August 12, 2010

WayWords with LolaShoes, author of the LYLS trilogy & many others.

This is a collaborative interview with LolaShoes by ForksPixie & TwittahMom (Kiva) on our affiliate blog, Peas & Carrots. We really hope you enjoy it. It is a fabulous insightful interview and we are so grateful Lola could take the time out of her busy life as a mom and wife and fanfiction writer to reach out to us and to her readers.

Kiva: I just want you to know that 'Let Your Light Shine' was the first fan fiction I ever read. I write canon and was scared to death to read ‘lemons’ out of fear it would taint my pure Edward. ForksPixie was a big fan of yours and told me if I was to read anything first it needed to be you. I am so grateful I ‘popped my fan fiction cherry’ with your story. You set a standard by which I judge all other fics. I think you, along with a couple of other writers, are what we all aspire to live up to. Thank you for giving us thoughtful, HOT stories.

LolaShoes: You are so sweet – thank you! It’s funny, hearing that makes me both “aww” and cringey because it was my first fic effort and – although I love the story, I do – I see so many things that I wouldn’t do again. Sometimes I wish I could have amnesia and read my own stories as if they were someone else’s. I honestly wonder if I would love them or find them to be just over-the-top smutty fluff. Who knows?

Kiva: Where or how did you end up with your pen/name and the super cute AVI’s that go with it?
LolaShoes: I have no idea where it came from. I love shoes, but I’m not like Carrie Bradshaw or anything. I think I just wanted the name Lola (my nickname in RL is Lo) and honestly I was probably staring at my pink chucks trying to think of something as a pen name.

ForksPixie: When and why did you begin writing? Did you start with Twilight fan fiction or did you write before?
LolaShoes: I wrote silly stories when I was younger, and wrote super deep I’m-such-a-thinker poetry in college, but I would say these stories are my first “real” effort at writing for fun. It surprises me that I’ve stuck with it – I tend to be pretty fickle with hobbies. How funny that I’m finishing the third in a trilogy now. Who’d have known...

ForksPixie: What inspired you to write your first Twi-fan fiction?
LolaShoes: The fade-to-black. It just stuck in my head. I kind of had to know what happened that night, you know? I really only ever intended LYLS to be a one-shot but I wrote it one night and posted it and then the next chapter came into my head. I wrote a chapter a day, and only missed two days because my family visited. I finished it in 19 days and then started ALE. I kind of didn’t realize that people took longer to write things because I had only read completed fics to that point. I think when I wrote LYLS I thought I would get Twilight out of my system and then move back to “real” things in my life. Aaaaand here we are.

Kiva: I know you wrote while you were preggers, even posting shortly after giving birth. That is dedication. Did the hormones help or hurt your writing?
LolaShoes: I was on strict bed rest for 7 weeks before Ninja was born, which gave me lots of time to write ahead a bit. I think I didn’t post for two months after she was born – something like that. But I like to write. It’s my way of unwinding and if I don’t do it regularly it kind of builds up in my head and I get genuinely antsy. So, even with a newborn, I found time. Also, I should be honest: she is probably the mellowest baby around.

ForksPixie: Do you have a specific writing style?
LolaShoes: Ha other than smutty? I don’t know, really. I’m not a literature person – I mean, I read a ton, but I never took creative writing or anything like that so I don’t know if I have a style. I guess that’s a better question for you, as readers.

Kiva: Is there anything that is unique to you that you leave in your stories?
LolaShoes: I think all writers put a piece of themselves in every character they write (whether their own or SM’s). I probably insert myself in both Bella and Edward (ooh pervy). I see a lot of myself in Blissward but tby789 tells me she can hear me saying some of the things I have my Bella say. I think it’s true for all of us because it’s familiar to us to put ourselves into the characters at least somewhat.

ForksPixie: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
LolaShoes: Everything feels harder now (ba dum dum ::cymbal crash::). For some reason, when I wrote LYLS and the first 2/3 of ALE, it was like breathing, it just flowed. Now I don’t know if it’s because I have more readers or because there is more back story to keep internally consistent, or maybe it’s just harder to keep it fresh, but each chapter is a lot harder than it used to be.

ForksPixie: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk; do you listen to music or write in your PJs for example?
LolaShoes: I write all of my lemons with my eyes closed. I simply cannot watch the words appear on the screen or I delete them. I write them and put them down there and then leave them for a bit so I don’t have the immediate urge to delete them all. For better or for worse.

Kiva: How important is your beta Gkkstitch to your process and did you all become friends before or after you started writing? I know she recently made a trip to your house.
LolaShoes: She was a reader on Twilighted – I believe she contacted me while I was writing ALE. She always had really good suggestions and was super critical but in a very lovely way. I could tell that she loved the characters and the story and so her suggestions always felt like they came from a very good place. When I was writing MYMN she became my beta for the last few chapters and has been my beta ever since. It’s strange how it works, because when I was writing LYLS and up to chapter 39 of ALE, I didn’t have a beta and I didn’t really feel like I needed one. Now I need to hear gkkstitch’s opinion on every little bit and I usually end up pasting the chapter in pieces into our chat window as I write. I would say that we became friends through fic and will be friends long after we’re done with fic. This is true for all of my close fic friendships. We came for the stories but stayed because of the people we met.

