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inkpopper of the Week: Jennii

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on June 6, 2011

“Hmm… about me… well, I have a thing for grammar. It’s the only reason I’m passing English because, quite frankly, I don’t like freshman English; perhaps it’s the only thing I’m capable of despising besides laws that aren’t constitutional and breaches of freedom of speech (I heart the First Amendment).

“I’m a bit of a headbanger. Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame and Otep Shamaya of… well, of Otep, are my musical idols. Concerts are my weekend activities when I have the cash to buy tickets and there’s a good band playing locally. But don’t let that fool you. I’m on the youth leader council for my youth group and have been going to church for somewhere around a decade. I have a love/hate relationship with my DSLR.

“As for the trivial things, I am a southern California resident. I live in a boring suburb that doesn’t even qualify as a small town because every inch of space has a house crammed in there. I hope to go to college at Trinity in Dublin, Ireland because I like European history, Trinity has a good English department, and Ireland is gorgeous. I have a three-legged dog who is made of awesome. I am a nerdfighter (DFTBA). I read a lot and it disrupts my sleep habits, but it’s not as if I don’t write until I’m hunched over the keyboard with my eyes half-open on a regular basis. Speaking of which, I like writing. Just thought I’d throw that in there.”

It’s a good thing that Jenni (aka Jennii) likes writing, because the people of inkpop? Well, to put it bluntly, they love her work – as evident by the Gold Star her project Stake My Heart earned in February 2011, and the rapid pace at which her new project, Things Unseen, is climbing the charts.

Your project Stake My Heart is incredibly popular on inkpop, and received a gold star in the February 2011 Top Picks. How did it feel to see it garner so much success; and receive such a fantastic review? Is Stake My Heart a project that you are still working on, or have you shelved it for the time being to devote time to something new?

Jennii: It felt a little bit… odd? I’d written a few novels already, but I never let anyone see those. Then, I sign up to this site, write this novel that I only wrote because I wanted to write about a metal band, and suddenly I have people telling me they love Michael and that the band reminds them of this one band I used to be into, Black Veil Brides (that was certainly an ironic comment, as I’d just interviewed the guitarist). The review was nice.

In relation to the next question, it kind of made me annoyed with the fact that Stake My Heart has been discontinued. Especially since starting Things Unseen and having people respond to it even better, I just don’t have any interest in SMH. Not to mention, I read over the last ten or so chapters that I crammed in just to finish. It’s weird to see my own improvement that’s happened in just the past year—and I thank God that I improved.

Your most recent project, Things Unseen, has only been on the site since March 31, 2011, yet it is already ranked as # 138 on the charts, and climbs higher with each passing day. How does it feel to know that you are quickly on your way to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?

Jennii: Well, this is the first time I’ve seen the rank in a few weeks, so I’m not sure how to feel. I’ve actually paid no attention to where it’s been. I don’t scroll down my page to see it, and I cover the part of the screen when I’m updating. It’s nice to know that it’s still climbing, though (thanks, Zoey and whoever else has been promoting).

As for what’s going through my mind… I need to work on chapter twenty-one, I need to edit sixteen, seventeen, and maybe another one before Zoey spams me, and I need to go back and fix up some little things that I keep forgetting to fix up. If it gets into the top five, it will come as a surprise to me the day I log in, seeing as I’m not looking at the rank. I’d be honored, but it starts to feel anti-climactic, in all honesty. I forgot about SMH’s review for a couple weeks after February ended, then one of the other February top fivers messaged me, asking if I was anxious. It felt odd. All I want is the input; numbers really aren’t my thing.

Both of your projects fall into the Horror / Paranormal / Romance genre. Would you say that this is your favorite genre to write? Would you ever consider writing something completely different from these genres? If so, which one and why?

Jennii: I’d say that it’s what I’m most familiar with. I’ve been reading it for years now. Romance is generally a mainstay in whatever I read; I’m a terrible romantic, despite not liking to date. Paranormal and horror are nice, but that’s just where most of my ideas fall in most instances. I’ve got two ideas that I’ve been playing with that are both different. One is a general fiction idea that I’ll probably never write simply because it’s straight-up romance (think mass-market paperbacks by one of those middle-age women who can pump out nine books every five years). The other is in the outlining stages until I finish Things Unseen and will be a dystopian romance, although it may tip-toe the line of horror as some of my other projects have done.

Obviously, what with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and other vampires in pop culture, people are incredibly opinionated when it comes to them. Seeing as how vampires are a focal point in Stake My Heart, what are your thoughts on them, and how they are represented in the entertainment industry (books/movies/TV)? How do you feel your vampires compare?

Jennii: I feel that they’re fictional beings with roots in ancient superstition. Every culture has its vampires. I’ve done research into it for my last three books, and it’s really made me aware of the fact that they differ so much. It’s ridiculous how people bicker over them. There really is no “real” vampire. The one we know best is the one that’s due to uneducated, superstitious people digging up bodies and seeing the natural states of composition (bloating, skin pulling back from fingers and toes to make nails appear to be still growing, etc.) and assuming their dead Great Uncle Bernard has been chomping on the villagers. Other cultures believe in demons that feed on the psyches of their victims. There’s a whole culture today where people call themselves “psy-vamps” and “feed” on the emotions of others.

I think that it’s great that writers are creating their own idea of the vampire, but some variety is nice. That’s what I like about my vampires; they stick to tradition. I love writing the hero that’s just plain Michael/Aidan/Keir/etc. or just plain Aria/Haven/Belle/etc. They have their weaknesses, and there’s just about nothing they can do to be more than human. When the monster’s got the best cards in the deck, the hero and heroine have more room to grow stronger; they have to work hard to win, and that lets them develop more.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Jennii: Random little things. Like I said, Stake My Heart came about because I wanted to write about a metal band. I fronted a metal band, so I guess that’s where the idea first stemmed from. The watch on the cover of Things Unseen actually belongs to me. It’s a 108-year-old Ingersol Junior from my great-grandfather. I was holding it one day and just thinking about all the history that’s in it. The thing is so damaged inside, it’s got to have seen a lot. It felt almost magical because I adore history, and that watch has been through almost the entire twentieth century. Things Unseen spawned from that and a bunch of little notes about the idea.

I also tend to get ideas from little things I see, but that’s usually for little bits and pieces of scenes. It’s fun to imagine the stories behind certain people, and that sometimes creates a new story or scene in my head.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

Jennii: I have no idea who wrote the Magic Treehouse series, but those were my first chapter books. I stayed up reading them until one, much to my parents’ chagrin. I also loved my books on Greek mythology, bugs, and dinosaurs, but I’ve got the same plight there. R.L. Stine held my attention fairly well. I only read some of the Goosebumps books, but they were enough to feed my little mind.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite song? Palace in Flames or Fetish for the Finite by Fearless Vampire Killers (Look them up; they’re amazing and need a bigger American fan base.)
What’s on your iPod? Fearless Vampire Killers, Slipknot, Casting Crowns, Otep, HorrorPops, Rise Against.
Hidden talent? I can lick my elbow, but people are more surprised that I can sing.
Twilight or Harry Potter? Harry Potter.
Book you could read over and over again? None. My mind retains things for two years, at the least. If it’s gone sooner, it’s not worth rereading.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: Lithiawood

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 30, 2011

“Well, the name is Lithia, for starters. I was named after a park –– my mom’s favorite place in the world. I recently turned seventeen years old and I’m wrapping up my junior year of high school, as well as my cultural exchange program in France. That’s right, I’m an American in Paris the South of France. No worries though, I’ll be back on home turf July 11th. 😉

“My official pets: My cats, Cleopatra (Cleo), Hero (Coffee face), and Slyvia; and my dog, Desdemona (Dessie). They’re all named after Shakespearean characters because my mom is Shakespeare’s number one fangirl.

