Valerie Rutherford (fireflys_locket) wrote,
Valerie Rutherford

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Get to Know the Writer Tag

1. At what age did you start to get serious about writing?

I’m not sure what I would say “serious” means to me. For years, I was very serious about writing fanfiction. But probably what most people would consider “getting serious”, was when I started writing Dreaming in Shadow. I was fourteen, in my first year of high school, and absolutely certain I had discovered the idea that would be my first real novel. Almost fifteen years later, I still haven’t finished Dreaming in Shadow. (For various reasons.) But I’ve never given up on it. It is the first book that really created my universe, even though the story that later became Magic Inc. was much older.

2. What was your first piece of writing about?

I suppose my first piece of writing was a poem I had to write for school. But the first piece of writing I did completely by choice was a short bit of Harry/Hermione fanfiction that was heavily influenced by another writer’s work. It wasn’t very good, as you might imagine. I was only eleven when I wrote it.

3. Do you make media based on your writing?

I practically cannot write without music, so playlists (or soundtracks as I tend to call them) are an essential part of my creative process. I cannot draw for the life of me, but I do enjoy making characters on The Sims 2. They often look pretty similar when it comes to facial features, because I’m not very adventurous with the sliders. But I focus on getting the hair, eyes, makeup, clothes, accessories, and personality points right. Once in a long while, I will make a house or building on the game as well. Making the Parker house was really helpful in writing certain scenes in Magic Inc. I have very recently started making moodboards for my characters. Something I was scared to do because of poor photo editing skills and potential copyright issues. But I’m actually having a lot of fun with it, now that I’ve let myself be free to mess around.

4. What inspired the idea behind your current, most prominent WIP?

Magic Inc. is based on a combination of my childhood experiences with bullying and the fantasy world I built up as an escape from it. The series follows young Jane Roberts, who discovers magic, friendship, and first (unrequited) love in Book One. In Book Two, which is nearly complete, the shy and anxious Jane will face panic attacks and increased bullying. Not to mention the revelation of her true powers and the pain of watching the older boy she believes to be her Soulmate date someone else. All of these things combine to give Jane enough reason to try to see into her future. Which has unexpected consequences.

5. Are there any tropes you hate to see in stories that seem to be popular?

I don’t think that there are any tropes that I absolutely hate. I tend to not be into love triangles, because I’m big on forever soulmates. I also don’t usually like finding second love after a partner’s death, for that same reason. And I’ve mostly grown out of my obsession with love/hate relationships. But I think any trope can be done well by the right author and/or set of circumstances. Honestly, what bothers me more than over-used tropes are people complaining about over-used tropes. Yes, sometimes authors rely too heavily on certain tropes. Sometimes they use love triangles to spice up a bland story line. Sometimes they use instant connections to skip over relationship development. But that doesn’t mean that every story that has a love triangle or instant connection is garbage. (I basically hate the term insta-love at this point.) Authors use tropes because it’s what they love to write. If you’re not into certain tropes, that’s totally fine! You don’t have to be. But why do we have to bash authors and other readers for what they like?

6. Are there any tropes that you love to see in stories, but they’re rarely portrayed?

I just love genuine connections between characters. Whether they are a connection that starts from a spark at the moment two characters meet, or builds up over time, or ideally, some combination. I like romance that doesn’t put a big focus on how “hot” the characters are, but instead is based on who they are. If there is an instant connection, I like it to be focused on the energy between two characters, not just the physical attraction. Something that takes time to figure out. I don’t know if any of these things are really tropes. I also enjoy soulmates and forbidden love. And best friends who fall in love. But I don’t think those are rare.

7. Do you prefer stories that focus more on characters or on the plot?

Characters. Always characters. Intricate plots are great, but if I don’t feel connected to the characters, I’m not likely to enjoy a story enough to care.

8. If you had to base a candle off of your protagonist, what would its name and scent be?

I’d probably call Jane’s candle Always Forever (because she craves a forever love), and it would smell like berries and almond cake.

9. Are there any authors that have inspired you or your work?

I hesitate to call any authors a direct inspiration now. At this point, I’ve figured out my own style and process. But there are certainly lots of authors and other creators who influenced me endlessly as I was developing my own style. Magic and world-building from J.K. Rowling. Emotional intensity from Ai Yazawa. I made a post about my most influential books here recently. And honestly, just about every piece of art I take in gives me some level of inspiration. It’s so amazing how many stories can touch your heart in some way.

10. Which of your characters do you feel you’ve put most of yourself into?

Jane in Magic Inc. is completely me. Her life is a mixture of the things I went through at her age and the things I daydreamed about. Jane loves deeply, feels deeply, and is easily hurt. She is anxious and obsessive. She feels like an outsider and just wants to feel loved and accepted. Our experiences are not exactly the same, but Jane and I are the same at our core. She is me. And that’s what is scary about sharing her with the world.

Taken from Tumblr. Tagging anyone who hasn't done it and wants to.
Tags: books, dreaming in shadow, fandom, harry potter, intros, magic inc, manga, music, nana, surveys, the sims, writing

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