If you’re only interested in my fanfic news, scroll down. ;)
First, OF news :)
I will close my old OF blog within a couple weeks, so bookmark the new site or sign up for my newsletter!
Note: if you already have my web address favorited, you might end up on the old one, so make sure you type in caradeewrites.com into the browser before you click enter. That will take you to the new site. :)
Now, for FF stuff!
To clarify, everything concerning my fanfiction will remain here on this blog. It’s only my OF (original fiction) that’s changing cribs. :)
Lately I’ve received more messages where you’re wondering if I’m done with FF. I haven’t been active lately, and so on.
The short answer is: “Fuck no. I’m not quitting!”
And the super long answer is in this interview I did with A Different Forest. It’ll tell you more about me, what I’ve been up to, and what my plans are.
It’s gonna be a busy year!
CaraNo Author Spotlight Questions
I. Getting To Know You
Please share 4 fun & random facts about yourself.
Oh, I don’t know about fun, but I’m the master of random, so here goes. :P
1, when I was a kid, my mom didn’t want me to know any curse words, so she’d curse in Spanish. I think I was five when I learned the first one.
2, I absolutely hate talking on the phone. Other than with my closest family, which includes about three people, I talk on the phone maybe a handful times a year.
3, I suck at telling left from right. There’s a small birthmark on the top of my left hand that helps me every time.
4, I’m ambidextrous, which is convenient at times. :P
Complete the following sentence: “People would (probably, anyway!) be surprised to know that I was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s.”
The furthest I have traveled was to:
Marriageville? LOL. No, but from Sweden I suppose Mexico is the farthest.
It was this winter I was there, thanks to Lisa (HollettLA in fandom.) They arrange themed cruises at the company she works at, and I was lucky enough to go with her as her guest. So while she was busy keeping an eye on the music acts, video crew, and all the oldsters shaking it to Elvis impersonators and the Beach Boys, I got an un-freaking-believable vacation that I’ll remember forever.
Other than Mexico, we got to see Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Key West, too. :)
And by night, whether or not Lisa was working, we guzzled our favorite drink, named Wang-Wang. Naturally.
What were you like at school? Did you get good grades in English class?
I was sort of an average student in most subjects. I did get better grades in English (as well as social studies and history) than other subjects, but nothing to brag about. I only excel in things I’m really passionate about, which explains why I literally had to talk my teacher into letting me pass high school math. Math is not my friend!
With the New Year, do you have any goals or resolutions for 2015?
Lots of travels and more writing. :)
Did you always know that you wanted to be a writer- and become a great one? :D
Haha, thank you for that one! But no, it never really hit me until a few years ago. I’ve always been a fairly good storyteller, and I did like projects in school where we wrote short stories, but it just wasn’t on my radar until I’d finished reading Twilight.
How often do you write? Do you have a day job as well?
Writing is my full-time job, and I write whenever my brain tells me it’s time. I wish I had control over it, but an author has little say over that. Same with characters. Sometimes I get so frustrated; I usual have a plan—where I want my characters to go—but if they’re not ready, they won’t go there, dammit.
II. Twilight & Fanfiction
So let’s start at the beginning, how did you discover the Twilight Saga and the Twi Fanfiction Community?
It was such a fluke. I went out to buy a DVD and saw the first Twilight movie on clearance as an ex-rental. It was cheap and I figured I might as well see what it’s about. First time I watched it, I didn’t get it at all. But something made me watch it again, and then again. Then I was hooked. :) I bought the books—New Moon first since I’d seen Twilight as a movie, then Eclipse, then Breaking Dawn. It was a book a day LOL. Then I saw New Moon when it came out in the theaters, and I noticed how different it was from the book, so I went out and bought Twilight as a book, too. And of course then I started over reading them all.
In the end, I think I read them four or five times, and the thing is, I don’t know what made me sit down and write. I remember wanting more, wanting a continuation, but considering I’d never really written before, it still baffles me that I opened my laptop and started writing.
That’s what I did first. I wrote a three-story saga that continues where Breaking Dawn left off. 200 000 words that’ve never left my computer.
I told a friend I was fucking around, writing a little, and she was like, “Oh, you mean fanfiction?”
I ran home and googled fanfiction, and the rest is history. Funny thing is, I only read T-rated stories back then. The first time I stumbled across an M-rated story, I dropped my jaw.
It is always interesting to read about the Twilight fandom in other countries. How popular was Twilight in Sweden?
Oh, it was pretty big. I dragged my husband with me on a couple Twilight events in Stockholm. If I hadn’t already had tinnitus, I would have after the sound of thousands of girls—and let’s face it, the girls’ moms—screaming after Rob.
What was it about Twilight that motivated you to write your own stories?
I just wanted more. :) And once I left the vamps and Meyer’s universe alone, my own creativity kicked in and all these plots for more original ideas began forming in my head. Now the characters won’t shut up, whether it’s original or Edward and Bella.
Congratulations on winning four 2014 Twific Fandom Awards for:
Favorite What If? and Favorite LGBTQute Fic : Powerplay
Favorite 5ever Fic – Fic that should have a sequel: This Life
Favorite Cliffhanger Fic: Masen Rules,The Beginning
Thank you! When I won the Favorite Veteran Author this year, I felt so old haha. And hint to taken on the Cliffhanger award LOL.
Cara, not to put you in the spot – but a fan on twitter mentioned that a sequel for Whistler will be coming. Is that true? What about Masen Rules, the Beginning and its continuation? ;)
Yup, there will be a This Life II coming this year. :) We’ll jump several years into the future. Whistler and Bella are obviously still going strong with their kids. Alec…Whistler’s not-so-little cub…is just about to be released from prison, in his mid-twenties, and little Autumn is now a young woman. :P
I’m definitely finishing both the prequel to Masen Rules and Fall & Rise, too. I’ve never broken a promise on finishing a story; unfortunately, I just suck at the when. Which is one of the reasons I won’t post anything new without having most of the story pre-written anymore.
Okay, something funny- if Whistler read fanfic what story/stories would he be reading?
I chuckled when I saw this question, and I know I’ve never been asked anything like this. Hmm. If Whistler read fanfic, he’d probably read lemons about himself and his wife. ;) But in general, he’d go for action. Action and sex.
You and your fics have been a prevalent part of the fandom since way back. Is there an author or story that you think had a large influence in Twilight fanfiction as well?
It’s so incredibly weird to me, hearing that I would have played any kind of part in this fandom; weird and flattering and humbling! I’ve always tried to stick to the sidelines, and I know frightening little about all the authors out there, old or new. Some of my favorites though, are Savage’s Hide & Drink and Transcendence, Sheviking’s Professor, Lexi’s Storm Series, Solostintwilight’s In Your World, Lissa Bryan’s Written in the Stars, and Saltire884’s Pistols and Petticoats.
You crank out so many popular, successful fics .. it is like whatever you write it is a guaranteed awesome story. Where do you find inspiration for your stories? Do you pull your real life experiences into your writing?
I have awesome readers, and if it weren’t for them—don’t even wanna think about it! As for inspiration; it’s everywhere. Mostly in music. A few times it’s a readers who comes to me, tells me something that’s happened to her, and it turns into a fic. Often it’s also movies I’ve watched or TV series. Grand is all Lexi. I read the Storm Series and got to know her; I was obsessed with Skip and his crew—hommina, hommina Damion and Aro—and I made a great friend. At the same time, I was also re-watching the Sopranos, and I wanted to try it myself. I wanted to go back in time and create an old-school Edward, and I certainly got him!
Personal experiences always end up in my stories, too. Whether it’s a preference on a soda, experience on a hobby or place, or a personal opinion on something, I believe every author pours parts of themselves into their writing. At the same time, I like going against myself, too. Sometimes my characters love something I hate, or hate something I love. It just makes it fun.
I think you wrote in all genres- canon, supernatural, comedy, angst. What is your favorite genre and which genre is the most difficult to write in?
I have to pick? Hell. I guess…if I absolutely have to pick…hmm. My favorite is probably angst. I love writing it, but I never read it unless I have all the spoilers haha. And most difficult to write…maybe drama. I mean, I can do drama with Grand and most stories, but I hate drama that goes on and on and on, so I usually wrap it up fast. Miscommunication seems to be the most common reason for drama in fanfic, and I don’t have patience for a lot—nor do I find it logical if it drags on forever.
Many of your fanfic stories have are much favorited, reviewed, loved and awarded, can you share:
If you mean my own stories, and in my opinion, I’d say…
Sweetest/Fluff: Simply Edward.
Most Controversial (and why) : Grand and Isla de Cullen. Grand, because I stick to realism hardcore in this story. No wiseguy born in the ’50s will have fond things to say about a gay man at first, as much as it goes against my personal feelings on equality. He will not cater to his wife like she does to him. He will not be fair. He will not always control his temper. And Junior does/is all those things. He’s a sexist motherfucker, judgmental and a hypocrite, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever written an Edward who loves his Bella as fiercely as he does. And anyone who’s read my stories knows I keep my Edwards and Bellas solid and, mixed with troubles and whatnot, I need a fairytale love for those two. Lastly, Isla de Cullen because of the age difference. I was by no means the first fanfic writer who wrote an Olderward, but that story exploded; plus it was mixed with a light dose of D/s. Many readers had mixed feelings about it in the beginning.
Funniest: I think Whistler is a funny mofo, but story-wise, I’ll go with Bloody Kisses or O’ Holy Christmas.
Most Angst-Ridden: Gosh, I don’t know. Maybe Close Your Eyes.
Romantic: Aww, This Life. Whistler and Emmett courted Bella and Rose good.
In all your fic stories who are your top 3 favorite Edwards? How about an Edward one that you disliked?
I don’t particularly dislike any of my Edwards, but I suppose Edward in We Could Run made too little of an impression on me. That said, I have a futuretake in mind for that story that I can’t help but want to write.
My favorites would be:
1. Junior in Grand.
2. Edward in A Beer with the Guys.
3. Tie between Whistler in This Life and Edward in Bloody Kisses.
And your top three Bellas that you admire the most?
1. Isabella in Grand.
2. Bella in O’ Holy Christmas
3. Tie between Bella in A Drink with the Girls and Bella in This Life.
My favorite story of yours is Our Yellow House. That one was really heartbreaking. I was both happy and sad for EJ.. and their healing process.. just GAH. That whole story is brilliant. What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
It may not seem like it, but Our Yellow House was one of the easiest stories I’ve ever written. It all came to me when I heard “Love Song for Bobby Long” by Grayson Capps after watching the movie with the same title. The song combined with the house in that movie set the entire atmosphere. I saw Edward first, sitting on a porch that needed painting. The guitar came after that, and Charlie. I wanted angst, and the song is sad as hell, and I pictured Edward missing Bella. A part of him was missing; he was the shell of a man. And I didn’t want a New Moon disappearance on Bella’s part, so I thought of the kidnapping. And so on and so on. That story came to me in puzzle pieces, and by the time I wrote the first chapter, I knew exactly how it was going to end and what happened in between.
Granted, the research I did was taxing, but it was also so fun! I think that’s where my love for research grew tenfold. I learned so much, and the story gained credibility. :)
When you are writing angst, do you ever get emotionally involved? Do you ever have to step away from your stories?
I get emotionally involved when it comes to my characters. They sort of come to life for me, and I care about them. Story-wise, I don’t get that deep into it. I shed a tear or two when Edward had to remind EJ he was real after the kidnapping, that it wasn’t pretend, but I think that’s about it. Probably because I always knew the outcome and the road to get there. :)
III. Writing Resume- Original Fiction
How would you describe your writing process? Do you have a favorite place where you like to write?
I can write pretty much anywhere as long as it’s quiet and little to no movement around me. My writing process is weird. Or maybe it isn’t, but anyway, it all depends on the music. A song can be incredibly powerful for me; it basically sets the mood. If I want to write angst, I listen to angsty music, and bam, I’m there in that mindset.
What was the biggest challenge moving from fanfiction to original fiction?
Paperwork, no doubt. Since I’m not American, I had to go through a three-months long process to get my tax number and everything I needed to publish on Amazon. There were times I was ready to quit, but I’m glad I never did. :)
Congratulations on your success as an Amazon awarded bestselling author in 3 categories. Can you introduce the characters and share a little about your books? Aftermath and Touch Series?
Thank you! Aftermath’s success came as a shock to me. It was my first novel, not to mention m/m, so I was on cloud nine for weeks. And Aftermath was also one of those stories that were easy to write. When I started, I had the entire layout in my head.
Several of my readers have noticed that I’ve written characters that are on the autism spectrum (and maybe now it’s no surprise why LOL) and Aftermath isn’t an exception. Cam, one of the MCs, has Asperger’s, which plays a minor part in the story.
Aftermath is about just that, the aftermath, in this case of a kidnapping. Ten innocent strangers were kidnapped by a raving lunatic; they were all paired up in cage-like cells for five months in a basement out in the Mojave desert. Austin and Cam were cellmates, and we get glimpses of their time in captivity—how Cam struggled with panic attacks, how they got tortured, and so on—in flashbacks. It lets the reader know the hell they went through and also how the bond was forged between Cam, who’s bisexual, and Austin, who’s married to a woman. And in the present, the major part of the book, it’s about coping and moving on, about coming to grips that things will never be the same, and trying to understand why Austin and Cam get anxious without each other. Because after only having each other during a time where they didn’t know if they’d live or die, it’s kinda hard to find someone who can relate.
The Touch Series is…different. LOL. It’s a series of novelettes and novellas that follows several characters in the BDSM lifestyle. It begins with Nicholas, a Daddy Dom, and Kayla, a Little. And while I do have a couple newbies (Evangeline and Brayden in the second book,) I wanted to write a series without too many introductions to the lifestyle. In many cases, if one of the characters is new, it becomes focus in the story, and I wanted other side plots to take space, too. There’s some family drama on Kayla’s side, and even more so for Mark in the second book. He’s an experienced Master who works extra as a bartender in Nicholas’s club, and he falls for a young sub couple that he mentors. But coming home to his family and introducing both a girlfriend and a boyfriend doesn’t come without trouble. ;) That’s getting ahead, though! Book two and three are about Mark/Evangeline/Brayden, and book one and four are about Nicholas and Kayla. In book five and six, we’ll learn more about the drama in Mark’s family, as well as new characters and plots that will continue on to the next book. :) In all, the Touch Series will have six or seven books, and it’s got a little bit of everything. Master/slave, Daddy/Little, male/female, Master/sub/sub, ménage, Daddy/Little/Little, male/male…you catch my drift LOL.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? Do you have any tips that you can share for aspiring writers interested in writing their own OF?
Don’t turn down support. Had I been completely alone, I would’ve given up a long time ago. Fortunately, I had Lisa—my editor—and my family. Same goes for the entire writing process: hire an editor. My fandom beta happens to be one, so I got really lucky. But in most cases, the lovely peeps in fandom think the same beta reader they have for all their Edwards and Bellas will be enough for that spankin’ new OF too, and it’s not true. With publishing comes a whole new audience, and they don’t care about how popular you were in a fandom. They pay for your book, so they want the whole package: good grammar, plot, and characters. So…hire an editor, because you need more than one perspective. Ask for help. Let a few people beta read and tell them to be honest. It’s way better that your pre-readers point out a flaw than a dozen reviewers on Amazon or Smashwords. :)
What are your current projects or are there storylines that you have in mind right now that you want to further expand? Any of these fanfics sequels? ;)
For OF, this year I will be releasing the sequel to Public Display of Everything, the fifth and hopefully sixth book in the Touch Series, begin on my apocalypse series, and write and publish a contemporary romance titled 38.
As for fanfic, of course there’ll be plenty of that, too!
Aside from Fall & Rise and Masen Rules: The Beginning, I have a few projects I’m working on. Vacation with Family is up first, the sequel to the companion stories A Beer with the Guys and A Drink with the Girls.
So. I have a busy year ahead of me! OF info always goes up first on my website, and news about my fanfics end up in my FB group, with the FicSisters, and later on my fanfic blog. :)
And lastly, what is the best advice did you receive from someone in our fandom?
Without a doubt, all the readers who told me I should publish.
Links: Twitter, Facebook, Fanfiction.net, website, FB group (for OF), FB group (for FF.) Remember that you have to be 18 or over (and have your age listed on your FB profile) to join my groups on Facebook.