Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Vampire Diaries Month, by Katie (freefallinginlove)

We have mentioned before the diversity of members that we, here at FFA have. Today I take great pleasure in introducing Katie, AKA Freefallinginlove ; a reader and writer of Vampire Diaries Fics. She has kindly sat down with Mich Orson Brawl Mouse555 to tell us all about the TVD fandom!

So, New Year, new show! January’s The Vampire Diaries month, and I hear that a lot of you have questions that need to be answered. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a… minor obsession with both the show and the books, so I’m pretty pleased that I was handed the job of introducing TVD to y’all.
Not being entirely sure when to begin, I think I’ll start from… well, the beginning.

It’s 1864, and the Salvatore brothers – Damon and Stefan, are both enamoured with the same girl. She’s beautiful, manipulative… and, well… a Vampire. Playing the brothers off each other, she finally gets her own way, having them all to herself, with both of the brothers being changed, though it all goes wrong when the town turns against the vampires, shutting Katherine in a tomb, and setting Damon’s world on fire.

Skip forward a hundred and fifty-odd years, and we’re at our first episode. Stefan’s starting a new school in Mystic Falls, and he’s set his sights on Elena, a strange girl in more than one way. Her parents have recently died, and she’s living with her brother Jeremy and their Aunt Jenna, and today will be the first day she’s not feeling dead inside. Oh. Did I mention she’s Katherine’s Doppelganger?

Eerie. Very, very eerie.

Stefan knows it, but so does his brother, and after only a day at school, Damon comes a-knockin’, dropping panties with just a smile and getting right up Stefan’s nose. The addition of another pretty boy – this one downright bad, means that all of the town’s young ladies are going crazy over the untouchable boys.

But they’re only untouchable because of Elena.

And so begins the push and pull of brother against brother, Bad-ass against Miserable-Bastard, vying for Elena and her gorgeous, albeit skinny hand. Very typical, very teenaged, and yet very, very unpredictable.

Of course, there is far more than just the angry Stefan and the sarcastic Damon. Bonnie Bennett, Elena’s best friend, gets her fair share of knocks and scrapes, especially when she discovers more about her ancestor, Emily Bennett, who just happened to be the magical companion of Katherine. Matt, Elena’s ex, gets screwed over more times than even I can count, and I’ve watched the entire series more than four times... and Jeremy gets more than his fair share of older women. Throw in Caroline, the insecure frenemy, Tyler, douchebag jock, Alaric, the hottie-vampire-hunting-history teacher... and it starts to look more confusing than it did at the top of the page.

All of this goes on under the watchful gaze of Mayor Lockwood and his secret Council, all of whom are hell-bent on keeping the vampires out of Mystic Falls... and maybe-kinda-sorta being headed up by Damon Salvatore.

You know. The one that’s a vampire? Yeah. Clever, these idiots, aren’t they?

The Vampire diaries is the kind of TV show that both has you laughing - because damn, Damon is fucking hilarious, at all times, no matter what he’s saying or doing - and crying - because every episode ends on a cliffhanger, every episode ends with the perfect song, and pretty much every episode smacks on the heartstrings and makes me sob like nobody’s business.

Onto the good stuff: the pairings. Fanfiction, obviously, comes up with some of the crazier stuff, but in the show - and in the books, though those are totally different - there are probably three or four main pairings that get the publicity.

Stefan/Katherine/Damon: Katherine wants to mess with both of them. Damon wants Katherine, has done for a long time. He’s convinced he’s in love with her.... whilst Stefan... well, he didn’t necessarily fall on his own. Katherine was the inspiration for Jet’s song ‘Cold, hard Bitch.”

Stefan/Elena: The obvious pairing, these guys are the wonder couple, nothing can go wrong with them - even though it often does, and it usually requires Damon to save the day. Stefan is probably the weaker one here, constantly pulling an Edward Cullen and trying ‘not to hurt’ Elena, because he’s afraid of his strength. Elena, however, has been through shit, come through it stronger, and is actually unafraid of this kind of love... eventually. (pathetically cute, this relationship is too good to be true, all of the time. It couldn’t get any more sickening than this)

Damon/Elena: Brought about, most likely, by the fact that Elena just so happens to look a tad like Katherine... well, a lot like Katherine. Damon’s pined for his woman (well, Stefan’s too), for nigh on One hundred and Forty five years, and he really won’t stop until he gets her. Elena just so happens to fit the look and feel of Katherine, and for some, strange reason, she seems to like Damon - though not as much as she loves Stefan. The fans like this one - because Elena seems to bring out the humanity in Damon, and he seems to like letting her... (BLECH, I’m so not convinced by this ‘ship. Elena is all well and good as a substitute for Katherine, but the Books are my guide, and they. say. not so much.)

