How did you get interested in the show itself?
I was a fan of a show called Jimmy Two-Shoes. On that show, Tabitha St. Germain plays a character called Heloise, who was a small, cute girl who also happened to be a sadistic mad scientist. When I found out that the same woman played Rarity, I laughed. The thought of a pony having Heloise's voice was hilarious. So I dug up A Dog and Pony Show on YouTube.
Two things surprised me: Germain's vocal rage (seriously, Heloise and Rarity sound nothing alike) and just how funny the show was on its own merits. I Archive Binged the show a few weeks later.
Who's your favorite pony and why?
Twilight Sparkle, hands down. I like her because, quite bluntly, I've been her. I was that kid who liked being alone instead of being social. I was bullied as a kid and became withdrawn. I'm socially awkward quite a bit. I really relate to her in a lot of episodes.
What about least favorite?
Shining Armor and Cadance. I have several of the usual complaints: they were shoehorned in awkwardly, they have little personality, they proceed to steal the show blatantly without anything worth seeing in them, Cadance makes Celestia and Luna less special, etc.
And, this is just my personal beef: if it were up to me, Twilight would have been an orphan. No Shining Armor, no parents. I think giving her a family makes her relationships with Celestia and Spike less special. Her obsession with pleasing the princess loses some sense when she has parents to love her as well. And as an added bonus: according to one of the spin-off books, Cadance was a pegasus that Celestia adopted an ascended. That not only makes the relationship between Celestia and Twilight less special, it makes Twilight's ascension less of a spectacular accomplishment.
Ooh...Tough call, but I'm going to say The Return of Harmony two parter. Discord was an effective villain, menacing and quite a bit frighting, the limits of the Elements is tested. Even in the other two-parters, there was some sort of internal conflict along with the villain. Here, it was just straight hero vs. villain, and sometimes that's enough.
...Too hard. I've enjoyed Past Sins, Faith and Doubt, The Pony POV Series, and the works of The Descendant and Skywriter.
Your thoughts on Alicorn Twilight? What about Equestria Girls?
I like Alicorn Twilight. I think it fits with the theme of the show: growing and learning. This is what Celestia's been grooming Twilight for, and it's a delight to see it pay off. The only thing that could make me hate it would be if they undid it in season four, because it would be going against the above message.
And Equestria Girls sounds like a bad idea. There are a lot of red flags, like making Spike a dog or giving Twilight a love interest. But then again, so did reviving a merchandise driven girls show from the 80's that everyone remembers as being terrible. I'll wait and see.
What do you want to see the most in Season 4?
An episode about where Spike's egg came from, or about how it was like for him and Twilight growing up in Canterlot.
Besides FiM what other shows do you like?
DO NOT ASSUME I'M UP TO SPEED ON EVERYTHING THAT HAS HAPPENED ON THESE SHOWS. NO SPOILERS!
Phineas and Ferb, Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, Invader Zim, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Teen Titans, Danny Phantom, The Simpsons, Futurama, One Piece, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Future Diary, Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagaan, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, 24, The Twilight Zone, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother. I'm currently on my first watch through of Star Trek and Doctor Who. Firefly is on my "To Watch" list.
Where in Texas are you from?
I'm declining this question because I like to keep my private life out of my internet life as much as possible.
What are your thoughts on the idea that Shining Armor wasn't actually under Chrysalis's spell at the end of A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1?
You mean, that he meant everything he said? Honestly, I think I could forgive him for it. Twilight had just insulted his wife, and I'd like to think if that were the case he'd cool off and go looking for Twilight to patch things up.
Are you a fan of Zelda and/or Star Wars?
Yes. For Zelda, I haven't played all the games yet, though. I got midway through Majora's Mask then my short attention span took over, and I still need to start Oracle of Ages. My favorite game is Wind Waker.
For Star Wars, mostly the films. I haven't read any of the Expanded Universe novels except Shadows of the Empire and Tales of the Bounty Hunters... yet.
From where you take inspiration for your original characters, besides the ones you've already explained?
For Speedy Delivery and Quick Delivery, it was looking at all the Scootabuse fics and noting how over-the-top they were. I was working on getting it down to a more realistic tone. I went off of what I learned in college about domestic abuse and how it works. Speedy has some of Mother Gothel from Tangled in him, while Quick's more aligned with Miriam Pataki from Hey Arnold!
Olive Branch came from reading The Pony POV Series while thinking of the aftermath of A Canterlot Wedding. It first came up with the idea of the "Death Eater" fics of Celestia being tabloids, and I got to thinking how, after a security breach as big as the one at the wedding, just how persuasive they would be to the common pony at that time. Coupled with all the complaints I was hearing about the two-parter at the time, the idea just fell into place. He has other inspirations, but they're spoilerriffic!