“My nonofficial pets: Ted, the possum who visits to munch on cat food every once in a while; the multitude of Ghost Cows who live in the woods around my bus stop; the hundreds of Peepers (tree frogs) who talk to me 24/7 all summer long; and Bob, a Stork who likes to drop by for sushi (my parents claim he’s a Heron but I know better –– how else would we get new little baby fishies each year?).

“I play the alto saxophone in my school’s band, marching band, and jazz band, and over the summer I play in a community band. I’ve been in love with it since I started, wayyyy back in the fourth grade.

“I also love theater –– I took my first drama class my freshman year and when it became an option, I immediately signed up to do the school musical (Crazy for You) too. That summer I went to a three week acting camp in Brooklyn, New York and had the best time of my life, and my sophomore year I took Advanced Drama and played the idiotic doctor in Oliver! Improv games and monologues are two of my favorite activities ever, I never get tired of ‘em.”

Another thing Lithia (aka Lithiawood) never gets tired of? Editing! Though the projects Lithia has posted here on inkpop show that she loves to put pen to paper to churn out short stories and poems; her one true love is actually editing the work of others.

According to your profile, on June 25, 2011, you will be posting a nonfiction project on inkpop about “writing mistakes you’re making, an educational self-helper based on the largest mistakes I’ve seen fellow teen writers making (and how to fix them, of course).” Is this something that inkpoppers have requested that you write, or was it something you decided to do on your own? Can you give us any extra information about this project?

Lithiawood: I first got the idea within a week of being on inkpop, just because I looked at the essay section and saw no one had done it before. One crazy fit of writing later and I had it posted. It got really positive reviews, so I’m excited to bring the new and improved version to inkpop and see how well it’s received this time. It’s something near and dear to me, mostly because I’m an editor at heart and I hate seeing new writers making the same silly mistakes. While it most certainly isn’t going to baby walk you through the process of creating a hit, it does outline easy things you can do to make your journey that much easier.

Your profile states that you love to edit people’s work…where did this passion come from?

Lithiawood: I guess it has to be in the genes. My dad’s side of the family consists almost entirely of professors and when I used to let him read over my essays for school he’d mark them up so much I’d have to re-write the entire thing. Three or four times. And my mother is a grammar freak like I am, so…there you go. Baby, I was born this way. XD

Currently, you have six projects posted on inkpop, all of which fall into the poem and/or short story category. Have you ever written a fiction book? If not, is this something you would contemplate doing in the future – why or why not?

Lithiawood: I have started writing several fiction books, but finished none. There’s one I’m working on right now, either called I’m Too Sane For That or just Sane, depending on what day you ask me, about a girl who decides to blame a crying binge in the school bathroom on her absent alcoholic mother. I also have a science fiction book running around in my head, based on my short story, [Erase], about a world where scientists perform experiments years long on brainwashed humans and then wipe their brains before they re-enter society.

You write, you edit…which do you feel embodies you more – writing fiction of your own or editing the work of others? Why?

Lithiawood: Now, don’t go calling me a cheat for not choosing, but I like to think of the two as my ying and yang. You know how people usually use their left brain or their right brain more? The creative and logical sides of a person. But I don’t think I use one more than the other; I’ve always been this balanced creative-and-yet-also-academic mixture. The fact that I am so engrossed in both the creative and technical aspects of writing embodies that.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Lithiawood: Life influences me (what else could?). I draw a lot from my own life, or bigger issues in the world that bug me. The double-standards of homophobia inspired my poem, Gold, and my personal realization of the importance of religious tolerance is the basis for I’d Thought I Was Right, my other poem. The basic journalist dilemma inspired the moral crisis in [Erase], and aspects of my own life are where Sane’s plot comes from. I could go on and on…but I think you see the point. 😉

I think I write about those things because they’re the most important to me, and a lot of the time I need a good venue to get rid of excess frustration from me worrying so much about them. Writing is that venue; it’s brilliant therapy.

Do you hope to see your nonfiction project make it into the Top 5?

Lithiawood: I hope. Who knows if it will happen. But it would be amazing, yes. I’d love to see what an editor would make of it, not to mention that means a lot more people would read it. And my book can’t help people unless they read it!

If you were to sit down at this very moment, and write a fiction novel, what genre would it be and why?

Lithiawood: The genre would probably be humor, because I think that’s an under-appreciated genre at the moment. All these melodramatic paranormal epic prophecies and demons from hell and long, hard roads ahead…seriously authors, a good book can be one that makes people laugh too (if Akajar can do it so can you)! Oh, and it’d be science fiction as well, because I love social relations science fiction more than anything (can I hear an Ender’s Game woot woot?!).

As someone who has been bitten by the editing bug…what is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing? What will turn you off to a project immediately?

Lithiawood: My biggest pet peeve is when I see a project that has not undergone basic proofreading. If you haven’t run your story through a spell-checker or re-read it for silly typos, it’s really obvious, and it shows the reader you don’t respect them enough to at least try and present something…presentable. No, you do not have to catch every single mistake in your writing (the hard stuff is what inkie critics are there for), but you do have to take out some time to look it over and fix whatever glaring errors there are. That part at the very least is not my job. 😉

On a scale of 1 to 10, how helpful do you think your nonfiction project will be to inkies and why?

Lithiawood: It will vary person to person, but I think the key is that it should be able to help everyone with something. Say you know everything there is to know about writing a good plot, that just means that while the plot chapter might not help, maybe the grammar chapter will. Or maybe you know everything there is about writing –– you can help me out and let me know what I’ve missed (and I’m an inkie so that counts)!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lithiawood: Six tidbits of randomness:

1 – The word for someone who critiques is a critic. The whole “critiquers” thing? No.
2 – (Lexie Pooh, don’t read this one) I’m going to see a legit bullfight in June. I’m excited. It should be cool. 🙂
3 – Guys, Lydia’s SPLENDIFEROUS WEEK OF UPDATES or something is coming up! Y’alls better be ready! Message Lydia Bloomfield for more details!
4 – Go listen to Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. DO IT. *mind powers, enforces yoda*
5 – To be added to the updates list for Writing Mistakes You’re Making message meh.
6 – The reason my photos are all funky looking is because I’m obsessed with Picnik.com right now. 😛

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite TV show? Of all time? Gilmore Girls. Currently? Misfits.
What’s on your iPod? SO MANY! (*brain melt*) Classic Disney, OneRepublic, The Fray, Taylor Swift, Mika.
Lucky number? 9
The Hunger Games…Peeta or Gale? Peeta, bien sûr! Frosting + hot guy is always okay in my book. 😉
You’re stranded on a desert island, what five books do you take with you? The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Ulysses, The Neverending Story, The Hobbit, and How To Get Un-stranded On A Desert Island With Only Five Books To Keep You Company (or if that one’s unavailable, East).

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: A.K.A101

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 23, 2011

“Hi, everyone! My name is Rebecca, though most of you know me by my pen name Alexia or just good old A.K.A (or akajar). As you can tell by my screen name, I have a large amount of nicknames which range from ‘Moose’ to ‘Canada.’ I’m a sixteen year old high school student who lives nearby the city of Chicago.

“I’ve been writing on a regular basis since I was twelve, but I really have been doing it long before that. I just started posting on the web around half a year ago, and how far I’ve come never ceases to stun me. I still get ideas all the time which gives me another nickname ‘The girl of a thousand stories.’ I have a habit of spacing off during the most random of times in my own little world which drives my friend’s nuts.

“I’m a dabbler in all of the arts besides writing. Not great at any of them, but I love playing around with each. I’m a cartoonist, sketcher, singer, and most strangely of all a bassoon player (Which is like a combo of a tuba and an oboe. Look it up). I live and breathe off music; it’s a little unearthly.”

Another thing that’s a little unearthly? Rebecca’s (aka A.K.A101) imagination and ability to create plots, settings, and characters that are unique, quirky, and purely her own, as seen in her popular inkpop project When the Dead Walk, We Run.

