Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Author Interview: Heavens Immortal

1. What was it about the Twilight Fandom that made you want to write fanfiction for it?

When I read Twilight I fell in love with the story. But...I realized there are so many different paths the characters could have taken. So many "what if's" kept running through my head. The one I found most pertinent was "What if Edward didn't save Bella from Tyler's van.." What would happen? So my mind starting formulating ideas and I just couldn't stop until I put them on paper. From that, Not Her was born.

2. Is writing a new venture for you and how are you finding your way through the process?

No, writing is not a new venture for me. My first real story I wrote was "The Halloween Monster" and I was seven years old the first time. Every year I've gone back and changed or added to the story. I've even given it to an author to review. It was my first story and I'll always love it. Later on I wrote another original called "A Simple Smile" which I'm actually working with an author / editor to see if it's publish-able. I have a couple other originals I'm working on, the one with most promise and I've been told is actually marketable to the YA audience is called "A Second Chance."
The process is daunting and exhilarating at the same time. I love writing, when I'm really into a story the words just flow. My characters just come alive and I don't have to really think about what to say. With Not Her, what helps me keep myself on the path is the reviews. That and people like my beta and others who support my process who help me on a personal basis and keep me true to the characters. It's hard because Edward / Bella / the characters are already so well defined. Even vampire Bella after Breaking Dawn so it's hard to bring a whole lot of creativity and new attributes to established characters.

3. What made you choose the genre you write in versus the others?

When I decided to write Not Her there was no going back. I was interested in the alternate view of what could happen. I haven't ruled out other genre's but for now I want to stay focused on Not Her. Then I'll play in other genres! I've decided to stay away from writing AU Human for now. For no other reason than it seems like most AU Human stories tend to get into the "physical" side of being human and I'm not interested in writing that...as of now. I'd really like to venture into the Pre-Twilight genre or do something with a co-author...I know, I've been warned against this but I think it would be a learning experience and it could be fun!

4. What do you do to avoid writer's block? If it's unavoidable, what do you do to surpass it?

Stay away from the computer!! Well, that and I try to talk it out with people. Really people that are older (not a huge feat since I'm only 14) than me who've been writing for a while or who are established in the fandom. I take advice from everyone really. Any point of view other than my own makes me think about what I'm doing. You learn a lot from different points of view, no matter the age or the popularity of the person giving it.
I also try to find music that inspires me. Songs that remind me of where my characters are. I find 5 to 10 songs and just keep repeating them until I hear what I need. Music, late nights and tea...that's the formula!
If it's unavoidable...I sit and freak out...and tell my mother I'm never writing anything again! Clearly my brain does not want to function. She lets me rant and then tells me not to give up. Sometimes I'll just sit and work on my original and then I'm not thinking about Not Her and then...wham...they start talking.

5. Do you find that any certain characters are more difficult to write than others?

Wow...that's a hard question...um...well...it depends. It really does, on the chapter and what's going on with it. If something crucial happens to both characters, I as a reader really want both points of view. sometimes it's had to know what two separate people would think about the same event...it's hard to create two separate voices without making the characters mimic each other. I'm working hard to give them both their own voice.
Really, I don't find it so much difficult as I find it hard sometimes to switch from Bella to Edward since I've tried very hard to keep the two characters so different. In the future, I have new characters coming into the story and I fully expect some difficulties with their characters because they are COMPLETELY different mind sets.

6. What do you like to see in a review?

Of course I like to see positive comments! Really, I like to see deep, well thought out reviews...either good or bad... I have no problem with flames...my only request is that if you are going to leave me one, give me something constructive to think about. Why didn't you like it? What do you think is going wrong? Because really, I look at those and use them for growth. Basically, I love reviews, they validate the time I spend and they boost my confidence level. Even the little ones, like "good job" or "update soon" because someone took time out of their life to send that to me and I at least owe them a response...I will ALWAYS respond to my reviews, no matter how small or mean...it's the least I could do.

7. What made you pick your pen name?

Finally, an easy question!
Well...ha ha ha...how do I put this.
My favorite songs when I started writing Not Her were "The Sound of Pulling Heaven Down" by Blue October and "My Immortal" by Evanescence...so...I blended them and Heaven's Immortal stuck, I said it and I loved it. It was so pretty. Out of great music a spectacular name was born.

8. Tell us the guiltiest pleasure you indulge in ;).

Eating the brownie batter when it's not cooked...don't tell my mother...
Staying up ALL night reading when I'm supposed to be in bed sleeping.
My phone...total guilty pleasure...its the best thing ever invented...is my life...my baby...

9. What is it like to write a T rated fic when M or NC-17 stories are so popular right now?

For me it is alot harder to write a T rated fic when M and NC-17 stories are so very over the top popular right now. It is hard for me knowing that my fic gets overlooked because it is only rated T and is written by a minor, but at the same time I am true to myself and my story in the sense that I refuse to be forced into a M or NC-17 story only for the publicity. I look at the fandoms new... addiction...or desire for "smut" and I'm okay with it because people read what they want to read and writers write what they want to write. The fact that I do not write smut really makes me work harder to ensure my plot is stong and as realistic as this fantasy world can get. The adults who read my story read it for the plot and the story arc, they know they're not going to get M rated action and they're okay with it.
Of course it upsets me that I know my fic could be looked upon highly if I added some sexin in there, but I don't feel it's necessary to achieve my desired story. I would be caving to the presure of the masses (ha ha ha) and it would be without meaning.

