It was only recently that I was introduced to TeamBella23's stories. In fact, the very first thing I read of hers was McFearless. For those of you who don't know, McFearless is a O/S. But, that was enough to know I wanted more. I was immediately addicted, started reading my way through her other stories, and began stalking her on twitter (Just Kidding....well, sort of). When Jess (JMC) so kindly invited me to be a part of this blog, she mentioned including author interviews.
Immediately, I knew I HAD to interview TeamBella23. From what I could already tell, she had a wicked sense of humor and a huge talent for story telling. I was intrigued. I needed to know more. Thankfully, she agreed (even though this is my first ever author interview), and this is the result.
1. I know the answer to this, but for those out there who don't, let's just get this out of the way: Team Edward or Team Jacob?
Hmmm… Team Edward or Team Jacob? I'm Team Bella and Team Rob. Edward is a complete pussy in the book and Jake is annoying as fuck. I like Rob, I like FanFiction "wards" nuff said.
2. How did you come to discover the world of fanfiction? What made you decide to start writing it?
I stumbled upon FFN on accident actually. I Googled 'Twilight outtakes' and a link for a honeymoon o/s came up. I clicked it and it was sexy as fuck…. The husband was sleeping, I was reading smut on my phone. Been hooked on FanFiction since the spot between my legs began to tingle. The reason I decided to write was because after my first taste of smutty goodness I found out there were entire stories… I was intrigued. After a while it was completely apparent that most fics are the same. The same plots with different words. I wanted a badass Edward; one that smokes and fucks and loves profoundly. I was sick of Bella being a whiny twat… insert Closerward (Fuckward) and Smella. From there my mind went into over drive…
3. All of your fics are so different. How do your ideas come to you?
I thought about writing for a while, I think I had just finished Wide Awake and was totally disenchanted with the end. I was in the shower, thinking… if I were to write what would I write? I wanted it to be epic, different… breaking the rules. The car accident scene in Closer was what I was given from the writing Gods. I wrote it right away and the rest gushed. I knew I wouldn't let it come easy for Closerward and Smella. Love isn't simple, its hard and you have to fight. Revelry; Revelry is entirely special to me. I had a friend in high school who was a cutter. I read lots of fics where Edward does coke but by some ungodly miracle he is cured and they move on like nothing happened. Revelry was not supposed to be the angst bucket it has turned out to be but my mind works in strange ways. Same for Aha Shake, Four Kicks and McFearless… I don't know, it just comes to me. Milk, well that is just some psycho fucking shit!
4. Prior to writing fanfiction, did you write? If so, what?
I didn't write prior to FanFiction. I think the beginning and the first draft of Closer, if you were unlucky enough to read it, makes that very apparent. Closer was some kind of fuckery let me tell you… gah, don't remind me. Next….
5. You are currently writing several fics all at the same time. Do you find this difficult or does it come naturally?
I am actually writing four different fics right now; Revelry, Aha Shake, Four Kicks and McFearless. Not to mention the contests and shit like that I insist on writing for. It's hard, difficult but manageable. Jaime, my beta, is a fucking Godsend. Without her I would be a mess… I enjoy it though.
6. Do you have a preference between writing angst heavy fics like Revelry or lighter comedic material like Aha Shake? Do you have a preference between AH or AU?
This is a tough one, I'm not sure if I have a preference. I think I have figured out a happy medium. Revelry is fucking torture to write… I swear I am the biggest sissy while I write that shit. I cry, almost every time I do but once the chapter is done and sent to Jaime it flips off and I can become witty enough to write Aha Shake or creative enough to write Four Kicks. McFearless… that came from being frustrated with slash fics. I mean, seriously…. Why do they always fall in love and become all "gay' in every story? (with the exception of a few… cough… Uncomfortable… cough … Raw and Rosy … cough … How to turn a Gay Man Straight.) I prefer to read all human. Vampire fics are strange… I've only read one vampire fic where Edward drinks blood and has sex. I plan to change that with Four Kicks, which was a dare to write by my twitter followers by the way. So was McFearless for that matter.
7. So as you know, I was introduced to your work through McFearless, which is your slash O/S. What was your experience writing slash? When do you anticipate starting on the full length version?
McFearless; a complete accident and freak of nature. A reader and twitter follower, hearbynite, challenged me to write a slash. I wrote it, hated it but was encouraged to enter it into The Backslash 2.0 contest. Go fucking figure its one of my most successful stories. Authors I drool over fucking read and reviewed, not to mention all of my faithful followers who never even read a slash loved it. I am going to continue McFearless as soon as the contest is over, it may not be a full length fic but a definite novella. So expect that in the next month or so… *facepalm*
8. As most people know, the first fic you wrote was Closer. You've told me more than once that you have a love/hate relationship with Closer. Can you explain why this is? Also, if you could change anything about Closer, would you? If yes, then what?