Though your project When the Dead Walk, We Run is labeled as being a blend of adventure, horror, and humor, it comes with a warning from you stating *Not for the Faint of Heart*. Can you explain this warning to us – why was it put in place? Do you feel that this warning has served to draw more readers in – why or why not?

A.K.A101: Ah, the warning. I think the main reason I put it in place is because I just don’t want someone picking it up before bed and getting scared out of their wits. It’s not exactly a scary novel, but there are parts of intense gore and just like how some other inkies have warnings for intense content, I thought I should do the same. I don’t want to give anyone a panic attack. That being said, it really hasn’t affected much. Mostly, I think it draws in hard core horror fans who think it’s going to be too light and fluffy, and captures humor fans who want some spice.

When the Dead Walk, We Run is such an original, fun project in that it is full of zombies, quirky characters, and an irresistible MC. Do you feel that these qualities are responsible for When the Dead Walk, We Run’s popularity on inkpop?

A.K.A101: I think it really is. When the Dead Walk, We Run, is such an odd duck. It’s really a mix of lots of genres reaching out to anything you want. Even if that’s a love of gore, or just wanting to laugh. I really think the main thing that hooks people, though, is the characters. I always get comments on how people say if they ran into Morgan on the street she already seems so real that they wouldn’t be shocked. That kind of realism I think helps pull a reader in, and gives me some solid ground in a zombie novel.

In your profile you state “Next book up is ‘Brightening Darkness’ which is coming out this summer. Your clues are monsters, shadows and paranormal romance.” Aside from the clues already mentioned, is there anything else you can tell us about this project?

A.K.A101: Brightening Darkness is a bit strange itself. There’s a long winded story behind it, so I’ll try to just go short. I have a very large series called There Dark Days. It’s a fantasy novel, rather complex, but in around the third book there’s a side character introduced that’s just very complex. I tried writing a story for her before during the same time TDD takes place, but I found it was rather redundant. So then I considered what if her real story is years later, what if her story is in modern times. Brianna is that character. The novel is about shape shifting monsters called shadow demons that have problems with human emotions. Brianna’s closest friend Nathaniel taught her how to embrace her human side, and when he goes missing she does to anything to get him back. It’s a little odd for me, since it’s a beautiful, twisted, paranormal, romance with lots of back-story, but I pray I can pull it off.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for When the Dead Walk, We Run? Where did the ideas for this particular project stem from?

A.K.A101: This is going to sound really cheesy and tacky, but from a dream, really. I had been reading a zombie novel before I went to bed (in hindsight was not one of my greater ideas) and had a dream where I got eaten by zombies. That dream thrust me into the whole ‘how about I write a zombie novel’ idea. The humor was a given, since I was working on Chasing Jake at the time and wanted to do something light hearted. It really came together as a whole when I was doing character building and wondering why Morgan and Isaac didn’t get together at the end. I had a moment where I realized she was gay, then I just sat there for a moment thinking ‘I’m writing a humorous zombie adventure novel, staring a closeted lesbian sharpshooter, a nerd, and a dog named Fred. What have I gotten myself into?’ Still haven’t answered that question yet.

What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?

A.K.A101: I think it’s a combo of two things: characters and just quirkiness. My characters tend to be each their own person; each has their own back story and life which makes them seem almost real. As with the quirkiness, I like to do things that have never been done before, or do things that have been done before in a totally twisted way. I don’t like writing about normal things; there’s no such thing. Everywhere you look you have something odd; that oddness really can bring a story to life.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

A.K.A101: Music. A single song can give me an idea sometimes and it’s amazing how it works. I find myself being swept away by something not real. That and life in general gives me a lot of ideas. I find that doing ‘what ifs’ on normal life can give you some of the most brilliant ideas. Like, what if my brother went missing? What would I do? I thought go after him and that’s what really inspired Chasing Jake.

What made you fall in love with writing?

A.K.A101: When I was a little girl I was shy and very anxious. I all so had an imagination the size of Russia. So whenever I got overly stressed I would escape into my own little world, making up the most complex stories to go with it. I’ve always loved making things, but nothing compares to the feeling of making a whole world under the palm of your hand. It was a lot of fun and as I got older unlike other kids my imagination never vanished. So I decided why not use my escape as a job. Thus here I am now. 🙂

In your opinion, are zombies the next big thing – why or why not?

A.K.A101: Truthfully, not at all. The thing today is that YA is centered on romance, lots of hot guys saving pretty girls. The thing about zombies is while they leave open so many options to create and explore it is very, very, difficult to make a zombie hot. When your male lead is a guy who wants to eat you who smells like rotting flesh, it isn’t very romantic. 😛

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite quote? “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” ~ E. M. Forster
What’s on your iPod? Missing Persons 1 and 2 – One Republic; Vampire Money – My Chemical Romance; Born this Way – Lady Gaga.
Hidden talent? Bassoon playing.
Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Cookies!
Best place to curl up with a good book? There’s this chair in my house that is great to read in. Best chair ever.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: YEN

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 16, 2011

“I am a born and raised Californian, having lived in this state for nearly fifteen years now. I’ve visited nearly all of the popular and well-known cities, except for San Francisco (which I may be going to over the summer). I currently live in a not-so-well-known city that has even inspired a story (along with My Chemical Romance’s album, Danger Days).

“My house is what I love to call a zoo. There are three birds, three cats, two dogs, and three people living here. Ever heard that dogs chase cats? My dogs and cats can prove that wrong. My 80+lb dog can’t run fast enough from the tiny 10lb cat. It is very funny to watch the little cat make a grown dog run. XD
“I am a band geek who is close to finishing her first year of high school. And that does mean I’m in the marching band, too—which is what prevents me from participating in NaNoWriMo.

“I’ve been writing for about a year and a half (started writing around October-December of 2009), and have been playing the clarinet since the fifth grade. Music is a great thing—it inspires me so much and I absolutely love playing and listening to instrumental songs. Both types of music—really all forms of media—inspire me to write and come up with ideas.

“And I’m horrible at answering questions. Just ask Nella (aka Nella-Rosmarino) or any other inkpopper on the Insomniacs threads.”

Perhaps answering questions is not Kelly’s (aka YEN) forte; but what she lacks in that department, she more than makes up for in creativity – as seen in her inkpop project Nightland.

Your project Nightland is currently ranked as # 300, and you are hoping to make it into the June 2011 Top Five (or, at the latest, the August 2011 Top Five, as per your profile). Do you think you can do it? Aside from getting a critique from an Editor, are there any other factors motivating you to making it to the Top Five? If so, what?

YEN: I really hope I can make it to the June Top 5, but that is probably the inkies’ opinion. One major reason why I’d love to see Nightland in the June Top 5 is that Nella and I both want to see our projects in our birthday month. A review from a HC editor is also something I’d love to see since I really would like to know what else needs to be improved upon, besides the things that lovely inkies have said and comments the editors have written about other projects. I really want Nightland to grow since I hope to one day have it published. It would be better if Nightland could reach the top 5 sooner since I’d like to start querying soon. (Don’t we all with our projects?)

Nightland is such a fun project in that it has elements of Peter Pan (daydreaming) and Nightmare on Elm Street (entering another world when dreaming) all rolled into one. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things that has made Nightland such a popular project on inkpop?

YEN: It seems like it. I haven’t read a story that deals with daydreaming—though I have watched Peter Pan—or anything else of the sorts that involve dreams. I know for a fact, though, that without my dear friends’ help—Zoey (aka Seattelover7), Lexie (Lex Born), and Dae (Starts With One)—Nightland wouldn’t have gotten this popular. I’m a horrible promoter, so it’s these dear friends who’ve helped.

Nightland’s originality also must’ve helped since most readers strive for something that is different than the usual published books on the shelves of the YA section of the local bookstore. (Gosh do I keep cocky now. O_o) The setting is probably the most original thing in the story, which isn’t surprising because it is the land that I’ve come up with. Though the fact that Berlin—the main character—has often ‘dreamt’ of this place—dreamt really isn’t the right term, but you’d have to read to figure out the truth ;).