Damon/Bonnie: Bamon. In the TV series, very, very hate-hate. Bonnie’s the witch that feels cheated by vampires, Damon’s her punch-bag of choice. They’re angry, they’re dangerous, and they’re all out to hate each other. The Vampire Diaries book series takes this a lot lighter than the TV series, with Bonnie and Damon looking REALLY set to happen in the final book. (This is my... favourite ship with regards to the books. Damon is Bonnie’s foil, and they know and play off it all. In the TV show, I’m less than impressed, but because I like the snarky, angry comments, I’m in on this one.)

Jeremy/Anna: In the first series, this is heartbreaking. Jeremy learns a lot about life, and death, and what to expect from it all... and the choices he’d have to make. Anna learns a lot about heartache and being used. It doesn’t end well. (Poor things).

Onto the Recs, Right?

Okay, so, for my personal favourite, more because of the content than the actual couple here, we have Georgia on my mind, by Meredith Girl. It’s Damon/Elena, really well written, and shows a non-canon, developing relationship after Damon takes Elena on a road trip to Georgia in one of the mid-season episodes.

It may be non-canon, but it’s definitely in character, very well written, and I’m not going to lie, it genuinely excited me to read it. I’m not one for Delena, but I don’t know... something about the name, the good writing, and the fact that with a penname like “meredith_girl” you know the author definitely knows about the books and the TV show (Meredith is a character in the books, sorely neglected in the show.)

PS - Loads of smut, if you’re in for that!

Link here

For me being a total Bonnie/Damon geek, I can’t pass up the chance to put in a really sweet, very neatly written drabble-fic - In the blink of ones eye, because … well, just awwh. HoplesslyConfused gets the characterisation nearly perfect, and doesn’t overface us with fluff or angst. It just is what it is, and though I think the chapters are kinda short, (even though they’re drabbles), I think it’s just lovely.

Link here

Now... I know my lack of fic-recs could come across as a little bit... worrying to the lot of you that came for loads of stories that are finished, well written and ready to be reviewed, but unfortunately, there aren't as many fics in the fandom as (at least I think) there should be. TVD is only just coming into its own in fanfiction - see the fact that there aren’t many “All human” fics, that very few fics have a ‘ton’ of reviews, and that there aren’t necessarily millions of fics out there... but to be honest, I think that will change pretty damn soon. I mean... c’mon, look at the lads and ladies in there - all gorgeous, and all really, really good actors and actresses!

I’ve only recently ventured over to TVD from Twilight, and due to RL, haven’t really been able to write too much, or too regularly, but I like to think that I’m adding to the TVD fandom with my fics. Feel free to have a mosey on over:

Link here

Thank you to Katie, for the fantastic write up and recs. Dont forget to check out some of her work on and check out the interview below by Mich Orson Brawl (Mouse55)

M: So, Katie. (I feel so powerful!) introduce yourself!

K: I’m Katie, feel free to call me Kate. I’m 19, have a minor obsession with Cricket (I missed about 6-7 hours of the recent Ashes series, which has made me pretty nocturnal. If anyone’s interested, that’s about... 168/175 hours of cricket that I both watched and listened to on the radio.) and a MASSIVE obsession with 100 Monkeys, and The Vampire Diaries...

I can take on a DVD box set, and win - easily addicted to things (M: Could be dangerous!) - in less than 48 hours, live with a bunch of crazy lunatics, one of whom has no idea of privacy, and a massive idea of how much weight our kitchen table can take... in the middle of the night... with an as-yet-still-unnamed girl, and I’m prime at making Bolognaise sauce.

Oh, also... I love Ian Somerhalder and Ben Graupner. Just sayin’.

M: I guess we better get this show on the road. What made you want to write TVD fanfiction?

K: You trying to say I talk a lot? *narrows eyes*. Fine. I got into TVD fanfiction because I really, really, really loved the books, and the way LJ Smith wrote them... and then I was initially really disappointed by the TV series. I mean, alright, I appreciate that you can’t make some extreme changes to characters magically happen on TV, because, yaknow, you have a budget... but... Cutting Meredith, and leaving out her level-headedness? Making Bonnie bloody insane? No. No. Some things you just don’t mess with.