10. As a teenager do you find your stories appeal to teens more or adults? Is there any difference?

Another hard question, you ladies continue to cause my brain to work! Let me remind you its a saturday, brains are not supposed to function on Saturdays!
But onto the question, I think my story appeals to both. I have a lot of adult readers believe it or not. I even have three published authors that read my story and are actually mentoring me. They have helped me learn more about copyrighting my original stories I've been working on and are interested in helping me get published one day. I get messages from women all the time telling me how impressed they are with my writing considering my age. On the other hand, I also have plenty of younger readers. I'm just as flattered when I get a reveiw from someone my age as when I get an adult.
For instance. One day I was walking into math class and there was a girl reading something that looked interesting...she was engrossed in her reading all right! So I asked her what she was reading (I'm always looking for something good to read.) She told me she was reading this Twilight fan fic that was amazing and she printed it out and bound it because she couldn't put it down. Of course this spiked my interest because...well...who doesn't like Twilight fan fic so I asked her what it was. I nearly fell over when she told me "It's this fic called Not Her, by a girl called Heaven's Immortal." I stood there and just looked at her and all high pitched and squeely and said, "REALLY?
And you like it??" She looked at me all crazy like and said "Uh..yeah, do you want to read it?"
I told her I didn't need to read it because well...I was Heaven's Immortal, it was my story. It was great! She flipped out and told me how seven of her friends were reading it, they were passing the book back and forth.
I was so flattered. I signed it for her! Really, it was hilarious, she wanted me to sign it!
So, point of this story...whether it's an adult, a published author, or a kid my own age I think Not Her appeals to the masses. I do my best to not write like "a typical 14 year old girl". I want Not Her to stand on it's own merits as a work of literature and not be judged because it's author is a minor. Everyone needs to start somewhere!

11. Personally, as the author of 2 M rated fics and 2 M rated one-shots, i have many under age readers and it totally disturbs me a little that kids this age are reading my stories. You mom is also an author on FF and you two are close, does she monitor what fics you read? Do you have a problem with this?

Yes and No. My mother does monitor what I read to a point. There are certain writers who I know through her and on my own that she tells me I'm not allowed to read. But, she doesn't sit over my shoulder and monitor everything I do.
Being 14 I'm really in between a "kid" and a "young adult". I do read things that are more adult in nature as in "Go Ask Alice" and "The Glass Castle". My mother buys me books that give life lessons and deals with heavier subjects. But we always talk about them during and after I read them. She doesn't believe I should be "sheilded" from the world but understand that things don't always work out nicely.
When it come to fic it's a little harder because there are some really good writers but they have incorporated racier scenes in their fics that I really need to be reading. I've read many books that have sex in them but nothing with desciptive scenes entailing step by step procedures (totally laughing at myself right now). I have no need for such information at this point in my life.
My mother respects where I am in my life. She has let me read some M rated fics if she's read them first. For instance When We Drove All Night by Smellyia. It was a wonderful fic that had one sex scene in it but it wasn't over the top. She read it prior to me and thought about for along time and deided it was okay for me to read.

12. Do you have friends your age who read FF? Do they read on T rated or do they read the more mature stories? How do you feel about this?

I have lots of friends who read fic. A lot of them do read the M or NC17 rated fics. They also read T rated fics but the lure is there to go to the M rated. How do I feel about it? Well, who am I to judge? I myself am not interested in reading it but I don't judge them for what they read. I've had many people tell me I need to read a fic. When I find out it's M or NC17 I ask the author or the person recomending the fic where the sex is and if they respect me and truly want me to read the fic they tell me. I'll skip those chapters.
Also another way for an author to bring their stories to the younger masses is for them to have two versions of their fic. There is an author Ranma15177 who has an M rated fic called Escaping Sol. My mother loved her story so much she wanted me to read it. One of the most original and well done plot arcs she's ever read. But it had a few sex scenes in it. She actually contacted Lauren (the author) and talked to her about bringing the fic down to a T rating. My mom worked with her and became her "Smut Beta". They de-smutted the entire story by just taking out the descriptive scenes and still left in the "sex" but at a T level. Lauren now has it up on her site so teens can read the story.
Great idea. For most authors it probably wouldn't be hard to edit out the descriptive scenes while still leaving the essence of their ideas.
I want to point out that while to an adult 14 may still seem to a baby, I deal with things like drugs, sex, and drinking everyday at school. Peer pressure is very real and limitless on topics. Somes I tell my mother things and she needs a couple minutes to react.
This tells you that a story doesn't have to be so pure and pristine in order to be teen level, just less descriptive.


  1. hey. you forgot to ask her the most important question of them all.


    side question:


    yeah, i know i know the answers to these questions. but not everyone else does, so share the wealth, love.

    also... i love this girl. i never, ever get the sense that i'm talking to a fourteen-year-old with her. i'm for cereals.

  2. Haha, thanks Kristen! It was great to touch Rob and he smelt Husky with a bit of Mint :) Good, yeah?

    And I'm glad you feel that way!!

    I love you to :)


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