In your profile you mention that you are participating in InkieNoWriSummer which begins on June 14, 2011. What exactly is InkieNoWriSummer, and how can others participate? Do you know what you’ll be working on for InkieNoWriSummer? If so, can you tell us about it?

YEN: InkieNoWriSummer is an inkpopper’s summer version of NaNoWriMo. Inkie Novel Writing Summer. There is a thread started by ♥ Amaya ♥ where inkies can pledge to participate within this. Because I’m unable to participate during NaNoWriMo, I gladly decided on this so I can get writing done over the summer.

The project I will most likely work on is Dusty Skies—a dystopia/sci-fi centered around a fifteen-year-old with her friends trying to get back at what would be considered ‘the police’. These ‘police’ are the ones who wreak havoc on the city so the main character Dusty and her group of friends will do onto the police what was done onto them. (That bit sound confusing enough?)

I may or may not work on this. I’ve two other projects that I’d love to work on: Shadowed or Hidden Halos. Both are similar in genre, or at least the fact they’ve a bit of romance and the supernatural creatures. It is more likely, though, that I’ll work on Dusty Skies just because I’ve so much inspiration around me for it.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Nightland?

YEN: The 2009 version of Alice in Wonderland was the first thing that prompted me towards Nightland. I’ve watched that move over five times within the last five months, I believe. I really wanted to write a story similar to Alice in Wonderland, and this shows in a few different ways, though the characters’ roles from Alice in Wonderland and Nightland don’t fit their appearances or titles when compared. This was accidental, though. What I did mean with the story was to have the classic supernatural elements (i.e. witches, demons, werewolves) combined with this other world (i.e. Nightland). When I planned out the characters, I really just randomly chose what creature I’d like them to be.

Most of the scenes came to me while I was either sitting in front of my laptop to plot, or daydreaming. That, along with music or watching different movies. It took me about two weeks to outline everything (i.e. plotting, character bios) and about four months to write. A lot of times, I was hit with either writer’s block or rough spots within the story. During those times, I forced myself to write and visited the Word War thread (or the Procrastinator’s thread) to get through these spots. It might’ve turned out bad, but at least I’d get through those scenes.

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

YEN: Word wars! They make you write as much as you can in 5 (sometimes 10) minutes. This is what I’ve used quite a few times to get me through rough spots. I know most say that forcing yourself to write makes the writing ‘poor’ but whatever spot you’re stuck on may never come to you. Which is why there is editing and rewriting to make this horrible spot much better later on. It doesn’t help when you can’t wait to work on something in chapter 3, yet you’re stuck on this little scene in chapter 2. I force myself through writer’s block and work on at least something so that the creative juices flow.

What made you fall in love with writing?

YEN: Probably The Vampire Diaries (anything by L. J. Smith really) and Twilight. Around the time that I started writing, I was reading one of the books by either Smith or Meyer. These stories, along with the short stories I had to write for seventh and eighth grade, were things that made me want to write out my of my dreams. My seventh grade English teacher is the one who told the whole class that my short story was better, and believed that I wrote at a higher level than the class I was in. She even wrote in my yearbook that I need to keep writing. It took me less than a year to really decide that I love writing stories (mostly novels now).

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite fictional character? Either Damon from The Vampire Diaries (the books) or Dru from Strange Angels.
What’s on your iPod? Just a few would be my top 5 favorite bands: Green Day, Cute Is What We Aim For, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, and Paramore.
Favorite quote? “You are seriously too stupid to insult.” -The Hangover
Pancakes or waffles? Waffles! Pancakes always taste funny to me, unlike waffles.
If you were granted three wishes from a genie, what would you wish for and why? Wish #1: have enough money so that my mom doesn’t have to work anymore so we can move to Santa Cruz, CA (I love that city). Wish #2: the stories that come into my mind were real. Wish #3: have my mom be able to use the last wish.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: _kris10

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 9, 2011

“I’m Kristen. I’m a Fort Worthian by birth, Atlantan by childhood, but Houston is home. I’m about finished with college, and I will be so happy when school is finally over. I’m an only child with a huge family. I’ve been to 26 states, and for the first time in my life, I left North America last summer when I went to London for a month with a study abroad class.

“I was always a much bigger reader than writer. I read my first book on my own when I was three, always scored high in reading assessments, and was never without a book. That all changed when I came to college and found I just did not have the free time to read outside of class. I picked up creative writing for an elective, and by the end of that semester, I had switched majors from public relations to creative writing. What’s funny is that I’m planning on going into PR when I graduate.

“I have three dogs and three cats: Cal, our 14 year old cat, Duke, our 13 year old mutt (a foundling), Rockie, our soon-to-be nine year old Miniature Schnauzer (another foundling), Nait and Phog, the soon-to-be seven year old twin cats, and Piccadilly, my one year old American Pit Bull Terrier who lives with me at school (also a foundling).

“In my spare time, when I’m not writing or stressing over school, I’m either playing something on the PS3, spending time with my friends, or at the on-campus gym. Nothing fancy, nothing inspiring. I’m just your typical mid-20’s gal.”

For anyone who has read Kristen’s (aka _kris10) ultra-popular inkpop project, Hannah Boudreaux and the Council of Ancients, however, it is obvious that “typical mid-20’s gal” is putting it lightly; she’s more of a writing powerhouse, having crafted an intricate debut that clocks in at a whopping 100,000+ words – and it’s still incomplete!

Your project Hannah Boudreaux and the Council of Ancients is currently ranked as # 24. How does it feel to be so close to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind?

_kris10: Well, Hannah’s been up since December 2009, and in that time, I’ve teetered between 25 and 55 (I believe 25 was the highest rank it’s gotten). I haven’t swapped or made promos for it in a while, considering school, so I haven’t thought much to the rank. I believe some of my friends on inkpop want the Top 5 for Hannah more than I do, haha. An editorial review would be nice, but right now, I really want peer reviews, considering most of the people on inkpop would be my target audience.

Hannah Boudreaux and the Council of Ancients is very unique in that the main character has the option of choosing whether she wants to play the role of heroine, or simply turn a blind eye on the world. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things that has made Hannah Boudreaux and the Council of Ancients such a popular project on inkpop?

_kris10: I think so. Going by the comments I’ve received, Hannah has been perceived as original due to her characterization being so different from other heroines in YA. She knows she has to do what’s right, but at the same time, her insecurities make her feel that there are others out there more qualified as her to be the heroine. She’s not cocky, she’s not the strongest nor the smartest, she’s just Hannah.

In your profile you mention that you have a new novel entitled Fallouts coming to inkpop in June of 2011. Can you tell us anything about this new book (genre, what it’s about, etc.)?

_kris10: Fallouts is about a group of teenage superheroes set in 1984. It’s a bit of sci-fi dramedy with action-adventure and a little romance sprinkled in. It has nine main characters, and the narrative flows through different characters’ points of view in third-limited. The team consists of Whitmire Adler and his twin sister, Lachlan, both of which have telepathy (Whitmire also has telekinesis), Casey Stone, who can manipulate fire, Isabel Blakeley, who can phase through solids and become invisible, Travis Deleon, who is super strong and has superhuman reflexes and healing, Nick Goodloe, who has super speed, Ronnie Salinas, who can make ice and withstand subzero temperatures, Abigail Gauthier, who can shoot beams from her eyes, and Victoria Lai, who can absorb memories, powers, and energy through touch.

The background history of the story is that in 1945, some nuclear weapons tests cause more fallout than expected and affect people born the following year. Those born with new, strange abilities are labeled “Fallout Babies,” and as time goes on, they have to deal with prejudice and hate against them. In 1984, a vigilante group called the Fallouts try to keep the peace between Fallout Babies and Unaffecteds, people born “normal,” especially when the hate could start a war.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Hannah Boudreaux and the Council of Ancients?