Also, Nina Dobrev? Not. Elena. - at least, not in my eyes.

M: Who are you favourite characters to write? (Like I don’t know *rolls eyes*)

K: *Silent Rave* This is my favourite question EVER! … Sorry, Uhm, yeah, so I’m really overexcited when I write Book!Bonnie, because she’s just a neverending talent. She’s funny, and smart, but she’s also a character weakened by what goes on around her, and she’s affected by it. She’s also REALLY in love with Damon, which makes it just so much easier for me to write her... I kinda am too.

Which brings me onto Damon. Ah, Damon. I adore him. Like, I’m actually in love with him a ridiculous amount. But it’s more than that. I love his sarcasm, I love his bravery, and I kinda maybe sorta love his cruelty. He’ll do anything as long as he can gain from it, but he’s not as inhuman as The CW and/or LJ.Smith would have us believe. He’s learning humanity, at 145(+) or 500(+), depending on the Show or the Book canon - and for that, he’s my favourite character...

Oh, and I like Matt as well. He’s cool.

M: I kinda think you answered this, but I’ll ask it anyway! Do you write from the tv show characters or more the book characters?

K: I’m an addict for the books. If I had the choice, and me and my friend do plan to do this someday (under massively assumed names), we want to write a proper TVD script based on the books. Because I’m not unimpressed with the TV show, I appreciate that it’s not really... supposed to be the books... but some things - as I said before, you’re just not allowed to change.

So, I’d rather write Bonnie with fiery curls, Damon sniffing flowers he shouldn’t (M: but Ian pulls it off soooo well. J/S), Elena being Ice Blonde, and Stefan being pathetic. And for that matter - I know Ian pulls it off so well - but seriously? You see a shell of Damon n the series - he really hasn’t developed much in the heart department - I know, I know, he loves Elena, blah blah don’t care. He actually loves the idea of her... which LJ Smith writes so eloquently, and... well... I don’t think they’ve got it right on the show.

But no lie, Ian’s a fuckawesome actor. (M: Totes!)

M: Who is your favourite character on the tv show? (ooh, I know my answer!!!)

K: Right. I really, really REALLY want to say that it’s obvious how much I adore Ian’s Damon, and his hilarity, and danger and all of that... and yeah, okay, Damon is my favourite character, because, well... he’s Damon. Doesn’t need any more explanation than that.

Can I go with my second favourite? … eh, I will anyway. I really can’t explain why, because I didn’t exactly like him in the books - I thought he was a bit of a douche, and kind of... unnecessary, but I really like Alaric. He’s really interesting, and the Bromance he has with Damon is half-touching, half-turn-on, and half a little creepy. Plus, I think they gave Matt Davis the best lines, after Ian.

M: Can i just say, i know he’s not in the books (sacrilege if you ask me!) but I love Jeremy! (and it helps that he’s a cutie)

He’s supposed to be fifteen. Seriously? You’re gonna perve on that?! That’s maaaaah job =P

K: Hush! I can look, and I KNOW in RL he’s legal and stuff... Anyway, next 2 questions are similar so I’ll put tem together (then run to take le mutt for a walk!)
Where do you get inspiration for your stories? and...
How long does it take you to think of an idea and then get it on paper?

Ooh, okay. Right... well, inspiration is definitely one thing I don’t lack. I try to be as observant as possible, and will write down snippets of conversations I hear if they amuse me (get me sounding like some kind of super villain), or if I think the conversation could take a different turn. Either that, or I’ll take scenes from the show that I didn’t like, twist them and rewrite them, make the characters the way I want them... or just stare mindlessly at the screen and seriously hope they come. FAGE has been pretty difficult for me - my prompts haven’t given me much yet, but I’ve written some things down which I’ll sleep on...

Although, saying that... I think that’s how I get a lot of inspiration too - I dream a lot, and the things I remember, I do my damndest to really remember. Like, the other night - dream in a park. I don’t remember much else, but I can remember the scene perfectly.

… and, how long does it take for me to get it onto paper? I have a serious case of wordvomit. I will literally just write everything down as soon as I have a pen and paper - makes for some seriously interesting rubbish bins, trust me, I’m sure there’s a lemon on a receipt somewhere... I’ll write for as long as the words come - it doesn’t bother me, I just do it. And then, when they stop, I’ll type it up, and hope it’s not as dire as it usually turns out to be. (M: And it very rarely is, I should know I perform Le Pen Rouge!)

