Monday, 9 June 2014

First Interview of the Twilight Fandom: KellanCougar

Okay so I WhiteWolfLegend had decided to do a little different than the other questionnaires. I cut some questions added a few and sent it off to my author! Now, for my first author I wanted to intro a little slash and this Author happens to be one I enjoy reading and making banners for. *chuckles* biased I know, but hey. 

So lets give a warm welcome to KellanCougar! 

So we are going to start out with some basic information for all of you.
Can you please tell the people reading this your name you go by, can be real or penname?  

KellanCougar

Where do you like to post, and can you give us the site of your preferred medium?
I like to post on fanfiction.net as a large portion of my fans prefer to read my work there. I also post on The writer’s Coffee Shop and on my personal blog: http://borntobeacullen.blogspot.co.uk/

What do you like to snack when writing?

Well, I try and keep my fingers busy and not eat, but I’ve usually got a large cup of tea to hand and possibly some chocolate. I just wish typing burned calories, or that I liked snacking on lettuce!

Like the question above but what do you listen to when you write, do you have a playlist for certain stories?

I most certainly do! Each story either begins with a song in my head, or it develops its own ‘sound’. Yep, I know that sounds mad. If I have no song in my head before I start, I have what I call a ‘white noise’ soundtrack – it’s a list of songs I adore from Twilight, from Queer as Folk US, and other numerous albums that make me feel grounded. At least then I have over 30 songs going around in my ears. When I wrote one of my stories, ‘One Drunken Night in Paradise’, I listened to the same album on repeat for weeks on end as nothing else worked. And for ‘The Carnival’, I listened to ‘The Carnival is Over’ every night while I wrote. It’s like the song and the story become one in my head. It was playing in my head whenever I thought about the story.

If you could visit a place, anywhere, where would it be?

I’m not a traveller, at least not so far, but I would love to see Forks (being a huge Twilight fan), Seattle, Chicago and Maine. Basically all the places I set my stories. I’d love to see if I got them right. I think that the USA is the only place that appeals to me, in the same way that London appeals to many of my American friends.

If you could go at any point in time, which would it be?

Wow – never thought about that before. I loved the 1980s and would love to revisit that time, just for the fashion, the hair and the music. But overall though, I’d like to go right now.

Tell us something about yourself that you think your fans would love to know about:

I have had some of my best story ideas when in the throes of a migraine. I have no idea why!

Awesome! That gives us some basic information.  Now, about the writing -   I know you're excited…
Why did you start writing?

I wrote all the time as a child, but got told when I was a teenager that I needed to get my head out of the clouds and get a real job. It is entirely thanks to Twilight that I dared to write and show it to complete strangers. It was such a relief to see the characters in my head appear live and kicking on the page. I’ve never forgotten how good that first chapter felt.

What do you enjoy the most about it?

I love to tell the life stories my characters whisper to me. Some of them are so chatty it’s like having your best friend in your ear, but some are so reserved that it can be almost painful to get them to share their secrets. I love the richness of the English language and writing enables me to let it flow from my fingers to the paper or the screen.

What do you like least about it?

When they refuse to talk to me, it’s so awful. To me, writer’s block is like watching a silent movie with bad reception. You know they’re there, but you’re stumbling around in the dark without a flashlight trying to find them.

That first time hitting publish, how did you feel?

Terrified and afraid I might pass out! I was sure that no one would read it, absolutely convinced. Then, when they did, I was convinced they would either laugh, or be kind to spare my feelings. I realise now, looking back, that I had no idea how wonderful the fandom was and is. There is so much support out there to help writers improve, and to keep them motivated during the bad times. It’s an amazing family to be a part of.

Where do you get your inspiration?

It’s usually song lyrics that resonate with me and slowly (VERY slowly sometimes) a story starts to percolate. I tend to think about stories when I’m driving too – my mind is open to suggestion when I’m on a long drive. I also love to look at beautiful banners and I keep an eye on banner adoption sites to see what designs trigger a plot bunny. It’s a marriage made in heaven when I get a good idea AND I get to adopt the banner that inspired it. I’ve had some very happy successes this way and I am very grateful to all the incredibly talented banner makers out there that make our stories come to life in pictures.