_kris10: When I was in the sixth grade, my mother gave me this book that would eventually become a big part of my life and influence me to want to write my own urban fantasy book. It was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I knew I could never write another Harry Potter, and I kind of shelved the idea of writing a book when I was in high school. By the summer of 2008, while at home for the summer, an idea was beginning to form in my head. I had a heroine in mind, who was a mix of two characters I had written for a writing workshop the semester before, but I didn’t have an enemy or story just yet.

I started jotting down the characters, and a story came to mind, but that first draft didn’t go anywhere. One afternoon, I was watching 30 Days of Night for the umpteenth time on Starz, and I loved the idea of a normal, everyday girl fighting a war against vampires. This was not too long before the Twilight craze took off, so I thought I was good in terms of an “original” idea, haha. Granted, I was not planning to write a romance, and I wasn’t going to have my heroine fall in love with a centuries old vampire who appeared young.

I continued to write Hannah’s story, the first draft getting finished on September 5, 2008. I had outlined three books, but on September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike struck Galveston, affecting Houston. Since the series is set in Houston between 2004 and 2007 in the first three books, I decided to add a fourth book and expand the timeline to 2008. Hurricane Ike would serve as the catalyst for the end, but when I realized a bit of a timeline fail, I ended up adding a fifth book, making the series a quintet now.

From June 2008 to the fall of 2010, Hannah has been through five major drafts. I took about a year off from revisions after I finished the first draft, and in that time, I had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD. When I started the second draft of Hannah, I decided she, too, would have those disorders. I did this for two reasons: 1. Awareness, as it’s common for girls to be diagnosed later in life with either one, as both disorders manifest different in girls than boys, and 2. As a kid, I never had a book character I could relate to as none were like me, so I hope that if a girl who has been diagnosed with either (or has either but not been diagnosed), she could relate to Hannah.

Who is your favorite character(s) in any of your work and why?

_kris10: I’m one of those writers who loves all of her characters, good and bad, main and secondary, but if I had to just pick one from Hannah, I’d have to say Hannah herself. After developing a character for three years and writing their background history and making their family tree, one kind of grows attached.

What made you fall in love with writing?

_kris10: As I mentioned before, I was a reader first. I read my first book by myself when I was three, and from then on, I read everything I could. I didn’t really attempt to creatively write until junior high, and it wasn’t until college when I took it seriously (seriously enough to switch majors to creative writing). I had taken Intro to Creative Writing as an elective, and the professor I had encouraged me to change majors. In a way, I’m glad I did because my writing improved a lot, but in another, so much of the work I did for other classes wasn’t worth it when I didn’t plan to make a career out of analyzing literature.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

_kris10: KA Applegate, definitely. Animorphs was one of my favorite book series as a kid, and when I read them again as an adult, they were still good. Applegate was a master of writing first person narrations of different characters and making five very distinct voices (six, including Ax). She wrote an intense story with great characters, a series I still enjoy now.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite ice cream topping? Multi-colored sprinkles.
What’s on your iPod? “Civilization” – Danny Kaye and The Andrews Sisters, “Carol Brown” – Flight of the Conchords, “Bite Hard” – Franz Ferdinand, “Can’t Stop Feeling” – Franz Ferdinand, “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” – The Ink Spots, “Town Called Malice” – The Jam, “Like a Fool” – Lawrence Arabia, “Echoes” – The Rapture, “Machu Picchu” – The Strokes.
Favorite movie? I have three: Rushmore, Fargo, All About Eve.
London or Paris? L-Town all the way.
Book you could read over and over again? Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: ariwriter

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 2, 2011

“I’m Ari, a wacky, friendly, musical sixteen year old from Pennsylvania. I live here with my mom and dad and my dog, Bengal, who is a Catahoula Leopard dog (ten brownie points if you actually know what that is! Haha!).

“I come from an extremely musical (and awesome) family so I definitely have a lot of music in my life. I’m technically in eleventh grade at the moment but I’m currently on medical leave from school because of my fibromyalgia. Even though things are kind of tough for me at the moment, I keep my spirits up with my writing, spending as much time as I can with my friends, reading, and making so many amazing friends on this site! I find comfort, joy, and support in writing and I hope to pass that out to everyone else.

“I’ve gone through some really rough times in my short lifetime and most of those times I felt so alone, like no one could relate to me, as I’m sure many people feel. It is an awful feeling and I don’t want others to have to experience it. That is why I try to make my writing provide some comfort, something to relate to, or just something to enjoy, for everyone out there and I open myself up to anyone who ever needs to talk about anything. I really want to help people and make a difference in their lives while pursuing a career that makes me happy and is everything I’ve ever dreamed of.

“Along with writing and singing, I also enjoy acting, reading and anything to do with electronics (I am a tech geek!). Oh yeah, and I’m insanely wacky and I love to have fun with my friends and family!”

Rough times or not, Ari (aka ariwriter) has championed through them all – only growing stronger with each triumph. And luckily for inkpoppers, she has channeled all of these moments into her writing – creating one story after another that lives on with readers long after the last pages have been read!

Your project Roses By the Lake was an inkpop Top Pick back in February of 2011. How did it feel to, after spending so much time working on one project, see it garner so much success? Though Roses By the Lake is no longer posted on inkpop, many are curious…is it still a work in project, or have you completed it?

ariwriter: It was extremely exciting to see it up there especially since it was my first novel. I never expected it to go so far but I’m so glad that people enjoyed it so much and gave me so much helpful feedback that will help me in the future. It was also exciting to get advice from a professional editor and I think it will help me and my writing grow immensely. I’ve completed the actual writing portion of the project but it is still a work in progress because of editing. It’s on private now for that reason and because I want to focus on Unfamiliar right now but I’ll be posting the completed story again very soon!

You have two other projects on inkpop at the moment – Unfamiliar and 365 Days, 365 Poems. Unfamiliar is currently ranked as # 40 on the Charts. How does it feel to be so close to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind? Since you have already made it into the Top 5 in the past, do you feel differently about it this time?

ariwriter: I’m so excited to be so close! And pretty stunned! This is really my main focus at the moment so it’s going to be great to get advice from the editor on it, especially because it helped so much last time. Currently what’s going through my mind is “Ah! I need to get the first part finished and edited soon!” and “I’m so glad people are enjoying the story.” I definitely do think I feel a bit different. I’m no less ecstatic but I am slightly calmer maybe. I was a bit nervous last time because I was pretty new and didn’t really know what to expect out of the review. I was also a little insecure about my work at that point because it was my first ever novel and I wasn’t sure where I wanted the writing to be at the point of the review. But now I feel much more confident and I know what to expect and where exactly I want my story to be when I get the review!

365 Days, 365 Poems is a very unique project in that it is a self-created challenge. What inspired this project? Do you hope others take a cue from you, and try the 365 Days, 365 Poems challenge, as well? Do you feel that this particular project has helped your writing? If so, in what ways?

ariwriter: The main thing that inspired this project was the movie Julie and Julia in which the main character, Julie, created a blog and decides to complete an entire Julia Childs cookbook in a year and blog about each recipe. I absolutely love this movie and one day when I was writing a poem, I thought of the idea to try to do a poem a day for a year.

Poetry has always been a way that I’ve been able to express myself and the feelings I try to push down so I thought this project would help me in many different ways. I really do hope others will take a cue from this and try some kind of year project (this was another reason for its creation). I really doubted myself a lot throughout this but as I began to get further into it, I realized it wasn’t an unattainable goal as I had thought before. So I hope people will try a project, whether it is poems or something else, because it shows that we all have the power to do anything if we set our minds to it. You get such an amazing feeling of accomplishment throughout it and when you finish because you stuck with it the whole time.