M: Do you write from the tv show characters or more the book characters? (Again, I know the answer, but peeps want to know!)

K: Hmm... this is another thing where I’m wanting to scream “IT’S THE BOOKS! IT’S THE BOOKS!” Because, really, it is. I mean, okay, yeah, I like to use a bit of Damon’s sarcasm, and I like Matt’s nature in the show, and yeah, okay, maybe if I were to write a bit of Alaric, I’d throw Matt Davis’ one in there... but I don’t think I could write them right if I was working from the TV series.

The Books offer just... well, just well rounded amazingness, and I know it’s silly, but the Book Elena is a lot more of a shitty person than dear, sweet, charming and beautiful Elena-in-the-show. And don’t even get me started on Bonnie. Bonnie in the show is just... wrong. She’d never turn her back on Elena, she’d do anything for her. There’s this thing in the books called the Velociraptor sisterhood, which is basically where the girls - Elena, Bonnie and Meredith, can look at each other, and in the words (ish) of LJ Smith, ‘Accuse, try and acquit’ Damon of something with just a well coordinated series of movements and looks. That’s not Bonnie-off-the-show.

And I don’t like that.

M: Tis a long un (plus, I’m tryna think a few of my own!)What is next? Is there a new story up and coming? Do you like any other fandoms? Have you considered writing for those fandoms? What do you think of FFA?

K:Oooh! I like this one! Right, well, what’s next is that I start looking for new inspiration. On here somewhere is a half-written, Bonnie/Jeremy which I think is cute but don’t think will garner much in the way of my attention, because there’s something about it that I don’t like (The plot, not the pairing). Hmm, There might be a finish-up of all of my Bamon stories, and I don’t doubt that there will be more of those on the way - in fact, as I speak, Hey Jealousy by the Gin Blossoms has just come on... and I’m thinking Post-Shadow Souls, Bonnie/Damon... which could be interesting. Might need some work, though. Nothing I’ve written has impressed me so much as No Good Deed, unfortunately, and I’m working on trying to find that same mojo at some point. That was definitely one of my highlights so far - and it’s the only non-oneshot I’ve written that has some wonderful outtakes, some wonderful reviewers and some wonderful Damon action =P

I like lots of fandoms, to be honest, I mean, I’m addicted to a lot of shows and books, and I don’t doubt there’s fanfiction out there for all of them, but I might try my hand at some Harry Potter, or maybe go back to the Twilight stories I’ve started but never really felt the need to finish. Which is bad, I know, but at the same time... the inspiration just buggered off and left me a little... eh about them all. (M: I know there are a couple of Twi Collabs that need attending to...J/S)

Now, FFA has never really been explained to me, but I really do like the idea that the brilliant people there are bringing the love of a fandom about and pushing good fic - though at the moment, all I seem to see is Twific... hopefully, as this goes on, it’ll get more awesome with more fandoms! *nudgenudge!* and bringing people together. So yeah, me like. That’s what I think.

M: Ok, I’m trying to think of extremely intellectual questions of my own....but yeah, not happening! So...If you had to do a Fanfic crossover, which fandoms would you use and which characters would you pair up? (Actually, that’s not a half bad question! *buffs nails*)

K: Ahahaha! You want me to say Bonnie/Jasper!! (M: Not necessarily, i think Damon/Hermione could lol) Okay, for everyone reading this, no I would never put Damon or Hermione together! It would be Bonnie/Ron :P... Nah, I think if I ever did something as mental as cross them over, I might actually try Book Elena with Edward Cullen, more because she’d destroy him, than anything.

Or maybe something simple, like a Harry Potter one... maybe Matt/Katie Bell (M: Ooh! That would be awesome!), or something like that - I think he’d like to get with a witch, and I don’t think he’s gonna get the chance with Bonnie, unfortunately. Hmm... this is quite interesting actually... Maybe someone from... OOH I KNOW! I’d definitely write a Book!Bonnie/Show!Jeremy. That would be really cute. And I think he’d like to knot his fingers into her fiery curls, tugging her hair to make her look up at him... Ooh, slightly distracted there...

M: I do think we need to wrap this up (booo!) but I am having a bit of a mindblank! Oh, wait! If you could read a storyline that you would be, not too scared per say, but reluctant to write, what would it be?