Why do you taste like bacon and why are you one of the most awesome authors on this site?
I don't know about bacon, but I'm a good writer because I wrote long enough to get good.
If you could write in any of the other alt universes on this site (Fallout Equestria, Lunaverse, Past Sins, or the Dashverse) which one would you want to write for most and why?
Well, I've only ever read Past Sins, so that one. Really, I prefer my own universes, since I can make my own back stories and interpretations.
How do you think your stories compare to some of the other more epic and great fics out there?
I'm one step below them. I don't think I'm as good at emotional stories as The Descendant, as funny as Skywriter, or as good with epics as Pen Stroke. I'm going to get there, I'm just not there yet.
If you could do a collab with any one author from the MLP fandom, which one would it be?
Besides my projects with TheMyth? Just about anyone I'm watching. I especially think me and Rated PonyStar, defender2222, Magic Man, or The Descendant could come up with something fun.
Who is cuter: Filly Luna, Filly Twilight, or Sweetie Belle holding a teddy bear while asleep in Rarity's hooves?
The last one.
If you could use a lullaby for Scootaloo as sung by Dashie, what would it be?
Which fandom has the worst fics- Sailor Moon or Sonic the Hedgehog?
Have you read any of the big fanfics out there (Fallout Equestria, Past Sins, or Immortal Game) and which one do you enjoy?
I've read Past Sins and enjoyed it. The other two are on my very long "To Read" list. I'm saving Fallout: Equestria for when I play New Vegas.
What do you think of the Fix Fic genre, specifically the Accusation Fic?
It's something you have to be very careful with. Morality is a tricky, tricky business when there's shades of grey. Just look at the debates on A Canterlot Wedding. I didn't write Post Nuptials to call out anyone. I wrote it because I thought it was absolute idiocy that the biggest falling out that Twilight has ever had with her friends and family got glossed over in favor of two new characters. I wanted them to reconcile, not attack each other. Yes, there was some of the more morally dubious moments of the show fixed, but I wasn't fully accusing anyone. You just have to be careful not to be %100 against whoever you're accusing.
How much planning goes into your fics? When do you decide to stay rigid in your plans and when do you deviate?
Usually for fics I have a basic outline of what I want to happen and fill in the blanks as I go. For Families, I had Twilight and Spike's lullaby scene down from the beginning, as I did Speedy's reveal, and a few upcoming scenes in the next few chapters. I sometimes sway for fan demand. Shining Armor's chapter in Post Nuptials and Honeymoon were written because people asked me and they didn't interfere with my overall vision.
What parts of writing do you find most challenging and which least?
Most challenging is pacing. Knowing how to weave in exposition, how to pace reveals, and how much to foreshadow. Least challenging is character interaction, I'd say.
Finally, just for kicks, if what three qualities would you decide no good story can do without, which three qualities are overplayed in importance, and why do you believe these to be so?
Wow, this should be interesting...
The three most important:
1. Likable characters. I think Ted is currently the best thing Seth MacFarlane has put out, because I actually cared what happened to the characters in it. Even in Wedding Bell Blues, I hope you want Twilight and Shining Armor to be okay.
2. A clear aim. Know whether you want your audience to take the story seriously or not, and where you want to go with it.
3. A new idea or presentation. Project: Ascension was pitched to me as a typical orphan Scootaloo story, I added the twist.
The three overrated:
1. Prose. Sometimes, when writing, less is more. Don't hit your reader over the head with everything.
2. Strict adherence to canon. Okay, this one's more fan fiction than general writing, but seriously: don't scrap ideas because they get jossed.
3. The villains to be complex. Yes, this can be good, great in fact, but not every villain has to be an anti-villain or a well-intentioned extremist. There really are some messed up people in the world.
Did you write before you started watching the show? If so, what did you write?
Yes, I did. And I'd rather not say.
Who is the most difficult character from the show to write in your stories?
Pinkie. Her brand of humor is hard to get right while still making her three-dimensional.
Do you have any advice for writers having trouble keeping their writing style intact?
Forgive me if I misunderstood your question. If you're asking how to keep your writing style the same over time... don't. Your writing should be growing and changing as you learn more. Don't try to force yourself to write in a style that isn't suited for you. Write as you feel comfortable.
So overall what do you think of this show?
