Author has written 134 stories for Lost In Blue, Drawn to Life, Homestuck, Pokémon, Doctor Who, Rise of the Guardians, How to Train Your Dragon, Tales of Symphonia, RWBY, Tales of the Abyss, Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Xillia, Final Fantasy VII, Legend of Zelda, Dragon Age, Tales of Graces, Tales of Zestiria, Hakuōki/薄桜鬼, Code Realize: Guardian of Rebirth, and Tales of Berseria.
Current Fandom(s): Pokémon/Samurai Warriors/Hakuōki
Crush of the Day: Ishida Mitsunari (Final Fantasy VII)
Pairing of the Day: Kazama/Sen (Hakuōki)
The Playlist In My Head: One-Winged Angel (Final Fantasy VII)/Not Alone (Tour de Japon)/Zanarkand (Distant Worlds II)
Requests are open, assuming anyone wants me to write anything for them!
Greetings! I'm Alley Cat Sunflower, but you probably knew that already since you clicked on my name to get here… and since I mentioned it just above. But you can just call me Alley if you want. Or not. I don't care. And now to get the self-promotion out of the way: my main tumblr is "alley-cat-sunflower", my almost-inactive Tales Of side blog is "tales-of-tales", and my stupid Hakuōki side blog is "shenanigumi". (Like, it's so stupid. Don't even think about checking it out… and if you do, don't say I didn't warn you.) My Twitter is "@AlleyCatAuthor", but I never use it. My FictionPress is "Alley Cat Sunflower", but I'm ashamed of everything I put up there.
I am a bag of contradictions: a social introvert, alternately overconfident and insecure. The one constant is that my comfort zone is the truth; I say what I mean, and I mean what I say. Because of this, it's very easy to read me, for better or for worse; I come across as brusque when unhappy, but I also stand behind every compliment I offer. However, I sometimes verge on the gullible because I expect everyone to be as up-front and honest as I am, and… well, that doesn't usually happen in a world like this.
I also happen to be one of the truest Aquarians you'll ever meet, despite my uncomfortable proximity to Pisces. Honestly, if you want to know how to interact with me, just look up how to deal with Aquarians. My Enneagram type is 7, with a phobic 6 wing; according to the Meyers-Briggs typing system, I'm an INTP. With regard to gender and orientation, I'm a cisgendered female, possibly gray- or demisexual—though for all intents and purposes I'm ace—and gray-heteromantic.
Despite the fact that I'm fairly inexperienced in the world of relationships, I tend to write primarily pairing-oriented stories. Most of that is because interpersonal dynamics of all kinds fascinate me—how people behave around one another, why that is, and what kind of bearing feelings have on actions. I am especially interested in the romantic spectrum of emotion, particularly when there are complications, and enjoy exploring the relationship between love and lust. In general, I like considering how exactly personalities are developed and change over time, with and without influence from other people.
On a somewhat related note, I can't say I'm either optimistic or pessimistic, because it usually depends on the attitude of the people around me: if more people are pessimistic, I tend toward the optimistic, and vice versa. I can say with confidence, however, that few things make me more negative than an overwhelmingly positive attitude. If we could all choose to be happy, we'd all be happy, okay? Stop bugging me about that blindingly bright side.
Oh, and four other miscellaneous tidbits about me: one, my second favorite pastime is dancing, of which I don't do nearly enough. Two, rain is my favorite kind of weather, to the point that prolonged periods of sunlight depress me. Three, I've always hated English classes; I consider myself a largely self-taught writer. And four, Bugs Bunny is my hero—enough said.
Okay, I'll stop talking about myself now. I got a little carried away there.
OC-MEME-CENTRAL'S FANFICTION QUESTIONNAIRE
1. How about a brief introduction of yourself? I've already included one. If that wasn't more than enough for you, a.) I'm surprised, and b.) tough, because I don't know what else to say.
2. And what got you into fanfiction to begin with? It depends on what you mean by that. I've always been interested in the idea of developing undeveloped territory in previously established stories, like Shakespearean plays ("The Taming of the Shrew" could be considered one of my first fandoms). My evil stepmother was the one who first told me people besides me wrote stuff about that and posted it on the internet. She actually helped me set up this account way back when I was like, thirteen.
3. What kind of fanfiction do you like to write? As previously mentioned, I'm fascinated by the way characters interact, so a lot of my stuff revolves around relationships. Like, a lot of it. But even in my shippiest of stories, I can't stand to write lemons. At my most explicit, I am still firmly in the M range, nowhere near the MA stuff I see on this site more often than not.