I couldn’t watch Damon die. I’ve ripped his heart out more than once, and I think I did it quite well, but I definitely couldn’t force myself to see him staked. And I couldn’t see him staked by Bonnie. They’re my One True Pairing... and yeah, I guess that’s kinda why I couldn’t do it. They’d never kill each other. They’re perfect for each other.

M: What is one pairing you refuse to read, just on the basis that it’s just sooo wrong?

K: Excluding the obvious Brocest, There are two. Stefan/Bonnie, because... ugh. And Jeremy/Damon. just... No. He’s fifteen/Sixteen, and Damon is way out of his league.

M: Just thought of one more. Write a summary for a TVD AH fic. Just off the top of your head!

K: Couches are hard to sleep on. Bed’s are warmer when they’re shared. Expect a little less, and maybe you’ll find a little more. A/H, Bamon, M for Lemons and smashed plates. (M: This soo has to be written now. Would make an awesome OS)

M: I just want to thank Indie TLC Cullen for letting us do this, I have rather enjoyed it! And I’m rather surprised it didn’t end up as our usual debauchery. Maybe that just for when we’re on MSN or writing together. Random character convos that get saved and used eventually! (Rock star penis envy anyone?)

K:Yeah! Uhm, thanks to Indie TLC Cullen for giving me a shot at the writing thing, and for the unintentional inspiration. Check back in, like, a week or so, and I might have actually written that AH fic up there. :) And Mich - that Penis Envy’s aaaall over the internet now! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Vampire Diaries Month

~Vampire Diaries Month~

January is traditionally a time that people try to start over, try something new; make or break resolutions. We, here at FFA have some new year’s resolutions of our own:
1) to re-affirm our commitment to our members by being more active around the Forum and home pages.
2) Pimping out the weekly read-a-longs, hosted by our own Indie TLC Cullen.
3) Actually this one is possibly the top of our list, to drag you all—kicking and screaming if we must—Into some other fandoms.
Twifics are great. We, for the most part all love all things Twilight, but let’s face it, there are soooo many more amazing fandoms out there!
Last year, we began celebrating ‘Fandom of the month’, starting with Supernatural. This month we are Celebrating the Vampire Diaries.
The Vampire Diaries centre on the life of Elena Gilbert, who falls in love with the super cute and super broody (co-incidentally, sometimes vegetarian) Vampire, Stefan Salvatore.
As the two begin their relationship, there is weird stuff going on in their hometown, people are being attacked by “Animals” and some of them even die.
Enter Damon, Stefan’s older – and better looking – brother (humble opinion only). Damon is nothing like his brother, he is bad – really bad – and did I mention hot? Yeah he’s that too!
You’ll see no self-loathing or animal biting from Damon. He embraces his nature, and makes no apologies for whom and what he is.
Now depending on if you read the books or watch the series, this is where things get tricky. In the TV show, you’ll find a somewhat different Damon – he is still smokin’ hot – but seems to have a bit more of a – shall we say, heart. Whereas the Damon from the book is just plain ol’ evil.
I’ll be honest, the Vampire Diaries is no Twilight. Elena isn’t obsessed with becoming a vampire. Stefan, while broody, isn’t into the self-loathing that we see from Edward.
And best yet, these guys bite. They have fangs, they have sex, and they drink blood. Now if that doesn’t make you want to go watch some TVD nothing will!

Over the course of January, you will see a lot of stuff from us about The Vampire Diaries, I urge you guys, break out of the comfort zone! Try something new! You just might be surprised how much you like it!
If you have any suggestions on Fandom’s you would like us to showcase—or anything else for that matter—please, drop us a line! Post on the Forum, the group wall, PM myself or the General! We are really excited to be part of your world! So please give us a shout!
Finally, in parting I leave you with some Trailers from season 1 and 2 of TVD, enjoy!!!
Until next time friends, Officer TGB out! xxx

Season ONE trailer.

Season Two Trailer

Monday, January 10, 2011

January Spot Light!!

Welcome to 2011 FFA members! The fun has already started and excitemet is in the air! Firstly my fellow Blog officer Claire Guyan is going to be a Mommy!!! All of the team at FFA would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to Claire and her family at this special time! Secondly, FAGE prompts have been sent out! To all of those participating – I wish you all the best! I can’t wait to see what our creative genius’ come up with this year!!

Speaking of creative genus’ I’d like to draw every ones attention to this months member Spotlight; PuppyMama0909 (aka BabyPups Whittlock.)

