Using my blog as an excuse to
stalk & interview has been on my mind even before my first blog post here. Well, as most of you probably figured, one of my ambitions via this blog is to promote fanfictions. Though, finding the interviewees have been quite a daunting task (for those fanfic writers that haven’t heard anything from me yet, well…you will eventually =] ) and locking down to see who should be my first interviewee is even more daunting…Until I met Transmigratory (used to be Usamaro – totally gave me a fright when she changed her online alias all of a sudden and so soon after I met her too!), or more precisely, until I read one of her stories, Sounding Resonance, that she asked me to review. Her light novel writing style had instantly captivated me with its subtle humour and thriller-packed adventurism. Just when I wondered how I should approach her about an interview, she suddenly approached me to apply as a reviewer at my story review shop. Fate is a funny thing.
Anyways, before I proceed any further, please note that there are two parts to this interview, the first part is the actual interview and the second part is a little showcase of her writing. [T = Transmigratory; C = CapriquariusMei]:
C: What got you into fanfic writing?
T: I think I was looking up pictures of my favorite K-pop idols. While looking them up, I would click on the pictures and stuff and I noticed a lot of them led me to this website (Asianfanfics). I got curious and began exploring around, where I found a Goddess fanfiction. To be honest, I stayed because of the colorful posters, I was like “how do they do that?” Anyways, that got me to try it, got addicted, and so I began reading every story she had. If I had read any other story, (or at least some of those poorly written ones) I wouldn’t be on AFF! So after that, I wanted to write my own. That was also when writing became a hobby for me and now I would write whenever I have time!
C: Haha…you stayed for the colourful posters? Yea, actually that happened with me as well, but it was a long time ago and it was at this dead beaten site called Winglin. Then, I think I stayed for AFF after knowing the back story of how this fanfic site came about. By the way, did you read the back story of AFF?
T: Haha, well that was a while ago but now I’m here for reading! I actually haven’t heard of the back story, do tell me.
C: The back story of AFF is surprisingly romantic. Apparently, the founder of AFF, Jason (aka Nichi), created AFF for his girlfriend to have a place to store her Rainie Yang fanfics because Winglin just ain’t working. However, about a year after the AFF got launched, his girlfriend passed away due to pneumonia. He assured that AFF would never be gone from the face of this earth because of girlfriend. In a way, AFF will “always” be here in memory of his girlfriend. Furthermore, he never knew kpop would become so big here on AFF. The full interview can be found here.
T: The story is really sweet… and sad. Also, I tried checking that website out (Winglin), since I got curious. Did it close down? I’ll just assume it did, since I can’t seem to find it anymore.
C: Yea, winglin is totally dead…though, sometimes it would still appear (like a ghost). At least I checked a few months ago and it still seems to be running (more like crawling very slowly to its grave though).
C: I notice that there is always a subtle hint of humour as well as an Japanese manga/anime feel in all your writings that I have seen thus far (which are available to me). Just wondering what or who are some of your biggest influence in writing?
T: Well, before finding AFF, anime was the thing for me. I read tons and tons of manga, watched tons of anime, read light novels (I had no life OTL). But perhaps that’s what has influenced me a bit. I also found fanfiction.net during that time, which I spent more time on. I probably read more from there than I have here! And on that website, there are a couple of notable authors I’d like to mention: Annie Sparklecakes and Poisoned Scarlet, I read so many of their stories that I think I’ve actually incorporated a bit of their writing styles into my own, which does indeed have that sort of Japanese manga/ anime feel.
C: I think what is interesting is that you didn’t give me any names of actual publishing authors (ie. JK Rowling), but names of a couple of serious fanfic writers instead (seeing that they even have their own work being translated by fans, having a blog with an army of followers, and etc.). I certainly see some resemblance between your writing styles and theirs. Though, I believe because you are mostly writing K-pop idol fanfics, your writing did adapt to the circumstances and thus, the final result is that there is a nice blend of realism and adventurism in your story. Whenever I come across your work, I feel as though I’m watching a J-drama. Is there ever a time that you’re afraid your writing style is too influenced by the style of others that you can’t truly define your own style?
T: Yeah, before this I actually didn’t read much. I actually dreaded reading and thought it was boring. However, it has definitely opened up my mind about books since discovering fanfics! Hm… In all of my stories I never do have a set style, perhaps I’m still in the progress of discovering it now. As for your question, I don’t think that my writing style can ever be too influenced by others, because once you incorporate all those different things it becomes your own.
