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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: 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: 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: 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
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 »

inkpopper of the Week: downwitheggs

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on March 28, 2011

“Hi, I’m Callie! My iPod’s name is Fitzwilliam and my favorite shirt has a dinosaur on it. I’m in high school, probably like many of you other inkies out there.

“I’m supposed to be doing my homework right now, but I’m not (shh! Don’t tell my mom!). I tend to procrastinate on a lot of things, including my writing. It’s a bad habit, I know.

“I love to laugh, and I love making other people laugh. I watch too much TV (I’m addicted to this wonderful lil’ show called Community, and a Youtube channel by the name of Tobuscus), and I really wish I owned a dog. I’m rather random, as you can probably tell by my interview, but I’d like to think that’s what makes me creative. Besides writing, I love hanging out with my friends, swimming, studying psychology, and of course reading!”

To add to that list would be a devotion to inkpop, which is one of the top factors that led Callie (aka downwitheggs) to become inkpopper of the Week. Though her numerous writing projects – which run the gamut from short stories to books, poetry, and even essays – have made her standout in the inkpop world; it was her larger than life personality and presence that has made her adored by so many – resulting in an abundance of nominations for the title of inkpopper of the Week!

Countless inkpoppers nominated/voted for you as inkpopper of the Week. What is it about you that has left so many inkpoppers in awe?

downwitheggs: Honestly, I don’t know! I suppose I’m a little addicted to the forums. 🙂

You have written an incredible amount of books, short stories, and poems that are visible on inkpop. Which format would you say is your favorite to write and why? Is there any format that you have yet to try, but would like to in the future –if so, what?

downwitheggs: Haha yes, I do suppose I go a little overboard sometimes. 🙂 My favorite format is short stories, because you get to make a lot of things happen really quickly. Your characters get to be really dynamic, because there’s not as much time to get to know them. And they’re faster to write than books too, so you can try all different genres!

In your profile you state, “So I am working on eight books.” Can you tell us a bit more about this endeavor? Are they eight separate books; or an eight-part series? Will you be posting these projects to inkpop once you have completed them – why or why not?

downwitheggs: No, they’re not a series. Two of them are visible on inkpop: Salus and Cassandra REM. Both are adventure books, which is new for me. I’m having fun with it! As for the rest, it might be surprising to some that none of them are horror novels. One is historical, two are fantasy, and the rest are general fiction. I don’t know if any others are going to be posted here—it’s so hard to manage what I have now, and I don’t want to get overwhelming!

Do you feel that it is difficult to, at the same time, have various separate writing projects in the works? Why or why not? How do you keep things straight between them?

downwitheggs: It is difficult. A lot of my projects are still in the planning stages, since I don’t often have time during the week to write, and I wish they were farther along. I keep a notebook of ideas, as well as information about each on my laptop and on my iPod. When I work on one, I just have to get into the mindset of the book, remember what’s going on and who’s where and all that.

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

downwitheggs: What sets my work apart from YA in general, I think, is that I love to write horror stories. I don’t mean vampire/werewolf/paranormal horror either. It’s purely horror, where the only goal is to both entertain you and give you nightmares.

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?

downwitheggs: I try to imagine a movie I’d like to see, one that hasn’t been invented yet. My books actually start out as movie trailers in my mind, which is really helpful because when you come up with a movie trailer you need characters, ideas, drama, and intrigue, all in a short span of time. It also really helps because you’re picturing everything, and then you don’t have to worry about coming up with descriptions.

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?

downwitheggs: I always thought it’d be fun to be Hermione Granger. She’s super smart, gets to go to Hogwarts, and is best friends with Harry Potter! I find her really relatable, and I think it would be fun to be in her shoes—with magic, there are so many possibilities.

What made you fall in love with writing?

downwitheggs: I went to a summer camp when I was about seven or eight, and I took a creative writing workshop. The instructor was phenomenal—he showed real interest in everyone’s work, and was so positive about all of our ideas. I think that’s really what got me into it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

downwitheggs: Never let anyone tell you your writing is “a waste of time.” As John Lennon said, “Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted.”

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite movie? Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
What’s on your iPod? Scouting For Girls, Aerosmith, Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, and Blake Lewis.
Ron Weasley or Harry Potter? Weasley for the win!
Cake or ice cream? Cake! Warm, delicious, chocolate cake. 🙂
Favorite season? Spring!

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: Daediel

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on March 14, 2011

“What can I say? I don’t really know where I fit in the world. I’m the quiet/shy girl in the back of the class who never talks, bahaha. Unless, of course, I know you. Then I can be loud. Very loud. XD I like to be by myself most of the time, and my friends know when I get my fill of overexposure to the public masses. In fact, if I spend too much time with people, I get some sort of weird claustrophobic effect that makes me want to run D: Not good.

“On the other hand, even though I’m a quiet person, I’m the kind of girl that has too many opinions to talk about. If you ask me about something I think is interesting, you don’t get me to shut up. 😛 My family fears me when I start to talk about books.

“I tried out for the Speech and Debate team, but then I remembered how I’d rather get taken hostage than speak in front of people. My greatest fear – talking. Yes, I’m not exactly verbose, but at least it saves me from petty conversations with people I want to run away from.

“The thing that really defines me, though, is music. I can’t live without my music. I don’t think I could write without music either. I’ve become more than obsessed, and it’s been more than a few times that my mom has scolded me because she can never talk to me (I always have my earphones on.) It’s my greatest escape, and my greatest inspiration as well.”

inkpoppers couldn’t be more pleased that there is music in the world either; for if it didn’t exist, they may be without Daediel’s impressive writing prowess – such as her paranormal novel Falling, which is currently ranked at # 58 on the charts.

Your project Falling is currently ranked as # 58. How does it feel to be so close to breaking through the Top 50? What is currently going through your mind?

Daediel: Haha, well, I must admit that when I first joined inkpop, the chance to get reviewed by a great company like HarperCollins seemed entirely too good. But then, as I dove into the writing world, I have to say that my interest in breaking through the ranks is being shadowed by the obsession with finishing a novel. But if Falling does get somewhere, I will be celebrating. Very much.

Falling falls into the Paranormal / Romance / Horror genres. Would you say that these are your favorite genres to write? Would you ever consider writing something completely different from these genres – if so, what and why?

Daediel: I would definitely say that they’re my favorite genres, and I don’t think I will stray very far from them in the near future. For one, the paranormal is something that has always interested me. I have always been the introverted teenager who likes to daydream about all the things that may seem imaginary, yet so close to reality that the line between tangible and insubstantial is almost at the point of dissipating. Horror follows with my interest of paranormal, as those two can be tied together to make an epic plot. And, I felt the need to emphasize this, romance is my life. You will never find me reading something that doesn’t have at least a whisk of romance in it. I might try general fiction eventually, but I’m not sure on that fact anymore.

Your profile states, “I have just made March my make-shift NaNoWriMo, so, really, now it’s NaMaWriMo .__. (National March Writing Month) except it’s not really national. It’s mine -__- and by god, if I don’t have 50k on one novel by the end of March, someone has permission to slap me.” Can you tell us a bit about the novel you’re writing (plot and such)? How is your progress on it? Will you be posting it to inkpop when it’s complete?

Daediel: Well, after closer examination of my make-shift NaNoWriMo, I’ve decided that I will focus on a cumulative word count that can be spread between novels. Since I went along with that, I’ve been concentrating on finishing Falling and I’ve also gotten a head start on its companion novel, which was the book I was planning on writing through the month of March in my first sketch of plans. I haven’t completely set the plot on that book yet, but it will have to do with something entirely different than Falling, which is very exciting for me. We’ll see how it goes =) With the help of my trusty music advisors, and the new music I’ve been discovering, I’ve surprisingly exceeded my daily goals of 1.6k words a day, and I’m feeling pretty hopeful on finishing something. If I do, then I will certainly post it on inkpop. =)

What do you feel influences your writing and why?

Daediel: The biggest thing that influences my writing is music, really. Not exactly my ideas and my characters, but more of the mood that my writing takes. For the storylines and such, I think that my own questions and ponderings have given me the biggest pushes, surprisingly. Sometimes, books and movies also influence my ideas, but I only realize that after I’ve written a few chapters.

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

Daediel: Hmm, tough one. I’d say my obsession with commas. . . though that’s not entirely a good thing x_x On the other hand, I also always strive to make my metaphors unique in my writing, and I like to think that I have a different view on emotions and the world than some. It’s different reading your own writing and critiquing it as opposed to others, so I don’t know if I really do have a different mood to my own work, or if it’s something else entirely.

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

Daediel: Definitely Reagan. Why? Hmm, I really feel like he’s the character that I am, more so than any of my other characters. Subconsciously, I think I’ve spilled so many of my own secrets onto Reagan than most people know, and the way he deals with things is something I have struggled with everyday. He is entirely unique though, and I think he is someone I didn’t intend bring out like this, yet he is the way he is, and he continues to surprise me.

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?

Daediel: I’d like to be a character in the book Graceling, by Kristine Cashore. I absolutely love that book, and I think the possibility of having a completely revamped talent like Kristine’s Graced is awesome. I would like to be someone new, and that way, I’d get to meet all the characters that I already love as well as having a new opportunity at being someone unique.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Daediel: My last words (and this is the quote I live by):

[Be]lieve in

I always have this special mantra for myself, and I believe that the most important thing in life is not letting anyone else define you. That’s what I live for – being what I want to be, no matter what that is.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite ice cream topping? Caramel.
What’s on your iPod? Sick Puppies, Florence + The Machine, Anberlin, Keane, Meg & Dia, Addison Road, and OneRepublic (there’s a lot more, but the list would bore you guys to death).
Hidden talent? I can go without breathing for 45 seconds. o_O
Favorite cartoon character? Spongebob Squarepants, bahaha.
Favorite vacation spot? Flagstaff, Arizona.

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: , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: cynic-at-heart

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on March 7, 2011

“I’m that girl that laughs at everything, especially when it’s not funny. If it’s summer, you’ll find me sitting at the end of my driveway with a friend simply because it’s fun. Technically, my name is Isabelle, but I go by Izzy. Isabelle makes me feel either old or Italian, for some reason, and I am neither. =) I’m a sophomore in high school who’s obsessed with my Psychology class, (don’t ask why; I’ve got no idea. The whole class is full of strange people, and I’ve never been fascinated with human behaviors or anything.) Dance is and always has been my best friend – just not jazz. I suck at jazz dancing. 😛

“I don’t care what anyone says, I’d like to believe I live in Ireland. -__- Sure, our address may be in Minnesota, but addresses can lie. LIE, I SAY.

“Haha. Pets. I’ve got two psychotic dogs that I think want to kill me (though I still love them), a rabbit we randomly decided to name Tybalt, and four fish that I swear my little brother is going to kill sometime soon. He feeds them like, eight times a day. O_O”

Though full of humorous quirks, Izzy (aka cynic-at-heart) has become quite the fixture on inkpop since joining in August of 2010. But her time on the site is well spent. According to inkpopper Seattlelover7, “She [cynic-at-heart] free reads all the time and does everything she can for my books (and others that she loves.) She’s been working on a series for the past three years and she’s extremely dedicated, even though she hasn’t posted anything here.” But her lack of posting may change soon…

In your profile you state “I’ve finished a trilogy. =o But it needs editing and rewriting. Badly. It’s going to be months before you see it on inkpop, if ever.” Can you tell us anything about this trilogy (genre, what it’s about, etc.)?

cynic-at-heart: Le sigh. The dreaded book question.

Originally, it was just supposed to be a stand alone novel. But once I finished the first book, Bliss, I just couldn’t be done with the characters. 😛 It’s a paranormal romance, and honestly, even after three years, I’m still not sure what it’s about, other than conspiracies and a few psychic people. 😛

The first book, Bliss, is mainly about the MC, Hayley, discovering everything she should have already known. There’s quite a bit of subtle (Well, I tried to keep it subtle) romance, and the saying “Ignorance is bliss” is kind of the main theme.

The second book, Coarse, is completely different, though it’s the same characters. It takes place in England, mainly, for very specific reasons. ;D The song Blinding by Florence + the Machine has recently become the main theme of it. 😛

The last book doesn’t even have a title yet. .__. I’ve changed it eight hundred times. I’ve changed the entire book so many times I can’t even remember the first version anymore. 😀

Is there a reason why you are hesitant to post your trilogy on inkpop?

cynic-at-heart: There are lots of reasons. The main one is that I’m still not happy with it, and I’ve got too many ideas on how to change it. I think comments telling me of ways to fix it would just confuse me at this point – I’d like to do what I want first and then see the viewpoints of others.

You are very active on inkpop in regards to promoting the projects of others. How did you find yourself in this position, as opposed to promoting your own work?

cynic-at-heart: Ha, I just get really attached to things. 😀 I don’t promote my own for the reasons stated in the previous question, but there are some things on inkpop that I’m practically addicted to. So why shouldn’t I promote them? 😀

What are your Top 5 favorite inkpop projects at the moment, that you are promoting, and why are they your favorites?

cynic-at-heart: O_O Just five?

1) Paradox by Seattlelover7: This book is just . . . amazing. It was amazing the first time around, and the rewrite is even better. The MC is so hilarious and so realistic – even if it’s a paranormal novel, it’s easy to put yourself in her shoes. The other characters are pretty awesome, too. ;D

2) Shadowed Memory by Seattlelover7: I swear, it’s one of the best books on inkpop. There’s so much suspense, so many questions – and a very interesting hot guy. 😀 The feelings just immediately come out – the writing is just phenomenal.

3) Windswept by wildgreenskittle: She’s been a top pick twice for a reason. 😛 Again, it’s the characters that caught me. Not to mention the amazing descriptions – especially of the waves.

4) To the Grave by Seattlelover7: Yeah. I’m obsessed with her writing. -_- Sue me. The plot is something I’m not used to – and I love that. I’m always looking forward to new chapters. 😛 It’s a book that actually makes you have to think about what’s going to happen.

5) Video Store Girl by Chrisi: It’s simply a funny book. Andy is one of the best MC’s I’ve ever read about, and it’s almost impossible to be bored throughout this.

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

cynic-at-heart: Honestly? I have no idea. I’d like to think my characters are unique and that the setting isn’t something people are used to. I’d like to think that my plot is a twist on something old – because there really isn’t much that hasn’t been done – and I’d like to think I’m able to capture people’s attention. Of course, I have no idea if any of that is true. 😛

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?

cynic-at-heart: O_O That takes a lot of thought. D:

I guess I’d probably say I would want to be some random person from The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I’d rather be a newer character – I love all the current characters but I would never want to be one of them, LOL. They’ve got too many problems to deal with. 😛

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

cynic-at-heart: Kelley Armstrong, Simon Holt, Maggie Sitefvater, L.J. Smith, and J.K. Rowling. Just because I love their books so much. 😀 We’d sit outside and eat potatoes, because I’m addicted, and I’d ask them all about their writing – especially Simon Holt. I’d ask them all where they first came up with their ideas. For some reason, that question has always fascinated me.

What’s on your winter reading list?

cynic-at-heart: Hmm. Not all of them are for Winter. =/

Fearscape by Simon Holt, The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong, Demon Glass by Rachel Hawkins, The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, and Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler are a few.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes? Cookies. O_O (Thanks for making my hungry, by the way.)
What’s on your iPod? Paramore, Daughtry, Florence + the Machine, John Mayer, Ryan Adams, All Time Low, The Fray, Flyleaf, Neon Trees, and Enrique Iglesias.
Lucky number? 42
Food you could eat everyday? Potatoes. O_O
Best place to curl up with a good book? My bed. =D

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

inkpopper of the Week: BlackHills

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on February 28, 2011

“First off, my real name is Briony, though most people on inkpop call me BlackHills or just ‘Hills.’ I’m 14, and I live in the town that was named ‘the very centre of England,’ meaning I live about as far away from a beach as you could possibly get. I live in a small, historic market town in a valley near Oxford, which is about forty-seven minutes from London.

“I also love singing, dancing and acting, and I have performed with my theatre group at the London Palladium and The Royal Albert Hall.

“I have a dog – Jack – who is a big, soppy, playful black Labrador. He is only five years old, but already acts like an old granddad! His great, great, great grandmother was one of the Queen’s dogs, so we often treat him like royalty. 😉 I also have a younger brother, who has autism, whom I adore with all my heart. He, and the rest of my family, are a continuing source of inspiration to me.”

But it is not just Briony’s (aka BlackHills) family whom constantly inspire her; it is everyone on inkpop who has reviewed her work, left invaluable feedback, and supported each and every one of her writing endeavors since she joined the site back in August of 2010.

The end of 2010 was pretty exciting for you, as you were named the Best Poem winner in inkpop’s Second Annual inkie Awards for Alone. Has the success from last year made you more determined to accomplish even bigger and better things in regards to your writing for 2011?

BlackHills: It certainly has been exciting! I think Alone winning ‘Best Poem’ really gave me the final confidence booster that I needed to work harder on my writing, and for that I am very grateful. I’ve found myself trying to aim higher with my writing, and I’ve definitely been experimenting with other styles and formats.

You currently have two projects uploaded to inkpop – Alone, which is a poem, and The Letter., which is a short story. Would you say that these are your favorite formats to write? Would you ever consider writing something in a different format – a novel, perhaps? Why or why not?

BlackHills: I love writing short stories, but I am working on a novel and when I take a break from either I can dive into poetry as relaxation.

Back in December 2010, when we spoke to you about your inkie Awards win you mentioned that you were working on a NaNoWriMo project entitled Nothing Compares. Are you still working on this piece? Will you be posting it to inkpop anytime soon?

BlackHills: Yes, I am most definitely still working on it. Like most first-time NaNoWriMo projects, it is quite rushed and the plot is sort of all over the place, but I’m definitely trying to make it better. 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ll ever post it to inkpop, but if I do, it’ll be quite a long time from now.

Can you tell us a bit about Nothing Compares? A teaser, perhaps?

BlackHills: Nothing Compares is the first novel I’ve ever seen through from start to finish. 🙂 It’s a coming out book, sort of, but from the point of view of the girlfriend. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, as I said, the plot sort of trails off randomly, but I’m hoping to fix it up.

“Trent watched the smoke hang lazily in the air for a moment before it dispersed into the wind. Bringing the cigarette to his lips, he took another drag. He felt calm inside of him as he inhaled, but sighed when it was broken by his deep exhale.

“The air was crisp and fresh, the sky clear and blue. The faint smell of morning dew hung in the air, mixing together with the thick smell of cigarette smoke and aftershave. It made for an interesting aroma..

“Ella observed with limited interest. She hated it when Trent smoked, hated it with a passion. The smell, the taste, the after-effects. Everything. She knew he couldn’t stop now though, of course he couldn’t. He was addicted to both the taste and the feeling.

“Just like she was addicted to him.”

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

BlackHills: I have to have a bowl of noodles before I start writing. There’s something about noodles that always relaxes me and gets me in the mood for writing.

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?

BlackHills: Hm, if I could star in any book, it’d probably have to be one of the books from the Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz. Even though the setting sounds really scary, I’ve fallen in love with all the main characters, and I’d love to have a chance to actually meet them. 😀

You live in England…do you feel that your location influences how/what you write? For instance, do you feel that your writing, or the subjects you select to write about, would be different if you lived in the States?

BlackHills: The locations I write about are mostly from my imagination, so yes they are influenced by the fact I live in England. The history and the scenery alone make me think a certain way. I think I already write with an American feel sometimes as in England we are exposed to a lot of American culture in the form of clichés.

Do you hope to make writing a career; or do you have other aspirations?

BlackHills: I’d love to have a career in writing, but I have many other dreams and aspirations. From a young age I’ve wanted to work around disabled children and teenagers, so if my writing plans don’t come through, I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll end up doing. 🙂

What made you fall in love with writing?

BlackHills: I started writing when I traveled down South to my cousin’s house for a holiday. She started telling me about this story she was writing, and I instantly wanted to try it. The moment I got home I switched on my computer and began to write, and I guess I’ve never really looked back.

I love everything about writing. The freedom to do or say whatever I want, the ability to create the characters and scenarios that are in my head. I especially love the way I can sometimes make people smile or laugh or cry, there is nothing better, in my opinion, than stirring up emotions in people.

Who was your favorite childhood author and why?

BlackHills: Enid Blyton, most definitely. My dad used to read her books to me before bed every night, and I always found her imagery and characters enchanting. I’ve always wanted a dog like Timmy. 😀

Anything else you’d like to add?

BlackHills: Hm…I love inkpop for helping me to improve my writing. 😀 All the people that read/commented on The Letter and Alone, I appreciate it more than I think I could ever express in words.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite movie? Honestly? South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. But a non-animated, slightly less vulgar movie… hm, probably Dirty Dancing! Nobody puts baby in the corner. 😀
What’s on your iPod? Lots and lots of Eurovision songs, I love cheesy stuff like that. Lots of Oasis and Blur. Madcon and Katy Perry, too. I don’t really have a specific music taste; I just listen to whatever sounds good. 🙂
Ron Weasley or Harry Potter? Ron Weasley. I love gingers.
Cake or ice cream? I don’t really like either, but cake I guess!
Favorite season? Spring in France, autumn in England. 🙂

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 »