Author has written 17 stories for Harry Potter, Another Cinderella Story, Glee, Life Unexpected, Deltora Quest, iCarly, Emma, Vampire Diaries, and Legend of Zelda.
FanFiction.net Reporter (FFR): We recently caught up with author Saralisa Loftis to discuss her interest in writing, how she started and what she likes to write about. Known as Shealtiel to her online community at FanFiction.net and FictionPress.com, she has been writing for a long time. Saralisa, tell us when you first learnt you were a writer.
Saralisa (SRL): Well, I don’t know if there was a lightning bolt moment, but I’ve always loved reading and fiction, and I guess the first time I was introduced to Creative Writing was in Year Four. We were given a writing assignment, and the story I wrote (and never finished, a trend that began then and continues to this day) was actually a rather embarrassing story based on Lord of the Rings, my first FanFiction. Of course, at that point I had no idea what FanFiction was, let alone copyright and all that jazz. That story was a super embarrassing self-insert anyhow, though it later evolved into a fantasy story of my own creation, which had so many re-incarnations, I’m not sure how it survived. It does, to this day however, still sit in a bottom drawer in my room somewhere. I think. Not sure where the original rip-off piece went though.
FFR: So where did your writing go from there?
SRL: From there it’s been a pretty long road to where I am now, and it’s not been an easy one. Through my last two years in Primary School, I wrote a lot of really awful stories, some taken from other books or things I liked. I also wrote a few plays, which turned out pretty awful, though I still have a few copies of those somewhere. I suppose for the most part though, it’s been FanFiction that has shaped my talent for writing the most.
FFR: And how did you get into FanFiction in the first place? How did you know about FanFiction.net?
SRL: A friend of mine (an.obsessed.fan) told me about the site and how it works when I was 11 or 12, and I fell in love with it immediately. I started off reading and writing really awful Deltora Quest stories and it all kind of progressed from there. I think the reason it appealed to me so much is because I never want good stories to end, unless I’m satisfied with the ending. Completely satisfied. And I’m not sure I ever have been, not with something I’ve really, truly loved.
FFR: Tell us a little about the fandoms you’ve been interested in throughout your time here on FanFiction, and what you’re interested in now.
SRL: Oh wow, that’s kind of hard. There are so many. Like I said, it started out with Deltora Quest, though my first ever FanFic was Lord of the Rings, but after that I got into High School Musical, even Hannah Montana briefly. I don’t really know where to start or stop, because I’ve read and written so many FanFics that it’s hard to keep track. I even started writing an Eragon story once upon a time. Don’t know what happened to that. More recently, I’ve been into Gossip Girl, a bit of Narnia, Wizards of Waverly Place and Sonny With a Chance, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Queen’s Thief Series, so many. Some others include Just My Luck, Harry Potter, iCarly, Glee, Doctor Who, Vampire Diaries, Another Cinderella Story, Transformers and a lot of other stuff. I feel like I can’t name it all. It changes so often, there are just too many to name.
FFR: So you’ll read many different types of stories, but what about what you write? Tell us about the stories you’ve posted here on the site.
SRL: Okay, I’ll start with Snisha and Obliviate. The former was written for my friend jkdg3461, whose name is Trisha, and is named after her name mashed with Snape. The second story was written with her on a particularly unimportant night over msn. It makes zero sense and has very little to do with Harry Potter, and a lot to do with my brother Chris, who doesn’t even know he’s in a story I posted on FanFiction. He would be ashamed if he did know.
Green and Red Striped Hair was written as part of a 10 Christmas Oneshots challenge that Trish (jkdg3461) and I set for ourselves and never fulfilled. This was the only one of the ten that was written for the original Christmas and it has been quite a success. Maybe I’ll write the rest some day.
Top Secret. Wow. I’ve been working on this for a long time. It started out as an un-Mary-Sou (I hope!) self-insert story about Sirius Black falling in love with his unlikely arch nemesis. It was pretty typical, but I always wanted to finish it, even though I only posted a chapter every couple years, but I finally began rewriting it and have updated it, so that's still happening, if a little slowly. It's turned into a completely new story that is not even a little bit about me, which I'm actually loving. So I know I'll get it finished some day.
Waiting in the Wings is just a cute oneshot I wrote about Mary and Joey. They’re adorable, and I just thought they probably have moments like this.
Gives You a Hell of a Poker Face is a oneshot of six (originally seven) iPod drabbles. I put my Glee songs on shuffle, pressed play and wrote a drabble while the song played. Seven drabbles resulted, I’ve posted six of them.