C: That’s good, do keep it up! Unfortunately, I’m actually one of those folks that tends to get influenced by other people’s writing style. For example, some of my chapters for my stories would suddenly have a strong slice-of-life feel if I read Fat Kid Rules the World, a horror/adventurous feel if I read the Fear Street Sagas, and maturely angst (to an certain extent) if I read The Fountainhead. Of course, my writing would never be an exact replica of theirs as a personal element is always involved when it comes to writing. However, I do “cheatingly” use this fact to my advantage at times when I’m stuck with writing down a particular mood or scene.
T: Oh, if that’s the case that does tend to happen to me as well. Whenever I read something, I notice that I have their style… a lot. I’m not sure how to word this, but it’s there.
C: Does anyone in your real life knows that you’re a fanfic writer?
T: I haven’t told anyone yet. To be honest, I feel embarrassed of telling others! I don’t think it’s something to be ashamed of, however I feel as though I’ll be judged otherwise.
C: Yes, that could happen. Though, I personally feel that the landscape of the fanfic world is slowly changing, so hopefully people won’t point fanfic writers out as if they’re fans of Justin Bieber or One Direction (no offense). I’m actually somewhat the exact opposite because I was the first in my group of friends that converted them into joining the fanfic writing scene with me. Although, I didn’t actually call it “fanfic” that time (in fact, I was stupid enough to not know that I was actually writing a fanfic because that term just didn’t register with me at that time), but all my friends knew where it was going.
T: I would love to talk to my own friends about that too.
C: I know you’re an aspiring writer, so when do you think you will publish your very first original novel (or did you already)? And what kind of subject or genre do you think your original novel will be?
T: I haven’t published a novel yet, I’m not sure that day will even come! But if it does come, I would love for it to be a psychological, thriller, mystery sort of thing. Maybe even a bit of horror, though I’m too scared to read horrors myself.
C: You’re even scared to READ horror, but you want to try writing horror? You’re one contradicting, brave soul. Curious, do you have any plan how you’re going to accomplish that?
T: Yes, I’m quite strange like that. And as for how… I’m just going to let my imagination go wild. Although I haven’t exposed myself to horror, I have a general idea of what’s scary and what’s not. Hopefully whatever I find scary others will too!
C: Then, what’s the most scariest thing for you currently?
T: Hmm…nothing supernatural as of now, since I haven’t exposed myself to it in a while. I don’t think about it as often as I used to. But there’s been a lot of news of serial killers and such, so those things scare me. I find myself to be really paranoid sometimes in public places or anywhere seemingly remote. Haha.
C: Most writers tend to be introverts (including myself). Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? Also, how different is your online persona from your real life persona? FYI, my real persona is more messy (and on rare occasions only – I would like to think – VERY awkward and embarrassing) than my online persona.
T: I’m definitely an introvert. I’m an antisocial person who would rather be reading fanfiction than going out to hang out with friends. Haha! Going out is a hassle and I’m just too lazy to deal with people, at least that’s how I think sometimes (Gosh, I sound terrible). And my online persona, hm… I feel like I’m awkward both ways! I used to be super shy on the internet more so than real life, and usually it’s the opposite right? But I’ve grown a bit more… outgoing, you could say, so I’m more comfortable online and in real life. And the way I’m portrayed here; I sort of make myself an intellectual person, I noticed, whenever I talk to others. However in truth, I’m in the same boat as you! Super messy and awkward, I think I’m a weirdo, lol. (Especially at home, but who isn’t?)
C: What’s your perfect (or ideal) writing environment?
T: I need utter silence or music to come up with ideas (and be able to write). If I hear talking (I don’t know why), I just can’t concentrate. I also need a warm, cozy room, with my dogs by my side. They give me a sense of comfort.
C: Okay, I guess that should be about it for the interview. It is certainly a pleasure talking with you about writing and fanfic in general! Anything else you would like to add or anything you would like to advertise right now?
T: Let’s see… Join the HitsuRuki army. They’re what you’d call a crack pairing, but I read a fanfic about them and now I’m addicted. If you want to get into this fandom, I suggest reading Rebecca Pierce’s Mon Cœur S’ouvre à Ta Voix or Blackbelt’s Conversing the Dragon. Also, there isn’t much romance in this one, but When the Jailbirds Sing by Sulfur Dusk is good too.
Surprisingly, raising the awareness for the HitsuRuki crack ship is more important to Transmigratory than promoting her writing at the moment. O__O Well, I can totally relate since raising Song Joongki’s popularity is occasionally more important to me than promoting anything else at all. Heh.
So, anywhoo…Time to join the HitsuRuki army!!