ForksPixie: How much of your stories are inspired by your own relationships?
LolaShoes: I mean, without getting too personal, I have a really amazing relationship with a really amazing person and even with our busy lives and two little kids and jobs and everything, there are many days where I can’t even tell him how much I love him. I think that feeling, of just watching him and, like, the whole world disappears except for him, helped Love Days come about. I remember when we first met in grad school and we had an opportunity to work at Coachella. We met the rest of the volunteers at 3am at this bus station and for some reason Mr. Shoes and I had to go back to the car to get something and I remember saying to him “I have no idea how I am going to be with you but not touch you for two days.” We were like, “screw this gig” and just drove home and literally stayed in bed the entire weekend, subsisting on a giant Costco bucket of Animal Crackers. I want to capture that feeling of just pure, absorbed love.
I was reading an article a while ago where neuroscientists were interested in the patterns of brain activity during the “honeymoon” phase of a relationship and after many years of marriage. They found that some couples, after thirty years of marriage, had the same reaction (in terms of fMRI) when seeing their spouse walk into a room as couples who had only just started dating. I just love this, love the idea that there is a 70 year old man out there whose heart positively explodes in happiness when he sees his wife.
Anyway, back to the question. Yes, I see pieces of us in the story, but I mean he’s not a vampire and has a normal male refractory period after sex and I can’t come on command (boo).

ForksPixie: What do your family and friends think of your writing?
LolaShoes: My sister thinks it’s fum. She read 'The Sweater' and really enjoyed it. She only got through part of LYLS before I think it was too much for her, but she doesn’t have the full perv going on that I do. My Mom thinks it’s silly, I think. I come from a very intellectual family and I’m not sure they get my Twilight thing. To be fair, I’m not sure I really do, either. My best friend is very supportive and she reads some fic, too. My best guy friend is also completely 100% supportive. Mr. Shoes has a love-hate relationship with it I think. He likes that I’m doing this and enjoying it. He likes the benefits of it (heh), but I think sometimes he thinks it takes up too much of my time, which is probably true.

Kiva: What do family members think of their names? – NinjaShoes, Cutest and Mr. Shoes?
LolaShoes: I think Mr. Shoes thinks his name is funny. I call my kids Cutest and Ninja at home, too, so I’m sure they’re used to it.

ForksPixie: You are almost finished with 'This Hungry World, will you continue writing fan fiction and if so, do you have a story already in the works?
LolaShoes: I have a FGB offering from LYLS and a collaboration with ilsuocantante (wearingwords). I don’t have plans to write more fanfic after I’m done with these things. It isn’t to say it won’t happen, but it’s not in the works.

ForksPixie: Do you think you might want to publish your own original fiction?
LolaShoes: I’d love to but here’s the thing. Having readers in the fanfic world doesn’t translate to having readers in the original fiction world. It’s competitive and somewhat of a crapshoot. Believe me, I’d love to publish a book but I don’t think just because I have X number of reviews that I owe the bigger world a piece of me. This is a funny microcosm that fosters these gigantic egos and yes, I’d love to try to write a book, but who knows if I’ll be successful. I hope so, of course.

ForksPixie: Have you learned anything from writing your stories?
LolaShoes: I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, that it is good to write ahead, that it is good to outline and have a clear picture of where your story is going to end. I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone and shouldn’t try to. I’ve learned to write the story I want to read, not what I think people want from me.

Kiva: More importantly, has Mr. Shoes learned anything from reading your stories?
LolaShoes: Haha awesome. I’m sure he has. He was pretty far ahead of the curve to begin with, though.

ForksPixie: Do you have any advice for other writers?
LolaShoes: Pretty much just what I said above. Write the story you want to read. Don’t write to please reviewers because your truly critical readers – who matter the most, trust me – will see through that shit.

Kiva: What has been the best advice you have ever been given by another writer?
LolaShoes: Algie always says, write what you know. Aside from the fact that we’re writing about sexually-adventurous vampires, it’s true. Write what you know.

ForksPixie: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
LolaShoes: Gosh, I have about a million things I want to say to my reviewers. Mostly just thank you. It’s hard to explain how much the feedback means, and I’m sure that’s true for every writer but especially when I’m doing this as a hobby, it just makes it feel like a community effort, like we’re all in it together. I am terrible at replying to reviews and the honest truth is that I simply don’t have time anymore to do that and update as often as I want. So, I’m sorry for not responding but each review makes my day.

Questions for Fun:

Q: Chuck Taylor or Christian Louboutin
A: Depends on the event. 99% of the time I’d choose Chucks. I usually have to wear nicer shoes to work, though certainly not Louboutin daily.
Q: Guilty pleasure (food):
A: Hm…Doritos. They kill me with their salty deliciousness.
Q: Favorite place you have traveled and why?
A: Ooh this is a hard one. I’ve traveled a lot. I would probably say…Greece or New Zealand. Greece because I went at an age where I was just totally finding myself and it was the most romantic, delicious trip. New Zealand because we stayed on a farm and on the coast for three weeks and it was the picture of relaxed childhood bliss. Each of those places is like a different world but for different reasons. I’d go back to either in a heartbeat.
Q: Your personal aphrodisiac?
A: Seeing my husband with our kids. He’s such a good dad and there’s something so sexy about that to me. It’s also pretty hot when he’s working on his mountain bike or changing the oil on the car. Ohai, cliché.
Q: Home-made, take-out or sit down?
A: If it’s my mother’s cooking, home-made any day of the week.
Q: If there is another baby what is there handle going to be?
A: No more babies!!
Q: Peas or Carrots?
A: Carrots!!

LolaShoes FanFiction Library:
Let Your Light Shine
The Dealership
A Life Extraordinary
My Yes, My No
Bits and Pieces
A Little Crazy
The Sweater
A Little Crazy Outtakes
Burning Alive
More Yes, More No
This Hungry World

Check out her blog LolaLovesShoes

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