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Author has written 2 stories for Twilight.
Q/A on Trusting The Magic
1. What made you decide to do a story about Leah Clearwater?-Basically because of these two statements:
"Essentially, everyone gets everything they want, even if their desires necessitate an about-face in characterization or the messy introduction of some back story. Nobody has to renounce anything or suffer more than temporarily—in other words, grandeur is out."-review by Publisher's Weekly 9/7/08 on Breaking Dawn
"And they all lived happily ever after...except Leah Clearwater."-Random joke I've read on multiple sites
Leah Clearwater got shafted. Out of all of the 'beings' that sided with the Cullen's, only two characters didn't get "everything they wanted": Leah Clearwater and Tanya Denali...and Leah got it worse. Leah had to suffer through losing Sam, becoming the 1st female shifter in history, being unable to have kids, and have the belief she could never imprint or be imprinted on. Leah reminds me of Job from the Bible. She continues to serve her tribe despite everything SM heaps on her (yes, I just compared Stephanie Myers to Satan...sorry). All of the vampires (with the exception of Tanya) got a mate or got to keep their mates. Jacob got Renesmee. All of the other wolves either got their imprints or at least have the ablity to imprint. Leah's all on her own. It just didn't seem right to do that to her.
2. In H.R.I., you made Alice suicidal. In this story, Leah is. Do you have some kind of fixation with suicide?-No. Let's face it folks, beings (both human and supernatural) have a very, very, VERY strong drive to stay alive. If someone is considering something that goes against that drive, they need help. If it's something that's crossed you mind...you need help. I do not advocate taking your own life. This world is full of many mysterious and beautiful things. If you haven't seen them...you haven't looked in the right place. If you or someone you love is considering it, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. This is in the United States...if anyone in your home country has another number I will be glad to post it. The main reason I'm doing this story about Leah is because everyone deserves their shot at happiness.
That being said, I'm not dismissing the fact that people who are pushed to their emotional breaking point don't consider it. In H.R.I. I pushed Alice to that point for the sake of the story. In this one I will push Leah. I wanted Leah to hit rock bottom to show the complete turnaround she has with her imprint. I also wanted him to rescue her...to show that imprinting works both ways and he feels the pull to her that she feels to him.
3. Leah is kind of out of character, isn't she?-I don't think so. One of the things that is said...over and over in both the Twilight Saga and in FF is that "imprinting changes you". It made teenage Quil want to hang out with a toddler. It made Sam break off his engagement to Leah. It made Jacob no longer homicidal towards Renesmee. I figure if other authors can have guys in the pack saying mushy, romantic things (which I think is OOC) to their imprints than I can have Leah want to look pretty for her imprint. It's not that big of a stretch. Would Julian fall in love with Leah without it? Of course...he's her imprint. But I think it would be more OOC for Leah to not care about his opinion than it would for her to want to be pretty for him. My opinion...my story I guess. I'm shooting for what I think would happen and this is what I would think would happen. Besides, who's to say this is OOC? This is likely Leah before her world was completely turned upside down by Sam imprinting on Emily and Leah phasing for the 1st time.
4. A hybrid? Are you kidding me?-No, I'm not kidding. Ok, I've got two reasons for this.
First, I've always believed...for many reasons...that Jacob's pack isn't "normal" as compared to Sam's. Leah's the only girl. Jake imprinted on a hybrid. Seth likes vampires. Embry doesn't know who his dad is. Quil imprinted on a toddler. I think Jacob's pack is the odder of the two and it makes more sense to me for them to have the odder imprints. I've also wondered if maybe they're not destine to live longer than an average human lifespan. Besides, Leah doesn't like vampires. I didn't want to pair her with her mortal enemy. Also I couldn't see her passing the shifter gene with a full vampire. Some other authors have done it...with success...but I don't know if I could.
Second, Leah needs a bad ass imprint. The song 'Bitch' by Meridith Brooks says "so take me as I am/just may mean you'll have to be a stronger man" and I think Leah needs that. After all Leah has suffered, she deserves more than a human or God forbid a toddler. Leah needs someone not only physically strong but mentally tough. Everything about Julian...from him being an ex soldier to being much older than her...was put there for one reason and one reason only: to give Leah Clearwater the best imprint she (in my opinion) deserves.
Look, I'm not knocking any other authors, but most stories that have Leah in them (either as a main or a secondary character) don't give her much. Either they're about her imprinting on one of the wolves (Jake, Embry, ect) which should've happened before BD if it was going to happen, have her imprinting on some random human (when IMO she needs more), have her just giving up phasing and falling in love with someone she meets (which IMO lessens her standing as a shifter...it says she's not good enough for the magic), or just has he remaining a bitter, loveless shrew. I didn't want that. I want Leah to thrive in my story so I gave her the best imprint I could come up with.
5. Why did you make Julian a Vietnam veteran? Why not some other war?-Well, that's complicated.
First off, I think veterans of this paticular time in U.S. history don't get the respect they deserve. Check out your 11th grade American History book. Their fathers, grandfathers, ect came back from Europe and the Pacific after WWI and WWII to a hero's welcome. Vietnam vets came back to being spit on and called derogatory names. Why? Soldiers don't make policy...politicans do. Soldiers go where their country tells them to go and fights who they tell them to fight. It's been this way in EVERY country since civilizations were formed. Was Vietnam handled badly by the U.S.? Hell yes! Should the U.S. have been there? I don't know...probably not. However that's not an infantry soldier's call...it's their Commander in Chief's (aka the President...which was J.F.K in the beginning). I thought it was fitting to give these guys and gals props for answering their country's call.
Second is I've always held a personal interest in this way due to my occupation. For those of you that don't know me personally...or didn't figure it out from my screen name...I'm a paramedic. A LOT of ideas, theories, and procedures for modern EMS (Emergency Medical Services...aka the ambulance) came from our involvement in the Vietnam War. Examples of this are: helicopter transport for critically injured patients, the "Golden Hour" (the theory that getting a major trauma patient onto an operating table within 1 hour of the injury significantly increases their chances of survival), and treatment in the field before getting to the hospital also did major things to increase survival. It was a VERY popular belief by doctors in the 1960's and 70's that someone had a better chance of surviving a gunshot wound in Vietnam than an auto accident in New York or Chicago. I wrote about what I know...what I've studied...and what holds a personal interest to me.
6. How realistic is Julian's service record?-It depends on which part you're talking about. Him being in Vietnam the entire time? Highly unlikely...but possible. He could "dazzle" the right people to keep him there. And he is immortal, so there's no reason to think he would die in a fire fight. He joined the Navy posing as an 18 year old and "died" when he was 33. No worries about exposure there.
If you're asking about his commendations...he's not as bad ass as Rambo. Four bronze stars and two silver stars in fifteen years is more than believable. Rambo got that in much less time. Rambo also got a Congressional Medal of Honor...the U.S. military's highest honor. I bumped Julian's down to a Navy Cross which is still impressive. Rambo got 4 Purple Heart's, Julian only one. And before you ask "how could someone who can't be injured get a Purple Heart?" let me explain. He got that single award for the injuries that "killed" him. You don't have to survive a wound to get a Purple Heart.
I did some extensive research to make Julian believable when it comes to his military record. I spent hours reading books and online. I talked to dozens of current and ex Navy and Marine personel. That's how I knew he would go to boot camp in San Diego, Califorina and that a Navy Corpsman is who would handle medic duties for a platoon of Marines. I wanted Julian in combat...not hospital duty...which is why he was saddled with a Marine unit. And FYI, I asked a LOT of Marines about their "Docs". The Navy and the Marine Corps do have an intense rivalry...Jarheads and Squids don't usually get along. However that doesn't apply to 2 specific groups of Navy personel: Docs and cooks. Corpsman that are put in Marine units have to go to Paris Island for their training. They're respected by the Marines.
7. Why a Navy Corpsman? Why not an Army field medic or Air Force para-rescue?-Because I made Julian from somewhere near Calahan Florida. It's close to Jacksonville. Jacksonville has a HUGE Navy base there. It just made sense.
8. What's with your musical choices at the beginning of the chapters?-I'm shooting for the time period Julian was in Vietnam. Not all chapters will go that far back but I thought adding some of the music from his "young adult" years would spice up the story a little. Besides, I'm kind of tired of that genre being ignored in FF. Like Leah says in this story "you can't go wrong with the classics".
Q/A on History Repeating Itself
1. Why Alice?-Easy. Alice was the perfect Cullen to have their own version of Twilight. Edward and Bella already had theirs (though I could see Bella doing it also...her having to contend with everything along with having a teenage daughter that looks the same age as mom would add spice to the story). Emmett's already killed his singer, so that eliminates him. Jasper doesn't have the control. Carlisle and Esme...too tricky. Carlisle is the backbone of the Cullen family. You either eliminate Carlisle, the family dynamitic collapses. Eliminate Esme...Carlisle collapes along with the family. Rosaline was a posiblility, but I couldn't figure a story for her. Alice has the control and let's face it...her character needs to be more in depth than "shopping, shopping, shopping".
2. Why did you kill Rosaline?-She wasn't necessary. There's already so many Cullen's to incorporate into the story that she was easily the best one to get rid of. I needed Carlisle and Esme as the parental figures. I needed Edward for the mind reading and Bella for the womanly advice. I needed Emmett as a friend to Pat and for comic relief. Rosaline quite simply would've been both against Alice having a relationship with a human and just been an all-around pain in the ass.
3. Why football?-Why not? One of the worst things about Bella Swan was she didn't do ANYTHING in Twilight. I thought it hurt her in New Moon because there wasn't that much for her to withdraw from once Edward left. I wanted Patrick...even though he was somewhat of a loner and could think for himself...to do something in school. It also adds some similarities to Jasper (charisma and the fact football as been compared to war in several pieces of literature). It made him athletic...another plus to attract Alice. I thought the poor kid fighting for his families future added to the story.
4. Are Emmett and Amber going to get together?-Probably not. There's groundwork just in case I want to add it in the sequel, but no guarantees. I thought having Emmett charming Amber could help Alice and Patrick's cause. It's possible I put them together...but not likely.
5. Why is did you make Pat's mom a lesbian?-I work with a lady who is that has three teenage sons. They have an awesome relationship and I thought I would throw her some props. She is an excellent mom despite being non-traditional. Also, Melanie's (Pat's mom's partner) will have an important role as the story goes on. That's a surprise that will be comming up soon.
6. Why is their intimacy moving in "baby steps"?-Because frankly it's the only way I could see it even happening. How many stories have you read with a human/vampire together that they kissed, then two or three chapters later they have sex? It doesn't seem likely. Especially when one of them (or both in Edward and Bella's case) have no experience. Besides that, it's not usually how humans teenagers work either (I say usually...there are execptions). For this story specifically, there's two reasons.
For Alice...there's the control issue. She has to keep tabs on both her strength and her bloodlust. Does she want to sleep with Patrick? Hell yes. Alice isn't Edward. Alice has been with someone before...married in fact. Unlike Edward, she knows what it's like to be that close to someone. Alice knows what she's missing. She just simply understands the limitations and what needs to be done to keep Patrick safe. It'll happen...she's seen it.
For Patrick...well, it's more human. Because of his past...and the fact he's ignored every advance so far...he is inexperienced. It's tough enough when two people get together for the first time even if you know what you're doing. He doesn't. Combine his lack of experience with the fact that Alice is stunningly beautiful and nature's most perfect predator, he's going to tread lightly. Yeah...he wants her. And yeah...it'll happen. It just won't happen with the same speed that it happens in other FF's. It's more fun...and realistic I think...to let him "run the bases".
7. Patrick's a guy. He doesn't chase tail?- I've gotten this response from people I know personally who've read my story. No, he doesn't. Now I know most people are going to say something to the extent of "he's a teenage boy with raging hormones". Yeah...he is. There's just more to Patrick than that. See, Patrick has a problem. Patrick is living in fear that he's going to end up like Pops...scraping by to survive. Even more so, he has a fear even greater than that...Tori. He's afraid Tori is going to end up like his mom. By that I mean marrying some guy just to get away from that small town. It happens all the time. Hell, it happened to my mom! The point I'm trying to make is fear is an excellent motivator. The fear that Tori could end up like Miranda (nearly beaten to death with a hammer by a drug-crazed husband) motivates Patrick. That's why Patrick doesn't hang out with the guys, works his ass off, and refuses to be a trophy for some girl looking to improve her social standing in high school. Know where I got the idea for this? The John Grisham novel Bleachers. Yeah, Pat is afraid of Screamer...or someone like her. He also loves Tori. His love for Tori is going to be a deciding factor in his choice to become a vampire...but that's later. Anyway, yes Pat's normal in the fact Alice...and most cute females...turn him on. He's just got it in his head not to act on that...for Tori's sake. I'm sure some shrink could have a field day disecting Pat's mind...or mine, since I wrote Pat.
8. Where did "Bad Alice" come from?-I made that shit up. It's sort of like Larry the Cable Guy saying something wrong and comming back with "Lord I apologize" or even you the reader seeing a hot girl or guy (whatever your preference) and telling yourself "down girl/boy". It's mainly for comic relief and it's fun to write at the same time. My view of Alice is different than most people's. I think there's more to Alice than "shopping...makeover...parties". I can picture her having raging girlmones (thank you yay4shanghai for teaching me that word) and her chastising herself by saying "Bad Alice". Frankly, it's just fun to throw in there and it made me and several others laugh when I wrote it...so I just keep throwing it in occasionally.
9. Is Patrick going to get the "hurt my sister and I'll kill you" talk from Emmett or Edward?-No for several reasons. First is, Edward can read Patrick's mind. He would know if Patrick was going to hurt Alice. Secondly, both are more afraid of Alice hurting Patrick than vice versa. Emmett's going to pretty much treat Pat like he treated Bella when she was human. Friendly, welcoming, and not pushy either way. Both love their sister and don't want to see her hurt. I just don't think it would be Emmett's nature and I think Edward would see it comming...though Alice is probably going to get "The Talk" from Carlisle simply to help her with the actual mechanics of a female vampire/male human. The Cullen family is happy for Alice and glad Patrick is around, so no...there won't be any threatening.
10. Are we going to see the Pack?-No...not until the sequel. It's hard enough keeping Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Emmett, Edward, Bella, Patrick, Amber, Tori, Pops, Miranda, Melanie, Shawn, Erica and Will straight in my head. Throwing the Pack...and their imprints...into the story makes my head hurt just thinking about it. The Pack...well, the smaller version I have...will figure prominantly in the sequal though.
Any other questions? Ask. I'll do my best to answer them. And I can't say it enough...thanks for reading!!