• Member Since 26th Apr, 2012
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You've got the heart of a phoenix! Profile Art by Bevin Brand. Writing: The Ex Files.

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  • 1 week
    Art Commissions Open

    Bevin has commissions open!! You like the art in Empathy for the Devil? Go support a great artist and get some of your own 🎨

    Here's some examples of what people have commissioned in the past of cannon characters and/or OCs:

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    2 comments · 86 views
  • 6 weeks
    Fanfic Spotlight: Liminal Space

    Fanfiception :pinkiegasp:

    Whoa, okay, someone just did me the super cool kindness of writing something within the Empathy-verse! It's a story called Liminal Space about Timber and Flash's new relationship, after The Exes Club but before Empathy for the Devil.

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    2 comments · 103 views
  • 6 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Copies - Online Release!

    Book status: launched

    The links are live! Get yours and don't forget there's a zine with 150 pages of never-before-seen art, writing, and dorking out! (some never to be posted online ever)

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    4 comments · 345 views
  • 8 weeks
    For Everfree 2023

    I'll be at Everfree Northwest next week! Here's the deets:

    Buy copies of our stuff at Twilight's Book Nook (booth 9 in the Vendor Hall)
    Empathy for the Devil - $23 USD / $30.78 CAD

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    0 comments · 134 views
  • 15 weeks
    Empathy for the Devil Print Edition Release Date and More!

    Happy 10-year anniversary, Equestria Girls!!! Can't believe how time flies.

    To celebrate, we’ve got a book on our hands. One that could soon also be in yours.

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    10 comments · 484 views

Bonus Features: The Protégé · 5:33pm January 18th

Been waiting a long time for this one.

Q: Well then. That happened. Where did the inspiration for Sunset's decision in this chapter come from?
BEVIN: This was an idea I had waaaaay back when I was still working on the series. A few people were bouncing around different ideas for Sunset's potential future, I think because the last season of FiM was being made at the time. One of the ideas was for Sunset to go back to Equestria and become an alicorn co-ruler with Twilight, continuing the Celestia-Luna day-night thing.

While I get it on that level, I just couldn't make it make sense for Sunset's character arc and everything she'd been fighting for since the second EQG movie. If she'd wanted to go back to Equestria and pick up where she'd left off with Celestia, she had plenty of chances, but she was always fighting to stay in the human world, for her life and her friends there. Plus, we already had one example of the path to success for one person-- er, pony, in Princess Twilight, but I didn't like the idea of showing that to be the only way to be considered successful or to get a happy ending. There is more than one path to happiness in life, and having that be the culmination for Sunset's character arc, especially considering how it started, was way more interesting to me. So I fell for my own little headcanon and tucked it away in my back pocket.

MARVEL: Fast-forward to 2019, and along came a goober! Bevin and I became friends at the end of that summer and I wrote her a gift-fic. I knew she liked Flash and Timber, so I wanted to explore what would make those characters connect. After I wrote The Exes Club, Bevin and I were having a ball throwing ideas back and forth about what would happen after that story! We talked about a kooky body swap story that just sounded like a fun time as the boys essentially had training wheels on for magic - some of those jokes remained (Timber teleporting his bed into the lake at camp)

I was going to write that story because it just sounded so fun and there was a lot of potential, and then, that's when Bevin pulled out an old idea she'd had while working on the show...

Needless to say, I was so goddamn excited

The idea, in essence, always felt like it was the climax of a much bigger story. This is Sunset's version of Magical Mystery Cure--while you could just write that scene in isolation and slap it up, it deserves a story building up to it, you know? This is EQG Movie 5 potential!!!!!

Immediately because of that, because Bevin so clearly understood the core of Sunset's character and her arc and just so brilliantly gave this character the ending she never got, I had to. I had to write this Sunset story. I asked her for permission, but I don't think Bevin realized just how feral this idea made me at the time

So I changed the whole premise - it wasn't Flash or Timber's story, it was Sunset's. But they would remain critical players because how could they not? And suddenly the body swap stuff we were joking about had a new context - Bookish Delight was the one to point that out to me (oh wow, you're straight up doing your own Magical Mystery Cure :D). And the more I built the story out --- the collar pop moment in chapter 10 which helped define our villain, Timber's arc, the progression towards self-compassion --- the more I saw the story that Bevin's pitch deserved

BEVIN: ::Gremlin cackle:: To say I had no idea what you were cooking up is an understatement in the extreme. Any rollercoaster the readers are going on right now is the exact same one I went on when you wrote it. How you came up with all of these separate threads and ideas, and then wove them together into this story, and used it to punch me in the heart in the best possible way over and over again, I still don't know. You did something magic here and I'm still gobsmacked by the end result!