As Easy As ABC has the beginning of each paragraph starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. I don’t really like it all that much, but other people do, so I left it up.
Dusty Stacks is just my version of how Lief and Jasmine might have figured out the whole romance thing. It totally would have been weird.
Subtle is made up of a few Draco/Luna oneshots that are a continuing story, but could be stand alone. I love Draco/Luna.
Recognizer is a really super short Creddie I wrote during some more iPod drabbling sessions, but it was the only one I liked, so it was the only one that got posted. It’s kind of sad, so you know… read it anyway.
White Nights is my new favourite. I love Spam, and writing exactly one hundred words has been so helpful for my writing. It’s already improved so much since I started writing these a few weeks ago.
Beauty to Ashes is also a one hundred word drabble. Originally I had planned to write a whole series, but I never really got into the Vampire Diaries fandom. As a result, this was the only one I ever wrote.
Those Christmas Lights is the second Christmas oneshot I've written, and being about Remus' and Tonks' son, it's kind of the sequel to Green and Red Striped Hair and even though I wrote it no where near Christmas, I like it quite a bit.
Dark Rooms For Dark Thoughts was something I wrote for my friend Madam Sakamoto after she wrote me a oneshot. I actually really like how it turned out in the end, and the more vulnerable side we get to see of Dark Link, even though, in general, he's still just confident, slightly wicked Dark.
FFR: What other FanFiction stories are you working on at the moment?
SRL: Well, I've been working on the remake of a Sonny With a Chance story I started a while ago, and this time, it's actually getting somewhere, unlike the last time I tried to write it. Hopefully I'll have that up and running kind of soon. I have an Alex/Mason Wizards of Waverly Place story in my files which I really like, but I'm really struggling to get somewhere with it, especially because it is now AU (yeah, I started it before the end of the show...). I also have this super old Transformers story I really like so I might revamp that at some point, but there's no telling. There’s a Narnia story that's been in the works too, but I have no idea where it’s going, how it’s going to end, how it's all starting in the first place or even how it's all going to fit together (because right now it makes NO sense)… I don’t really know anything about it yet. Hopefully I will straighten that out eventually. I'll be honest though, that possibly could be in the distant future. I have this St. Berry for Glee, but I'm not sure if I'll ever get that up and running completely. One of my nearly finished projects though is a Sylaire project I'm working on for Heroes, but I'm not going to post that till I've finished it. When I started it, it all sort of came out in a matter of weeks and I was super excited about it, but now I'm a little stuck and I'm not sure exactly how to continue it. But I do want to finish it and post it eventually. I'm also working on (slowly, veeeeerrrry slowly) a companion piece to my story White Nights about Carly and Freddie. That'll happen at some point. Obviously, my remake of Top Secret is still happening, and that's coming along kind of slowly, but it'll happen, I'm sure of that.
FFR: We’ve heard about your FanFiction, but what about everyone else’s? Tell us what you look for in a story.
SRL: Well, obviously it has to be in a category of stories I read, first of all. Secondly, I’m not going to read a ship I don’t support. Here’s a brief list of fandoms and shippings I would possibly read if someone asked me. (NB: These are subject to change.)
iCarly: Carly/Freddie, Spencer/Sam, Sam/Freddie (if you asked me)
As you can see, I mostly read romance stories. I will read one character centric oneshots though, if they’re any good.
Which brings me to my next point. I am always looking for good grammar, spelling and punctuation in stories, as well as good sentence structure and at least half decent expression. If you want a review, I’m looking for stories with those things, but also that are well-written with unique perspective and a good, solid plot-line, unless you’re writing drabbles. I also value good, accurate characterisation (which I know is hard, so I’m not looking for perfection or anything) because I’m not a fan of ridiculously OOC characters, unless it’s justified (they’re older, it’s an AU etc.) or it’s interesting. Sorry for being vague. If you have one or two of these things, I might review your story. If you have most or all of them, I will review if I have the time. I don’t favourite often. I’ve been on FanFiction for nearly eight years and I have eighteen favourites.
FFR: You’ve obviously seen something really special in these stories then. What is it about these stories you love so much?
SRL: Well, they’ve all touched me in really different ways. Most of the stories I’ve favourited are oneshots or chapter stories made up of oneshots. Here’s why I love each story.
Letting Go by No Ifs Ands or Maybes: This story reminds me of when my own siblings get married and makes me think about what it will be like when I get married. Having three brothers of my own, I understand this feeling. If you’re a girl with brothers and you like Hannah Montana even a little bit, read this. It makes me cry every time I read it.