Ugh, Closer; Pièce de résistance. I would change a lot about Closer…. People love it but let me fucking tell you, I got my ass chewed and spit the fuck out over it. I am proud I stuck to my guns and wrote the ending the way I did. I love Closer and everything it stands for… I just hate the way the first half is written. It was my first, and it shows. I hate the way I wrote it and hate the way I described some of the characters. I hate that I had Edward call Bella, Isabella… even if it was only once. I don't know, I love Closer and I am grateful for it. I just don't want anyone reading it and making up their mind about me because of it. I have improved so much…. My biggest regret about Closer/CW… one word, Goochie. I wish I never wrote Goochie into the fic. I wasn't going to but my readers begged for a baby. Closer/CW are huge accomplishments for me and put my name out there so to say, I like to think it sort of changes the way people look at Bella and Edward and showed people that not all fics are fucking cupcakes and sweet nothings. So yeah, I love and hate it. (who the fuck says these things about their own fic?)
9. Can you give me the first word that comes to mind for each one of your fics?
The first word that comes to my mind about all of my fics? Well shit… ummm…ok. Closer; indecent. California Waiting; stimulating. Revelry; torment. Aha Shake; amusing. Four Kicks; innovative. McFearless; inappropriate. Milk; (can't forget Milk) Obsessed.
10. You recently passed 1,000 reviews on yet another one of your fics, Revelry. How does it make you feel to know that so many people appreciate and love your work?
I remember when both Closer and California Waiting passed 1000 reviews. I was so thrilled, I think my husband got double humped those nights. Revelry just passed 1000 reviews this week and let me tell you, I am ecstatic. Revelry is a hard sell. I think a lot of my readers went into Revelry expecting Closer and CW and when they didn't get it shied away. I've had a group of Revelry readers, about 30 or 40 of hardcore readers who have stuck with me since day one but this last month the read count has sky rocketed. I'll tell anyone this any day, Revelry is precious to me. I love it, more so than Closer and CW. The fact that people are finally reading and recommending it like fucking crazy is great. I think it's a must read, and in my own opinion is better than the "Angsty" fics out there. I am proud of it and am not ashamed of stating that fact. Thanks everyone who is reading, rec'ing and reviewing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
11. I've seen authors say their fictional characters take on lives of their own and often alter their original plans for the story. Do you find your characters ever take over?
Ha! My characters live inside of my head. They tell me what to do and how to say it. Closerward, that fucker caused more drama on twitter than I care to speak about. So yeah, they create a life of their own. Writing is touch and go, you think you're going to write one thing and something different types itself out. That's just the name of the game.
The following questions were submittted by TeamBella23's readers via Twitter. Thank you to all you lovely ladies!
1. You have a deliciously creative edge to your writing; It is addicting. When did you start writing creatively? (via brkfastatbellas)
Well, Brkfastatbellas… this so called delicious and creative writing started with Closer. I didn't write before. I do hair, I am a cosmetologist in real life so it came out of frustration with the fandom and a craving for something edgy myself. I am glad people pair me with edgy writing, its exactly what I wanted.
2. You write so many different fics. Do you write on a schedule or simply when inspiration strikes? (via brkfastatbellas)
I don't necessarily have a writing schedule. I have this peculiar, unhealthy anxiety about updating. I have to update every week or I feel guilty. Its uncanny and I hate it but it controls me. I write everyday, I go in a order; Revelry, Aha Shake, Four Kicks and soon I will add McFearless to the end of that.
3. You write predominantly angst fiction. Do you have to be in an emo mood in order to write or do you just write? (via Kharisma2)
lol… no, I don't have to be in a "emo" mood to write but it helps. Think of my brain, now think of my brain having different switches. Each switch is labeled; Revelry, Aha Shake, Four Kicks…so on. I can switch them on and off and my mood will switch accordingly. Music helps, anger helps….
4. Music or Silence when you write? If you listen to music, what? (via Kharisma2)
Music, lots and lots of music. I love Lydia and Sia; that shit fuels me when writing the distressing stuff. I can't listen to it while I'm writing but I have to before I start and if I come up on a block, I will stop writing long enough to listen to a song and start again.
5. What are the hardest things to write (fights, sweetness, filler, lemons, etc.)? (via Kharisma2)
Lemons, for sure. It's hard to be creative and think of new ones each time. I've written a lot of sex and each is a challenge. I'm not into Dom/Sub stuff so that is out… you want each lemon to be stimulating and to depict dissimilar emotions; anger, love, heartless. Its challenging, I think my lemon for McFearless was the most testing.
