|One of my Botcon prints. It is for sale along with others.|
That is a very good question. Unfortunately, it can be a very long and involved answer. I'll try to briefly hit some main points so we're not here all day.
Be honest with yourself about your character. You are doing something that has been done to death. Are you sure you're bringing something new that no one else has seen before? Are you aware of what readers might find annoying about your character? Is your plot worth reading? Do you have something important to say that isn't just “Look at my Mary Sue! Isn't she just perfect with this hot guy from the show?”
Your character must be both believable and consistent. But most important of all, the character has to be USEFUL. There has to be a specific place in the story where your character fits and they must serve an actual purpose. That purpose cannot be solely to suck face with favorite canon character and have their babies. (Sucking face and dating canon character cannot be your main plot either.)
Adding a Mary Sue type character is a balancing act. They have to be useful enough that, if you take them out, the plot doesn't work. But the story can't focus on them so much that it's the Mary Sue Show. Remember that people read your fic for the canon characters. Make sure the characters from the show get some quality scenes and some great characterization. That, coupled with an exciting plot, will keep your readers interested even if they aren't fans of your character. Chances are, they'll even grow to like the character as they get further into the story.
Will Blitzangel ever get to relax after the war's over, or will some continue to be suspicious of her?
To be honest, I'm not quite to the point of the story where I can say how much focus there will be on “after war” type situations. It's still a while away and the details haven't been hammered out yet.
Will Thundercracker ever remember that he was Dion?
Without giving too much away, I will say that his situation will be touched upon again and there will be a few revelations to go with it.
How often have you found yourself writing a fan fiction only to realize it would make a much better original story than a fan fiction?
I have an old Ronin Warrior fanfiction called “Demons in the Doorway, Monsters Down the Hall” where I have been told on multiple occasions that it could pass as an original story if I tweaked it. But I don't want to tweak it or any other of my fanfics. I fashion them so tightly to the fandom I base them on that I would feel like I was stealing from something that wasn't mine if I tried to dress it up as “original”.
Also, I have a long list of non-fanfiction novel ideas, so I'm not really hurting for original projects any time soon.
Ever done a FanFic trade?
No, I never even considered such a thing before. Though I have done a fanfic collaboration once with a fellow author. That's been quite interesting, and also has produced a piece of fiction I'm rather proud of.
What recommendations to you have for getting over writers block?
Get some rest, go out for a walk, get your thoughts together and write a summary of all your plot points, go find something that inspires you by reading, listening to music or watching a movie or the show your fanfic is based on. There's lots of things you can do.
The worst thing you can do is let your mind go around in the same circles over and over. Break your habits and get your brain juices flowing in new directions. Think about plot ideas that you would never actually write, but see if those odd “what ifs” take you on some new avenues that get your brain thinking in new directions.
Do you listen to any particular type of music while writing? If so does that help?
While many, many songs have inspired stories and scenes in my writing, I cannot listen to music while I write. I find it nearly as distracting as someone trying to talk to me so I have to have my work space somewhat quiet when I sit down to write.
Do you ever still people speaking about your OC's/Mary Sue's negatively, are there any times when it DOES get you down, and if it does, what helps you get through it/over it?
I'd be surprised to find someone who has openly shared their OC and have had not a single person say something bad about it, whether to them directly or behind their backs. Unfortunately, it's part of putting yourself out there like that. I personally have been very lucky in that I've had supportive people who like my projects and encourage me to continue. But I haven't been immune either.
I've found my art in Mary Sue hate clubs hidden in corners of the internet where people have said mean, hateful, and heartbreaking things about both my talent and my characters. To say that this did not affect me is to say that I don't feel at all. It absolutely sucked all the fun out of something I once greatly enjoyed. I would stop drawing that character for a while- sometimes cease drawing at all while my feelings recovered.
It IS hard to get through it at times. But it's your choice, you can either let it break you forever or you can get up and try again. I tell myself I'm not doing these things for those horrible people. I don't create for cowardly bullies and I find a small comfort in knowing what they're doing won't get them anywhere in life. Being hateful behind people's backs may make them feel better for a moment, but it will just turn them into bitter people. Whereas, when I use my talents, I improve and better myself.
I do what I do because it makes me happy. It also brings joy to others. I have made great friends through my works and have met many like-minded people who love the same things I love. It is a blessing and I try not to let hateful words get me down for long. It's what they want and I refused to give them that.
Did you plan out the entire series before starting Small Problems? Was it a general idea, detailed, or did you jump into the first story, realize you had more ideas, and just kept going with it?
Small Problems was designed to be a stand alone in case I didn't want to write any more Transformers after it was finished. But it was received so well and I was having too much fun by the time it was over. I launched into Ghost in the Machine knowing that it could only end in Crystal's death. When that happened, I knew I had committed myself to something far larger. While writing GitM's very simple plot, I was planning out the Autobot Files where the really big story began to unfold and I knew I was in it for the long haul.
Do you plan on writing more with this universe, or do you think Rising Generations will be the last installment?
There will be a definite finality that comes with the end of RG. Every loose end in the fic will be tied up. But I will try to leave the story with an open ended feel as well. I've had people tell me they want to write a fanfic based on my world, but they don't want to start until I finish the story so they know what happens. Though I'm sure they did not bargain for such a long wait and have maybe moved on, I will be leaving options open as best I can for anyone who wants to add more.
Chance are, I will not be one of those people. I have so many other things I want to write about.
Did you always plan for Crystal to become Blitzangel in the way that she did, or did you originally plan for her to remain in that first form and possibly have an upgrade in a different way? What prompted you to turn Crystal into Blitzangel?
Crystal always had to fall into the hands of the Decepticons because the Decepticons are the other half of the story and need to be included in the plot. This series is not about Autobots, but about everyone and everyone has their part to play.
Likewise, Crystal had to become Blitzangel not because being Blitzangel was important, but because her journey to becoming who she is now is important. Through that journey, we have seen how several factions on Cybertron work and also what has been going on out in space, all important things we needed to know. Blitzangel herself also needed to learn these things and to grow herself so that she can meet the challenges coming up in the future.
Was Prowl and Crystal/Angel your number one couple from the very beginning (I mean, if you have already planed from the very beginning, that they come together at the end) ? Or was Jazz, Drift, Thundercracker etc. in the running as well (at least for a while) ?
Embarrassingly enough, this story was originally (badly) written while I was in high school. And during that time, Crystal had a love triangle with Sideswipe and Starscream. It was awful. Of course, the story was revamped and improved big time for my second attempt and I wasn't so concerned with who she became paired with, if anyone. I had a far more important story to tell.
Still, I did purposefully let her bounce off certain choice characters to see what would happen. Admittedly, my predilections for Prowl helped me lean in a certain direction, but nothing is solid, even now. Relationships are always evolving, just like characters. If the writing ever gets stale, if the romance starts to feel forced, I'm prepared to let it go and move on. The plot does not require Blitzangel to be dating anyone for the storyline to happen. The romance is just an extra spice.
Will you write something with or have a scene with Cliffjumper in it?
I don't have anything particularly planned for Cliffjumper, though you may see him pop up now and again as the story needs. He did, however, have an Autobot File chapter that was never written. If/When I'm finally able to make it to Autobot Files and make new edits to the story, I would like to get that written and added to the fic.