Twelve Months by EmbracingRain: This story is so cute. Really different to all the other things I’ve favourited, it’s funny, light-hearted, and makes me laugh and cry every time. It’s wonderful, if you love Channy as much as I do. Of course, it’s inaccurate, but it didn’t used to be. Still, inaccuracy does not remove the adorableness of this story.
Instability by Steelfeathers: THE best FanFiction story I’ve ever read, probably that was ever written. I cannot praise this woman enough. She is brilliant. She has this way with words. It’s incredible. I can’t even talk about it, because I wouldn’t know what to say. It’s just perfect. I’ve read it over so many times. It’s one of only a few progressive chapter stories on my list of favourites, and it’s not even complete yet. I LOVE THIS STORY.
Play With Fire by Nine Days a Queen: This woman is brilliant. Every single one of her Thief oneshots is so good, and this is not an exception. These short few lines for each song prompt hit it right on the nail. This is so good. I didn’t realise how much I liked it till I got to the end. It’s so good.
Promises by RalynnFrost: This girl is the most awesome writer. I love her. This story is also brilliant... the whole feeling of it captures the futuristic, world-ending feeling of the story line. Love it.
Hopeless, Helpless by southern cross: This story is great. I love the idea that comes out in the end, that while Claire was learning to love Sylar, she was starting to hate both her fathers in equal measure as it all plays out. And then, after everything that happens, Sylar is still exactly himself in the end. I love it.
How to Save a Life by JaimiePrufrock: Along with Instability, this is my favourite story on FF.net I've ever read. It is so brilliant and beautifully written, and the journey of them all together, trying to escape this place, and all the trauma they endure and just... it's like a big family. Makes me so happy. I think it really embodies the feeling of the show as well, this massive communal feel. I love it.
FFR: Thank you so much for talking to us today Saralisa. Are there any last comments you’d like to say before we go?
SRL: A few things. I’d just like to say that if you ask me to read your story or your friend’s story, I will try my very hardest to get around to it eventually and I will review it, as a personal request like that is important to me. I also believe in constructive criticism, and if you can’t take some, you’re no type of writer. I try my hardest to be kind and gentle and to point out the positive things as well as the negative when I review, but just know that I mean well.
FFR: Thank you so much for talking to us.
Saralisa updates when she can, and has a lot of new stories in the works. Keep a look out for her new material.
Name: Saralisa Loftis
The FanFiction Prayer Group has been such a blessing and a huge support. Annabeth deserves a Nobel Prize. She’s awesome. I love all you guys so much. Thank you for praying for me faithfully. NB: This group is no longer being run, but I appreciate the continual support from my friends here.
My Favourites Playlist
“No, it's a great room!” – Baby Housemann
“Kia, don’t look.” – Paul
“And right here, this is where it got hit by a magical, flying MORON!” – Yvaine
“I can’t recall the taste of food.” – Frodo
Han Solo: I love you.
“I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” – Valerie
“Don’t talk like that. You’ll be alright. We’re together now. Everything’s going to be fine, you’ll see.” – Belle
“There’d be more room if you raised your arm. The other arm.” – Maid Jean
“If we stop breathing, we'll die. If we stop fighting our enemies, the world will die.” – Victor Laszlo
“Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, ‘I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead.’ Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.” – Dug
“I close my eyes and this image floats beside me. A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain. His hands reach out and choke me. And all the time he’s mumbling. Mumbling truth. Truth like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold. You push it, stretch it, it’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it’ll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying, to the moment we leave dying, it’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.” – Todd Anderson
“Extry, extry Joe.” – Jack Kelly
"Duh! I was just going to!" – Cher
"It should take you four seconds to get to that door. I'll give you two." – Holly Galightly
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
“I can read in red. I can read in blue. I can read in pickle colour too.”
“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of three.”
“The queen waited.”
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”
“Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!”
“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”
“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the riverbank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’”
"There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
"I've watched through his eyes, I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one."
"That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me."
"Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood."
Doctor Who – Vincent and the Doctor, Blink
Roswell – I Married An Alien, Summer of ‘47
Gossip Girl – Valley Girls, The Goodbye Gossip Girl
iCarly – iQuit iCarly, iSaved Your Life, iWas a Pageant Girl, iDo
Wizards of Waverly Place – Wizards vs. Werewolves, Alex Saves Mason
Sonny With a Chance – Falling For the Falls, Sonny With a Secret, My Two Chads, Sonny With a Choice
Heroes – I Am Become Death, I Am Sylar, A Brave New World
Spirited – If You Leave Me Can I Come Too, Blood Sugar Sex Magik