It definitely helped my writing a lot in a few ways. I met other writers through this and learn many different tips that bettered my writing; I got a ton of practice writing poetry and working with a deadline. This was a very good way to begin to get my writing out there and recognized and began to teach me about the writing world. I also taught myself that I have the ability write and the ability to focus on a project for so long and give it my all. I think this will really help me in my future with writing.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Unfamiliar?

ariwriter: The creative process for Unfamiliar has been a lot different than my usual process. Unfamiliar actually started out as solely a short story which I wrote for a contest here on inkpop. While I had it posted, every single comment I got mentioned something about wanting me to make it into a full story which I hadn’t even considered. Even Jeff Sampson, who picked my project in the contest and reviewed it, expressed that it would make a good full story (which was an incredible moment for me because I really admire his writing). So I gave it a try and without planning out a whole lot of the story, I wrote the next three chapters, just to see if I liked where it was going. I noticed that the story really began to fall into place and write itself as I went along and the ideas for it began to flow naturally into my mind as I was typing. Once I got those written and posted and they were met with another amazing reception, I knew that I really wanted to continue this story and began to draw my outline for the rest of it. Before I knew it, this short story that I swore would stay in that format became a full blown book with plans for a sequel as well!

If you had the chance to star as a character in any book what book would it be and why? Would you be a character that has already been created, or a new one?

ariwriter: There are so many wonderful characters that I would love to be but I think one that would be really fun to be would Holiday Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I love that story and she seems like she would be a really fun character to play; kind of quirky and different just like me! Also, if they ever made a movie about Katherine Hepburn’s life, I would love to star as Katherine because she is my favorite actress and has been a huge influence and inspiration to me.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

ariwriter: My favorite childhood author was A.A. Milne because I used to love reading the Winnie the Pooh stories and watching the movies with my parents and grandparents. My family and I have been huge Winnie the Pooh fans for many years. One of the only memories I have of my grandpa before he passed away was watching a one of the movies with him over at my grandparents’ house when I was about three years old.

Anything else you’d like to add?

ariwriter: I am so thankful that inkpop has come into my life, especially during this hard time I’m going through. I’ve learned so much and improved my writing greatly and it’s giving me a wonderful chance to interact with other writers. I’ve also met so many amazing people who keep on encouraging and inspiring me every day and help me to keep my head up and continue on when I’m prepared to fall off the path and let everything drag me down. Thank you all so much!

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Food you could eat every day? Mac and Cheese.
What’s on your iPod? So many different things! Some favorites: Maroon 5, Adam Lambert, The Downtown Fiction, Artist vs. Poet, Lady Gaga.
Favorite vacation spot? Ocean City, New Jersey.
Cake or ice cream? Definitely cake!
You’re stranded on a desert island, what five books do you take with you? The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Go Ask Alice, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent, Top Picks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: sakira

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on April 25, 2011

“I’m a senior high school student living in a suburban town down in the South. No, I don’t know anyone who rides horses to school, contrary to popular belief (though I do see cattle grazing outside the school); I love country music, and I say y’all. I have the fortune of knowing two awesome inkpoppers in person. My best guy friend is my brother Austin (Emperor Zar). My best girl friend is Alice (Summer Angel).

“I enjoy going out and communing with Nature while walking on the trails with my brother and the dogs. I also love to blog, take (very amateur) photos, play DDR, and read and write and read and write. I can talk forever about books and animanga. My two favorite classes are French and English.

“I love to cozy up with a good book. Laugh, cry, and sigh over it, and then sit for a while as I relive the story all over again. I’m the kind of person who thinks a lot, mulls over her thoughts, and rarely shares unless asked about them. But when you get me going, you’ll get me going going. My mom’s forever telling me to stop talking about books, stop reading books, stop breathing the essence of books, and to just do my homework.

“I have some very… interesting pets. One dog thinks he’s king; the other thinks he’s human (and wants pets of his own). My chinchilla likes to climb on his cage walls like a monkey. My mouse opens her cage lid at night, and I could almost swear she goes out on midnight adventures. I have yet to prove it.”

One thing that Kris (aka sakira) has most certainly proven via her writing is that one of her favorite quotes by Albert Einstein, which states “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” is more fact than fiction – as her popular project Phenomenally, the product of pure imagination, will show you.

Your project Phenomenally is currently ranked as # 14. How does it feel to be so close to making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind?

sakira: It’s surreal. I didn’t expect Phenomenally to rise as quickly as it did. I keep thinking about how I need to finish writing Phenomenally, but IB exams are coming up in May. Fortunately, summer break comes after exams, and I’ll have plenty of time to write then! I’ll be writing, writing, writing, until I finish the book. After that, I’ll be tweaking the story until it’s something that I can (hopefully) call worthy of being in the top five.

Phenomenally is very unique in that it deals with two separate worlds – that of the human, and that of the paranormal – and features a romance of sorts between a human and a paranormal entity. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things that has made Phenomenally such a popular project on Inkpop?

sakira: I believe that one factor in its popularity is the ghost aspect. Many inkies found it intriguing, especially since they don’t know how the romance will develop. Lee has definitely been a popular character. (There’s a Team Lee- not part of a love triangle! -lurking around inkpop.).

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Phenomenally?

sakira: Initially, Phenomenally began as a true ghost story, a guy meets girl who can see him when a chance accident that separates him from his body. Only, she has a ghostly companion named Lee, and he doesn’t like the new kid getting close to her. That lasted about a couple seconds.

I didn’t want my main character to be your ordinary psychic, so I added other paranormal elements, including various paranormal entities (with twists on traditional myths) and a set of rules governing the paranormal world. I’ll still be including the original scene somewhere in the book since I love it so much, but it won’t be for a while the way the plot is moving.

Almost all of your projects feature paranormal / romance elements. Would you say that these are your favorite genres to write? Why? Is there any genre that you have yet to try, but would like to in the future – if so, what?

sakira: It is definitely my favorite genre, the reason being the possibilities. We all want to escape from something in our lives. We want that magical touch, excitement, and I believe that’s why paranormal is so big right now. It’s perfect for exploring the forbidden romance that’s so popular in literature and for giving the ordinary girl the chance to become something more.

Actually, I’m in the process of writing a sci-fi/fantasy story with my brother, which we hope to have him post on inkpop around the first of July and finish over the summer. The story explores the concept of the man’s fall in a futuristic setting, big government, rebel groups, and the question of “who is in the right?”

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

sakira: Get a steady writing schedule. Even when I don’t feel like writing, I’ll try and get something down. I’ve actually written some pretty original scenes when I didn’t know where next to proceed. I wrote the first chapters of Phenomenally without knowing where they would take me. I only knew that I had some scenes in mind, and I was getting them down within a certain time frame!

If you could have a dinner party with five of your favorite authors, who would they be and why?

sakira: Kiersten White, because she has a sense of humor that great doesn’t begin to describe (and because Paranormalcy is pure awesomeness!). Jane Austen, because I want to meet the mastermind behind some of my favorite classics. L. M. Montgomery, because I’m in love with Anne, Emily, and all those fabulous characters of hers. Kelly Armstrong, because she writes beautifully (yes, I mean beautifully). And Sarah Dessen, master of the art of contemporary YA. It’ll be a very informal event, and we’ll eat bat cookies with milk for dessert because it’ll be a Halloween party, which means that everyone will be dressed in costumes. Yay!

What do you think makes good writing?

sakira: It captures the reader’s heart and attention. You also need an engaging character, one to whom the reader can relate and who can keep the plot moving. It doesn’t hurt to have a hot romantic interest, not necessarily in looks but at least in personality.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

sakira: When I was little, I loved the Animal Ark series by Ben M. Baglio. I’ve always been an animal lover, and I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was a little girl. My dreams have since changed, but I’ll always have an animal in my life.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Chocolate chip cookies.
What’s on your iPod? I have songs ranging from Country to Classical to Chinese, Korean, anime music, and other random songs. To name a few favorites artists: Keith Urban, Lonestar, Sam Tsui, Emmanuel Moire, Wilson Phillips, 黃鶯鶯.
Favorite cartoon character? This is hard. I love so many. I’m going to go with Pikachu. Nobody can say no to Pikachu!
London or Paris? Paris.
Lucky number? 01.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: The Beaver

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on April 18, 2011

“I’m a furry, semi-aquatic rodent. Any other questions?

