there with them. There's a line I loved in "The Devil's Own". To paraphrase: "You only see me standing between you and what you want; but you're forgetting about the thousand other people standing behind me."

Standard PPSS Questions:

Do you have any tattoos?
Bethie: Nope. I am huge needle wuss. Though, for the record, there was a tattoo place right next to our hotel in Niagara Falls (where I went to meet Katie for the first time). She did have me pondering it.
Katie: I was totally going to get my ears pierced again there, too. ::sigh:: That weekend just went by two quickly. My ink: right now I have one:

The picture quality is terrible, sorry. My next one will be one of the kittehs from Emily the Strange - debating between Mystery and Neechee. That'll be on my shoulder. And at some point I'm going to get my kids' initials hidden in a Mike Ming-esque arrangement. To those who write/enjoy m/m slash...when did you first know it was something that turned you on? And did you ever feel the need to hide that it turned you on?
Bethie: I realized that it was hot and beautiful when I read All I Ever Knew. There was no stopping me after that! No shame in the fact that I enjoy it. Nothing there I don't want to see. ;)
Katie: When I saw QAF; and no, I've never felt the need to hide it. Not from my husband, anyways. And then I first bonded with my girl Shannon over our enjoyment of the boy love (she'd heard me talk about QAF enough times that she had a feeling I wouldn't be opposed to some slash fic).

Favorite FF ever?
Bethie: I hate this question. It's like asking me to pick my favorite kid. I do love Behind Enemy Lines, too, but a fic I have been thinking about a lot lately, and how it continues to reverberate with me, is Black & White.
Katie: Oh, jeez. This is such a hard question. I'll limit it to completed fics, I suppose. My favourite must be Behind Enemy Lines.
Bethie: *clears spot on bookshelf and looks sweetly at adorablecullens and vixen1836*

Do people in RL know you write?
Bethie: I think just about everyone does. Some friends and family read my FF stuff. Hubs is very supportive of me working on my original stuff, but not my "porn". :) Even my friend Mike who knows nothing of Twilight followed my Tweet about my AoE entry (Bride Goes West), but admitted to "skipping to them hamming in the wagon". LOL!
Katie: Some do. DH knows I write this stuff, of course; it's such a big part of my life that I could never keep that from him. A few friends know I write "fiction" but they haven't read it. And a few close confidantes know exactly what it is I'm writing. A few have read it. :)

If I looked under your bed right now what would I find?
Bethie: Garment bag, ironing board, "Santa's" wrapping paper, keyboard (musical, not computer)
Katie: Superhuman strength. LOL Seriously. My bed doesn't sit on a frame; the boxspring rests directly on the floor (DH likes it that way, I'm ambivalent, but planning to buy a new bed soon so he'll have to just get over it) so you'd need to be quite strong to see anything under it.
Do you currently have more than one sex partner?
Bethie: Nope. Just Mr. Bethie. Now ask me this question between 1993-1995 (briefly in 1996), you would have a WHOLE different answer.
Katie:'s a major stretch for me to talk openly about my favourite toy or sexual position? This question: PASS.
Bethie: Note to self. Mix a drink and call Katie later.

Questions for both from around the fandom:

greeen goldfish (Ginny) asks:
What is your position on alien porn?

Bethie: I am all for alien porn. Being a Star Wars fan from it's inception, I'd totally want to see some sweet action between some of those creatures. That and Spock is an alien. V is an alien. Starman is an alien. Tell me you wouldn't want to read/see that!
Katie: I'm a Trekkie of the TNG variety; I loved the episode where Riker fell in love with an individual of an androgynous race (interestingcommentary on "homosexual change ministries, btw - Episode 117 from Season 5, called "The Outcast"). A very young Olivia d'Arbo playing a Q who falls in love with Will. Deanna & Worf - a half-Betazoid and a Klingon? DUDE.

MsKathy steps to the microphone:

1. Do you have a habit or routine when you write?
Bethie: I don't have a routine. I can't write to music with words. Instrumental only, unless I need a song for a moment.
Katie: Not really - quiet and solitude and a glass of water are what I need most. Like Bethie, I don't write with music playing; sometimes I turn on the "ambient" station on the satellite. I use my inspiration songs to get into the right frame of mind, then I turn them off and go from there.
Bethie: I often write to the SpaXM station which is ambient music. ::grin::
Katie: Yeah, I use the Spa station too, or "Nature" which is similar but with, like, bird sounds and ocean waves & stuff. Just some white noise.
2. Do you set aside designated time to write, or do you write when inspired?
Bethie: I write when inspiration strikes, though I usually can't sit down and write until after the kids are in bed at night.
Katie: I work outside the home during the week so evenings and weekends are my time to write. 3. What inspires you to write, or sparks new ideas for you?
Bethie: I find inspiration from the weirdest places sometimes. For example, the idea for Diseased Affair came from that Jimmy Carter commercial where he is talking about pancreatic cancer (don't know if they air that one in Canada). Other times, it is me needing to vent an emotion. Sometimes, it is just having fun with fantasies.
Katie: Song lyrics definitely provide me with the mood, sometimes even lines of dialogue. The backstories for various characters (mainly the peripherals) are inspired by the lives of people I know.
4. Snacks: salty or sweet?
Bethie: I'm not much of a snacker. Most likely, something salty, unless there are cookies about. I love cookies.
Katie: Oy. Salt and saturated fat. LOL

5. Favorite scent? Taste? Sight? Smell? Sound?

Bethie: Scent: Bread/cookies baking. Taste: the sauce they put on my spicy scallop rolls. Sight: A clean kitchen that I didn't clean. Sound: Gotta go with my kids laughing. I am guessing you were going for the five senses here, so my favorite thing to touch: running the pad of my thumb up and over the vein in the peen's peen. Yeah, I said it.
Katie: Scent - lavender. Taste - pizza. Sight - a sunset. Smell - fresh coffee. Sound - a heavy, unrelenting rain. Touch - the small of my DH's back...which sounds weird but it's so smooth and such a lovely little curve. My hand fits it perfectly. 6. You both have kids; favorite kids' tv show?
Bethie: Little Einsteins (bb girl), because of the great art and classical music. iCarly (oldest), because some of that shit is funny.
Katie: My favourites are Big and Small; The Mighty B; The League of Super-Evil; and we're all big fans of Spongebob in our house. And I'm going to second the iCarly, actually; Miranda Cosgrove is 9yo's first celebrity crush. :)
7. What is your favorite part of this fandom?
Bethie: The tremendous kindnesses, friendship, and love I am given here. It's overwhelming sometime to have all of these women (and men) who have never laid eyes on me (except for my Katie Darling), and show much so much support and who genuinely care about my well being. There aren't words.
Katie: The generosity of the vast majority of the people here. Whether it's promoting fics by new authors; donating time or money or talents to worthy causes like FGB or the earthquake in Haiti; or volunteering to help by betaing or contributing to the maintenance and moderation of the various fan sites. It carries so much more weight than those who uselessly expend their energy on drama and negativity.
8. What is your favorite adult toy?
Bethie: I just have one lonely purple vibe.
Katie: Bethie! One? **sigh** I've neglected you. Weren't we going to visit a sex shop when we were in Niagara Falls? That went by the wayside somehow. I have...uh, more than one. More than five. More than ten? ::counts, then blushes:: My favourite is my little purple remote-control egg vibe.
Bethie: WAIT! AngstGoddess003 and HunterHunting reminded me of my longest running "toy". This one even gave me my first O in high school, so how could I forget you, dear friend. Detachable shower head (w/ massage function). Nothing like being able to knock out an O and clean up at the same time. Bless the person who invented that shit.

9. What is your favorite sexual position?
Bethie: From behind (not anally). Bend me over the bed, countertop, whatever...
Katie: Straddling my partner's lap as he sits up on a couch or against the headboard. Puts my breastesses right there where he can play with them... <3>
Bethie: Nope. My characters lead much more exciting lives than I do. Katie: Hahahahahaha. Can you imagine if I said yes...? ;) But Bethie...your Tattward entry? Ahem? :)

Ninapolitan asks
1. I'd like to know do you prefer AU or AH and why?
Bethie: Obviously, it is easier to relate to an AH piece. There is also a lot more flexibility of characters. AU, though, gives you that delicious element of fantasy. I've written both, and read both. I don't know if I could pick.
Katie: AH for writing, because in the very little bit of AU writing I've done (just We Three) I find myself constantly "fact-checking" against canon. For reading, I don't have a preference, though I will say that the fandom is flooded with AH pieces these days and very little really great AU; I would love to see that change.

2. What drew you into the Twilight Fandom? Not just the books, but the fic as well.
Bethie: I picked up the books after reading the Entertainment Weekly talking about how half the fan base of the Twilight series HATED Breaking Dawn. I was curious what an author did to alienate half her fans after 4 books. I read the first two one weekend, and the other two the following weekend. I personally, have no problem with BD. ::ducks stones being thrown:: "My brother. My son." still gets me every fucking time.
Katie: My bff Shannon and another of our friends, Genevieve, talked about it a lot beginning around the time BD was released. In early December I decided to read Twi and by Boxing Day had completed BD. I was left wanting more. I knew of the existence of fanfic because of the QAF and Prison Break fandoms so went looking for some Twi fic. Found a few pieces but hadn't found yet, so what I found was pretty marginal. Just after New Year's, Shannon asked me if I was interested in some recs, particularly m/m stuff - I'd talked about QAF enough that she figured I wouldn't be averse to it. She sent me P&D and AIEK as well as WA. I was hooked!
3. Did you write FF before?
Bethie: Twilight FF is my first foray into fan fiction.
Katie: No, was only a reader previously.

