Sunday, November 20, 2011
The myth of Persephone is one of the oldest of all Greek myths. Her story is a personification of some of the most universal concepts about life and death. This is exactly why I chose the picture as the banner for "The Girl" on my rec. Life and Death. Fallen and Vampire. Bella and Edward. It just made perfect sense to me. And after reading the interview, you will understand why as well.
Dolly3078 is an amazing writer. The Girl had me at the prologue. The summary seemed the typical Darkward, master/slave story. But to my surprise and utter joy, it wasn't. I love a Darkward, my favorite Edward. He is a vampire after all. Dolly3078 took a typical storyline and made it her own. I was completely floored by her story and my stalking tendencies went in to full swing. I soon discovered Dolly3078 wasn't much of a tweeter and had no blog. Her FF profile was very minimal as well. So like the stalker I am, I PM'd her. Now, I didn't want to scare her off, I really wanted to talk to her. Her story was so fascinating I needed to know who she was and where her ideas come from. Needless to say, I didn't scare her off and she was willing to entertain all my questions. She is even following me on twitter now so I can stalk her comfortably!
Dolly3078 is a lovely person and her creativity is just awe inspiring. I hang on her every word and am so thrilled she has allowed me this interview. She is truly an undiscovered gem in the world of Fandom and I am positive you will all agree.
So enough of my foaming at the mouth, without further ado, my conversation with Dolly3078 -
How did you find the fandom?
I had read a few stories in my teen years on a different site about WWE characters (my secret teenage love was watching wrestling with my dad!!) and they inspired me. I wrote my own about Kane, called Masked, which I published on Fan Fiction. I didn't do anything else for a long time, but then I was inspired by Twilight :-)
Are you in the Twicloset?
I'm quite confident about what I like and what I don't like. I have a very varied taste in reading and I share with friends and family what I love, so no, I'm not in the closet!
Do your significant others support your fandom life?
My husband is amazingly supportive of my writing. He thinks I should send some of my original work off to publishers. Without him I probably wouldn't have published anything because I have always been very shy of showing anyone anything that I have written. I never believed I was good enough. But with his encouragement, I published a few stories on FanFiction and was amazed at the response. So if you enjoy my stories, thank my husband for giving me the confidence to post.
Have you met fandom people in real life?
Why or how did you start writing fanfiction?
I have always loved writing; I used to spend every break time and evening when I was a kid writing. It's a passion; I can't not write. An idea comes and I have to get it down on paper or it niggles away. Fanfiction started when I was inspired by the Kane storyline on WWE and I wrote Masked, a story I am still very proud of, even if it doesn't have quite the number of reviews of the Twilight stories. When I watched Twilight, I loved the characters and one day this image came into my head of a girl in a tattered dress with her best friend needing a job and The Club was born. It could have been written with original characters, but somehow I saw Jacob and Bella sitting there and it wasn't much of a leap to bring in Edward. The Girl started with the image of a boy running through the woods and apples. Again, it could so easily be an original story, but I have borrowed Stefanie's wonderful characters to pad out my ideas. And it's great being able to see what people think of my stories, so fanfiction is a great way in.
How do you come up with your story lines?
My story lines are usually born of an idea that springs up in my head; usually a picture of something happening, or the sound of a voice speaking. Sometimes they come from a dream or a picture. I have a gorgeous picture of Hades and Persephone which inspired me to write the novel of their lives together. I haven't published that one as yet, but I might one day ;-).
Favorite fics - Completed and WIP's.
I started engaging with Fanfic through a website which has since closed down which had a beautiful Kane story on it. It was called Aria's Mountain and was outstanding and will always remain my favourite. I know it isn't Twilight, but hey, I'm a girl with varied tastes :-). There are so many excellent Twilight stories on FanFiction. I must admit I prefer the ones that give me something to think about, rather than the ones that are just about sex lol, but I think every story has its place and its audience.
What kind of environment do you like to write in?
You know the saying "She could sleep pegged on a washing line"? I could write literally anywhere! All I need is paper and a pen or a PC/laptop and I'm away. I tend to write on my laptop at the moment, generally sat in the living room of my cottage in front of the open fire, but anywhere will do. I become immersed in what I'm writing and don't tend to get easily distracted.
Where and when do you write and on what?
I tend to write in my free time. I have a very demanding job and so it tends to be evenings at home, as work is not an appropriate place to write in, break times or not.
How do you find time to write?
I make time to write. It is something I love to do and if you are a writer, you write.
When writing: outline or as it comes to you?