“Jokes aside, I am extremely mysterious when it comes to my ‘real identity’ — so much that the majority of my inkie friends know me as The Beaver / variations of that. Only a few know me as M____ Z____, and that was only on accident (Gmail hates me!). You know what they say about internet safety…

“I’m in __th grade Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Well, I wish. But I really love my high school, which is weird since most people don’t. I guess it’s because mine is about 80% Asian and I’m Chinese, so I fit right in.

“Despite my secrecy about age and name, I have no problems with telling the world that I live in the glorious city of Austin, Texas! There’s really nothing to say about Austin other than the people here are absolutely BONKERS (myself included) so stay away from those hobos, chaps.

“I’m the type of person who has a turtle collection. But I only have 20 or 30. I’m working on it, okay? Right now, my turtle collection is being invaded by Captain America and Wolverine bath toys.

“Also, I am cuh-razy about classic movies. Granted, I haven’t seen everything I want, but I’m working on it.

“Mention Audrey Hepburn, and I will go on a humongous rant about how awesome she is. Ask me who she is, and I will slap you.”

Luckily, when you ask The Beaver about inkpop, you’ll receive a different form of response – an influx of names of inkpoppers that she’d love to see named inkpopper of the Week…and now hers is featured amongst those!

You are a HUGE advocate of fellow inkpoppers, being single-handedly responsible for the selection of many of the past inkpopper of the Week titles. How does it feel to have the tables turned, and be inkpopper of the Week yourself?

The Beaver: Oh gosh. I dreaaaadddd these types of questions, especially the “Oh, I’m so shocked, I never even expected to get IotW!” and “You guys are so sweet, oh my goodness!”-type responses that I have to give. But. Um. Yeah. That.

As for how it feels, I 1. looked at the message and dropped my jaw, then 2. saw the email and dropped my jaw, and after opening said email I 3. had to pick up my jaw off the ground when I saw the length of the email. So, that’s how it feels. Painful. (Have YOU ever had your jaw removed?)

Where did the name The Beaver come from?

The Beaver: In middle school, my friends were intent on starting this little “writing club” and we all had fake names. Mine was Beverly Tu (totally fake, for you creepers who just perked up), and my friends starting calling me Bev the Beaver. When I joined inkpop, I had no idea what to use, and Beaver was the first thing in my mind.

Out of the five projects you have posted to inkpop, three are short stories and two are books. Would you say that these are your favorite formats to write? If you had to choose just one format to write in, which would it be and why?

The Beaver: Aaaaaaaaah, short stories! Short stories! Short stories!

I don’t even count Loveseat Nights as a book because it’s a ‘novella’ with 5 chapters and, to me, it’s still a short story. It was actually a short story before my Beavie Hulk Rage moment a couple months ago when I deleted all my projects, but then Dilnar/Lina (schwing), among others, convinced me to repost.

Rambling aside, short stories are the cupcakes of literature. Brief, sweet, no time at all to enjoy, but a lasting impact. What’s not to love?

Besides, they’re the easiest to write. No complex plots (for the most part), lots of character growth in brief amount of time, and everyone reads all the way to the end!

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

The Beaver: My friends! These include people in ‘real life’ and on inkpopland. Recently, word wars have been the machines that prompt me as motivation, but the things that influence me are people themselves.

A particular friend, Terisha, is my ‘muse’, so to say, and I mean it when I say all of my stories have SOME element from her in it — whether it’s some piece of advice she gave me or a cameo or just one of her features.

Another source of influence are my darling sommies! Insomniac threads are where I can get my creative juices flowing, and dang do they flow fast. I guess its part adrenaline from staying up at 1 or 2 a.m. and part environment — everyone’s so happy and cheery. Most of the time.

What are your crazy writing quirks? What do you need in order to get inspired and kick yourself into the mood to write?

The Beaver: The shower. Believe it or not, folks, but I think that hot water is the best way to get inspired.

But also, just going about life. I can’t make anything appear on that Word document unless I’m up and moving, doing things I always do. I’ll get the weirdest (and best) ideas if I’m concentrated on something else.

What made you fall in love with writing?

The Beaver: I blame it on my second grade teacher. She said to my parents, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw her book at Barnes & Noble’s.’ Of course, a second grade teacher always lies (‘Oh, but darling, you look beautiful in that dress!’), but that was when the birth of my ego came to be and writing just fueled it even more.

Writing is just a treasure in itself. When something happens to me during the day and I can’t blog or rant openly about it, I’ll write it in a story. It’ll only be a small portion of the story, a little tidbit in two sentences, but I’ll feel like a huge load has been lifted.

Also, creating characters and scenes and all these imaginary places is so amazing. It’s like this whole new world in my head, where blackmail takes the form of classic movies, red Gameboys can haunt memories, and an overweight girl writes letters to candy.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

The Beaver: Judy Blume for her Fudge series. Oh, how I wished to have a boyfriend– Ahem, brother like Peter.

Also, Lisa Yee for Millicent Min, Girl Genius. It was hard finding multiracial books, and Yee’s work did not disappoint with its humor and delightful characters.

What’s on your spring reading list?

The Beaver: Ah, I must pull up my Goodreads. Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins; Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver; Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway; Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson; Going Bovine – Libba Bray; Truly, Madly, Deeply – Faraaz Kazi.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite ice cream topping? Caramel– No, sprinkles. No, caramel!
What’s on your iPod? An iPod cover. Ah, I’ll stop with the lame jokes now. Coldplay, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, Michael Buble.
Favorite quote? “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
Ron Weasley or Harry Potter? Weasley! Unf, gingers.
Best place to curl up with a good book? In bed. (That sounded like a lame joke. It wasn’t.)

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: KDBDanielle

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on April 11, 2011

“I’m a fifteen year old Floridan who doesn’t get her daily dose of sun. I actually avoid it to be honest.

“My town is a pretty decent size. You’ve most likely turned into the exit on your way to the beach, but forgot all about it because it lacks palm trees and eye-catching attractions.

“Just recently I learned that giraffes could run. Don’t ask why I thought they couldn’t. I’ve been called cute, funny and a traffic light (I’m 5’10). Being the eldest in my family has made me have a motherly instinct. Though I look athletic I’m not. Give me a ball to kick or shoot and I get flustered. When I’m not writing or scanning the pages of inkpop I’m trying to reach the highest level on my dad’s treadmill without falling off, munching on Whales (not real ones of course), doing my latch-hook (bet you have no clue what that is), reading what I can get my hands on, trying to find a movie in Netflix’s stock, having Bible study, and cleaning because I’m a neat freak.”

inkpoppers certainly don’t seem to mind that Kiana (aka KDBDanielle) is anything but athletic. Why? Because her lack of interest in outdoors activities has given her more time to devote to her writing projects – specifically the wildly popular Match-Up Set, which made it into inkpop’s Top Five back in December of 2010.

Your project Match-Up Set is hugely popular, and made it into the December 2010 inkpop Top Five. That said, it is still listed as being incomplete…are you still working on this project; are you taking a breather from it, and working on something new; or do you feel that Match-Up Set will be a constant work in process?

KDBDanielle: I’m taking a break from it. The review I received was incredibly helpful and brought so many things to my attention. It also brought tons of new ideas. I decided to put things on hold for a bit and work on other projects until I’m ready to again dedicate all my focus on Match-Up Set.

In your profile you state…“I’m homeschooled and that explains why I have two homeschooled projects. ‘Match-Up Set’ and one that’s not posted…. it plays a big role in my life so I can’t help, but write about it. :)” Do you feel that homeschooling will forever be a part of your writing projects? In your opinion, has homeschooling given you the ability to devote more time to your writing; thus, becoming a focal point in your projects?

KDBDanielle: No, I don’t think it’ll forever be apart of my writing projects. It’s something I know very well so it’s easy to write. Homeschooling has given me the chance to devote more time to writing. Like right now. I should probably be getting ready for math, but I’m here. 🙂 So yes, that’s why it’s the focal point of my projects.