4. Do you have your own writing aspirations?
Bethie: I am working on an original story. It's SciFi. Time Travel.
Katie: Yep. As mentioned above. I've also discovered how much I *love* writing short stories - like, under 25K

Questions for Katie from around the fandom:

MsKathy asks
You said on TwiGasm that you don't forsee writing anything non-slash for the Twi fandom; why not? What is it (aside from the hotness of two beautiful men) that draws you/inspires you to write slash?
Katie: I'd like to amend that to say that I don't foresee writing any hetero relationships, at all. I mentioned a hetero plot on Twigasm for a non-Twi project (a novel, actually) but I've revised the plot and it will be a gay male relationship. As for the whys...I love men. I love men who love men. I love men who can love men without thought of emasculation. I love writing stories that illustrate the similarities and differences (and sometimes, double standards) between hetero and same-sex relationships. I can moan and complain about an "us and them" mentality some hetero people have about the LGBT community, but it's more effective to help promote acceptance and understanding. Any small contribution I can make helps provide a witness to those who haven't had the opportunity to observe a variety same-sex relationships.

Emmy asks
Have you ever had the urge to write a non-slash ff pairing or story? Or do they just not grab you by the ghoolies the same way that slash ones do?
Katie: I'm a big fan of Edward & Bella stories; but I've never had the urge to write one. I've given thought to why; and I just don't know. There's something about men kissing...guh. This is just the way I was born. **grins**

How hard do you find it writing for prompts/auctions etc... Does the pressure of writing for someone else make it harder than just writing ideas that are solely yours??
Katie: When writing for auctions I feel a fiduciary responsibility to be spectacular. LOL Someone has donated money - sometimes a lot of money - and in return I'm writing them a story. That's a lot of pressure. So far I've been fortunate in the prompts I've gotten for auctions. Same with the Gift Exchange, though no money involved. The prompts I got for it were really good. I hope the recipient enjoys the story because I absolutely loved writing it.

Ditto competitions, is it harder to write for them knowing that others will be voting?
Katie: I've only entered two challenges, the Age of Edward and the Slash/Backslash. I can say that I am fiercely proud of the work I contributed for both; I didn't find either of them difficult to write (aside from the dearth of information I was seeking for my AoE entry; very fortunate to have had Bethie to help me find what I needed). As always I simply wanted to write the best entry I possibly could; the voting was secondary.
Bethie: Two words: sheep husbandry. The things I do for this woman.
Katie: It's true, Bethie. I'll never again be able to think about sheep without thinking of that thing we learned about the ram's...well, you know.

Questions for Bethie from around the fandom:

MsKathy asks
When will you be expanding your delightful slash piece, huh, huh?? Please say soon! I need more of those daddies.
Bethie: You and Naelany are trying your best to beat me into submission on this one, aren't you. No plans to expand that one. Actually, I never write an o/s with plans to expand. The story is there. Though, this one was more of a drabble. There is more written. I can send it to you, if you would like.
Katie: It was so sweet and smexy, wasn't it? **sighs dreamily**
Bethie: Thanks, bb. Who knew 1K words would ever cause such a stir.

Emmy asks
What has surprised you most about the fandom?

Bethie: Let me precursor my answer with how I got here. I first discovered this thing called fanfiction via a thread on the TwilightMoms site. I had read all four books several times each in the span of two months, and was craving more. The first few stories I read were very meh. Then I read Blue Moon Over Manka's, and was like "Holy shit!" Then I read Black & White and Wide Awake. Which lead me to All I Ever Knew which led me to Over the Top (and my lobster). I could go on and on with the list of fics that are out there that absolutely blow my socks off. So, to finally answer your question, the thing that surprised me the most, once I got down in the trenches, is the amazing amount of talent that this fandom holds! I have quite the extensive library at home, and I would be proud to hold many of these works on my shelves next to my Austen and Lewis.
Has any other fandom put such a hold on you the way the Twi one has?
Bethie: The Harry Potter series did for me. I love that series. But Twilight is the only fandom I have ever written fanfiction for. I guess I felt the others had told their stories. I am also a HUGE Jane Austen fan.
What was your best discovery within the fandom? can be a person, community, site, story or ..... ?
Bethie: Every day brings me a new discovery! I guess the biggest thing, though, is the feeling of finding my niche. I've always been nothing by myself here, and I feel that I have been completely embraced for being nothing more than myself, and that is liberating in ways I am not sure I could explain. You all are my home away from home.

Ninapolitan asks
How do you feel about being the exec producer behind the coming-soon-to-nowhere cooking show by me and Alg? Followup. If you could name it anything you wanted, what would you call our show?
Bethie: I am very excited about the cooking show that I will be pitching to the networks, though my talent keeps changing the parameters, so I think I am going to have to go Showtime/HBO. I could try to reign in these bitches, but who the fuck am I kidding?! They would send Lucifer, himself, crying home to his mommy. I am still kind of attached to the title, "You're Not F$%&ing Cooking That!"

That's it for this time! Tune in next week!