I like it for the same reason I like Phineas and Ferb: it's a show that's funny without being mean. Sadist comedies like Invader Zim are good for a laugh, but overall I'd prefer a good feelings show. I also enjoy the characterizations and the villains. The downsides? I think, in the third season, it gets a bit too saccharine, with the two villains reforming. Some plots are wasted (Dragon Quest is the major offender here), and when the morals miss, they really miss. Oh, and Hasbro's meddling can lead to disaster (coughACanterlotWeddingcough).
Who's your favorite villain and why? (It can be any villain from any media)
...Darn, this is hard. I'd say The Joker is a good candidate... specifically the Mark Hamill version, with Heath Ledger and John Dimaggio as runners up. No other villain can both terrify me and make me laugh like he can. Invader Zim is good for sheer humor value, and Nny from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is a fascinating protagonist. Oh, and Discord, naturally.
Read any good books lately?
I'm currently reading The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. At an average of 800 pages a book, I should be done by April 2014. Then I have a whole list of books to read: the Star Wars Expanded Universe, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Pydain (the basis for the Disney movie The Black Cauldron), The Chronicles of Narnia, and Ender's Game.
What do you think of the Teen Titans reboot?
I've seen the first episode and... it has potential. I really don't mind a more comedic approach, even though I prefer the action version.
Have you watched the fan-made shorts Double Rainboom and Snowdrop, and if so, what are your thoughts?
I've seen Double Rainboom... it was good, but dragged down by the filler. Really, I'd have liked more of the sequence with the PPGs.
Your ongoing stories are all quite different styles - is there one style/genre in particular that you enjoy writing the most, or is it fairly even?
I enjoy writing things life Families more. Comedy is hard... it's very subjective, and fan reaction gets varied. And honestly, I submit every chapter of them worried that everyone's going to hate it. So yes, drama/slice-of-life is my thing.
What are you general opinions on OC's?
Stick to canon characters if you can. An OC should only be introduced if no one in canon can fit in the role. And if you have one, try and keep the canon characters in the forefront.
What are your general opinions on Alicorn OC's?
Depends on how they're used, really. I treat them like any other OC, though I doubt I'll ever use one outside the Keeper.
What do you think are the three most important and three most overplayed qualities of a good character in general?
Well, here's another toughie. I need to think on this one a bit.
If you could spend a day with any of the mane six, who would it be and why?
Probably Fluttershy. I'd like a slow quiet day, and I like animals...
What are your thoughts on the PONY.MOV series?
...Eh. I think, overall, they're meant to be in the vein of a John K. cartoon, and I'm sorry to say I never found him all that funny. I think a lot of the humor relies too much on gross-out shock value than anything of substance. There's some potential (Twilight as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, Spike as the sanest member of the cast) but I think it's wasted. I sat through each episode once, and that was enough.
What do you think of the possibility that the closest thing Season 2 had to a story arc was Twilight's paranoia tendencies being akin to The Boy Who Cried Wolf?
If that was what they were going for, they did it poorly. The two major episodes everyone points to is Lesson Zero and It's About Time. The former was a hilarious episode, but in terms of characterization I hated it. Every character is devalued to their base self. That's why I write it off as post-Discord PTSD. The latter had a somewhat broken aesop given that what Twilight was worrying about was her future self appearing before her, looking battle damaged, and trying to warn her of something. Now, that's never happened to me, but I think that's something anyone would worry about. In closing, they pulled this off poorly.
Who is the easiest character from the show to write in your stories?
Twilight. I just get in her mindset easy.
Which MLP fanfic authors write certain characters the best in your opinion?
...Another toughie. I really don't follow many writers so much as different fics. I like Alex Warlorn's Discord, The Descendant writes the best Twilight and Spike, and Magic Man's written the only Chrysalis-centric fic I've ever read, so he wins by default.
What is your opinion on OC Only stories?
I think if you want to write OCs, you should just write an original novel and hopefully get paid for it.
What is your opinion on stories where OC's are major characters, Past Sins?
It's a fine line. Rule of Thumb: if you could easily rewrite your story and sell it as an original, you're not writing good fanfiction. Past Sins gets away with it because Nyx technically is born from the show itself, and they manage to use enough of the show's canon characters (though more of the rest of the Mane Six would have been nice).
1) Which character or characters get the worst treatment by the fandom and in fanfiction?
This might seem weird given my feelings for the character, but Shining Armor. I never got why everyone blames him for his blow up in A Canterlot Wedding when he was being brainwashed. No one seems to be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
What do you think is the most overused, cliched concept when it comes to MLP fanfiction?
[x] Character turns out to be a changeling.
Stories that includes the whole mane cast vs character centered stories. Which ones do you enjoy the most? Which one is better?
This never has any effect on how much I enjoy the story, really.
I'm still taking questions, if you still want to submit!