Aside from Stephanie S. Tolan’s Surviving the Applewhites, not much YA literature discusses homeschooling. As many inkpoppers are homeschooled, do you feel that this is one of the aspects of your work that draws readers in – why or why not?

KDBDanielle: Yes, I do think that’s what draws in the readers. It’s one thing to be the new kid and it’s another to be the previously homeschooled new kid. It has people ask questions like: How are they going to react to being around kids their age more often? How are others going to react to them being unaware of how things work in school?

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

KDBDanielle: Random clips of conversations and photos. I like to pay attention to everything around me. How people react to statements made. How they stand when excited or nervous. It’s an easy way to get inspiration.

What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?

KDBDanielle: I like writing about things I feel that’s been untouched.

You mention in your profile that you have another project that you are working on that is not posted on inkpop. Can you tell us a bit about this project (genre, what’s it about, etc.)? Do you plan on posting it on inkpop in the near future?

KDBDanielle: It’s called What We Were. This project is the first I’ve written that’s totally in the POV of a guy (I switched POVs in another project called After the End). My main character is very self-righteous. He enters a relationship with a girl for all the wrong reasons. I can’t say what happens after that since I haven’t planned or outlined anything like I normally do. I want to post sometime in April so keep an eye out!

How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any tips for beating out writer’s block that you’d like to share with us?

KDBDanielle: I like to take a break from writing altogether if I find I’m stuck. If you find yourself stuck I’d advise to go outside and far away from your computer as possible. Pay attention to everything and everyone around you. Read poetry or books that are the same genre as your own project.

If you had the chance to star as a character in any book what book would it be and why? Would you be a character that has already been created, or a new one?

KDBDanielle: Valerie from Red Riding Hood. You have to admit, that little village would be an awesome place to live. Creepy, but awesome.

What do you think makes good writing?

KDBDanielle: Well-written characters. It doesn’t matter how original your plot is if you have flat characters. A reader will close the book the second they realize they don’t care what happens to them.

What’s on your spring reading list?

KDBDanielle: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Emma by Jane Austen, Plague by Micheal Grant (seems like I’ve been waiting forever for this one!), The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, and Cloaked by Alex Finn.

What made you fall in love with writing?

KDBDanielle: The fact that I couldn’t do “wrong.” I’m the kind of person that stresses on getting things to look exactly like its picture. With writing there’s no right or wrong way necessarily.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

KDBDanielle: Adrian Fogelin. Her books were the first to hinder me from eating dinner on time.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite fictional character? I have many, but today it’s Sam from Gone by Michael Grant.
What’s on your iPod? Taylor Swift, Paramore, August Rush soundtrack, Mozart, B.o.b, and Bruno Mars.
Hidden talent? I could hula-hoop forever.
Favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla with Snickers in it. I forgot what they called the flavor, but I’m guessing somewhere along the lines of vanilla-with-snickers. 😉
Book you could read over and over again? The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent, Top Picks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: Gabriela V

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on April 4, 2011

“Well~ I’m 18 :3 I have one dog and four birds. I’m a college freshman at the moment and I want to be a kindergarten teacher in the future ^-^ I also love ramen, hot chips in the freezer..(don’t ask) and anime (HETALIA~ and kuro kuro :3) and…smiley faces o-o…and my inkie darlings.

“I also love my made up words/sounds. osh, nii, meep, chu, etc.

“I live by Chicago.

“I’m going to Italy this summer 😀 by myself.

“And I have a real life Wrecked crew.

“Wow, none of that was interesting x3.”

Though Gaby (aka Gabriela V) may feel that what she has to offer isn’t interesting, inkpoppers certainly think differently. Not only is Gaby currently ranked as # 19 on the Top Trendsetters list; her project Wrecked is sitting pretty at # 62, and drawing in new readers on a daily basis – an accomplishment that thrills Gaby further on a daily basis.

Your project Wrecked is currently ranked as # 62. How does it feel to be so close to breaking through the Top 50 and making it into the Top 5? What is currently going through your mind?

Gabriela V: I’m amazed. I didn’t expect people to actually like Wrecked…I’m just grateful people are giving it a look :3 and I haven’t even swapped o-o, so I’m even more grateful. I’m also nervous; H.C is really getting serious when commenting the top five’s work. Osh.

It’s a good nervous :3

Wrecked is very unique in that it deals with fictional characters playing fictional characters (meaning: your characters also take on roles of other people within the book due to the fact that they are actors on a hit TV show) – something that is not often seen in YA fiction. Do you feel that this originality on your part is one of the things which has made Wrecked such a popular project on inkpop?

Gabriela V: Yes, I do. I kind of feel like Wrecked is a mix of things we, as a generation of teens becoming adults, want to see in the YA world. I wanted to give people something very possible. Maybe there’s a gay actor out there who’s confused about life. Or just a regular boy or girl who’s confused about who they are. Like Nate. Or a sweet girl or boy out there who wants people to look at her/him as a person and not as large numbers on a weight scale. Like Kathy.

That’s why I think Wrecked is doing so well with the inkpop community.

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process for Wrecked?

Gabriela V: I got the idea from missing certain shows, like Degrassi, and wishing they’d come back. When I start to get a feel for a plotline, I usually get a character right out of that. Nathan Placencia was born shortly after :3 and as odd as it sounds, he came ready to work and grow up and stand out amongst many MC’s out there.

But I have to admit, if Nate wasn’t ‘born’, there would be no Wrecked. Actually, if there was no Nate or Kathy or the Wrecked crew (born from my real life Casa crew :3) then there wouldn’t have been a Wrecked at all.

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Gabriela V: Everything does, really. My mood, my friends, my family. Right now, the thing that influences me the most are new experiences in my own life time and the fact that I want people to look past orientation and stereotypical expectations to get to the heart of the ‘growing up’ process.

What makes your writing unique? What sets it apart from other inkpop projects and books that have already been published?

Gabriela V: I’m not exactly sure…inkies say I’m good at creating characters that they’re convinced are alive somewhere. But at the same time, I’m kind of a jack of all trades in the sense that my writing style changes when I’m working on different projects at the same time.

Who is your favorite character(s) in any of your work and why?

Gabriela V: Don’t make me chose;–;

I think we all know that I love Nate, Kathy, Michelle, and Gray. But not a lot of people know that my heart and soul goes to Ellen. I can’t tell you why without spoiling Wrecked and its sequel (oh yeah, I said it~), but I love her so much.

What’s on your spring reading list?

Gabriela V: Gone – yes, Nella, I’m reading Gone x3 – by Michael Grant; The rest of the Rainbow Boys series – by Alex Sanchez; The Dead and the Gone – Susan Pfeffer; Bright Young Things – Anna Godbersen; The list goes on and on :3

What made you fall in love with writing?

Gabriela V: It’s more like ‘what forced you to love writing’ x3 Since I was little I always had a wild imagination and a drive to open up someone’s eyes, so I found writing to be my outlet. Ya know, now that I can’t run around in a make-shift cape/towel x3

What was your favorite childhood book and why?

Gabriela V: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It was the first book I ever read by myself.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite song? I dun have one! ;–; I’m very fickle when it comes to music. Atm, I am enjoying Oh land – Lean and Mj’s – Hollywood Tonight.
What’s on your iPod? I don’t have an iPod ;–; …dun mock me x3
MP3~
I have everything. From Korean pop, to vocaloid music, anime music, indie music, Spanish music. I should be more specific… deadmau5? o.o? lol fail v.v
Hunger Games: Gale or Peeta? Pfft, FINNICK ;–;
Pancakes or waffles? Waffles :3
You’re stranded on a desert island, what five books do you take with you?
I’m warning you now, they’re inkpop books.
1. When the Dead Walk We Run
2. Murphy and Me
3. Fading Broken Dreams
4. Falling
5. Naïve
Published books are starting to not cut it for me :3

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week, Teen Talent, Top Trendsetters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »