Thursday, March 1, 2012
My first author interview is with a talented writer who is arguably the best, and most well-known in the wolfpack/team Jacob fandom of Twilight fanfiction
She is (drumroll please): audreyii-fic!
For Twilight, audreyii-fic has completed five multi-chapter stories, seven one shots (depending on how you define o/s) and too many drabbles / challenges to count!
She has won numerous awards and/or received honorable mentions from: The Underdogs, Jacob Black N Pack and Hopeless Romantic.
Without further ado, here she is!
How about an easy, predictable question to start? Is there any significance to your pen name and how did you come up with it?
Heh. I have a long standing love affair with musicals, and one of my favorites is Little Shop of Horrors. Audrey II is the alien plant that takes over the world. I don't know what that says about me.
Being a Jacob / Bella shipper myself, I know the notoriety you have in our corner of the Twilight fandom, but I was shocked to find most outside the wolf world hadn’t even heard of you! Do you ever participate in “all pairing” contests or challenges?
I'm notorious? Meep! (Though I suppose a lot of readers do have a love/hate relationship with my fics. I owe some people Prozac.) I've participated in almost no challenges, wolf-centric or otherwise, so no, I suppose there's not a lot of cause for anyone outside the J/B fandom to know me.
Why don’t you participate in more contests?
Honestly, it's because I've almost always got another fic going on! Aside from the accidental The Fire of the Sun hiatus, my WIPs maintain an update schedule of at least weekly, usually bi-weekly. The only times in the last two years that I *didn't* have a WIP either developing, updating, or needing to be updated were May, August, and November of 2010. I try not to commit to another project while my attention shouldn't be divided. (I do it all the time anyway, but never on purpose.) Ergo, yeah, I've only done a few contests.
I know you dislike the Twilight series of books, but you write wonderful fanfiction based on this source material. What keeps you coming back to these characters and universe?
Well-developed headcanon and a driving need to fix this drivel. The former is a result of two years of work and means ideas keep popping up. The latter is pure egotism. I'm like a carpenter in a condemned house, looking around at the wreckage and boasting, "I can *totally* repair this."
I’m aware that you write for other fandoms. Exclusive of the source material, is there one ship you prefer over the others? Is there one you enjoy writing more than the others?
Oh, dear. I think my favorite 'ship is still Sawyer and Kate from LOST. They've got it all: camaraderie, equality, a healthy respect for one another, and sexual tension that could burn the island to the ground. Plus, the other pairing in the triangle — Jack and Kate — is my most detested of *all* the canon 'ships to which my chosen pairs have lost. (This is prior to mid-season three, mind. At that point LOST went completely off the rails and I flounced.)
The 'ship I enjoyed writing most was probably Max and Alec from Dark Angel, though. That just flowed so easily and naturally. But I've learned far more from writing Jacob and Bella than anything else I've ever done, and therefore it's the pairing I'm most satisfied to have worked on.
Which multi-chapter story, and which one shot, of your own did you enjoy writing most? Which do you feel were your best work?
Enjoy? Hmm. For multi-chapters, I enjoyed Pieces of the Memories the most (though it doesn't entirely count as a multi-chapter; it's more a collection of drabbles). It was so effortless that it made up for all the crying I did.
I think the Holiday Smut Prompt "A phone call transcript" is actually the most fun I had on a one shot, but I really loved working on *all* the Holiday Smut Prompts. That was a cool month.
I don't know how many people would agree, but my best work is "Different Kinds of Milk" — drabble #5 in Pieces of the Memories.
Do you have a recurring theme/moral/message in your stories?
It always comes back to how hard it is to grow up, and the pain of the lessons you learn along the way. Loss of innocence — and in that I don't mean sex, I mean learning how gray-scale the world really is and how limited your own influence can be — is absolutely necessary in order to survive in life. But that doesn't mean it's not sad.
Have you ever read an Edward/Bella fic? If not, is there any circumstance that would lure you to do so?