I do both. I usually know exactly what will happen in a story beginning to end and I will do an outline, but if I'm honest some stories write themselves and the ideas I had in Ch 1 might change by Ch 10! For example, with The Girl, I knew that Edward would appear as a total (add your own expletive lol) but actually was the victim of a very damaged childhood. I wanted to portray how it feels for a victim to go through the stages of coming to terms with what has happened to them. I hope that in The Girl, people see Bella hope Edward transform from a bitter and angry man into someone who can show he cares, without the need for violence. I do think if you are going to publish on FanFiction it is a good idea to have a very clear idea of what will happen beginning to end in your story as it is very frustrating as a reader when writers just give up on a story because they don't know what will happen next themselves.
Who's POV do you like writing?
It all depends who tells the story in my head I guess. For The Club and Blood of my Blood it was always going to be Bella. But for The Girl, I think the third person narrative has added another dimension to the characters, as we get to see how Bella, Edward and even Richard or other secondary characters feel about what is happening. And it has also meant that throughout the story there are many clues about what is about to happen... if people read closely enough to pick them up.
How do you find inspiration when the ideas just won't flow?/How do you get over writer's block?
As I said before, I usually have an idea of how a story will begin and end and I do tend to write out a basic outline. This helps me to avoid writer's block. I also tend to draft a lot, which means stories are written in full before I begin editing and publishing. If I do have serious writer's block, I do some reading of my own, look at inspiring pictures, watch a bit of TV/films etc. Sometimes just having a break from what you are writing can be enough to help. If the ideas simply won't flow, I'll move onto a new project, as perhaps the one I'm struggling with isn't a good enough idea?
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start writing?
If you have it in you to write, then write. Every piece of writing has worth and someone will appreciate it. Keep a notebook handy for ideas; I'm forever jotting things down though latterly more on the memo pad of my Blackberry. And good luck!
Do you write professionally? Do you aspire to?
I had a book called Joseph or Arimathea published a few years back and have had numerous poems and stories published in magazines and newspapers. I would love to have my work published, but I am a bit shy of sending work off if I'm honest. My husband will probably work on that as he really believes in me.
How do you handle negative reviews/blog postings?
This was something I had never experienced until the same reviewer posted two very strange and aggressive reviews. I say strange because they mentioned events/characters that were not in the story and aggressive because of the language used in them. While I use swear words in my stories, they are used as part of the text and to add to the story. I really feel that if you are reviewing someone else's work, describing their characters as mother ******* or wh***s is a little harsh. I contacted the reviewer, as I do every reviewer, and pointed out that the characters they had mentioned were not in the story at all and that the language used to describe characters that were in the story did not really fit with the story I was telling. I don't mind reviews that ask a question or challenge something I have written, but I reserve the right to defend my work and my characters. With this particular reviewer, I was amazed by the support from other reviewers, who contacted me personally to say that they had seen that person's reviews and failed to understand her point of view. That made me feel a lot better as it is very hard not to take poisonous reviews to heart, though as my husband pointed out, it was two reviews out of several hundred and possibly the result of jealousy that so many others liked my work. For others who have experienced unkind reviews, I would say always defend your work; no one is paying to read it and they have no right to give it unwarranted criticism. If people don't like they don't have to read. And always look back on the reviews of people that have enjoyed your writing, because I would bet there are more positive reviewers than negative ones out there.
If you could say one thing to your readers (fans) what would that be?
Just a massive thank you for all the kind reviews and the questions people ask that help to shape my writing even more. I read every single review and always try to respond to them. I also appreciate all the people who add my stories as a favourite. That means a lot too. I will continue to write as long as people continue to enjoy my stories. So THANK YOU!
One thing you can't live without?
My husband would probably say laptop, kindle, Blackberry.... But the truth is I couldn't live without my husband. He is the love of my life and means more than anything else.
What part of the world do you live in?
I live in a beautiful village in the North West of England.
Are you working on anything right now you would like to tell us about?
I am still finishing the editing and publishing of The Girl, but I have a vague idea bouncing around for the story I might do once that is finished. I would love to do a Christmas special for each of the stories I have finished and published, Masked, The Club and The Girl, if people would like to read a couple of one-shots that is. Have to let me know ;-)
And a nosey one - how did you come up with your pen name?
When I was growing up I was the eternal daydreamer, hence all the stories I used to write (and still do!). My mum always called me Dolly Daydream and so Dolly seemed a good name to go with for a pen name.
Read The Girl and watch for more from Dolly3078. Her mind and creativity is a fascinating place to be.
My choice of banner for The Girl