You know how our fantastic Kelpie posts those awesome Spotlights on fanfic writers? Well, it’s my turn to honor HER by posting her own interview!
Yes – you read it correctly: Kelpie has agreed to let ME interview HER – with her own questions because it’s only fair and she really rocked thinking them up anyway…and also because I’m evil and wanted to see how SHE would answer them! :D
(She did great, just as expected!)
She is an amazing woman – she’s an awesome mom to three gorgeous progeny; she’s a wonderful writer, and she’s funny as all hell. Srsly. That’s not even taking into consideration the fact that she’s gorgeous, smart as a whip (don’t let her fool ya), and would be hella good back-up in a barroom brawl.
She is also extremely generous in putting so much time and energy into getting the word out about fanfic writers and their stories – it’s high time that light is shined back on HER.
So, without further ado:
Let’s start with an introduction. I’m Meridian. And you are?
I’m most commonly known as Kelpie, a nickname my lovely husband thought up.
So, tell me a little about yourself.
I’m in my late 20’s, I have 3 kids (4 if you count the husband and it’s a toss up on any given day if I do or not), and I’m a stay at home mom…which means I do more work than my husband who actually goes to a job and gets paid for it. In my spare time I write (occasionally), run Kelpie’s Korner (I’m way ahead), and cook (when I have the energy).
What do you do with yourself when you’re not writing?
I barely ever have the time to write. I wrangle kids and try to be a domestic goddess and fail miserably. I also try to be a gym rat, but generally I end up getting weird looks cause I’m jamming to music that no one else can hear. Ah well.
What are some things you never leave home without?
My phone. …..yeah that’s it really. I usually try to have a drink of some sort (water 99% of the time) cause I’m always thirsty. And I leave my cards and license and stuff in my car since I always forget it. Keys are a toss up which is why I have like 4 keys hidden in and around my car…I tend to lock myself out a lot.
What are some of your favorite books?
Oh sheesh. There’s lots. I haven’t actually read a book in awhile. But I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Harry Potter series…I’ve read them all like so many times I had to buy a new set cause the first fell apart. Uh, some humor books that are on my shelf…hang on *goes to look*…*gets sidetracked by 2 year old* Yeah it’s not happening. There’s lots.
Favorite TV shows and movies?
Oh lord. All time fave show is Friends. Cliche, but yeah. I also watch The Walking Dead, Bones, Criminal Minds, Once Upon a Time, Game of Thrones…I think that’s it. We also watch a lot of YouTube on the Xbox.
Favorite movie is a tie: Princess Bride and The Birdcage. Should give you a good hint at my sense of humor. I also love Moulin Rouge (our wedding was Moulin Rouge themed), Harry Potter movies, LOTR…there’s more I’m sure, but that’s all my brain will conjure at the moment.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and had 3 famous people with you, who would you choose and why?
Uh, really?!?! Alexander Skarsgard, Colin O’Donoghue, and Jamie Campbell Bower. Do I need to elaborate on why I hope we’re not rescued for a very long time?!? I have a great imagination and can go into great detail if ya like…. :P
What is one place you’d love to visit?
Oh God…I wanna go so many places. But I really wanna go back to Ireland. I went when I was 18 after my high school graduation and I fell in love.
Do you have any pet peeves?
*snorts* I have soooooooo many. Seriously. The place I live is one huge pet peeve of mine-everyone is rude and obnoxious and can’t mind their own fucking business. It’s like a biological imperative that they say the rudest thing ever. Horrible drivers….and there are many around here…are another big one. People who try to tell me how to raise my kids or who judge me for how I look…yeah I can go on for awhile.
What are some of your favorite foods? How ‘bout comfort foods?
Shrimp. Spicy stuff. Cajun food. Sushi. Japanese. (I went to culinary school and I’m quite eclectic with what I like.) Comfort food is mac n cheese. Or something Mr. Kelpie makes me…which can be almost anything. I may love to cook but sometimes it’s nice to be cooked for.
What’s your favorite scent – one that says “home” to you?
Clove. I went through a phase where I smoked clove cigarettes and they actually helped control my anxiety. Now just the smell does it and I can’t get enough of it. Mr. Kelpie buys me clove incense in bulk just to make sure I always have it.
What kind of music do you like? Any you absolutely can’t stand?
