Questions and Answers
1. How did you come up with the names of the girls?
Answer: I get asked this all the time!
Riley: I wanted Aria and Ezra's daughter to have both a beautiful and classic name, which is why I went with Riley. I love the name so much, and I thought Riley's name suited her in this story. Plus my cousin and one of best friend's name is Riley, so I guess I was paying homage to them.
Haley: I wanted Hanna's daughter to be sassy and girly, and that's exactly what I think of when I hear the name Haley! I think I mentioned this in an authors note, but Haley is usually pronounced like Callie with an H instead of Hay-lee like I intended it to sound. Based on previous reviews, it sounds like everyone calls her something different. To me she'll always be a Hay-lee, but call her whatever you want :).
Taylor: Ever since Melissa told Spencer she wanted to name her son or daughter Taylor, I've thought "Hey, that's something Spencer would name her kid." In one of my other stories Falling From Cloud Nine, Spencer's daughter is also named Taylor. Don't ask me why, but I think the name Taylor suits a Spoby baby!
Meggie: When I started writing this story, I had just finished a novel called The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and I absolutely adored it! The protagonist's name was Meggie, and she was ambitious, loyal, and a dreamer. I wanted Emily's daughter to be all of those things, so I named her after Meggie from The Thorn Birds, which everyone should read!
2. How did you get the idea to write this story.
Answer: This story actually started with the character of Meggie. I was at soccer practice one afternoon and I thought, " What if a girl loved soccer, but her parents wanted her to play another sport?" I wanted to turn the idea into a fanfiction, but I didn't see any of the girls as soccer players. I decided I would have to make it one of the character's children, and then I got the inspiration to write a next generation story. This was at the beginning of my freshman year, and I didn't actually put much thought into it until the summer going into my sophomore year. I didn't think a story about the Liar's children would be very popular, so I pushed it to the back of my mind until I was bored one day at a sleep away soccer camp. I took out my journal and wrote down the character summaries for all the children, as well as what some potential plotlines could be. I still wasn't convinced that the story would be successful at all, so I waited a few more months to start writing. I was and still am shocked that the story became so popular!
3. Who is your favorite girl and why.
Answer: I wouldn't say that I have a favorite. I love all the girls for different reasons, and I also dislike certain things about them. However, if I had to choose I would probably say Haley. She literally went from being a selfish and self-centered teenage girl to being a loyal and carrying friend who holds the group together when things go really wrong. She took a bullet to protect her friends and their moms, and that's pretty remarkable in my opinion!
4. Which girl are you most like?
Answer: I'm a lot like all of them in some ways. I love reading and writing like Riley does, and I feel like I'm not as confident as I should be, which is a problem she struggles with. I'm the least like Haley because I'm not super girly or outgoing like she is, but I like to have fun and be goofy like she does. I also say really stupid things without realizing it sometimes, and I should probably work on foxing that. I'm probably the most like Taylor. I work very hard in school, and I'm very type-A. I also have dealt with a lot of the same things she has (minus the miscarriage) so I feel like I can really relate to her. I'm like Meggie because I love soccer, and I'm very loyal to both my friends and family. I can also be judgmental, which is something I'm trying to change.
5. Which couple is your favorite?
Answer: I love Riley and Sam! Sam was kind of a bad boy at the beginning of the story, but he changes his ways after he falls in love with Riley. He was also directly involved in hurting her, but she somehow finds a way to trust him; which would be hard for anyone to do after what Riley went through. They're just so sweet together, and the fact that their parents hate each other makes their story even more romantic.
6. Are the girls based off of real people or are they completely made up?
Answer: I would say neither. I didn't really base the girls off of anyone specific, but I got some of their traits and quirks from their mothers, as well as from the people around me. Some of the dialogue spoken between the four of them is based off of real conversations that I've had with my friends!
7. Would you think about doing a sequel.
Answer: I'm sorry to say this, but absolutely not. I think it is possible to drag a story out too much, and in my opinion both the Pretty Little Liars book series and television show were dragged out way to long. I don't mind since I still enjoy both, and it's making Sara Sheppard and the producers a ton of money, but I'd rather end a story while it's good than drag it out for a ridiculous amount of time. I'm sure a lot of people feel like I dragged Rosewood Never Changes out too long, and in all honesty I probably did! That being said, I'm officially done with the story. However, if someone else feels the need to write a sequel they're welcome to as long as that person PMs me first. I think a Zach and Meggie sequel would be interesting if anyone wants to take that on.
8. Are some characters easier to write for than others? Which of the girls do you enjoy writing for the most and why? Who do you like writing for the least?
Answer: Absolutely! Taylor is really easy for me to write for since I've been through the same things as her, so I know exactly how she's feeling. That being said, she's also the hardest to write for because sometimes I feel like I'm writing about the sad parts of my life when I do a Taylor chapter. Those of you who have read my other stories know that I cover a lot of sad and difficult topics such as death, drinking and driving, abduction, rape, and so on. Even though these things are devastating, I never shed a tear when I write about them. I know that makes me sound heartless, but I just don't. The first time I ever cried while writing a story was when I wrote about Spencer's death, and the scene with Taylor and all the ladybugs. I had to relive a lot of the same emotions I felt when I lost my mom, and that was really hard. On a happier note, I'd say I like writing for Haley the most. She developed so much throughout the story, and it was really fun to help her grow as a character. Riley was fun to write about because she had such a dark side, but she was still a super normal girl at first glance. Meggie was great because of where I placed her chapters. Since she was the last of the girls to tell her story in each section, I really had to wrap that section up with her. That's why most of the group meetings take place during Meggie's POV.
9. Riley likes the wrong guy, and gets raped by his older brother. Haley struggles with self-confidence, and has an abusive ex-boyfriend. Taylor's mom is dying, and she loses her baby. Meggie wants to be herself without upsetting her mothers. These are huge problems that several teens face in real life! Which of these problems do you have personal experience with?
Answer: Yeah, unfortunately a lot of girls do deal with these problems. I have dealt with losing a parent as well as trying to meet high parental expectations without losing myself as a person. My best friend was raped, and I see how much that affects her, so I wanted to incorporate that issue into my story since it's such a huge problem in our world. As far as I know, none of my friends are in an abusive relationship, but a lot of girls get into them and can't find a way out. All of these issues are serious, and I wanted to raise awareness of some of these problems. If you have been in any of these situations, I hope you were able to relate to the characters I created, and I hope you felt as though I did the topic justice.
10. Did you know the ending before you started writing?
Answer: Yes and no. I knew who A was, but I did not know how some of the girl's personal stories would end. When I first started writing this story I was going to have James end up with Serena. I never intended for James and Taylor to be together, because that would have been more realistic considering we don't always get the guy we want. But everyone loved the couple, and Taylor had enough issues as it was, so I let her have the guy. I also was going to kill off Haley originally, but I love her so much that I changed my mind. A lot of things like that were changed, so I guess I didn't really know the ending as well as I thought I did.
11. All the girls have complex relationships with their mothers. How would you describe each relationship? Which girl is the closest to her mother and why.
Answer: When is a mother/daughter relationship not complex? Who can honestly say that they like their mother all the time? These girls are no exception, and they constantly seem to be switching between thinking their mother is the greatest thing since sliced bread, to not even being able to sit in the same room as her. I would say Riley and Aria's relationship is really complex because it revolves around so many secrets and lies. I'd say by the end they're a lot more open with each other though. Haley's relationship with her mother is tense at the beginning of the story because she thinks Hanna loves Serena more, and she feels as though she's not good enough for her parents. After Haley tells Hanna about Kyle they get closer, and Haley feels less jealous of her older sister. I'd say that Taylor and Spencer end up being the closet by the end. Since Spencer's days are limited, they had to find a way to work out their differences and fix some of their unresolved tensions before it was too late. At the begging of the story Meggie's relationship with her mom(s) is somewhat fake. She's trying so hard to play the role of perfect daughter that she forgets to let them know who she really is and what she wants. Luckily Paige and Emily support Meggie and her choice to play soccer by the end of the story, so Meggie becomes more real with them.
12. Sam is the best character ever! He's so sweet to Riley but he's so misunderstood by everyone. How did you get the inspiration for him. Do you think it's fair that Aria and Ezra were so judgmental towards him?
Answer: Sam was the only character who was based off a real person. One of my best guy friend's name is Sam, and he's literally just like Sam in the story! He's a total player, and he's flirty with literally everyone, but once I saw past that I realized that he is probably the coolest person I've ever met. I actually really miss him since I haven't seen him since Winter Break, but we're going camping together over Spring Break and I'm super excited! And I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this one, but I don't think Aria and Ezra were unfair in their judgment of him. Riley is their daughter, and they were convinced that he hurt her, so they did their job by trying to keep him away. They could have done a better job of listening to Riley, but overall I thought their reactions to Sam were natural. This is a side note, but I don't think Ella and Byron's reaction to Aria and Ezra's relationship was unreasonable in the slightest. If you came home with your teacher and told your parents that you were in a relationship with him, I desperately hope a few punches would be thrown.
13. Will the characters still be a part of your life after you stop writing the story? Even if you don't post anymore, will you still write about what happens next for them?
Answer: Yeah, they'll still be part of my life. I'm sure I'll miss writing this story, but I don't think I'll write about the girls anymore, even for my own personal enjoyment. For me at least, I wrapped up each girl's story in the epilogue. It sucks that it's really over, but now I have the opportunity to write new stories and develop new characters which should be a blast.
14. Do people at your school know you write this?
Question: A few of my best friends do, but very few people know about my writing. It's kind of a personal thing for me, and I don't feel urge to tell everyone about my secret hobby.
15. Why did you kill Spencer?
Answer: I didn't want to, but I knew I had to. We don't always get the perfectly happy ending that we all want, and I really wanted to display that in the story. I also wanted to show that even though Taylor has something terrible happen to her, she was still able to move on from her loss and live a happy life.
16. There are a lot of "next generation" stories on the PLL Fandom, and I was wondering how you distinguished yours from everyone else's. Why does your story work while so many others fail?
Answer: Well I wouldn't say writing a story is a pass/fail deal. I'm sure a lot of people would tell you that this was a terrible story and that I failed miserably. Those same people might love the stories that you think were a failure. There are a lot of next generation stories that have both good and bad qualities. In my opinion, the biggest mistake people make is creating twenty-some characters, and writing POV's for every single one! You cannot fully develop all those characters, and your reader will lose track of who's who very quickly. It's a lot easier to create 4-5 characters and make them seem real and relatable to your readers. Even if you think your story is awful and you feel like no one's reading, KEEP WRITING! This is how you get better! Whenever I read my old stories like Falling From Cloud Nine I realize how bad the writing seems. I'm sure by the end of this school year, I'll think that this story was the worst thing I've ever written. I know that sounds discouraging, but in reality it's a very good thing. When you look at your old writing and decide that it's not very good or you should have written it better, that shows that your skills are developing! So even though writing is really hard, stick to it if that's what you love to do.
AN: So this is officially the end! After over a year of writing Rosewood Never Changes, the story has finally wrapped up! It doesn't seem real, since this story became such a huge part of my life when I started writing it. Just yesterday I finished a chapter of The Room, and I was like "Great. Now I can get a head start on writing the next chapter for Rosewood Never Changes." I quickly realized that there was nothing left to write, and I felt a mix of sadness and joy when I realizes that the story was complete. I had an absolute blast writing this story, and attempting to think like a PLL writer. I will miss Riley and her sweetness, Haley and her sassiness ,Taylor and her intelligence, and Meggie and her lovableness. Most importantly, I will miss all of you! The time you have invested in this story seems unreal, and I wouldn't have been able to write 96 chapters without all of your love and support. Thank you for following, favoriting, reviewing, and most importantly reading! I hope you'll continue to read my stories, and I hope you'll continue to enjoy them. The next story I write will be about a shooting at Rosewood High, and it will be heavily rested on Hanna's shoulders. Writing this story made me realize that I focus a lot on Aria and Ezra, so I don't have as many stories about the other girls. Although I will continue to write for Ezria because I love them so much, I will also put more time into writing for some of the other characters and couples. I hope that satisfies you Haleb, Spoby, and Paily fans! So for one last time on this story, I really hope you enjoyed reading! If your question didn't get answered for some reason, PM me and I'll get back to you soon! I love you, and thank you for everything!