Friday, May 18, 2012

"I truly believe the fandom would be a richer environment with a higher standard for quality with more diverse participation and readership and that I would love to work towards achieving!"
~ light4dawn ~

When I originally saw this interview I was so excited because I know light4dawn and she's my wolf girl! Let me explain, back in February I had just started to set up to incorporate some wolf recs to expand the blog. At the same time, light4dawn sent in a wolf rec. An amazing stroke of luck. It was so perfectly formatted and written that I posted it as is. We started chatting and soon after I offered her space to do recs. And soon after that, she started doing recs and interviewing the most elusive "wolf stars". Most notably AudreyII_fic and the adm's of Jacob Black N Pack.

For those who don't know, light4dawn is quite the accomplished writer with many a win and nom under her belt. She also dabbles in banner making which I love and even maniped my own banners for her features, you know how much I love that!

I was so thrilled that Impassionate Magic did this feature on her and I wanted everyone to see it. And being the gracious adm's that they are, they were more than happy to allow me to post their interview in it's entirety with the banner.

So here is Impassionate Magic's interview with light4dawn...

Posted by MissannBlack for @ImpassionateMag

It is my pleasure to introduce to you, the author of such stories as "Journey to a New Day" and its sequel "Every Rose Has its Thorn".

She is also the winner of two Torch Awards for her story "Ascent From Darkness". She is LIGHT4DAWN!!!! Now, let's learn a little bit more about this amazing, award-winning author.

Q.) Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a middle aged, married, stay at home mom of two girls who are in school full days. Yes, I’ve got spare time, thus the large volume of stories I’ve churned out over the past nine months. I’m opinionated, I don’t just “drop” things, I persist on beating a dead horse, and I often put my foot in my mouth.

Q.) Outside of Twilight and HP what are some of your favorite books/movies? Why?

My favorite books outside the fandom are not YA. I love a lot of Canadian authors—many of whom are critically acclaimed and should be read by everyone, not just those in Canada! My favorites from the past few years are:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Room by Emma Donoghue

They’ve all got their fair share of darkness, sadness, and angst. I like books that dig deep into society’s ethics and weaknesses, shining a glaring light our flaws, so we are reminded of our failings. This, I feel is a very necessary—to remind those of us in first world countries that we are not the be all and end all. No situation can improve unless the problem is recognized.

Q.) What made you get into fanfiction?

I wonder myself. Honestly? I am such a closet fan. Only my husband knows in RL that I’m this crazy. It all started the summer of 2010 when a friend of mine told me to watch Twilight. It happened to be on the movie network on TV so I watched it, really liked it, and then watched NM and Eclipse when they became available on TV (still wasn't willing to pay for it).

I enjoyed the movies mostly for the storyline and the supernatural mythology. I still didn’t know how the series ended (yes, I do live under a rock). That’s when I happened upon the books on sale at Wal-Mart, so I bought them, and read them. It wasn’t until I read New Moon that I fell in love with Jacob’s character. He was very real, not removed and unreachable like the Cullens. That was when the series went from a fantasy story to a desire to get to know a character. Of course, I eventually got to BD and became royally irked at how it ended.

But it wasn't enough to deter me. I can’t tell you why, because I feel the books were poorly written from both a technical and stylistic point of view, in addition to sending out terrible messages to young girls. They were so bad that strong messages like romanticizing suicide and deeming the ordinary as a flaw that needs to be excised were unintentional themes! Anyhow, I have to give Stephenie Meyer credit for creating characters so intriguing that despite all these flaws, I couldn’t let go of her series.

I was on her website devouring everything, including all the out takes she has posted there. Then I went to the Twilight Lexicon and YouTube watching interviews with the actors. Why I didn’t find fanfiction earlier is beyond me. By May 2011 I accidentally happened upon a story with the characters from the books but with a different ending. That was my first exposure to fanfiction. I hadn’t even known such a thing had existed until then.