4. Do you tend to write the same pairings/characters? Or are you a fandom whore? Why not both? I'm a member of several fandoms, and I write whatever strikes me as interesting… and typically, it's the same set of characters and pairings that strike me as interesting.
5. What is your most popular fanfic, and why do you think people like it so much? Judging by the numbers, Another Day at Beacon is definitely my most popular story. As for why people like it, I have legitimately no idea. I get at least a few favs and/or follows a week, even though I've already explicitly stated it's on indefinite hiatus due to being awful. Er, well, due to being OOC. To me, it's much the same thing. Someday, I'll get my ass in gear and edit the thing so it's actually worth all the hype.
6. Forget other people… what is the fanfic you've written that you're most proud of? Oh man, this changes all the time, but I'd have to say that one goes to Tales of Zestiria: Ring of Fate overall. Mostly, I'm proud that I started writing a multi-chapter story I intend to finish, and I know exactly where it's going and all that. Now, it's just a matter of finding the motivation to follow through.
7. Do you find writing easy? Hard? What are the most difficult aspects of writing? Writing to me is as easy as talking, and I'm fairly certain I do it at least as often. That said, it's still really hard for me to muster the motivation to finish anything I start, which is why I have so abysmally few multi-chapter stories up here (not counting the several I've basically abandoned at this point). I'd have to say that my biggest writing-related difficulty is spending too much time writing, to the point that I forget to socialize and/or perform well academically and/or take care of myself.
8. Write a few sentences or so of your favorite pairing or character. Zelos/Sheena, Tales of Symphonia: They both know he's been in worse brawls than this before, but that doesn't stop either of them from going at it again. If he's being honest, it'd be a piece of cake to dodge those kicks and punches… but he makes it a point never to be honest. It's her insults that stick more, anyway, like gum in his hair—but he lets her do that too, because he doesn't remember he has a heart till her voice pierces it with a few more well-placed blows. But even as she reaches inside and tears him open once more, he only grimaces to hide the smile: she never yells at the Chosen, but at Zelos Wilder, and her genuine anger means more to him than a thousand false compliments ever could.
9. Are there any fanfiction trends/clichés that you're sick of? I actually don't read nearly as much as I write, to be perfectly honest, because my standards are just so damn high. If lack of correct spelling/grammar/punctuation, inconsistent paragraph length, inaccurate characterization, underdeveloped OCs/self-inserts, generally contrived or convenient scenarios, and/or ridiculous smut-related euphemisms count as trends/clichés, then those are definitely the ones that grind my gears the most.
10. Are you guilty of any of these? Or have you committed other crimes? Oh, you can bet a lot of my earlier stuff is OOC as all hell, hence my reason for putting Another Day at Beacon on hold. I've been trying to get better about that, but of course I can't really judge my own stuff as well as other people. I'm sure I've committed plenty of other crimes (too many adverbs and overusing specific phrases being a couple notable ones), though again, I can't think of too many off the top of my head.
11. What was the first fandom you wrote for? Are you still a member of that fandom? The first fandom I ever wrote for was Pokémon, even though I pulled that story ages ago to spare everyone the horror. And you can bet I'm still a member, even though I don't write nearly enough for it. Hopefully, once I actually plot out this one insanely long epic in my head, that'll change.
12. Name your OTPs or most frequently written pairings/characters and explain what it is about them that you love to write. Since I have way too many OTPs, I'll just say I like writing the spicy ships instead of the sweet ones. I like pairings with more substance to them than undying love and pure affection. Give me a ship with problems and passion, and I'm almost guaranteed to like it. As for characters, I'm a sucker for personality development and the reasons behind it, so give me an interesting backstory or an unexpected evolution and I'll probably be in love.
13. What do you call your writing "style"? Uh, I don't "call" it anything, really. Wordy, perhaps… sometimes to the point of being verbose. I focus a lot on description and have a rather extensive vocabulary, which I am not afraid to use. It should say a lot that Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is my second favorite book. (My first favorite being The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber, but that's quite literally another story.)
14. Do you read other people's fanfics? If so, what do you find yourself reading the most? As I've said, I don't read nearly as much as I write. I'll read anything as long as it's well-written enough, provided it's not one of my antiships. The problem is, the fics I consider "well-written" are extremely few and far between. Thus, if I love a character or ship enough, I'll settle for reading for concept instead of execution, although I'm such an insufferable snob I'll call that stooping.
