When the ladies of TLYDF hit me up with some article ideas, one of the options: "Anyone you'd like to fangirl on and interview, that you are not already friends with?" jumped out at me immediately. I think I wrote back about thirty seconds later saying, "JANDCO, JANDCO!" and they graciously said, "Okay, go ahead!"
I've never been 100% sure what draws me to her (er, that sounds...romantical, doesn't it?). It's not just her writing, which I seriously love, but through her writing, I kind of got the feeling that she was a cool person and that we probably shared some similar tastes. She's also not all..."out there" in the fandom, yet very present and involved. I kind of liked that. She seemed a little bit mysterious, but also probably down to earth. When I got her responses back to my questions, I was pleased to discover that jandco was exactly as I'd expected. Personable, funny, wicked taste in books, music, and movies...(My So Called Life? 60's girl groups? Be still, my heart.) and just generally as rad as I had pegged her to be. I have a sixth sense about this crap, you know.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading this interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it. I urge you to check out her stories if you haven't already, as well as her show "Trainwreck with Jess and Joe" on A Different Forest. She's not lying, people: Joe is hot, and she's not so bad herself (I swear, I do not have a girl crush. I swear.)
1. Tell me a little bit more about Joe. Er, I mean about Trainwreck with Jess and Joe! How did that come about – not only just the show, but A Different Forest in general and your involvement? What would you say sets ADF apart from all the other twi-fansites?
Joe. He drives a stick shift car. He can tie a tie. He's one of the best people I know. He's hot.
Okay, way back this past summer, Jennyfly popped up in my gchat box, which isn't uncommon, and says “I'm calling you. Get your phone.” So, I did and she told me she and Wolvesnvamps were up to something new. She filled me in and then asked if I'd contribute. My answer was hell yes! I always see people doing such amazing things for this fandom, whether it be site contributions or banner making, etc—but I'm technologically impaired. So, I pretty much jumped at the chance to be able to contribute SOMETHING back to a fandom that has given me so much.
Plus, Jennyfly and Erica are awesome to work with.
ADF is different because, as of now, we are a site where all opinions are welcome and discussed, yet it doesn't turn into a name calling she-said, she-said deal. I love all of the diverse opinions over there, and I love that they can all be discussed with such intelligent, hilarious people that have the respect and class not to bring it down to a juvenile, nasty level.
Also, it's a new site formed by people who don't come from a fandom "clique." I didn't know Pixievamp or Tor at all before ADF was up and running—in other words, it's not intimidating for members. We're ALL new, and even when we aren't considered new anymore, I like to think it'll always be a welcoming place for anyone who happens to stumble on and join up. We're working to maintain that.
(Madi: If you're interested in checking the site out - go to www.adifferentforest.com)
2. Strange Days – what inspired you to write that? What was the response like – comments you loved, comments you hated (or harshed your mellow)?
Strange Days was actually an improv I wrote awhile back. Sometimes, I'll just get on the gmail and write the first thing that comes to mind. I have a ton of them, but Strange Days is the first one I went back to and thought, "hmm. Imma fic this." I guess I chose it because it's not like any other fic out there right now. I wanted to see if I could pull of a fic that wasn't necessarily one hundred percent focused on a romantic relationship (don't know if I pulled that off). I didn't think people would go for it, the time period alone would be a turn off for me... but those who gave it a chance seemed to like it okay. I'm glad. I kind of wanted to offer something... different than the trends out there right now.
I got a comment for that one in which the reviewer thought one of the chapters was filler. It didn't bother me at all—I respected and could understand her opinion. I mentioned it in an AN only because I wanted to acknowledge the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes it's hard for me to tell what is necessary to a story, what will enhance it and what is "filler." Strange Days was the first time I was just... telling a story. I could see where things could be looked at as filler and that's why I like the feedback reviews allow for. They help me decipher these things.
3. Wolvesnvamps won you and wtvoc for a butt-load of money in April’s Support Stacie Auction and had you write what is now Begrudged – you both normally do AH, so how have you found this experience? Would you do AU again? Did you find it difficult? How did you guys come up with the idea?
Wolvesnvamps is a hero for offering up that much cheddah. Okay, when we first found out she wanted AU and not AH, I had a mild stroke. The only AU experience I had was writing The Antidote, which was a nightmare for me. When it was decided I would write Bella, I got some excellent advice from a fellow author: write it as if it's human. And then, it fell into place for me... I hope? I didn't have to worry about writing Vampire feelings and reactions and such, I had to focus on a human girl's struggle. Looking at it like that made it much easier.
I won't do AU again. I struggle with it, and it intimidates me and as soon as writing becomes a chore, I lose interest in it. I want it to remain a fun hobby.
The idea was pretty much outlined for us by Wolvesnvamps. She told us she wanted Vampward who sexes humans and is more of a Darkward. She wanted Bella to be in a HAPPY, SATISFYING relationship with Jacob. We took it from there.
