Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rising Star Award - Best All Around Story

I adore KellanCougar. I have interviewed her myself and follow her on Twitter. Learning To Fly! is my first foray in to slash and it is a fantastic, well written story that just pulls at your heart. 

KellanCougar is also one of those gracious giving ladies of the fandom that you just can't help liking. But it is her talent for story telling that brought her in to the spotlight for us.

Without further ado...The Hidden Star Awards chat with our Rising Star...KellanCougar...

How did it feel to be nominated and to win an HSA award?

It felt fantastic to be nominated, but no way did I think I’d win.  The competition was fierce and I was happy just to be there amongst my peers.  When the results were announced I was scrolling through looking for my friends’ names; I nearly fell off my chair when I saw my own at the end. I am really proud of my boys!

I absolutely adore Learning to Fly! Where did you come up with the story line?

LtF started off as a one shot for the Carlward contest. Although it didn’t place, it generated a bit of interest in where the story was headed and how Edward would deal with the revelation.  When I sat down to expand it, I realized just how difficult Edward’s next few days would be, but the subsequent event that brought the two of them together came as much as a shock to me as it did the readers!  By the time they started to date I knew this story was going the distance. I had originally expected this to be around 4-5 chapters – proves how little I know! My beta said more like 20 and I laughed, but here I am, working on chapter 20 right now!

The emotional factor of your story is very detailed. I can feel their emotions in every chapter. Is it already outlined or are you just writing as you go?

Thank you! I write their emotions as I myself feel them, and they are raw at times. As far as outlines go, I have some notes for upcoming chapters where I’ve researched the information I need, but the story itself unfolds as I write. Sometimes the boys need a relaxation chapter to just be together with no drama or major plot twists and so I put the main story on hold for that chapter until I can resume it in the next one. The truth is, the whole story is in my head - how it hits the page is up to the characters, but there is no fixed and firm outline. I simply know where it’s headed and where it will end.

Who do you bounce your ideas off of?

Sometimes it’s the minor points that I need help with, rather than the major ones, and I always turn to my beta and pre-reader for their constant support.  They have the ability to step back and come up with the simplest, most perfect answers when my mind is driving itself crazy trying to move a concrete wall to get there. I also have a wonderful friend who is a nurse. She has been amazing helping me with this story and pre-reads the medical side for me.

You have made a tremendous effort in the character details of Edward and Carlisle, how did they evolve for you?

Initially, I knew that Carlisle was out of practice with relationships, but I didn't know until I wrote it that his partner had passed away. That just came out and I realized that it fit him perfectly. He is the type to mourn deeply, taking his time to heal and respecting the time they had together. The thought of him going out and getting laid after a few short weeks just didn't sit right with me. So three years it was.  But Carlisle knew when it was time to move on, and Edward was in the right place that night when Carlisle made his uncharacteristic stop at the bar.

Edward was a bit of a womanizer, not really finding what he needed but not knowing exactly why. I never wanted him to have some “Oh, I’m gay!”  revelation the minute he met Carlisle; instead I wanted him to be confused as to why he felt that pull to another man when he had never had such a thought before. As he says himself later, he loves him because he’s Carlisle, not because he’s a man. It’s a big step for both of them as Carlisle is essentially risking his happiness on a straight guy until he knows for sure that he is what Edward has been searching for.

I loved watching Edward become braver, standing up for his man in public and of course finding the courage to tell his close friends and family. Being with Carlisle makes him stronger and more self assured and they overcome their obstacles together, each feeling the loss when the other isn't present until they are reunited again.

I love the relationship between Edward and Carlisle. I am actually jealous of them! And this being  a story, and the perfect relationship can be real, how would you describe the “perfect” relationship?   

To me, it’s one that has communication, honesty and trust. My boys have had to work on the communication side; Carlisle pushed Edward away initially when he went to talk to Esme as it was about ‘family’. It was Esme who made him see that Edward was family now and should be present. Edward in turn felt threatened by Marcus, and feared he may not be able to live up to a dead man’s memory but Carlisle doesn't hide his past, explaining to Edward that they were very happy together but that Marcus had wanted him to move on and find love again.

These two can weather the storm together and make it through; neither is stronger than the other, they know they are stronger together. That says a lot to me.

Congratulations KellanCougar! Learning To Fly! is a wonderful story and I personally am in love with it.


 Where you can find more on Kellan Cougar 

  FF.net   @rachjcullen
 Winning Story - Learning To Fly  


Tomorrow...The Hidden Star Awards winner 
for Best Vamp...Texas Bella

Hidden Star Awards 
The Hidden Star Awards

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