No, I haven't, and no, I'm not going to. The fact is that I read few AU fics, fewer AH fics, and no OOC fics; my interest in fanfiction has always been canon-deviation (how one or two differences can change the outcome of the story, and to what extent), and I don't support Edward/Bella in canon. Edward is a vampire.
The only way they can be together is for Bella to become a vampire as well, and I don't consider that to be a positive ending for a teenage girl with her whole life to live and a lot of growing up left to do. So since I don't support canon-based E/B, and I'm not interested in AU/AH/OOC, there's nothing for me out there.
I know you are a fan of Robert Pattinson. What is it about him you like so much? Do you feel he did a good job portraying Edward in the movies? Why or why not?
My non-sexual crush on Robert Pattinson is deep and pure. He's such a troll. He hates Twilight, and he's incredibly open about it (I have no idea how he gets away with that without Summit coming down on him like a ton of bricks). He's like the leader of the anti-fans, and that just tickles me to no end.
That being said, yes, I think he does a decent job in the movies; in Twilight there were even times he made me like Edward. The scene where he has to put up with his family meeting Bella for the first time was just precious.
What is it about Jacob that you love so much?
Part of it is a fondness for his archetype; he's the guy who loves the girl as-is, and for that he's rejected. That's the common theme of all my sunken 'ships — no, really, *all* of them — so that immediately pinged my radar. Also, I've got a major weak spot for guys who get as badly fucked over as Jacob did. I always want to help them.
Do you like Bella, or do you put up with her because she’s who Jacob wants? What is it about her that you do, or do not, like?
I put up with her because she's who Jacob wants. (One of the most interesting things to me, fic-wise, has been to explore various plausible ways that she could be redeemed; if she doesn't grow up a lot, and I mean a *lot*, then I can't support the pairing.) She's selfish, narrow-minded, shallow, and a complete user. I don't mind her too much in the first half of Twilight, but in the second half she was so annoying I thought my eyes would bleed. I was sympathetic to her in New Moon, if she was going to grow out of her issues... until Italy. After that I just don't believe Bella can be redeemed. When she turned away from the Volturi victims, I was done.
The thing is, I think I could forgive most of this (not Volturi, but before then) if Stephenie Meyer considered Bella's problems to be *flaws* that needed overcoming. But they're not; Meyer doesn't actually believe Bella is flawed in the slightest. That makes me want to shake things.
What is your position on imprinting?
It's a cheap deus ex machina made to excuse Bella's treatment of Jacob. (He was never in love with her in the first place?! He only wanted her ovum?!) While I've seen it decently managed in fics, as presented in canon it's beyond appalling. This has not stopped me from writing several hundred thousand words on the subject.
Vampires are a popular mythical creature that exists in many books and movies; however, every version, or interpretation, of the vampire myth has it’s own particular characteristics. What is your opinion of Stephenie Meyer’s version of vampires?
I could deal with Meyer's mythology if she hadn't called them vampires, because they're not. They're more like blood-drinking fae. (I could also deal with the mythology if the mythology was consistent... but that's another can of worms.)
What about the wolves? What is your opinion on Stephenie Meyer’s portrayal of the Quileutes, the pack, and the physical characteristics she gave them?
I think the physical characteristics of the wolves, together with the function of the Pack, is actually pretty decent. The subject of the Quileutes — and how she treats Native issues — is another matter entirely, one that is almost too awful to go into in detail. If I think about it for too long I become so disgusted that I want to quit fic and the fandom entirely.
Personally, I feel there were many things that were started by SM in the books which she never expanded on, explored, or resolved. What is the one thing that bothered you the most, that you wish she expanded, explored further, and/or resolved? Yes, I am only asking for one thing.
Oh, man, just one... I think Meyer's complete failure with Bella and Charlie's relationship may have been the worst. There was so much potential there, and what wasn't dropped was destroyed. Appalled forever.