4. How long does it generally take you to write a fic, and do you prefer to write it all or most before posting? Can you give us a little insight into your writing process? I.E., do you outline? Do you revise a lot or generally stick with first run? Do you have it betaed and how involved is the beta in advising on content and not just grammatical stuff?
It depends on the fic. I wrote Hi, Honey I'm Home in about four days. I used to have a routine of writing and posting one chapter a day. I'd write the chapter in about an hour and that would be it. I had most of MAD done before I started posting it—I'm not sure which way I prefer. My OCD is insane when it comes to ff, and if I don't post a chapter a day, it just nags at me.
I don't really have a process. Most of my fics are inspired by one sentence. The Safekeeper came from an anti-smoking commmercial I saw. It said “It takes 21 days to stop a bad habit.” I liked the words, thought about them for a few hours, then started to write. MAD comes from the term Mutually Assured Destruction. It's a war term, but I thought it sounded so desperate and sad, I immediately fell in love with it and wanted to apply it to a personal relationship. I know the end of every fic I do before I start it, but that's as far as I go into outlining. I find I do my best if I just write off the cuff.
I should always use a beta, because my fics are full of errors (ack!) but the truth is I'm an impatient bitch. If WTVOC has the time, she looks it over for me. If not, I post, errors and all.
5. Do you enjoy doing collabs more, or do you find it easier to work alone?
Hmm. I guess there are benefits and drawbacks to both. I had a blast doing Scotch, Gin, and the New Girl with WTVOC. It was easy because we just tossed it back and forth and had fun with it. It's much more difficult with a specifically planned story like Begrudged, not because of conflicting ideas, but because you have to comb your partner's chapters for tiny details, to be sure everything matches up. When I write on my own, I'm not as careful. I figure any huge, gaping mistake will be pinned solely on me, and I'm ok with that.
6. What fics are you reading right now and what types of stories get your attention? Have you found your interest in the fandom or fanfic waning at all as time goes by?
I LOVE Son of A Preacher Man. It's smart and hilarious and heartwrenching and not a word is wasted (and it has, like, the best Jasper ever). Emperors of Washington by Gallantcorkscrews. That girl is the Palahniuk of fic. She has this amazing ability to write and pull of ANY horrifying situation with such smart finesse. Sigh.
Also, Sanctuary by Jennyfly. I don't think most people recognize the layers involved in that story, because it posts chapter by chapter. Normally, I know I don't read fic like I would an actual, in your hands novel, possibly because I am usually reading WIPs. But in it's entirety...wow. That is definitely, hands down, the best fanfiction out there.
My interest comes and goes. I'm never completely gone, but I do have times where I see some of the fandom fuckery and no stories are catching my eye and I lose interest...but then, it's usually renewed ten fold by some glorious fic or hilarious post.
7. How did you originally get into the Twilight saga – what drew you to it, which book was your favorite, and why?
I don't read sci-fi or fantasy books at all. Ever. Then one day my sister gives me a book with an apple on it and says “Don't read the back. Don't google it. Don't read the blurbs. Open it to page one and read until page 100. If you don't want to continue, I won't bug you.” By the time I realized I was reading about a vampire it was too late. I was in love.
It might be Twilight, but I'm pretty sure my favorite book in the saga is Eclipse. I think their relationship is more intimate and comfortable and, okay, the real reason is because Edward pulls out a Zippo lighter from his pocket to burn up the Victoria pieces. And all I could think about that whole book was “Wait. Edward carries a Zippo?” I mean, that's hot. And then I got to thinking about all the other hot things that could be in his pockets.
8. If you could rec only one of your fics to someone, which would it be and why?
Yeow! You cannot ask that! I mean, what if I rec an angst fic to someone who only likes comedy? They'd hate it! Gah. Okay. I guess, it would have to be MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Because, to me, it is the most relevant to the books in that it shows the story in an alternate light. I'm aware many people didn't go for that story, and I completely get why... but still. I'd pick that one.
Out of curiosity - what would you rec to an anti-angst person?
Oy! Well. I think everything I've read has had at least a hint of angst. Oh! Boycotts and Barflies--but everyone has read that. If it was a story of my own I'd say Cullen's Island--it's absolutely ridiculous slapstick. Stitches and Scars by Bittenev--it has a bit of angst, but it's a fun, romantic unraveling love story from beginning to end. Classic.
9. Where do you normally draw inspiration from, and how often does an idea make it from your head to an outline/full story?
Lots of music, and sentences. I like to take terms or random words I hear uttered throughout the day, put them in a different context and write about it. For instance the song lyric “I could never control/when the bomb would explode” inspired IED. Usually, I hear something, anything, whether it be a song lyric, a blip on television or in a conversation I'm having—and I think the words are lovely, and I can't stop thinking about it until I've twisted it into a whole new meaning.
I had a feeling that music might be an inspiration, based on reading your stuff. Favorite bands? Genre? What you're playing right now, and what's playing all the time in the background of your life? What about movies and television? Current and all-time favs?