MARVEL: You know, I think if I had to give advice (other than becoming friends with cool creative people who you adore), it's to keep building. Whether you have someone to collaborate with or not, take an idea that excites, and build on it. And keep building on it. Keep writing and developing those threads, notice what parallels and running jokes or ideas keep popping up - use them to dive to deeper depths and climb to further heights

I had a plan for the whole story, but I didn't know Timber's "new best friend" running joke would evolve into what it became until I notice it popping up so much and thought about what that really meant for the character. Just keep building on what you love and soon you'll have built your whole heart

Soundtrack in the stars:

  • Prodigal by One Republic – “Run away, run away like a prodigal/Won’t you wait for me?”
  • Gravity by Coldplay - "And I can't stop running/Such a long, long time/Can you hear my heart beating/Can you hear that sound?/'Cause I can't help thinking/And I won't stop now/And then I looked up at the sun and I could see/Oh, the way that gravity pulls on you and me"
  • Holocene by Bon Iver - "And at once, I knew I was not magnificent/Strayed above the highway aisle/Jagged vacance, thick with ice/But I could see for miles, miles, miles"
  • Saturn by Sleeping at Last - "With shortness of breath/You explained the infinite/And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist"
  • SUN GOES DOWN by Lil Nas X - "You need an instant ease/From the life where you got plenty/Of every hurt and heartbreak/You just take it all to the face/I know that you want to cry/But it's much more to life than dyin'/Over your past mistakes/And people who threw dirt on your name"
  • Experience by Ludovico Einaudi - Instrumental
  • Father and Son by Cat Stevens - "I was once like you are now/And I know that it's not easy/To be calm when you've found/Something going on/But take your time, think a lot/Think of everything you've got/For you will still be here tomorrow/But your dreams may not"
  • One Last Time by Lin Manuel Miranda - "If I say goodbye, the nation learns to move on/It outlives me when I'm gone/Like the scripture says/Everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree/And no one shall make them afraid/They'll be safe in the nation we've made/I wanna sit under my own vine and fig tree/A moment alone in the shade/At home in this nation we've made/One last time"
  • Hide and Seek by Brooklyn Duo, Dover Quartet - The Princess and the Protégé
  • Electric Sunrise by Plini - Sunset's Rise
  • Here to Mars by Coheed and Cambria

Our girl made a breakthrough - quite literally. But there's work left to do, and two chapters left in the story. See you tomorrow.

Stay empathetic,

P.S. The response to the last few chapters has been ultra validating for both Bevin and I and we want to thank you

Comments ( 4 )

You both are madpeople, in the best way possible. I'm really enjoying the ideas you're putting forth for the conclusion of Sunset's arc, and how what worked for Twily doesn't necessarily work for Sunny.

Been following this story since it started, and I have to admit I appreciate the effort yall put into it, and these behind the scenes pieces! And…

The bit about Sunset’s fight to stay in the human world, with her friends and the life she’s made there…This. So much this. I really dont care for the stories about her deciding to just fuck off back to Equestria, because they feel so counter to everything the character has been through and done. (And thats not even getting into the question of if theres any timey-wimey nonsense or if Sunset actually has anyone besides Princess Twilight and Princess Celestia in Equestria.) So seeing that same thought voiced here from someone else is a bit of a “yes! I was beginning to think I was alone there!”

As a side note, here I thought I was the only one to consider the idea of “what if there is no human Sunset…” *snickers* I had a good laugh over that with my own co-writer.

A true compliment! Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself on the ride! See you tomorrow!

Awww, yay, validation! You're not alone!

HA! That's awesome! Hey, if you ended up doing something with that idea, I'd love to see how somebody else used it in a different story, toss a link! I hadn't seen it done, but I also haven't read every single story in this fandom, so it's no surprise to me to hear somebody else had the same idea! :rainbowlaugh:

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