Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Author Interview: ThisColony

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

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of slightly older, more mature writers that seem to have gravitated toward the Twilight fanfic world. More so than I had expected. Don't get me wrong, I've read some great stories by younger writers as well, and of course, there is still a lot of weird, poorly done stuff floating around out there with internet speak and no plotline to speak of. However, in this fandom, there seems to be a greater quantity of some really quality work – things that could stand on their own, outside of fanfiction.

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

I've been writing, in some capacity, since I can remember. I don't take myself seriously, it's just that writing is something I've always genuinely enjoyed doing. In person I tend to be rather inarticulate and painfully quiet. When I was younger, writing things down was really the only way I could sort of assemble my thoughts. And I live in my head; I am always coming up with imaginary scenarios, so writing seems like the natural thing to do.

As far as finding my way through writing fanfiction, I'd have to say it's a little more difficult than I expected. I write when the mood strikes me, and I realize now that if I could do this over again I would certainly have written nearly this entire story before I ever started posting chapters. I'm an impatient reader myself, and I feel like a total asshole when I just can't seem to get a chapter out at a reasonable rate.

3. When writing, do you prefer one genre over all the rest, and why?

In writing, yes. Most definitely. If we're talking about genre in the sense of All Human versus the Vamp In-Canon stuff, well frankly, the idea of writing even an AU fic where the original characters stay in canon scares the hell out of me. There are way too many rules and regulations you'd have to follow I think, if you're really just trying to expound upon a world that's already been created for you. I think that's frightening.

Writing an All Human fic was a way for me to take something original I had in my head for a long time anyhow, something I just wanted to write for the sake of it, and put it out there hoping for a little feedback. Fanfiction is great in that it affords you anonymity, if you want that, and it kind of throws you into this massive crowd of people eager to read something new. They let you know exactly what they think about it. I really appreciate that, and I really need that.

If we're talking about, I don't know, Romance versus Action or Drama or Angst or what have you, then I'd say it's not so much that I prefer one over the other as it is that one or two things just come more naturally than the others. I couldn't write you something fluffy and pretty to save my life. I'm a total doom and gloom sap that really loves romance in my own way, but just find it hard to wrap it up in a nice package for you. It's probably really lame, and I laugh at myself about it, but I will always be drawn to the darker, more isolated sides of people. I'm gonna shut up now.

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

For me, personally, it's unavoidable. I actually don't do anything to try and surpass it at all. I go about my life and business as usual until I get the urge to sit at my laptop and pour my brain all over it. Every time I have sat down to write, I've done so without having the slightest clue as to where any of what I'm putting down is going. I just let it happen, and hope that I can make something coherent out of it. I don't like to force it, and I tend to overthink anyway, so I try not to pressure myself into finishing another chapter, because I know it's going to be obvious and total crap by the time I'm done with it. I just feel there's no point if I'm not enjoying it, because that's what this is supposed to be: fun. Even if I do get a review or two that makes me feel a little guilty. Sorry guys, just can't do it.

5. Do you find anything particularly inspiring while writing?

I hate that word, "inspiring". But that's another story.

I like music. Music, song lyrics, that helps me. Those give me ideas, actually. It could just be one line in particular, not necessarily the song as a whole, and I'll just get this idea like "Yeah. Yeah! I totally agree with this! Perfect idea!" Even if it's totally not a good idea, whatever, I just run with it. I mean, I started writing this really long, pointless thing once about a cowboy in West Texas simply because I had been listening to Patty Griffin's Cold As It Gets on repeat for most of the day. I'm kind of an idiot.

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

Well, for my one and only fic in particular? Yes. God, yes. I have the most trouble with Edward. Which is ridiculous, because I started the entire thing from his point of view (dumb idea in retrospect). I am very rarely ever happy with the end result of his chapters. Just ask my Skipper, Nicole (houroflead). She has to listen to me ramble mercilessly about this all the time. I feel like there is something I am trying to make of him that I can't quite put the way I want to. I think I have his character on some kind of pedestal in my own head, so it's difficult to write it exactly the way I want it.
Now, take Jasper, and I can write you an endless amount of pages. I have no trouble writing him at all, even though I cannot truly relate to many of the things he does. I mean, he's a little off the wall, but I just go to town with ideas for his character. I think I'm completely backwards. But I guess it also helps that I have personal experience with his…I guess you could say, type?