I like a wide variety of music. But I go through moods. Can’t stand honky tonk country or most newer rap. Old school rap is good. I think my go to genre is more like alt/rock. Think My Chem, Rise Against, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Three Days Grace…that kinda thing.
Tell me one random thing about yourself.
I’m allergic to citrus – which sucks when you live in Florida.
Just for some insight into you pick one. Feel free to tell why or not.
- Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla-just not a huge chocolate fan
- Silver or gold? Silver. Gold makes me look jaundiced.
- Apple or PC? Either. Not picky and I can navigate either with ease.
- White wine or red wine? Red. I haven’t found a white wine that I like…I’ve found one I can tolerate, but it’s just meh
- Liquor or beer? Why do I gotta choose?!?! Both are wonderful!!!
- Coffee or tea? Sweet tea – coffee is gross, although I love the smell *weird*
- Sleep in or get up early? Sleep??? What is this sleep thing that you speak of?? I don’t know what that is, although it sounds like it may be something from a distant memory….
Okay, now for the good stuff.
What are your preferred fandoms for writing/reading?
In no particular order (because I have moods and go through phases): True Blood/SVM – it’ll always be one to me, Once Upon a Time, and The Mortal Instruments.
What kind of environment do you write in?
*snort* usually on my couch with Frozen or some Tinkerbell movie in the background
Ever write in your PJs?
Uhhh, I don’t OWN PJs….
How bout naked?
Yeah. Our house is very clothing-optional.
Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I find inspiration everywhere. That’s so cliche to say, but it’s true. I’m writing a smutty one shot about the gym. Blind Oblivion was pulled heavily from my life. Uh, let’s see. Lots of the ideas for Interrupted, which most need to still be written, are from my real life. (Chapter 1 is pretty much something that happened to Mr. Kelpie and I…yeah.) There are tons of little bits and pieces of me in each story. It happens.
Do you write on a schedule?
Hahaha!!! I don’t do ANYTHING on a schedule except go to the gym and that’s only because they have childcare.
Do you plan out your stories or just write whatever comes to you?
I have a general idea of where it’s going and some stories I have more than others…and then sometimes something comes out of left field and I’m like whaaaaaaaaa?!?!
Do you have any writing rituals or superstitions?
Psh – nah. Ain’t got no time for that fuckery.
Is one genre easier for you to write than another? Is there anything that you just aren’t that great at writing?
I don’t think I’m great at writing smut or sex in general. I end up thinking it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I’ve been told I’m good at action. I honestly think I suck most of the time so yeah. (“Interviewer” comment: Bullshit – she’s awesome at both.)
What is the hardest part for you about writing fanfics?
Finding time. No lie. I mean yeah sometimes my muse deserts me, but even then I can usually pull together a halfway decent one shot or write a drabble or something. But I actually have like no time. Lately when I’ve got a few free minutes I sit down to be productive, I don’t even know what to do with myself cause the feeling is so foreign.
Is there a method for coming up with titles for your stories and/or chapters?
I HATE/LOATHE titles. I mean obviously stories need them and I’ll grudgingly do those. But any and all new stories aren’t having chapter titles. Ones that I’ve already done I’ll keep up with but yeah… I suck so hard at it!!!
Which character do you identify with the most?
The snarky ones. Pam, Lafayette, etc. There always an element of myself in my characters though just cause, ya know, I’m doing the writing. But it’s different for every character and every story.
Which of your stories is your favorite to write and why? Which of your stories is your favorite concept wise?
Oh lord. Hum – ugh that’s a tough one. At the moment, I’m loving Behind the Camera, The Sharpest Lives and The Institute. Behind the Camera is because of the movie What Maisie Knew…it spoke to me. And then I had a dream about a certain scene which will happen probably in the next…5 – 6 chapters I wanna say? The Sharpest Lives is cause I just love writing messy characters! I can identify soooo much with Clary in that story. The Institute because who doesn’t love pirates?!? And I love that Clary is the strong pirate captain, not a guy like you’d expect. It just kinda goes against everything you think and I like that.
Now these favorite change like the winds so take this with a grain of salt in regards to “favorites”.
Do you talk to your family about your writing?
Yeah. Well Mr. Kelpie knows and even beta’d for my TMI stories for awhile. But the rest of my family, no. They would either not care or be scandalized by what I write.
What is your favorite book/episode in your preferred series?