PuppyMama currently has not one, but five works in progress; (Some Time Around Midnight.html) (New York Minute) (Down Inside of You) (Jump Rope) And (Empire State of Mind).

Her first experience in the world of Fan Fics was with an X-Files Fan Fic, “Like fifteen years ago”.

Empire State of Mind is a fantastic story, as evidenced in its second place win in the 100 Pictures contest.
Jasper saves Bella from some unwanted male attention on a trip to New York. Pups portrays Jasper as the epitome of a Southern Gentleman, he is sweet and instantly likable. The story is completely non-cannon, which is refreshing and interesting. For anyone that didn’t read the 100 pictures entries, I won’t give a full run down because this story needs to be read! I strongly suggest that if you have not read it, you click the link and give it a go!

As a “Cannon” girl, I was curious about what drew Pup’s to writing Jasper / Bella pairings. She says “I was really drawn to the character of Jasper both in the books and the movies. I guess I saw him as more...real is the word that comes to mind. I found myself rereading Jaspers chapter of Eclipse repeatedly and enjoying it more than any other part of the story. I think because of Jasper and Bella's minimal interaction in the books it leaves quite a bit of room for fanfic authors to play. It probably helps that I have always had a thing for southern gentlemen. I had no inkling of what Jella even was until I read Scotch, Gin and The New Girl, and while it is not necessarily a Jella story it did have an amazing element in it. That put a little seed in my head. From that point on? I was done for.”

Fellow FFA Member, MezzmerizeMe, says of Jump Rope; “I enjoy it because it's cute, light and a little bit hot, but super sweet too.
Jasper is a southern gentleman with a son, Jackson and Bella is the cool aunt to a little girl, Charleigh.
The story starts out with Bella frantically looking for her niece whom got out of her sights at the park. She spots her playing in a sand box with a blonde haired little boy, Jackson.
After Bella reminds Charleigh she can't just run off like she did, she moves back to sit on a bench nearby, but instead falls into the lap of an unexpected strager, Jasper. They strike up a quick conversation while the kids become fast friends.
After a phone call to Bella from Edward, Jasper believes that Bella is Charleighs mom and Bella is in a relationship with Edward, which is not in fact true.

The children in this story are adorably cute and bring a light funness to the story while Jasper and Bella's growing feelings for one another bring the steamy romantic part. Puppymama0909 writes the story in a very fun and light way that is easy to read and leaves me at least wanting more :)”

When asked what inspires you to write Fan Fiction? Pups says; “I am, without a doubt, inspired by music. I always have music on; the first thing I do before I start writing is begin a play list for a story. If I leave the house without my I-pod I start having DT's...for real, it's scary. I am also a very visual person so I tend to play with Polyvore a lot. If I am stuck on a chapter I will scurry over to Polyvore and put together a set for what I am trying to write and I can usually work it out from there. Also? Jackson!”

The last fic I will mention is Down Inside of You, the first PuppyMama fic that I personally read. I have to admit that personally I am not a fan of Jasper / Bella fics, but after several wonderful reviews, and seeing some awesome banners I decided to give Down Inside of You ago. It instantly captured me. I loved the way she wrote the character of Bella, and again – it is impossible not to love her Jasper, he is hot, the story is Hot, and after reading the two chapters that are posted, I kinda found myself wishing I were a Stripper ! It is only two chapters in, and if you like your fics funny and sexy as hell, you need to add it to your faves!

My thanks go out to MezzMerize Me, for suggesting this month’s spotlight recipient, and then for giving so much input in this post. You’re a gem!! And also Thanks to AstonMartinVanquish, for pre-reading my post =)

If there is an author you think should be out under a SPOT LIGHT, Please PM me on Facebook or email at;

Until next time friends, xx TGB

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Men of a Fandom ~ Manhoor

Recently when the callout was put for interviews with males in the fandom, I couldn’t help but suggest Dan (Manh00r). The bonus is that his wife, Shell (MPG), is also a fic writer. Dan has collaborated with his wife on the story 'Evil Dead: Forks & Broomsticks', a crossover between 'Evil Dead' and 'Twilight' and also his own Emmett/Rosalie fic 'Quarter Mile Lovers'.
Shell has written 17 different stories for the Twilight, Doctor Who & Princess Bride fandoms. My personal favorite of hers is Chasing Victory. She has 5 WIP's going at the moment, including 'Evil Dead'.(The woman is a writing MACHINE!)