7. In your fic, Salacious (Which I can now spell flawlessly by the way, and thanks for that.) Behavior and Earnest Speaking, you get much criticism for your Jasper character. How do you best deal with the negative critics?

No problem ;] Please indulge me while I answer the hell out of this question.

Ah, you know, I guess I basically just don't deal with it, or try not to anyway. I'm not the best at defending my points of view, I'm kind of a quitter in that way; I just keep my mouth shut and shrug my shoulders. However, with the way I've written Jasper in this fic I'd have to be a serious idealist to think that no one would respond negatively to him. I did not make him easy to like, I know that, but in my head, I am telling you – I love this character so much.
So I've tried my hand at defending him before, and unfortunately, to not much avail. I get especially irked at times considering I'm not even half way done with this yet, and some readers don't seem to grasp the concept that he will develop, he will experience personal growth. Yet at the same time, I can't blame the readers for that either, and do understand where they're coming from.

I have to just resign myself to the fact that his particular character is not someone with a grey area for most people. They like him or they hate him. That seems to be it. No one seems particularly confused in their feelings for him, everyone at this point just expresses strong like or dislike. I've just had this sort of person in my head for so many years; I've wanted to write him so badly. Someone with this insanely intense dislike for himself, yet hyper aware of just who he is and nearly defiant in his unwillingness to change it. It's like he is constantly pushing against and pulling away from himself at the same time. But I also wanted him to have a certain fierceness, a sort of possessive nature, but one that comes off as more desperate and yearning than just some kind of run of the mill jealous boyfriend type. I might be insane, but I find this incredibly attractive. Others don't, and that's fine with me. There's always Edward, which has hopefully come off as the more healthy side of that same appeal – the devotion and intensity.

I just can't get into characters that are…you know, spotless. Just these totally clean cut characters that always react and respond to stressful situations in the perfect, mature way. You know, the way you realize you should have responded after the fact, which is oftentimes the exact opposite of what you did in reality. It's just not very human to have these perfect responses all the time. I can't get into that, and I can't write it.

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

I like to see a review, period. Hah. Honestly, I am happy with anything. But I will say that the longer reviews, the ones where someone has taken the time to show me their favorite lines, or explain why they are enjoying the story so much, giving me all the particulars: I love that. I love that so much that I smile huge the entire time I'm reading it, wanting to find you and hug you, awesome reviewer person. That's the sort of thing that stops me from being so self conscious about what I'm posting, and makes me just forget whatever reservations I have, and start writing faster.

9. What made you pick your pen name?

The more awesome answer to this question would be that I took it from a Joy Division song. The honest answer would be that I randomly took it from the first two lines of something I had been writing at the time I was registering on Twilighted/Fanfiction.net.

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

Well, fanfiction. Never in my life did I think I would be doing this one day. I'm glad I did though; it's so addicting and fun. The sense of community is pretty wonderful as well.


  1. You discussed Jasper's character very well, seriously, I don't know how anyone could not understand him/love him/want to jump him/etc. after reading that. He is a truly wonderful character that has added so much depth to an already multifaceted story.

    Good job with the answers, it makes me want to force you to be friends with me but I already have.

    I love you!


  2. To ThisColony: I follow your story precisely because I need to know how Jasper's character develops and I am so thankful to you whenever he makes an appearance in SB&ES. Thank you for sharing your experiences as a writer with your readers!

    To AngstGoddess003: Thank you for the very insightful questions you posed during your interview with ThisColony---it's as though you read my mind and knew exactly what I wanted to know about her writing style. Cheers!


Spread The Word