Monday, September 7, 2009

Author Interview: Giselle-lx

1. What made you decide to tackle Carlisle's POV in Ithaca?

I was a weird cookie from the get-go. Carlisle’s story captivated me from the minute that Bella saw the cross hanging in the Cullen home in Twilight, and he was always the character I wanted to see most in the books from that moment on. I found the idea that he had decided to live off the blood of animals and become a doctor fascinating, and all through the books I wanted as much of him as I could get.

Then, about three weeks after I finished the saga, I was having a conversation with a close friend of mine about Carlisle and she said something that really struck me: “You know, I think Carlisle is so perfect because we only see him through Edward’s eyes. And truthfully, none of us see our parents very clearly until we grow up and start to realize they’re normal people, too.” Suddenly I knew that the story of who Carlisle really is as a man, and what that man meant to Edward, was the story waiting to be told, and there was no way to tell that story without diving into Carlisle’s head. That was the start of Ithaca.

2. You've crafted a uniquely multi-layered and intriguing version of Carlisle not often seen in fanfiction. Where have you drawn your inspiration for your vision of him?

It begins with the fact that I find Carlisle to be hopelessly complicated! You start digging and there is no end to the number of things that have made him who he is. Two hundred and seventy years of more or less total solitude, a father who burned people at the stake (people who he thought were the beasts that Carlisle went on to become), several decades with some people who think it’s their job to kill everyone who disobeys them, and now trying to be a father and leader to a pretty strong-willed group of murderous demons—those kinds of things tend to really screw people up.

Yet despite all that, on the surface, Carlisle is this big ball of non-judgmental compassion—but there’s a lot festering under that. He’s very wise, but like Edward, he has a lot of self-doubt as well, and he occasionally lets his compassion get in the way of making truly sound decisions. There’s a tendency, I think, to just write the loving, happy Carlisle who can do no wrong but you start to explore him further and he’s got a side that’s very troubled, if not altogether “dark” in the traditional sense. Edward, I suspect, doesn’t always see that aspect of his father very clearly—I got to play with that in his reactions to Carlisle’s journal entries. So I remove the “Edward filter” as I call it, and it opens a more complex Carlisle than the one we seemed to see in canon.

3. For you, is it Edward or Carlisle in Ithaca that owns you?

Carlisle owns me in the sense that I could write him forever and ever. I never want to get out of his POV when I’m in it, even when he’s having a super painful chapter. Seeing Edward and the rest of the Cullens through Carlisle’s eyes is absolutely fascinating, and you get the sense that the missing piece of Carlisle’s life just sort of snapped into place when the option of having a family came on the table. That is truly a rush to write.

4. What made you start writing Twilight fanfiction? Is this your first fandom?

I’ve dabbled as a reader in both HP and Buffy, but I enjoy writing my own characters so much that it never occurred to me that it might be fun to write someone else’s. I finished reading Twilight on January 4 of this year and I was unsettled and hungry for there to be more. I stumbled across Twilighted while searching for reviews of BD, and I went, “You know, it’s been years since I’ve written a short story and they are so much fun to write.” So I actually wrote “The Talk” first and then started reading what other people had written…it’s all been downhill since.

5. Are you a writer by trade or have any original work waiting in the wings?

I’m a writer by lifestyle, for certain. I write almost every day and I’ve been writing fiction seriously for a little over a decade now. My publications, however, have been mostly contract nonfiction jobs, because freelancing pays the bills faster (this is the unglamorous reality of the life of many writers). So I took the advice offered me by a friend who is a teacher and professional poet—get a day job!—and I’m studying to become a professor. I do have two finished novels and a third that’s about halfway done. One of them is definitely a trunk novel, but I’ve started the process of querying agents on the other finished one. We’ll see how it goes.

6. What advice would you give someone trying to tackle the sometimes cut-throat world of fanfiction?

Write the story that has most captured you. Even knowing this was a fandom full of M-rated, frequently AH, definitely mostly AU romance fics, I threw a T-rated, canon, gen fic into the fray because I absolutely had to write this story. Fanfic exists first and foremost for us to have fun, and it’s important not to forget that in the rush of review counts, critiques, blogs, contests, etc. Enjoy the writing, enjoy the reading, and treasure the new people you meet--everything else comes further down the line.

7. Any spoilers for upcoming fics you have planned for the future?

Absolutely. The draft of the prologue to my next fic, Stregoni Benefici: The Story of Carlisle Cullen, is already up on my Live Journal. And I’m pretty sure I will be drafting another fic at the same time that will not be posted until it is complete. I’m not 100% certain I can actually pull off the second idea, so it’s going to get written first so that it can crash and burn privately if need be!

1 comment:

  1. thank you for this interview. this fic is a true gem. it has become my canon for new moon. her carlisle and edward are spot on, but she also provides a fleshed out esme that i have never seen the likes of... ithaca is gorges is an excellent fic- can't wait for giselle's next!


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