Music most definitely inspires me. I'm a 90's music gal at heart, Weezer, Nirvana, Tupac, etc. but I don't rule anything out. I have a huge embarrassing thing for Taking Back Sunday. I know they're like, the sell out, poser band of 2006--but I can't help it. Don't judge me.
My taste is so ecclectic, the best way to answer this question is to just name the first six songs on my current playlist. (it would be five but i have a thing about odd numbers).
- Darling by Jimmy Gnecco
- I Was Made To Love Her by Stevie Wonder
- Ruby SoHo by Rancid
- Becky by Be Your Own Pet
- Radio by Alkaline Trio
- You Really Got a Hold On Me by Smokey Robinson
I'm also really into 60's girl groups right now. The Ronettes, in particular. And the Crystals. And I could do this forever so I'll shut up now.
The best television show ever is My So Called Life. Always will be. Movies: Mallrats (anything Kevin Smith, really), The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Lolita, The Bad Seed...and my all time favorite movie: Serial Mom. And I just saw Camille starring James Franco and I absolutely loved it.
10. Can you give us a little hint about the new auction fic you are writing with WTVOC?
Ooh. Yes! It's set in New Orleans and inspired by an Edwin McCain song.
Were you given merely the song to work with, or song and prompts?
We were given the song and she said she really wanted it to be set in New Orleans. And don't kill Edward.
11. What non-twific related stuff do you read, or did you like to read?
Tiffanie DeBartolo is the queen of all that is angsty, sexy fiction. I will read anything she writes. I also really like the Dave Eggers book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Please Don't Kill the Freshman by Zoe Trope is amazing and written in a lovely refreshing style. And the book Slam by Nick Hornby. It was interesting in that it's about teen pregnancy, but written in the POV of a teen father. I liked it for that reason alone.
12. The old dinner question… three guests, living or dead. Who would you invite for dinner and why?
Nancy Spungeon, Shakespeare and Robert Pattinson. Could you imagine this dinner party? Okay, I'd pick Nancy because she was psychotic in the best kind of way and I'm infinitely fascinated by her and, well, she looks like she'd be a fun time. I'd grill her about Sid and for whatever reason, I think I could relate to her. Or at least really adore her.
Shakespeare because he is the original angst writer. The creator of Romeo and Juliet for crying out loud! I mean, what angsty love story isn't in some way inspired by that??
And Robert Pattinson because he'd be very nice to look at while I'm dodging the steak knife Nancy is throwing and picking Shakespeare's brain.
13. What do you do, when you’re not doing Twi-stuff?
Trying to finish whatever I'm doing that is keeping me away from Twi-stuff. Really, I'm surrounded by the most fun, erratic, best group of people pretty much...er, all the time. I don't know what we do, exactly, other than just sitting here--I just know it always ends up being loud and fun. I annoy my husband quite a bit, too. Those things pretty much make up the bulk of my days.
14. Embarrassing celebrity crushes, past or present?
I like the guy from Buckcherry. I don't know his name, I realize he's unattractive, yet I can't help it. I liked Tom Hanks when he played Kip on Bosom Buddies. (I really wanted to marry him) I also liked Andy Griffith. Like, I watched the reruns everyday after a.m. kindergarten and got the butterflies the whole time. To this day, I think Andy Griffith inspired my sick lust for men in authority positions with God complexes.
Tweeted Q’s (that were different from what I asked)
BBSaphire24 and Ferzinha: Can we expect more from Stoli, Skunk and Sapphire?
I just don't know. We took it down because it just seemed rude to leave it up there knowing people expected updates we simply couldn't deliver. I hope we do pick it up, but I can't say that for sure.
Kimvi: When she collabs with others, do they talk about where the story is going or do they just surprise each other?
We talked about it a bit with Scotch, just in gchat we'd laugh about the stuff we planned to do, but for the most part it was playing off of each other. With Begrudged, it's very planned—it's a more intricate story, so we want to be sure with the details.
AngstGoddess003: ZOMG! Okay. Dear Jandco, Why are you so awesome with pop culture? Do you research the 'cool stuff'? Or do you just rock? ♥Sam
I am?? Hey. Thank you. Just the other day, I read an article about how the new fad in my local school district is to not wear shoes to school. I thought 'I wasn't aware of this. I'm officially old.' So. Thank you. I needed to hear that.
lolarious: Dear J, you are epically awesome but have you ever met WTVOC in RL? Or is your love (and collabs) just internet-based?
Alas, I've never held the girl's hand. So, no, sad but true, I haven't seen her. But...at this point, I think it's more phone based than internet based. And actually, we don't really talk about anything twilight related anymore. We do, however, plan to get matching bowl hair cuts when we're sixty and pay a neighbor man with a tight body to mow the lawn.
La Vie Pastiche is a jasper-lovin' genius with a pen who has given us (along with ElleCC) the For the Love of Jasper Contest and such fanfic gems like Son of a Preacher Man.