Which book of the Twilight Saga did you like most (or hate least as the case may be) and why?
Uh. That's hard. I think I have to go with the first half of Twilight, before the meadow scene, because until then I still thought the *point* was that Bella was getting dazzled by the pitcher-plant vampire and would grow out of this crap. (And yes, I know picking only half is a cop-out. It's the best I can do.)
What did you like most about the Twilight Saga and why? What did you like least and why (yes, I am asking you to select only one thing [again])?
What I like most is the *potential*. Meyer actually set up some very good themes to explore; that's why there's so much to write. Of course, then she came to the exact wrong conclusion *every* time. She's batting a thousand on that, which sometimes makes me think she's the Stephen Colbert of the YA world. How else could she write a girl whose main characteristics are a hatred of cold and clouds and damp and *blood*, and then make that girl's happy ending be *vampirism*? Seriously.
What I like least is the romanticization of suicide. Bella and Edward declare they cannot live without one another and repeatedly declare their intent to kill themselves if harm comes to the other; Edward even attempts to go through with it. Instead of being shown as a sign of a frightening, unhealthy, co-dependent relationship, Meyer presents this as a sign of their pure love. That goes beyond poor writing. It's dangerous.
What are your three favorite Twilight fanfic stories written by others? What is it about each of these that make them stand out from other stories you have read?
My three favorites are:
"Engine Heart" by ophelietta
"Untitled: The Tale of a Boy" by runningsissors http://community.livejournal.com/theair_thesun/54553.html
"The Two Hundred and Seven Days After" by monroeslittle http://monroeslittle.livejournal.com/11193.html
All three of those authors are *gold*, and picking favorites from their work is like picking a favorite ice cream flavor. (Sad, sad, emotionally destructive ice cream.) All three explore that favorite theme of mine: Growing up, and the pain behind it. I'd cut off my left leg to have half the talent of any of those women.
(Honorable mention goes to sleepy_sheep683's Breaking Dawn: The Musical. It's not really a fanfic — it's a comic book — but dear God in heaven, it is nine kinds of brilliance. http://sleepysheep.weebly.com/breaking-dawn-the-musical.html)
It should be noted, however, that this is by far the most intelligent, talented fandom I've ever participated in, and I've been doing this for sixteen years. Good fanfic is everywhere.
I know you’ve just finished up your gender swap story, Boys with Girlfriends, and posted a couple of one shots. Are you working on another multi-chapter fic for the Twilight fandom? If so, will it be a Jacob/Bella story? Any info you’d like to share about it with readers?
I think Boys with Girlfriends is the last one. I can't think of another subject I want to explore, or a writing style I want to play with. I mentioned above that I don't like to crawl far away from canon, and eventually you just run out of possibilities. That being said, I'm sure casual one-shots and drabbles will continue to pop up, and in particular I'd really like to spend some more time with Diablerie (my Jacob/Renesmee fic) if I ever get into the mood to write graphic violence again. I'm working hard on original fiction right now, and whenever I do that for long I become discouraged and run whimpering back into the waiting arms of fanfiction.
And... also... the thing is, I've said "This is the LAST ONE" — and believed it! — after every single story I've finished. And I haven't gone a single month without posting a Twific since I started in April 2010. So, uh, we'll see.
You can find all stories written by audreyii-fic at:
Follow on Twitter - @audreyii_fic
If you haven’t read her work before, go now and read!
Pick anything; it’s all good!
Pick anything; it’s all good!
*Note from interviewer: I hope her addiction to Twi-fanfic runs deep, and she rises to find something else to write about that she hadn’t thought of before (because the possibilities truly are endless)!
Our resident Jacob Black fanatic and lover, writing Jacob fics since 2011. With 13 stories to her credit, she has carved a niche in the world of the wolves. Sarah is both a Torch Award and Hidden Star Award nominee. A banner maker for her own stories and you can see all the pretty on her Twilighted account.