Thursday, December 2, 2010

Crazy Chick 74 Pursued by RaindropSoup

I interviewed Crazy Chick 74, author of the complete and lemony fic, The Bond of Brotherhood. This fic definitely doesn't have Edwice bad guys, and it takes place in Twilight, immediately after Phoenix. I love that Crazy Chick 74 put a whole new twist on how Jasper and Bella end up together. I'm not telling you exactly how, you should read it to find out, but I think it's hard to find a J/B fic that really stands out from the rest.

So meet the succulent author, Rebecca...

RSOUP: All right, first, can I ask how old you are? I know you’re not supposed to ask a woman that, but I think that only applies to men asking, and well, I’m definitely not a man. *cheeses and raises a brow*
CrazyChick: I’m over thirty… *smiles*. So I’m more than old enough to write a mature-rated story… to be honest I’m not sure I could write anything less than that. I’ve tried… and it always ends up smutty. I don’t know if that says something about me as a person but there you go.

RSOUP: *laughs* How did you find out about Twilight FanFiction?
CrazyChick: I’ve read FanFiction for years… and I’ve changed from one category and genre to another – depending on what I’m into at that time. Usually it’s based around if it’s a TV show I like/become obsessed with. I got into Twilight probably quite late in comparison to most people, it wasn’t until I saw the film on cable that I saw the appeal, having always thought it was aimed at kids and a little over-hyped. Then I read the books and fell in love with them. This was probably only about a year ago and once I’d read them all (twice), and after a lull in the fan fic I was currently reading (I can’t remember what it was at the moment), I looked to see if there was any Twilight stuff and low and behold I found some and starting reading.

RSOUP: *nods* Same here! So what inspired you to write a fan fic in the first place?
CrazyChick: My first fan fic was for Battlestar Galactica (the latest TV version – not the original series). I’d read a lot of stories and watched all the episodes and an idea for a story came to me. So I sat down and started writing. I can’t say I found it an easy process. I’d joined an online group that shared BSG stories among it and the thought was always there to share my story within it but I seriously lacked the confidence to post it. Let’s just that I wasn’t very creative when it came to writing in my English language classes at school so writing a story for others to critique was… well overwhelming would be an understatement. My first story had four chapters and it took me ages to write it. I didn’t know how to get someone to beta the story and it had no sex scenes in it – no way was I going to open myself up to that whole scenario in my first effort. *blushes* Anyway, after much procrastinating I eventually plucked up the courage to start posting the story after the second chapter was written and I then held my breath to see if anyone gave me reviewed. I got some feedback and it was mostly positive… of course I then got writers block and took ages to write the third chapter but the last chapter followed fairly soon after. About a year later I posted the same story (albeit, spelling mistakes removed and much better editing so it was easier to read) on the website and the rest, as they say is history. To be honest I write the stories for myself. I enjoy the experience of writing it (which at times can be very lengthy and laborious) but I do love it when I find that people enjoy something I’ve written.

RSOUP: Where did you get the idea for The Bond of Brotherhood?
CrazyChick: I should start by saying that The Bond of Brotherhood was the second Twilight story I started writing but I got caught up in it and it just blossomed from there. When I began the process I kind of had a vague idea formed but a lot of the story evolved as I wrote it. Many of the twists that the story takes were very late additions. The initial premise of the story was inspired by a film I saw on one of the movie channels on my cable TV (I think it was called Loving Leah) but basically was about a Jewish man who had to marry his brother’s widow (I can’t remember the exact reason why but the film was good). That stuck with me and I knew I could work it into something for Twilight as I really didn’t want to do a story where Jasper and Bella cheated on their partners… because I’m not sure it’s really in either of their characters. So once I got that basic principle I obviously needed to add some sort of drama to the storyline and work out how to weave it into the timeline I’d chose (post-Phoenix). Then I remembered how in Buffy Spike was set three challenges in order to prove he was worthy of having a soul or something like that anyway and there you have it.
It made me laugh when reviewers were asking me to reveal what the third task was early in the story (as I’d revealed the first two in chapter 8). The main reason I didn’t reveal it then was because I had no idea what it was going to be… I tried many different things but nothing really seemed to be that “difficult” for them… and then when writing the second task (which ended up being chapter 30), the idea came to me and then it seemed a good idea to let everyone know what it was at the very last minute. I do like to build the angst into a story and a cliffhanger is always a good thing… it keeps people reading.

RSOUP: *laughing harder* I was wondering the whole time what the third task was! I think we all do that though – some things just come to you as you write. Are they, Bella and Jasper, your favorite non-canon pairing?
CrazyChick: Absolutely. Jasper is my favorite character and while I initially read Bella and Edward fan fic when I first discovered it, there’s so much out there, it’s difficult to come up with something that hasn’t already been done. Also while the actual books of Twilight give you snippets of information about Jasper’s life, there’s so much more to explore and that is what I find interesting about him. I also think Bella and Jasper are better suited to one another than the canon pairing.