Q.) Do you remember the first fiction you read?

No. All I remember was that it was a J/B fic on a website of its own that the author created and I found it accidentally while surfing for more Twilight/Jacob Black related articles.

Q.) How long did you read fiction before you said to yourself “This is something I want to do”?

Three months. Like many of us, I went on a reading marathon when I discovered fanfic in May 2011, and by the time August rolled around I decided I’d like to try writing a story. I had never written creatively before, outside elementary school, but the anonymity that the Internet provided gave me a security blanket.

Q.) What was your very first fic? What inspired you to write it?

My first was Journey to a New Day. I was inspired by all the other J/B stories out there where Jacob got the girl in the end. I wanted to do it too, and use the story to point out all the reasons why Jacob should have gotten the girl in the first place! For this reason, I only altered events that would have reasonably been altered because of the one event I changed in the start of my fic and kept everything else from canon intact. I did the best I could to stay in character and used many opportunities to voice my opinion on details ignored by the source material.

Q.) How did you get past any nerves to be able to post it?

I actually didn't have too many “nerves” until after I tried to post it. At the time, the only large website for FF I knew of was twilighted. Having never written fiction before, I was completely unfamiliar with proper punctuation for dialogue. My first submission got rejected for punctuation, and I felt like an imbecile. I went on a hunt for any article or forum I could find to learn about proper punctuation. I found Project Team Beta and ran my chapters through them. During this time, (because there is quite a bit of a wait to get chapters beta’ed and then have your submission validated for the first time at twilighted) I found FFnet. After my story got validated I was good as gold. And Project Team Beta was fantastic. I learned a lot from them.

Q.) What do you do when you have writer's block?

Force myself to write. I know many writers say this is bad, but it’s what works for me. If I drop everything and wait for the “right” moment, it will never come. Inertia sets in and it becomes a self-defeating exercise trying to find inspiration. I find if I force myself to write, I do end up with something. It may not be good, but it’s something. When I have something, I sleep on it, then go back, read and edit. Sometimes I’ll start editing a sentence and end up changing the whole chapter, but that’s good, because it gave me a starting point to get to what I needed in the first place.

Q.) How do you deal with bad reviews?

In the beginning it almost brought me to tears, but now I shrug and depending on the nature of the review I’ll either reply back (I always reply back) with an explanation for my decisions or a request that they not read my stories if they don’t like Jacob. It amazes me the people who come to read J/B fics when it’s clear they are fanatical vampire fans. On almost all my fics, I only list Bella and Jacob as characters. How much more obvious could I get? If nothing else, do they not value their time?

Q.) Who are some authors that you look up to? Why? 

I love all of audreyii-fic’s stories in the twilight fandom (that I’ve read, which is almost all of them). She’s great technically, but also entertains. Her stories have depth and she keeps to canon as much as possible, which is what I like to read as far as fanfiction is concerned. 

There are many one shots by a few authors who aren’t writing anymore that I loved. Unfortunately, I don’t remember specifically which ones were my favorites, but all of their Twilight stories were good. They are blueandblack , walkingaftermidnight , and Stretch.

One of my favorite one shots is by an author who still writes and that is called: Do You Remember? by LJ Summers. It would appear she’s only a pinch-hitter for Team Jacob, though.

Q.) Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Sure, leave reviews! Seriously. And if you like my stories, tell your friends. I keep hearing about all these people who get billions of hits and readers and it deflates me. Those stats and reviews is all writers of fanfic get as ‘payment’ and without it there would be little reason to post, and even less reason to write, especially for someone like me who does this solely as a hobby.

You can find all of Light4dawn's stories linked on her profile. Thanks to her for getting her answers back to us quickly and congrats to you from everyone at Impassionate Magic.

You can find light4dawn's stories on her FF Profile 
Follow on twitter @light4dawn

* Thank you Impassionate Magic for allowing me to re-post your interview as well as the banner!

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