This is a really funny question to me. In the TB/SVM universe I actually grew to loathe the books. Even the earlier ones. Same thing with the show. They done fucked that up real nice. *yes imagine the accent-you know you want to*. But I think Timebomb and I Will Rise Up are my 2 fave episodes.
For OUAT…I actually kind like the Neverland arc. But any ep with some good Captain Swan moments is good for me.
And The Mortal Instruments…ah yes. See here’s the thing about these books. I read them a long time ago, back when it was just the first 3 books. Then I had kids and I forgot about them. But the movie came out-and I never got around to seeing it until Mr. Kelpie forced me to watch it in May of last year. The movie was okay (JCB totally rocked) but I figured I’d pick the books up and finish the series. Uh, I couldn’t bring myself to read past book 1. She tortures her characters so much!!! My little anxiety ridden heart can’t take it. I know I WILL read them eventually and I’ll probably read all the other series that are intermingled in there. But yeah I haven’t yet.
See why that question makes me giggle?
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received on your stories?
Uh…I’ve gotten so many. Just anyone who leaves me comments at all is awesome. I love getting feedback and I love knowing people actually read my stuff.
How do you deal with the inevitable criticism?
I gotta admit, there was a flamer for awhile who kinda massacred my muse. But I’ve bounced back – that bitch is resilient!! Now I’m just kinda meh. If it’s constructive, which I’ve actually never gotten, then I take it into consideration. But if it’s blatant flames or a bitchfest then yeah that gets ignored.
What is your favorite/least favorite part about your preferred fandoms?
Oh lord. My favorite part of the TMI fandom is easy. It’s so friendly! Like, when I started spotlighting in that fandom, by the time I had done like 3 or 4, I had people fangirling when I’d message them about it. That feels incredible. My bitch about that fandom is that there is a distinct lack of smutty fics, which I think is due to the general younger age group. But yeah.
OUAT and TB/SVM are both a more adult age fandom and therefore has all the yummy smutty goodness that I love. And in both of those fandoms there is a huge community that bands together…however that is also my least favorite part. It can get cliquey (and I know I’m gonna catch heat for this, but whatever.) It’s a natural thing, and I get that. But it makes newcomers to the fandom…well it makes them feel like outsiders. I know there was a huge thing on tumblr a week or so ago about some Captain Swan fans thinking they were better cause they’d been with the fandom “from the beginning” and were shunning the newbies. Who the fuck cares?!? I love Captain Swan, you love Captain Swan, we all love Captain Swan, now let’s drool over Colin’s chest hair. Duh. It’s that easy.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Dude, I am the LAST person you should be taking advice from! I’m horrible at updating and the whole writing thing…just yeah, no. But IF you want my advice, it’s the same as all the other lovelies I’ve interviewed have said – write. Read. Immerse yourself in whatever you love and put that love into your writing. That’s the only way it’s going to speak to people. I can research a topic until the end of time, become an absolute expert on the subject…but if I don’t love it then it’s gonna come across in my writing. So write what you know and write what you love. If those two things aren’t quite the same, do the research. But only if it’s what you really want.
Why did you start interviewing other authors?
Honestly?? I wanted a hint on how to be great. When I first joined this fandom there were a couple author who I adored…still do…but I basically wanted to know how they did it. I’m reeeeeeally anti-social if you can believe it and didn’t want to just strike up a conversation. I sit here doing it randomly…it makes me itch. Seriously. But yeah I came up with the spotlight idea. I get my answers and then I can share those answers and give these authors the recognition they deserve.
Why did you start reviewing fics?
Because nobody else was. For awhile I would start reading fics and then I’d have to stop cause it was horrible or horribly written. I wish someone had pointed me in a better direction and I figured since I’m reading anyway I may as well do that for the stories I loved.
Have any recommendations?
Check out my Altar of Awesome pages. There’s one for each of my fandoms and it’s where all the spotlights I do are linked. I don’t spotlight stories I hate so anything on those pages are good bets.
And lastly, where can all your rabid readers stalk you?
I’m everywhere. *evil laugh* Haha, but yeah, really. There’s Kelpie’s Korner, I’m Kelpie’s Korner on tumblr, Kelpie_169 on Twitter, Kelpie169 on fanfic.net, AO3, FictionPad and TWCS….uh…I think that’s it….maybe.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions!
Well thanks so much for asking. :P
And that, fair readers, is our Kelpie. (See? Tolja she was awesome!) Please show her the love she deserves, and do check her out, erm, her stories…check HER STORIES out…