RSOUP: Will you do that pairing again? Or will you do a different pairing for your next fic?
CrazyChick: I can’t see myself writing any Twilight story that doesn’t involve Jasper as a main character. I have to really love a character to be able to write and have them as the central element of my story. For example, while I love Alice in the books, I just can’t write her and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to capture Edward’s ‘perfection’ in quite the same way that Stephanie does, so that was the main reason that I killed them off right at the beginning of Brotherhood. Because then – problem solved. Edward is the reason I got stuck with my first Twilight story but I think I might have worked through that issue now. I do love Bella as well, although I think I write her as a stronger person than in the books and I think she would bring more out of Jasper than Alice does.

RSOUP: *nods* Sometimes, as authors, when we’re finished writing a fic, we look back and wish we did something different. How do you feel about the way The Bond of Brotherhood turned out?
CrazyChick: I love the way my story turned out. Does that make me sound vain? *RSoup starts shaking her head* I hope it doesn’t because I don’t mean it that way. The reason I say it is because of the way I write the story. I can’t write and post a story at the same time; it’s too much pressure to make sure I’ve written something and there would be big gaps between posting as I’m prone to writer’s block *often leading to knocking head against desk – hoping for inspiration*. Doing it this way also gives me the flexibility to go back to the beginning and add something else in.
Therefore The Bond of Brotherhood had been edited many times before I posted it and while there is the odd spelling mistake, I think the storyline works as a whole. I can say that I’ve probably read each chapter at least eight times. In fact when I write the story there are no chapters; it’s just one long piece of prose and my first edit will put the chapter breaks in, ensuring the chapters are fairly even in length and the story flows. Believe me, if I hadn’t liked how the story turned out – I wouldn’t have posted it in the first place.

RSOUP: Ah! That makes sense. Are you currently working on anything?
CrazyChick: I’m working on two Twilight stories. My first one which is currently about 160 pages and a new one I started a few days ago (currently 23 pages). I also have ideas for about five more (Twilight) stories… so I should be going for quite a while yet. I also have several started BSG stories including one which was 180 pages until I lost all but the first 30-odd pages. That was a galling experience. I will finish those one day, even if it’s just for me.

RSOUP: Do you have any ideas for a future fic that you’re willing to share?
CrazyChick: *thinks for several minutes…* Do I want to share…? Mmm… *many more minutes pass in contemplation* Okay, I can give you a hint about the two stories I’m currently writing but I don’t want to give too many details. My first story is basically a ‘what if it was Jasper (and not Edward) that Bella got involved with’. It’s going to have two endings and once I start posting the story it will then be down the readers to choose which one I use… - the main reason for this being I can’t decide. That being said I’ll probably post the alternative ending anyway. My latest story is an all-human story called The History of the Cullens (current working title…). I actually intend to do another story with the same title (but not all-human and a different storyline) but that’s just an idea in a word document currently. I get inspired for stories all the time, from a song, a passing thought, you name it. I have a file that I make a note of it in and then try to expand on the story until inspiration (or just plain excitement) strikes and I get writing. I usually have more than one story on the go, in case of ‘slack time’ when I get stuck on something.

RSOUP: Is there a non-canon pairing you’d like to see and is barely done?
CrazyChick: I love the Jasper/Esme pairing and no, I don’t mean in a romantic way because that would just be wrong; in my head she will only ever be his ‘mum’. I do think they have a great dynamic and I’m trying to develop that within my stories. There’s very little of the two of them written and I’d like to see more of it.

RSOUP: *Grins* Do you consider the Jacob and Bella pairing Non-Canon or Canon?
CrazyChick: I could be about to piss off many people here but I just consider it WRONG – so I try not to consider it. *ducks under desk quickly* *RSoup laughs* I know that Edward is to a certain extent a flawed character and not quite as perfect as he first seems (controlling , stubborn and secretive) but I think his flaws pale into insignificance to Jacob’s. At least Edward, generally, has Bella’s best interests at heart whereas Jacob just seems to want to take her away from Edward. I doubt Jacob will ever appear in any of my stories, because I just don’t like him. I do have to say that the film version of the character is slightly better that the written version of him but it’s marginal. I’m definitely in the Team Edward camp with a leaning towards Team Jasper if that had been on the table. I apologize if you like Jacob but I just don’t, however if everyone liked the same things the world would be a very boring place so whatever floats your boat.