What is your writing area like do you use computer or paper, or both?  Or another medium?

Away from home I always carry a notebook and pen. The words do seem to flow easier from pen to paper – maybe because my typing becomes atrocious when my fingers are tired. At home I usually write straight to my laptop, but on a lovely day I will head to the beach and write surrounded by scenery that inspires me.

Do you use an outline, rough draft or just write?

I have to say that I just write. I am a bit odd, according to my writer friends, in that I write out of order. Does that count as a kind of outline? I write the scenes that are clearest in my head – often the ending of a chapter or story gets written very early on and then I know where I’m headed and just need to get there. So far, I have never not known the ending to a story when I start writing it. The last line is key.

What do you do while you're writing (listen to music, TV in the background, etc.)?

If I want to settle down to serious writing then the TV has to go off. I am very easily distracted. Music is essential and a CD or playlist will provide the backdrop I need. In rare cases, I need absolute silence and so I write in the middle of the night with no noise at all.

What annoys you the most when you are trying to write?

Procrastination! If the words won’t come, the worst thing I can do is go take a break, sit down somewhere comfy and watch TV. I’ll be asleep in seconds and the opportunity is lost for another night. The best thing I can do is sit and stare at that screen and try to visualise something useful happening. Mind you, I’ve spent many all-nighters sitting here with nothing to show for it in the morning except a half dozen words. The other side of the coin is when I just get into my writing flow and I’m absolutely flying, only to have to either go back to work because my lunch break’s over, or head off to bed. My characters are annoying like that – they really pick their moments to get chatty.

If you have finished a fic, what was your feeling on it?

I am a perfectionist. I don’t mean that every comma is necessarily in place (although I try my best to make sure they are), I just mean that the story has to be exactly how I imagined it. If I write something and it doesn’t feel exactly right, or if I can’t get the ending to sit comfortably, then that story does not get posted. I have missed competition deadlines because of this. It has to be the best I can create for that set of characters with a satisfactory ending that answers the readers’ questions and doesn’t feel like they have been left high and dry.

What are your favorite fandoms to write?

At this moment I only write for the Twilight fandom, although I like to read Queer as Folk, Supernatural, and some Harry Potter (Drarry).

Who are your favorite characters to write?

It’s well known that my favourite pairing is Carlisle/Edward. Those guys are perfect together in my mind and no matter what story I write, I feel their chemistry so strongly.  I also have a strong affection for Emmett/Alice. Rosalie is a lot of fun to explore too – she’s feisty!

Why?

Ok, bear with me here. If Carlisle had just turned Edward and never met and turned Esme or Rosalie, then Alice and Jasper would never have joined the family, and Emmett would never have been turned. Therefore, in my mind, Carlisle and Edward would have eventually ended up together. I realise that a lot of readers don’t care for the pairing, but that’s the joy of free choice, isn’t it. I adore them.

Alice and Emmett also fit together for me. Maybe it’s because the actors themselves are great friends and look so good together in photo shoots, but again I feel a chemistry between them that I had to explore.

Who are your least favorite characters to write?

Do you know what? I love Jasper yet I find him so difficult to write! I gave him a cameo in ‘Learning to Fly’ to get some practice before giving him a centre stage part in Rescue Me. I was happy with how that fic turned out and he’s getting easier to write now. (NB: Rescue Me can only be found on The Writers Coffee Shop and my blog).
I struggle with the wolf pack too, and I am challenging myself with a one shot to see how I do. Whether or not it sees the light of day is yet to be determined!

Why?

Jasper is such a favourite with so many readers and writers, especially Jasper/Edward fans, that I felt some serious pressure to do him justice. I am a trier and I hate to fail.

What is your favorite scene or story you have written and why?

Oh that is a hard one.  I adore my Learning to Fly boys – they stayed with me long after I wrote The End on that final chapter. I felt such a connection to them the whole time I was writing.
Windy Afternoon was a fantastic story to write and it flowed out of my pen so easily it was almost as if it was dictated to me. The outtake chapter was hard to write in terms of content, but it was as if I had to write it because Alice wanted it told. Again it poured out of me in one night unlike any other story I have ever written since.


What is the most difficult story or scene you have written, and why?

The final scene of The Carnival. I wrote a rough draft of the ending first as usual, and then made the adjustments to it when I finished the main fic. Every time I sat down to write that story I cried. It’s no lie to say that I was emotionally drained for a couple of weeks after finishing that one. Judging by the reviews, it had the same effect on my readers. The story has an ending that I couldn’t warn the readers about without ruining it. I lost some readers because of that story, but I stand by it. I’m proud of it.

Do you see any characteristics in the characters you write?

There is a lot of me in my characters – a lot of my little idiosyncrasies.

Which ones and whom?

Argh! Do I have to say? Ok – the reclusive side of Carlisle in All I Want to Hear is most definitely a big part of my character - that need to be alone and not part of the world around me is hard to put down in black and white but it helps me deal with it. I am a soft hearted person, and I see a lot of me in Jasper in Let the Rain Come Down. I understood his need to protect Edward no matter what. In Rescue Me, Emmett kept trying set Jasper free, sure that he would soon tire of him and crave the fame of being with the band rather than feeling obliged to stay with him long term. He truly believed he was doing the right thing for Jasper. Emmett never felt he was good enough for his rock star, and that’s a very familiar trait in me. I never feel I’m good enough.


What do you like most about your preferred fandom?

I adore the Twi fandom – the characters Stephenie created are so perfectly drawn and lend themselves so well to fanfiction (and this is intended as a major compliment). Sadly, the fandom is smaller than it was and people have moved on to newer things as they do, but I have made some wonderful friends from the Twi fandom that I hope to keep for a very long time.

How would you describe your fics?

Unpredictable, angsty love stories. I have it in my profile that I do not guarantee a ‘happy every after’ or a ‘happy for now’ ending on my one-shots. Some are happy, I will say that! But for my longer fics such as No Turning Back, Learning to Fly and All I Want to Hear, a HEA is a guarantee.

What story would you recommend of your own for a new fan to start first?

For the non-slash readers, I would say Windy Afternoon or One Drunken Night in Paradise. For the slash fans, I would start with a one shot like Waiting for the Sound of Thunder or Let the Rain Come Down.

Now the HARD questions:

If you could offer a suggestion to someone who is thinking of publishing their first story, what would it be?

Do it. Find yourself a good, honest pre reader and someone who can check your spelling and grammar. If you have the imagination and drive to write a great tale, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Don’t hide your talent.

If you could go back in time, and give yourself one word of advice, what would you say?  (No Lottery numbers or anything like that!!!)

Believe. I still doubt myself every day and I wish I had more self-belief.

What 5 stories would you recommend someone read?  Please list fandom, sites and name with pairing.

All Slash, all available on fanfiction.net:

‘Mergers and Acquisitions’ by Touchstone67 – Twilight Jasper/Edward.  I don’t know many slash fans who haven’t read and loved this fic.

‘From Kwapah With Love’ by Prassacut –Twilight Carlisle/Edward oneshot. (You should also check out the incomplete ‘Roads’ – it’s fabulous)

‘Forgive Me Father’ by Avioleta – Twilight Carlisle/Edward oneshot (I seriously recommend this fantastic author’s entire back catalogue)

‘Red Geraniums’ by Pastiche Pen – Twilight Carlisle/Edward oneshot

‘Checkmate’ by Naadi – Harry Potter Draco/Harry

Thanks KellanCougar for being amazing and answering our questions!! 






2 comments:

Credoroza said...

Great interview! I love Kellan Cougar's stories. Learning to Fly was my first slash and I have never looked back!

KellanCougar said...

Thank you babe! Much love to you x

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