These two are among some of my favorite people in the Twi-Dom and they quite often WC with myself and others; Shell always gets an amazing amount of writing done....I get distracted by the RobPorn and this is usually when ManHoor takes his exit.

'Evil Dead: Forks in Broomsticks' is a tale of an original character 'Ash' and Bella. APOV is written by MH and Bella is by MPG. I've never read any crossovers before, but this one has me hooked!
Ashley J Williams is new in town, overseeing the opening of a new S-Mart. With Ash, things never run quite to plan and he is soon facing a familiar foe, and an uneasy alliance. He'll have to learn to trust the undead to defeat the evil dead.

'My name is Ash and I live in this hell on Earth as a slave; a slave to the modern consumerist society. See, I work for S-Mart. Yeah, 'shop smart, shop S-Mart'… that place. Some people might say that despite the long hours and bad pay it could be worse. It sure beats dealing with Deadites. Ugh, Deadites – those flesh-eating, soul-chomping, sons of bitches who will kill you as soon as they look at you. Even sooner if they had a chance.'

We asked MPG to interview Manhoor. I hope you enjoy it and their stories as much as I do.

MPG: We've been asked by the lovely FerlaV to do an interview for the spotlight on men in the fandom. You are a man (or at least... well... let's not go there) and are, as it so happens, my real life husband as well. Apparently that's supposed to make this interview more interesting…do you feel the pressure?

Manhoor: No. Do you?

MPG: I always feel the pressure it’s what makes me tick. But this interview isn’t about me, it’s about men, and more specifically…you. Let's kick off with the first and most obvious question. How'd you get into writing?

Manhoor: I have always had a knack for writing, and put it to good use writing feature stories for car magazines. Over time, that slowed off and left me with no writing to do. The wife started writing a book—which is still on the back burner—but I was always a little curious about writing more fiction. Then she started to spend a lot of time on the net, talking to all sorts, and writing fics about Twi. Ok I thought, I started on twitter and she put me onto a contest for public lovin’. I thought hmm, I could kick this contest. Let’s do it. It got a great fan base and it kind of spawned from there.

MPG: By "the wife" of course you mean me...

Manhoor: Yes, yes I do.

MPG: The next question I have has probably been answered already in your last answer, but I'll ask it anyway in case you have extra evidence to add. Why Twilight?

Manhoor: Well mostly, you dragged me into it. But I have to admit that after watching it a few times, I found that I actually didn’t mind it. I also found there was a cross section of different genres within the stories that could use the characters. In addition, most of the friends I’ve met are twilight bound as well so it was like destiny.

MPG: Okay, so I know the answer to this question, but for those who don't know you, what are you working on at the moment?

Manhoor: Quarter Mile Lovers, which was my initial entry into fic writing. But this has taken a back seat lately mainly due to lack of interest, ideas and lacklustre reviews. But the collaboration between you and I has taken off quite well, so I am actively working on that one when I get time to give it an extra push. For those who don’t know it, it’s called Evil dead: Forks and Boomsticks and is a crossover between Twi (vamps) and Evil Dead (Ash and his deadite foes). The interest has been astounding I think due to it not being soppy or the normal Vamp vs Werewolf fic. Where will it go? LOL buggers us!

MPG: You maybe…I have a good idea of what’s going to come up LOL

Manhoor: I am also conjuring up idea for a new fic which is a very dark and angsty story about a guy, uh and his demons within. I don’t know who it will be based on though.

MPG: That leads perfectly into my next question then, how do you come up with your storylines?

Manhoor: Evil dead? It was just an idea that hit me. A few things popped up while watching the movie and then we just banged it out from there.
QML, I think it was just a continuation from a one shot, but I wanted to use to style to draw attention to who was writing it; an Aussie male. Yet I wanted to add some things that made it not all about sex and cars. I don't know if that really worked or not. I guess the readers will tell me.
As for the new fic, I have seen a lot of people go through a lot of things through the past twelve months, but it was not all physical, so I am kind of thinking of drawing upon those who have had troubles mentally, whether it be depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, things that a lot of people may not even see on the surface, my goal is for the character to take you behind the scenes.

MPG: Sounds ambitious and, my favourite, angsty.
What would you say inspires you most? Is it wanting to get a message out, like in your new fic idea or QML, or is it other stories/songs/pics etc?

