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#1 ahoythere

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 05:10 PM

oh hey there~


please go ahead & ask me anything you want about my stories and my writing process,

and I'll do my best to remember about this thread and answer them


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STORIES:


Starving Artists [15+]

{ best next generation - 2011 dobby awards }

A story about what happens when you make all the

wrong decisions in life, but hope they turn out for the

best (oh, and some existentialism, ducks, sequins,

poetry, and wibbly love.)

~

Weather for Ducks [M]

{ sequel to starving artists }

A story about romance, and how it is dead.

(and don't forget the zombie apocalypse)

~

Don't Panic [15+]

{ prequel to starving artists }

A story about how it's cool to be uncool.

~

Welcome to Blunderland [M]

{ a not-so-serious Albus/OC }

A story about being a wallflower, and how

optimism always saves the day.

~

In Dreams [M]

{ an inception-inspired Draco/Astoria }

not a story about reality.

~

Memento [M]

{ Draco/Astoria short story}

A story about memory and forgetting, and how

the past always catches up with you.


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#2 manno-malfoy

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:35 PM

OOOH! I get to be first! Cool! Okay...

I would like to know about the ducks from 'Starving Artists'. Was it just a sudden moment of inspiration or was it based on a true-life situation that you've warped a little, etc...?
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#3 ahoythere

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

Yay, first question! To be honest, the fic was about 70% based on real life. I'm an aspiring art student and I spend half of my time hanging out in the art department with a lot of weird people and dangerously flammable things, and it's sort of got to the point where I basically eat/sleep/breathe art, so I wanted to turn some aspects of the art world into a fic. This sort of collided with my curiosity about next-gen (I'd never really written it before) so I sort of combined the two.

Initially, the story was very different. It was pretty serious, and was set in the second/third year of the characters' art courses, when they were past the foundation year and all that sort of laid-backness and were actually thinking about specialising in something and becoming srs artists. Ergo they were all kind of stressed, and, believe it or not, it was supposed to be a story about backstabbing and the web all the next gen characters weaved, with the point being that all the heart-to-hearts and soul-searching went on in the dark room, because it's easier to speak your mind when you can't see who you're talking to, if you get what I mean. I think Lucy and Scorpius were still the central characters, but they were both sort of hanging on the fringes of this little web of deceit, and, well...yeah. It was a serious fic with serious intentions.

Then, once upon a time, I opened a thread in the forums asking how seriously people would take a story set at art school and, well...within an hour, we had byronic Scorpius. And then I came to the sudden realisation that the art world is really very silly and stupid and needed a bit of parodying.

And it all sort of snowballed from there.

But a lot of it is very much inspired by real life, from the awkwardness of the dark room right down to the characters. I'm sort of ashamed to say that I based early Scorpius on myself, what with his pretentious pseudo-artistic aspirations and general lameness. Then Lucy's life choices - like me, a sudden decision to study art, dye her hair blue and the like. And Tarquin and Gwendibird, who I based on my best friends, even the whole love triangle aspect and even the Devon trip at the end. Except I wish my life was as interesting as the one I'd written, haha.

That was a very long explanation! But I hope it answered your question <3
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#4 Livi_777

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:58 PM

Hi! ( I was going to exclaim about the wonders of MTA pages but spell check turned my exclamation to 'Pooh!' so I changed my mind)

I'm a massive fan of Starving Artists (and sequels and prequels and argyle socks whatnot) so I've popped over to ask a question or two!

1. When you started writing Starving Artists, did you think it would become this popular? And did you anticipate it's becoming a series of sorts (a trilogy plus bits, really)?

2. Where, when and how do you write? Sometimes when I read your work I wonder if you are sitting in a cafe or shopping centre, because the settings, dialogue and characters are so vivid, you'd think that you just got off the phone with them!!

3. Scorpius. (Spell check thinks he's called Scorpions) Let's talk about Scorpius. Where did he come from? Does he resemble a person/people you know? Is he someone you wish you knew? (I wish I knew him!) Or did he just apparate into your mental flower pot one day, wearing a party hat and clutching his left eye?

Sorry to bombard you, but I need to know more!!
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#5 ahoythere

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:02 AM

Hola! Don't worry, my phone's autocorrect always changes Dramione to crampons. No idea why but it gives me endless amusement.

1. I had no idea! I was writing it for kicks, really. I was just a hopeful little upstart on the site then and I really wanted to establish myself as a drastoria author because it's my OTP. But then I think justonemorefic got me in review tag once and it all just sort of snowballed from there. I'd planned a sequel for some time, simply because I wanted to write a fic about the silliness of being Scottish (something I am all too familiar with) and, well, silly seems to go well with my Lucy and Scorpius. But the sequel was originally very different (and I'm glad I went for a different plot in the end!). The prequel came about because I wanted to write a Hogwarts-centric fic, and a lot of people reviewing SA had been wondering what on EARTH Scorpius and Rose saw in each other. So I wanted to write about that too, because I actually plotted for them to have a pretty complex relationship and I thought that might be fun to explore, plus writing new characters and lessons and stuff. My favourite bits of the series itself were always the bits set in Hogwarts, so I wanted to try my hand at writing that.

2. Ha, definitely not! Far too paranoid to write in public ^^ Generally I draft everything first in my plot notebook, and that tends to happen in my desk or when I'm sitting up in bed having a lie-in or something. That book never leaves the house, haha! And when I'm typing, I'm generally curled up on a sofa flicking between tumblr and a word doc at 3am or something. I lead an exciting life, me. That said, I do draw on real life a lot for inspiration. So I suppose everyday experiences just go on to shape what I type up later.

3. 'Or did he just apparate into your mental flower pot one day, wearing a party hat and clutching his left eye?' -THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. Okay, no, Scorpius is definitely not someone I want to know, because the pretty sad truth is that I based a lot of him on me. I guess, character-wise, I'm equal parts Rose and Scorpius (in my academic freak-outs and inherent patheticness). A lot of his scenes in prequel sort of, um, come from my life. It's kind of weird writing him as a character because sometimes it's a bit like keeping a diary from someone else's point of view. Okay, this is, like, early Scorpius. Definitely not the guy he becomes at the end/in sequel with, you know, the relationships and the jobs and the everything. But he's a lot like me. We're both miserable, pathetic, whinging smiths fans with bad hair and a bleak outlook on life. In terms of appearance, though, I kind of took inspiration from everywhere. He totally has Morrissey's glasses and Robert Smith's hair and the dress sense of every boy I bump into when I go trawling round vintage shops in the hipster bit of town. Oh, that was the weirdest explanation of his character ever. But he is a weird character. And I love writing him.

Thank you for the questions! :D <33
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#6 spreaddapoo93

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

Hello! I'm reading your SA, and have to admit that it's probably one of the best things I've come across on the internet~ :)

1) I was wondering if you are working on any novels of your own, or even short stories. Your writing style is wonderfully refreshing, and I think a completely original story written by you would probably be the best thing to come up on the literary sphere.

2) Do you pledge to read the written word?!

3) What was your most revelatory, or most impactful, moment in your literary/artistic trajectory?

4) I'm a first year art student (and Art fanatic), and I do profess that it's absolutely spectacular to see bits of the art life incorporated in something like this. I'm absolutely floored by the ingenuity of it all. This is more of a personal question, but what do you plan on doing with (or without) your degree?

They're quite general and... wonky questions, but I think I've fallen in love with you, and having checked out your page, have found myself to have created a whole new fanbase that I shall entitled "The Phenomenal Julia"
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#7 ahoythere

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

Can I just begin by telling you that I have had the worst November ever by a long shot - I can't even describe how stressful and miserable this month has been, from studying stress to having to actually /move flats/ in total secrecy - but it's all been made a little brighter by logging on and seeing all these lovely reviews you've left me. Seriously, they're so wonderful, I want to print them out and keep them forever! It's people like you that motivate me to keep writing <3

(also, your signature is a scarily accurate summary of how I socialise and celebrate. second breakfast?)

And now onto the questions!

1. I actually am ~sort-of~ working on some original things, but they're mostly just retooled versions of my existing fanfiction. I've found a few zines that take short story submissions, so I'm reworking Develop, Stop, Fix and Quantum Physics for original fiction. Plus my dad always jokes that, as an art student, I need to find a way of making money, so I should try my hand at a crime series under the pseudonym of 'Norah Slashammer' (one of my art teachers had handwriting so bad she thought my name was Norah). So I suppose I'm working on that too.

2. I pledge to read the written word!

3. Ooh, literary and artistic? It's hard to know, to be honest. I suppose I kind of realised I might actually be good at the things I liked doing in my fourth year of school, when I got full marks on literature essays consistently for the first time ever and I started the school's first ever creative writing magazine - I was allowed to start my own magazine! I was convinced for a long time that I'd study english literature at university and some day become a novelist - my decision to be an arteeste came quite suddenly to my family, I think, and I didn't really develop as an artist until I was taking my a-levels - even though I had secret aspirations to go to art school from about the age of fifteen, which is pretty much when I started writing starving artists. I think the most impactful moment for me when it came to art was when I finally cracked and confessed to my art teacher that I wanted to go to art school. I expected him to say it'd be hard work, but he just gave me this really serious look and said 'you're the perfect kind of person for art school'. All my life I'd been told to consider art as nothing more than a hobby, a doss subject, something of little value, and this meant so much to me. My parents were iffy about the idea at first, so knowing that I had this teacher that believed in me so much and wanted to help me become an art student was a massive revelation. Those are fairly boring and standard revelations, I realise, but when you're a person of little self-esteem like me, knowing that someone trusts in your skill and wants to help you achieve your dreams is a massive motivational boost. I wouldn't be at art school, or still writing, if it wasn't for Writers' Block magazine and my art teacher.

4. Whee! Art students unite! Seeing as I started the story a while ago and I'm only in my first year of art school now, I realise that, er, the story's a bit, um, unrealistic, but oh well. To be honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my degree. I picked a more specialised course; mine's a five-year masters that encompasses History of Art as well as Art, so as well as having time in the studio and projects to be getting on with, I have that academic side to fall back on as well. It's a sort of course that naturally lends itself to curating and conservation work, and I suppose a museum or gallery is a great habitat for an introvert like me. So that seems a sensible aspiration. But I'm going to be optimistic and say that one day I'd love to be a freelance photographer and illustrator and dabble in print, even though it's a dying medium. And someday I'd like to write a novel. Could I just be a modern renaissance woman? Mostly I just want to make money out of a degree that has the lowest average starting salary of every degree you can read for in the country

Thank you so much for your questions and your reviews! They've really cheered me up <3
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#8 spreaddapoo93

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:29 PM

(I've got the Lembas ready, you just tell me when!)

Thanks for taking the incredible amount of time to go out of your way to write such a long, in-depth and wonderful response to my questions. I was super-excited to read them through!

I think your original fics expanding on your current fics would be phenomenal. I haven't read Develop, Stop, Fix, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and presume it's to do with photography (an area you are quite familiar with, no?), and I think that literature and photography have yet to come together to become one amazing literary work of art. And if ever I come across a Norah Slashammer crime novel (despite the fact that I'm not very into crime novels... The only ones I tried and loved was the Millennium Trilogy and Sherlock Holmes; but I'm sure anything by you will be spectacular) I will drain my savings account to invest in them. I'll buy them for my family. My friends. Long-distance pen-pals! As christmas, birthday, easter and new-year presents; everyone will be sick of literature by the following year...

I think that's phenomenal (your revelatory moment). I'm very inspired by it, because I was fortunate enough to have a family, sister, friends, teachers, etc... who were all very supportive of me becoming an artist (I'm actually studying film, which... isn't really an easy field to break into, I hear. My dad jokingly (but accurately) said that the two least-successful careers that people study for are archaeology and film; I wanted to go into the former when I was much younger, and now it's film!). Anyway, it's wonderful hearing someone like you having such a revelatory moment; Writer's Block magazine (Did you think of that amazing title?) and your art teacher sound awesome!

Well, I think you'll strive and achieve all you want to achieve. And yes, of course you can be the modern renaissance woman! We can form an association! :D We can also create a club for all those wonderful, dying art forms, like print and film-photography. I'm struggling to try to find a 35mm film camera and a 35mm reel, because film has so much to offer that digital just dismally lacks.

Anyway, to end this rather long response to your response, I'll say that I've really enjoyed writing the reviews. It says a lot about a person's writing skills when their readers take as much fun out of writing reviews for each chapter as when they're reading them. :)

Toodles for now! :)

Edited by spreaddapoo93, 28 November 2012 - 12:34 PM.

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#9 ahoythere

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

Lembas, hurrah! Got any potatoes?

Hee, I can't exactly claim to be a proficient photographer, but I think owning twelve cameras and being a frequent darkroomer qualifies me as an amateur. Not that I use all of those twelve cameras; a lot of them are just old models that I fancied collecting. I have about five I use on a regular basis, two digital and three film. People tend to sneer at photography as an art form - really grinds my gears! And, ooh! I'll make sure to get those Norah Slashhammer crime epics out soon then! (Although I'm probably a tad late for the Christmas market...)

Film, wow! That's awesome! Ah, my parents are supportive now, but it took them a while to come around to it. When it came to me picking my five choices for university, my school wouldn't let me apply to five art colleges so I had to apply to two history courses and three art schools. Sucks to be them; I'm at one of the top ten art schools in the UK now. I think people going into the arts get a lot of stick regardless of who they are or where they've come from, though. People automatically assume 'arts' = 'worthless' which makes it that wee bit tougher for us. And yes, I did come up with the title! And then spent two hours arguing with the rest of the society about why we should put the apostrophe at the end to indicate the collective block of a group of writers, rather than the block of a sole writer...cough cough.

Thank you! That sounds like a plan - Modern Renaissance Women Anonymous (except not anonymous because we're FABULOUS). Ah yeah, vive la dying art forms! Shooting 35mm is infinitely better than digital. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to get hold of a second-hand film camera! Charity shops usually have cheap instant ones, although you can sometimes pick up a good analogue in a decent second-hand shop. If you're going to invest in something that shoots 35mm, though, I'd probably reccomend going for a more modern electric model. I started out with a pentax and I still prefer shooting film with my 1990's canon eos than my manual praktica, just because...well, it's easier. haha.

Thanks for the response to the response (and here's me rounding up the response to the response to the response) and, again, thanks for your reviews

Edited by ahoythere, 29 November 2012 - 05:35 PM.

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#10 spreaddapoo93

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:47 PM

["TATERS?! WHAT'S TATERS, THEN?!" (Haha, nothing like Smeagol crying over his dead squirrels!)]

I believe it's a good solid deal, then! MRWA (Or MRWF?) shall be official~ Recruiting is top priority!

Thanks for the heads up~ My father's pretty awesome at DIY, so I was sort of thinking of also trying my hand at pimping out cameras - "up(or down?)grading" them and that sort of stuff. We'll probably start off small, but it's definitely what I'd love to do. Plus, it's a lot of fun! :D

Anyway, it's a pleasure for the reviews; and I'll stop blabbing about - this is the end of this response! Once again, thanks for responding so quickly and fabulously~

Hope you are well and wish you the very best for all your epic adventures! :)
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#11 DumbledoresArmyOfOne

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:16 PM

Ummm... Just wondering what happened to Don't Panic? It seems to have disappeared...


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#12 ahoythere

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

@DumbledoresArmyOfOne I deleted it from the archives for a number of reasons. I'm certain I'd never have been able to finish it, and it was a very messy story that needed a lot of editing, and had taken a lot of liberties with the original canon established in Starving Artists. I did try working on a short story collection involving the key scenes from the story (essentially, summing up what was originally going to be a 100,000 word prequel in three or so chapters) but I'm really pushed for time and it's unlikely that will ever be posted either. 

 

I'm sorry it had to be taken down, but I was so ashamed of it being left up in such a shambolic & unfinished state! 


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#13 PrimeSuspectsAreNargles

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

So couple of questions. I am a big fan of your work, especially Starving Artists and Weather for Ducks

1. Why did you decide to go with Lucy as the main character. I really love Lucy see, and think that she isn't as big of a character as other Weasleys. I think she should be bigger, but I was just wondering what made you choose her?

2. How on earth do come up with such random things for your stories. With some of yours I can never expect what will pop up next.

3. Are Raven and Tarquin based on real people? Because they seem so amazingly different and weird, that if they were real, I would have to meet them.


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#14 ahoythere

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

Hello there! Thank you for your questions:3

 

1. Simply put, I chose Lucy as the main character because I've got a bit of a soft spot for Percy. Of all the characters in Harry Potter, I feel like I can identify with Hermione, Colin and Percy the most, being a short know-it-all elitist bighead with a soft spot for photography and irritating people as I am. When I started writing Next-Gen, I got thinking about what Percy would be like as a husband to Audrey, and as a father to Molly and Lucy (as they were named in JKR's family tree). For some reason, I imagined that poor Percy, who'd probably still be fighting the cause of cauldron bottom regulation in government, would end up with a pair of mildly rebellious daughters. And that's where my Lucy came from! If I had more time and energy, I would have written more about that branch of the Weasley family, but sadly there's only so many hours in the day. 

 

2. I can't really name anything specific beyond my absurd sense of humour! I was raised on a diet of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and the Monty Python films, and I feel like a lot of my sense of humour has come out of that. I also have to credit TV series like Black Books and Green Wing, and comedians like Bill Bailey - I like to laugh at the surreal, and I think a bit of that's been injected into my writing along the way. Besides that, I tend to draw on real life as often as possible - sometimes me and my friends do just have these bizarro injokes that I end up mashing into stories. For example, our generic name for posh hipster boys is 'a Tarquin', ergo...Tarquin.

 

One of the most important things to do in writing generally, I think, is to observe as much as possible. I read a quote earlier about how writers kind of exist on the periphery of life, always observing, not really part of the action, and I think that's totally true. When you take a step back and think about life, it is totally weird and very random. Things tend to happen very slowly and, uh, very uncontrollably. While I don't exactly advocate a plot twist per chapter, I think it's important to remember that uncontrollability when you write. I'm just an average human being; I'm a bewildered, baffled sack of bones blundering blindly from thing to thing. I do a lot of stupid things, and I don't understand most things. Life is just a lot of things. The same goes for my characters. 

 

So, uh, not to be a Percy and sound bigheaded or anything, but I think the absurdity and spontaneity in my stories comes from my habit of observing and appreciating the inherent oddness of being a wee human being in a big, messy world. I think it's important to notice things, even if they're little. Notice quirks of behaviour that your friends and family have, for example, and write that into your fic. 

 

But mostly...I'm an art student. I get exposed to a lot of weird things. Surrealism is kind of the background radiation of my life.

 

3. Ah, sort of! They're not exactly based on individuals. I think I kind of threaded a lot of people I knew and didn't know together and then cut Raven and Tarquin from the resulting cloth. I don't really know anybody I can directly match up to them, whereas I can definitely say that Scorpius is so much like me he's almost an author-insert, Rose is a bit like me too, and I gave some of my own physical attributes to Lucy (simultaneously giving her the sort of confident personality I wish I had, eek!). Whilst characters are certainly inspired by people I know and have met, I don't think I've ever totally based a character on someone I know. I'd find that a bit odd - I'd end up thinking of the character as them, and not a separate person, and that'd complicate the writing process, I think.

 

Thanks again, and sorry for the enormous reply! I get a bit excited when people ask me things about my writing, heh.


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#15 purplepotter775

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:48 PM

Hi, Julia! I have a few questions for you!

 

1. I love how your take on Scorpius is so different from how everyone normally characterizes him! What are some of the differences between all of your different Scorpiuses and which is your favorite?

 

2. If you had to choose, who would be your favorite character from HP?

 

3. What are some of your inspirations for your characters of Lucy and Scorpius? Are they inspired by some other characters or people you know in real life?

 

4. I know you're a huge fan of The Smiths, so what's your favorite song by them?

 

That's all for now, thank you! :)

 

 


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