6. What inspired you to name all your fics after Kings of Leon songs? (via UNF4Rob)
Choosing names for a fic is difficult. When the car accident scene from Closer came to me I automatically knew Closer would be the chapter song, or that it would help me write it. It was an easy choice, California Waiting was not so simple but I actually though of Revelry before I even started CW. I wanted to write Revelry while was still writing Closer…. Looking through KoL's song list CW was an easy choice once I saw it so I went with it. Its my thing I guess, makes choosing titles simple. I love KoL, they are the ultimate goodness so it's fitting. I am a total Sex on Fire hater because of it though…js. (just kidding) Naming them after KoL songs allows me to be original and unique.
7. How did Smella and Fuckward first come to you? (via UNF4Rob)
They came to me in the shower (that's what she said)
8. Was it hard to write about anxiety attacks being as you suffer from them as well? (via UNF4Rob)
It was hard, particularly hard. Anxiety attacks are no laughing matter. I have suffered Anxiety, Panic disorder for about five years. In fact it replaced my eating disorder, writing about it is a trigger. I was a mess after Closer, utterly. If you live with them you'll understand…. If you don't, consider yourself lucky. I think it allowed Closer to be believable… lots of authors write about panic attacks but sugar coat it, I didn't. I wrote about the grunting and the kicking. The urge to twist and bend and break. The super human strength and the exhaustion. Wonderful question UNF4Rob… really.
9. If you were Alice or Emmett, how would you feel about Bella and Edward's relationship in Closer/CW? (via MaryMABSAlice)
In CW? Betrayed. I think anyone dealing with them would feel the same way; Frustrated and tired. They were not easy to deal with and I didn't once write them to care about anyone else but themselves. I get slammed a lot for that. People have quit reading as a result of their selfness but I write truth. Love, it makes you selfish… detrimental love like they share, especially. Edward and Bella in Closer/CW care only for themselves for a while, until they realize they need support but even then its limited. So if I were Alice and Emmett I would feel deceived.
10. What would you suggest they do about their co-dependency and jealousy issues? (via MaryMABSAlice)
What would I suggest? That its sickening and disturbing but who wouldn't want to be loved by Edward so desperately? As fucked up as it is, its enchanting and desirable. To be so caught up and connected to someone like Closer's Bella and Edward are…. Fuck, could you imagine?
11. Is Revelry easier or harder to write than Closer/CW? Why or Why not? (via Hayboo05)
Revelry is much harder but that's only because they are completely different. I wasn't affected the same way by Closer/CW as I am by Revelry. Revelry is difficult and I am often left fatigued afterward.
12. What stories are you currently reading? (via Kharisma2)
What am I reading right now. It is no fucking secret that I am extremely selective about what I read. It's near impossible for me to find anything I can stick with… I'm not one for fluff or dark pasts. I hate secrets and virgins. Lol…. Right this moment I am reading a few fics. I'm completely owned by Twinned right now. How to Turn a Gay Man Straight, Raw and Rosy and Just Wait are what I yearn for. I just finished Goodnight, Noises Everywhere and We Used to be a Love Story. Grave Intentions, C-56 and Stampede of a Thousand Pulses are all fantastic but I literally fucking squeak when Twinned updates. (Readers of interview- "Oh my goodness, she doesn't list MoTU or EP?") yeah, no…. I haven't read them. Call me crazy, go ahead. My beta Jaime reads and summarizes each chapter for me. I cheat.
13. What is your favorite story of all time? What is your favorite author? (via Kharisma2)
Bookends is my very favorite fic in the entire fandom. It left me in the fetal position and I quit that shit twice before I finished. My favorite author is BellaExeQtnER; writer of Bookends. ss10 is a close second.
14. Finally, if you could say anything to your readers or would be readers, what would it be?
Wow, where do I begin? Thank you isn't adequate enough. My stories are what they are because you allow them to be, you defend me and encourage me. My readers push me to be better, I sometimes think I take this writing shit too seriously. This fandom, this fandom isn't real life but when I receive reviews and praise from you it makes it imperative. Its important to me that you care enough to take time away from your families and jobs to read something that I wrote…me! I mean who the fuck am I? You follow me on twitter and talk about me on your blogs… that's huge, that's a big deal. So yeah, I thank you…. from the bottom of my heart I thank you. I hope after meeting me (through twitter, etc.) that you grow to like me. I am stubborn and loud. I cuss a lot, I don't follow rules and am not the "it" thing but I do this for the ones who make me feel like I am. This is madness, it really is. Jaime, my other half. You earned yourself a vagina pinch and a head lock. Js.
I'd like to thank TeamBella23 for agreeing to this interview and for being so candid. Anyone who has not yet read her work, please click on the links below.
You can find TeamBella's stories here:http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1884161/
Check out her blog here:http://teamcloserward.blogs/
Be sure to follow her on twitter @Teamsmella23