15. Name one thing you'd love to write but haven't yet. It's a safe bet that if I said everything that came under this category, it'd be a list as long as my list of published stories. My current passion is developing a dual-self-insert Hakuōki AU, which is a conceptual collaboration with Chibi Torra; in fact, my oneshot Forever Fleeting: Blood and Lust is a sort of experimental excerpt from that world. I'm so excited for this to get off the ground, you have no idea. Clichéd premise? Check. Elaborate branching plot? Check. Twists and turns? Check. I'd just like to finish Ring of Fate first…
16. Do you have trouble taking criticism? Or worse yet, do you have a really bloated ego? I won't deny that I tend to get a little defensive when people criticize my style or plots or something subjective, but with regard to more grammatical and structural issues, I'm a bit more receptive (although I do tend to make justifications, which I'm trying to stop, so bear with me). Also, while I wouldn't say I'm egotistical, I also won't deny that my own work is much more up to my insanely high standards than a lot of what I find here. Still, that's probably just because I won't be able to proofread and edit my own stuff if it sucks.
17. When you write, is there anything that helps? Music? Quiet room? Normally, I have something related to the fandom going on in the background, usually for reference's sake. For instance, whenever I work on Ring of Fate, I have Zestiria open in front of me, and I stand in the overworld (often for literal hours) with my iTunes on shuffle/repeat playing the Zestiria soundtrack, as well as any songs I perceive as relevant.
18. What inspires you? I wish I knew. It seems kind of random. Frame of mind permitting, the most common factor seems to be music.
19. Lastly, how would you sum up your fanfiction experiences and yourself as a writer? Overall, my experience as a fanfiction writer has been overwhelmingly positive, though much of that may be because I write for smaller communities and they tend to be a little more tightly knit, from what I've seen. Even though I write mostly for myself, I post for everyone else, so it's really nice whenever anyone so much as glances my way. If you're reading this, thank you! :)
They just couldn't make it an even twenty questions, could they? Ugh…
TALES OF ZESTIRIA: RING OF FATE RESOURCES
I intended this to be a section where I put up links for readerly reference, but it seems to have become a media-sharing area since so many people have created their own works of art based on or inspired by this tale. I'd like to offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who's read this story, giving special mention to those whom have lent their considerable artistic talent to participate in it themselves.
This piece isn't quite affiliated with "Ring of Fate", but one of the readers created this amazing portrait of Lunarre: sylphistia.deviantart.com/art/Lunarre-600858584
Also loosely involved with "Ring of Fate" is this incredibly talented cosplay duo (on my tumblr, alley-cat-sunflower): /post/147000714566/
Ch4 "Stray" – some lovely fanart of Lunarre vs. wind-armatized Rose, by Chibi Torra (also on my tumblr): /post/139040927231
Ch4 "Stray" onward – some more lovely fanart of wind-armatized Rose, by Fangs of Lightning (also on my tumblr): /post/144712030996
Ch10 "The Lunatic's Lullaby" – "Mordred's Lullaby" by Heather Dale
Ch25 "Chain Link" – even more lovely fanart of Lunarre vs. Dezel, by Straya (also on my tumblr): /post/139616586226
Ch25 "Chain Link" thru Ch35 "Blind Faith" – some gorgeous fanart of shirtless Dezel (oh and Zaveid too), also by Straya (also on my tumblr): /post/143328625136
Ch31 "Take Me to Church" and Ch32 "Soul Resonance" – here's the playlist for the entire church service; only tracks 1-3 are contained in Chapter 31, while the others have been incorporated into Chapter 32
Ch37 "Spectrum" – some beautiful fanart of Dezel and Rose holding hands, by lazycat66 (also on my tumblr): /post/146570515286
Ch41 "Angel of Death" – "This Is Gospel" (piano version) by Panic! at the Disco… and also, the same cosplayers as above, but bitterer (also on my tumblr): /post/147550333541 …and also, a different Rose holding Dezel's abandoned hat (also on my tumblr): /post/148706733626/
Ch43 "The Dawn Will Come" – song from Dragon Age: Inquisition
Ch45 "The Price of Purification" – "My Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit
Ch47 "Wolf in Shepherd's Clothing" – a version of "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" by Panic! at the Disco