Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interview with @sapphirescribe Winner of the "From the Boardroom to the Bedroom" Contest

Below you will find our interview with sapphirescribe, winner of the "From the Boardroom to the Bedroom" Contest.  I have had the pleasure to get to know her a little better over the last few weeks and she is such a lovely individual. Wonderful asset to the fandom.

Enjoy!!!  I love her and I know you will too!

If for some reason you have not read her entry please visit her profile:

When did you first realize you wanted to write fan fic? 

At some point I realized I wanted to read more slash involving the vamps, but there’s not much out there so I figured “what the hell” and started writing a multi-chapter fic. (What the eff was I thinking, honestly?)

How long does it take you to write a O/S or Chapter for your Fics?

It feels like it takes me forever. Really it depends on how well I’ve planned ahead of time. I wrote the outline for this in one night, but then it took me a solid month to write and edit the whole thing. For my multi-chap WIP, I would say that a normal chapter takes me about two weeks, but then I’m not trying to stuff two and a half years of time into one chapter!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Well, I do some of my best thinking while driving, so I actually keep a full-sized notebook and pen on my passenger seat so that I can scribble notes whenever I come to a stop. If I’m really on a roll I will try to find longer routes or routes with more lights or stop signs just so that I have more opportunities to jot notes down. It probably sounds unsafe, but I promise I only write when I’m stopped!

Also, I outline in present tense but tend to write in past tense. It’s weird, and I sometimes confuse myself, but can’t seem to change it.

Where do you get your inspiration from to write?

I find inspiration all over the place – images, song lyrics, conversations. I also find that when a plot bunny strikes, I have to write it down and get it out of my head and I am completely unable to work on anything else until I do.

For this contest, honestly I just saw the title of the contest and Internward and Execsper popped into my head. A little ‘net surfing and I quickly had the perfect visuals to go along with the characters. For whatever reason these characters just came to me, their story wanting to be told.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I read a ton (mostly fanfic now, I used to read real books… once upon a time), dabble on the piano, and do the standard hang with friends, go to movies, play with my cats. I live near Washington DC, so I try to take the opportunity to go downtown and visit the museums and take in some culture every once in a while.

What does your family think of your writing or are they totally in the dark about it?

My mom knows that I write, but she doesn’t know what I write. I told her about this contest and she’s really pressuring me to read it. I don’t think she’ll pick up on the Twilight references, nor will she have a problem with the same sex pairing, but I don’t know if I want her knowing how much I know about boysecks…

Funny story – I had my best friend read this O/S, but because he knows how much I love Twilight (and constantly makes fun of me for it) I changed the names in the version I sent him. Edward became Anthony, Jasper became Jackson, Whitlock stayed the same because I thought it unlikely that he would pick up on that reference. One of his first comments was “I love the name ‘Whitlock.’ Great character name.” I laughed for days after that one!

What are your favorite fics? Either completed or work in progress?

I would guess that we’re reading a lot of the same popular fics, so I’d like to take this time to step on my soapbox and talk about my favorite underrated fics.

Lovers in Disguise by solareclipses – Edward leaves Bella in New Moon but doesn’t return. Several years later she ends up seeking out the Volturi and being changed by Aro. This is probably the wrong audience to pimp this fic to as it’s E&B AU, but it’s so beautiful and different and I can’t recommend it (or the author) enough. (complete)

Together We Fly by Bbebar – Edward and Jasper are childhood best friends, torn apart, and this is the story of their possible reconciliation. I can’t stress enough how quickly this story sucked me in; the emotion is so raw and beautiful, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t read it. (complete)

Mating by sandraj60 – Carlisle is a vampire and finds a human Edward in Chicago, but as soon as they admit their feelings for one another Edward is kidnapped by another vampire. A sadistic, creepy, terrifying Jasper. The premise is so unique you can’t possibly pass this one up. (in progress)

Do you have any advice to give for anyone looking to start writing FanFiction?

Get yourself a Beta. I heard/read that advice time and time again and was one of those people who thought they could do it all on their own. I could, and I did, but my work pre-Beta is not nearly as good as post-Beta. A good Beta will not only review your grammar and punctuation and tell you when you’ve gone comma-fucking-crazy, but she’ll ask insightful questions that make you think about your work in ways you hadn’t considered before. You can get so immersed and involved in the story as the author that it’s hard to consider how it will appear to a reader. A good Beta can help the tone and content of your writing as well as those stupid grammar rules we all like to forget.

I’m being completely honest when I say that this O/S would not have been half the story it was without my Beta, BbEyedGirl. It had a completely different – and unsatisfactory – ending, and significantly less emotional impact. It was also over 5k words too long; she was instrumental in helping me decide what absolutely needed to be in the story, and what could be left unsaid. She is the shit. (I’m kind of freaking out about the fact that she won’t be reviewing my answers to these questions… *deep breaths*)

How do you overcome writers block?

This is a tough one. I’m not sure there’s just one way that I overcome writers block. The best advice I’ve received recently for this is to write what the characters need and not what you think your readers want to read. But also, sometimes if you’re stuck it helps to just turn things around and try to come at them from a different angle or start at a different part of the story or the chapter and just write. Even if you never use what you wrote, just getting something out on paper can break the block.

What is your favorite POV to write in? Which pairing is your favorite?

I’ve only ever written Jasper/Edward pairings, so it’s pretty safe to say that’s my favorite for now. I have some ideas for branching out in my pairings, but my Beta is not happy about the potential for reviewing a non-J/E story. As for point of view… I find it much easier to write in first person since that’s how I outline, but sometimes the story lends itself to being in the past tense. I don’t know that I have a favorite POV yet.

What do you HAVE to have with you when you write? Any particular place you need to be?

As long as it’s relatively quiet, or I am in a place where I can turn on some music to drown out distracting noises, I don’t need to be in one particular place. The TV is a definite no-no, even if I turn the volume all the way down. As for things I have to have when I write… really just a pen and paper. I find I do my best writing by hand, and when I write with a pencil I do too much erasing. I self-edit less when I write with pen, and something about physically putting pen to paper gets my creative juices flowing.

If I can have a little more soapbox time that’d be great…

I want to thank UNF4Rob and iAMurPoison for dreaming up and hosting this contest, the other authors for putting their time and hard work into writing some great stories, my Beta for talking me off a ledge several times and just generally being awesome, and the readers most of all. Writing can be a really solitary exercise, but knowing that there are people out there who take the time to read and review and vote makes the experience more interactive and wonderfully rewarding. I think I visited the contest site every day to check out reviews, and every time I saw that there was another one I did a little dance. So thank you all for making this such an incredible and memorable experience, and I hope to see you around the fandom!


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