Manhoor: I think the involvement in a group, as well as the social aspect of WC's etc, drives me to come up with things that I always hope to be left field and perhaps a little confronting (like Esme and Carlisle getting it on and spicing things up). I like to be that person who is different. From being the male in a female dominated field, to being an Aussie bloke in a sometimes US orientated scene, who has a little writing talent and the character of the everyday hard working guy.

MPG: In QML, you wrote from a number of different POVs and worked your way through all the canon pairings. Do you have a favourite pairing (canon or non-canon)? Alternatively, is there a particular pairing that you just find icky?

Manhoor: Dude, I don't even think male on male could make me feel icky! If anything I think...hmmm….nah nothing. My fav would maybe be Alice and Jasper, the cute couple. Esme and Carlisle would run a close second.
What about a mad idea of getting Edward and Jacob together? I might leave it for someone else though.

MPG: LOL I'm sure it's been done… many times. Who is your favourite character out of the books (or movies, considering you are still only halfway through Twilight at the moment and that's only when I read it out loud to you)?

Manhoor: Jasper. He is just such a man’s man. The Major. He’s a guy I could see myself having a few brews with….while perving on his missus. Oh shit did I say that?

MPG: Well that ruins my next question, which was going to you have a favourite Ward? I guess that Q should now be, do you have a favourite Sper (from fanfiction)?

Manhoor: Fav Ward? I think there is a tie there between RaceCarEdward from your Chasing Victory (but no favouritism between us LOL) and HotRodward from Luvrofinks "My Life, Now". I haven't read much to do with Jasper really, but he is cool in that fic also.

MPG: Oh, but he's not cool in mine :P j/k What was the first fanfiction you read?

Manhoor: I think I started to read Chasing Victory, at around the same time "Arousing Bella" from MyMunkyMan. Both good, hot fics.

MPG: LOL My recollection is a little different. I seem to recall having to beg you to start my fic, you still haven’t read most of my stories. Maybe I should take that as a hint?

Manhoor: Then keep miss4 away from me, and it may happen. ;)

MPG: Have you got any favourite stories or authors?

Manhoor: Luvrofinks "My Life, Now" definitely rates up there. I like your CV series. And after seeing little bits and pieces in private teases, I predict I might have a new fav in KatieWinkles just launched fic, "Blindsided"

MPG: Yeah, the teases we've seen for that definitely look interesting. And the prologue! Gah! I want to know what’s in the folder.
Focusing back on the reason we are doing this interview (men in the fandom), what would you say is the hardest thing about being a man in the fandom?

Manhoor: The lack of men in the fandom that support each other. Just by sheer volume of woman in this world makes it a bit of a chook-pen at times, all clucking and chatting with one another. It definitely singles the males out and makes it a little difficult to get motivated. I think this is where men struggle a bit in getting readers and followers, as I know I have a couple males who are kicking my arse to get evil dead updated quicker. But in saying that, there are definitely some brilliant, and very lovely ladies in the fandom world, who see past male or female that are supportive, understanding of how hard it is to get off the ground (for everyone, not only as a man ). And those people I have kept on my friends list and they have supported me in my writing and me. I try to keep them on track to where I can.

MPG: What advice would you give other men in and around the fandom (including those who might be less than thrilled about their partner’s cough obsession)?

Manhoor: Don’t hesitate, find something you like, be it sex, bloodlust, action, anything really, and just have a go. Accept the help of your partner where offered, but be warned it's not an easy road to tread sometimes. But hey, such is life.

MPG: Is that a barb at me? *narrows eyes*

Manhoor: I will admit it's a big shadow you cast. Being a brilliant and successful writer that you are, it feels hard sometimes to break away from that shadow and create a name for myself. I would like to think that my fics and I can get themselves places, but I will always appreciate the help I get from the wife, after all you do have the experience.

MPG: Free podium time *hands you a soap-box* Is there anything else you would like to say about the fandom, about being a man, or about anything else in general?

Manhoor: I think a lot of people out there do get carried away with the politics, and the addiction it can cause; which in turn can cause grief elsewhere in their lives. That being said, people like this can be found in anything, car clubs, schools, and the everyday workplace. At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun and having relaxing. There is no need to stress over whose story is the best this week. Just everyone get in with some jelly or oil and have a good time in the rubber tub of fun—being in a female orientated tub makes it that much better—and ENJOY!

Thank you MH and MPG! Don't forget to check out their stories, leave them some love and let them know that FFAA sent you!