RSOUP: Do you do anything special while you’re writing? Like listen to music or go to a particular place?
CrazyChick: I don’t think I do anything that special. I try and set myself a goal of writing five pages a week and most times I more than accomplish that target and then I’ll have a really bad week and write nothing at all. As I mentioned earlier I have to write the whole story before I post it. I did once start a story the other way and then got writer’s block and a bit of non-constructive criticism and I didn’t write anything on the story for about six months, and didn’t post again for over a year (once I’d completed it). Obviously that’s not the way to keep readers of your story so I don’t do that anymore. I also don’t necessarily write the story in chronological order. For example in Bond of Brotherhood, chapter 17 was the penultimate chapter that I wrote followed by the epilogue (chapter 44).
I don’t use a Beta either. I’ve tried that twice and neither really worked out. The first couldn’t commit to the whole story (which I completely understood, we all have real lives and I’ll always be grateful to her because she helped me write my first sex scene (a painful experience for all involved) and gave me some really useful pointers). My second Beta basically savaged my writing style and I felt physically sick after reading her feedback – which given she refused to read two thirds of the chapter (because of the subject matter, even though I’d said what the chapter would cover before I sent it), I just found that attempt very demoralizing and not very helpful. After that I decided I’d go it alone. It’s one of the reasons I value the feedback I get from readers and yes, I suppose some people could say I’m a feedback whore, but the comments I get and any questions that are raised help me spot weak points in the story which I can still correct – where possible. I did once get a review for a BSG story that inspired me to write a one-shot story that was over 8000 words, in one sitting, with no breaks.

The hardest part of my writing is trying to ensure its American-ified (yes, I’ve made that word up). Being from the UK, I can cope with the spelling, to an extent, but it’s the different words that are used which we just don’t use here e.g. faucet in the US is just a tap in the UK. I hope I pick them all up but forgive me if I get it wrong sometimes.

RSOUP: Which vampire series have you read and think is the best?
CrazyChick: I’ve only ever read Twilight that’s vampire based. It’s not so much the genre that I love but the characters themselves that got me hooked.

RSOUP: Inspiring Authors? Both published, marketed ones and in the FanFic world.
CrazyChick: I must admit that I’m a bit of a chick-lit story kinda girl. My favorite author in the published, bookstore arena is Katie Fforde. Her stories all follow the same pattern, girl makes a big change/decision in her life, meets a guy she hates, falls in love with said guy and they all live happily ever after. Although the stories are basically the same formula, they don’t really feel like they are, she makes you fall in love with the characters so you want things to work out for them. See, I’m back to the characters again… am I boring you yet? *smiles* *RSoup laughs and shakes her head* I love Harry Potter as well and John Grisham is a must.

RSOUP: Favorite, must-read Fan Fics?
CrazyChick: There was a story I read just last week that had me hooked from the first chapter, so much so that I stayed up till 1am to finish reading it on a work night. It’s called Tripod by vampirelover44 and is an all-human story which is Jasper centric *surprise surprise*. I won’t give away the concept of the story away but I will say its one hell of a tissue-fest. I’m sure I probably don’t have to say why I loved the story (see many of the answers I’ve given above). A Jasper/Bella story I love is called Underexposed by daisy3853 which is another all-human story and is about Bella and Jasper meeting in a photography classroom. Also Running by Merina Green and is about things going wrong in Volterra and Jasper searching for Bella. There are many others but those are ones I remember. My one bug-bear when it comes to fan fic is people who don’t finish stories. Invariably you just end up disappointing your readers.

RSOUP: Do you read extra lemony fics?
CrazyChick: I generally only ever read M-rated stories and as I generally write stories with a high vitamin C content in them, it would be churlish of me to not read them. I can say it gets easier to write them the more you do it. However I’ve always written my stories in third-person because I’ve found it mildly uncomfortable to write a sex scene in first-person, especially from a male point of view. That being said, The History of the Cullens will be my first attempt at writing in first person. I’ve found it takes much more editing though because I keep slipping back into third person accidentally.

RSOUP: *shifts her seat from her thoughts* How do feel about fics with BDSM?
CrazyChick: I’ve read them. I wouldn’t say it would be my story of choice but with the right storyline it can work. As long as it’s not in there just for the sake of it or for shock value. I’ve been reading a really good Jasper/Bella one actually called The Deepest Sorrow is The Greatest High by siobhan2006 where Bella is Jasper’s student and she falls in love with him and vice versa. It’s dark, twisted and includes BDSM but it just works.

RSOUP: Could you write a story with BDSM?
CrazyChick: I would never say never. If I thought the story called for it, I would definitely write it. I’ve written a story with a rape scene in it and there were some elements to that story which might be a watered down version of BDSM I guess, but there would have to be a good reason for including it… and it would take some research on my part (internet-based rather than actual experience).

RSOUP: Let’s get off, *Grins and chuckles* I mean, finish off with your favorite sex position.
CrazyChick: Umm, well most of my stories usually contain it… up against a wall I guess would be my favorite, but you’d need one hell of a partner (or a vampire where strength isn’t an issue) for it to be good. There’s nothing wrong with the missionary position either, there’s just something about having the guy on top of you, pressing you into the mattress… and I’m going to stop now before I go any further or this will be unprintable!


Well there's my very first author interview!
Let's watch out for those new fics, especially The History of The Cullens, from Crazy Chick 74. Thanks, hun, for doing an interview with me, and thanks to the fandom. Keep writing, reading, and reviewing.

This interview can also be found at The LUV'NV's sister site, For The Love of Non-Canon.


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