Uncommon Dazzling Ships 231 members · 410 stories
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Hi everypony,

Welcome to our quarterly Author Spotlight! This month we have an interview lined up for you with Justice3442, who has 28 Equestria Girls stories to his name, with 18 having the sirens as main characters.

As a warning, this discussion might include spoilers for his stories.

So, Justice, of all the authors on the site, you write closest to my ideal form of comedy, that everything is second to the pursuit of the next punchline, with the jokes crammed in thick and fast. What is it about the Dazzlings that makes them so well-suited to that kind of setup?

Hey forbloodysummer. Thanks for having me! I'm really looking forward to diving in deep with our girls.

Each siren on their own is a treasure trove of sassy, shocking, and sexy delights. Plus somehow the subtle, and oftentimes unsubtle, threat of potential violence makes for that good, dark comedy. Aria Blaze has a wonderful ‘got out of bed for this, you two-bit screw-up. Stop being a dweeb and stop wasting my time!’ vibe that lets her operate on a say/do just about anything vibe. Adagio Dazzle has a presence that lets her cut into a conversation at any point an undertone of ‘Casual reminder that I can be your dream or your nightmare. I’m not going to tell you which actions will achieve which. Enjoy, luv.’ Sonata Dusk is the sleeper agent. I don’t even know when she’s going to say or threaten something disarmingly clever. Plus, she can carry a scene so well that she’s turned mains into her support for entire chapters.

The upshot of them being natural-born predators basically pretending to fit in, trying to fit in, or just strait up ‘Ooooooh good. You invited The No-Filter Sisters to the Arms for Snakes Fundraiser’ is they mostly get to say anything they want.


Together they bounce off such great one liners that anyone going against them better also be some sort of hilarious quip Queen or King or it’s going to be a blood bath.

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7427246 Whoa, that is a very good answer. I agree, the physical danger they offer does add to their appeal, and give them an edge when it comes to holding other characters' attention. I think you really hit it on the head with Adagio there, her most compelling trait is that no one can tell what she's thinking.

I agree, anyone going up against them in conversational terms had better know what they're doing. On that note, I know you've written plenty of similarly ballsy villainous-leaning characters as well, like Chrysalis, Starlight, your take on Sunset etc, and they've often shared scenes with the sirens. How do you balance that, and make sure each fountain of sass and threat is distinct and fairly represented? I'm particularly thinking about The Empath and the Sociopath, which introduced the very-hard-to-get-right Equestria Girls Chrysalis, alongside Sunset and with mentions of sirens elsewhere.

One of my favorite aspects of the canon is how strong each character's personality is (for some, conditionally) . I've found this just as true for the more self-serving characters when compared to the series protagonists.

A key component of any interaction is making sure each individual shines in their own right, as Cat-posteresque as that probably sounds. Chrysalis is fantastic to write as no one around her can really figure out what she's up to and she enforces that air of mystery. I look forward to someday getting to write her and the Dazzingls together, I just hope whatever building that houses that initial meeting is well insured.

If it happens to be outside, then hopefully whatever is in close proximity is properly covered.

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7428131 Equestrian insurance agencies would definitely be a more fun avenue to explore than similar industries elsewhere! Totally, giving each one their moment is important, especially as everyone has a different favourite character who they're reading it for.

You're one of very few authors who's written for a character pairing I always thought should be more popular: Aria Blaze and Starlight Glimmer. I know their story was a spinoff from one of your bigger ones; do you think there's more room for them to do things together in the future?

I definitely want to get back to these two. Aria is a consonate encourager of bad behavior and Starlight often has that in abundance.

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7428807 Definitely! What's your favourite explanation as to why the sirens continue to stick together, when they have such trouble being able to stand each other?

I see their underlining relationship as family and they have a more antagonistic dynamic than most. Despite this, they all bring something to the group and are at their most deadly when working together. They ultimately love one another, it just takes the form of insults and the occasional act of wanton destruction.

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7428824 Sure, that seems a very reasonable explanation. Do you always characterise them the same way, or do the requirements of each particular story shape that somewhat?

For the most part they're the same in each story; snarky, sharky, usually stirring up trouble. Though, I greatly enjoy moments when they're displaying softer sides. It's something of a rarity thus far, but there are tons of vulnerable moments yet to be exposed to everyone.

Love Call of the Sirens is a story where each Dazzling has had a chance to display a different aspect of their personality. It's a setting I'm looking forward to getting back to.

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7429710 That's good, I think there's something to be said for a consistent view of a character. And I thought that story had some great sides of Sonata and Aria, it'd be lovely to see more of it.

What do you think the main ambition is that keeps each siren going, now that they've lost their pendants?



Serious answer: The girls still crave attention. Music and being musicians is also critical to their being, what with them being sirens and all. Regarding them as individuals; Adagio craves control, Aria loves doing what she wants (even in unexpected situations), and Sonata...

Out of the three, I think she's the one most still discovering herself. Ditzy taco girl is kinda fun, but there's only so much one can do there. The psychotic tendencies add some depth, but I enjoy focusing on Sonata as a clever girl.

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7430399 So sorely underrated and underused as a motivator. Spitefulness almost never fails to improve a siren story. I agree, there's a tendency for Sonata's ditziness to become one-note, so breaking out of that is important.

Which of the three do you find most shippable, and which least?

Man, that's a difficult question that I might have to answer by not answering.

Adagio has the easiest time finding lovers, for sure. Meaningful connections are not her strong suit.

Sonata has a stalker mentality that rubs most the wrong way, but when it lands she's made a disastrously pretty relationship.

Aria's personality is not one that invites intimacy, but she's also really good at picking out peeps that gravitate to her as a protector type.

Okay, I lied. "Shippable" has a lot of potential meanings, but I'd say Sonata is the most and Aria is the least.

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7431237 One of the things you wrote I found most tantalising was the suggestion of Adagio's attraction to Minuette, in Tooth Hurty. Any thoughts on how that might play out?


I see those two hiting it off for a while. or at least having quite a few adventures together. Minuette definitely has a complete disregard for personal space and Adagio loves getting up close and personal. Both have their own busy lives, ultimately, but there's room for them to cross paths again.

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7432181 That could be a lot of fun! I hadn't thought about Minuette's disregard for personal space before, but that's a good way of looking at it.

Somewhat related to the prior question about the sirens' motivations, but what do you think a happy ending looks like for them now? And how do you square that, narratively, with what's a good ending for everyone else (like, not being enslaved and stuff)?

I honestly think they're living it in The Dazzlings Are Insane, at least for the most part. They basically live a worry-free life on their terms and get to torment their greatest enemies, at least in a 'we get to annoy you whenever we please' sort of way. Not to mention their habit of sharing their problems with the Rainbooms.

Love Call is a different side of that, of course. There they are learning to fit in a bit, granted if they manage it the end results might still look the same as Insane.

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7432832 That does sound like a pretty good place for them to be in. Indulged in several different forms. When working on a scene where an individual siren has most of the focus, which of the three is most fun to write? Which is easiest or hardest?

I tend to have the most fun writing Sonata. When she's breaking away from 'taco girl for realzies', she can pull out some quick, if subtle, humor that often has me rolling.

Adagio is the easiest (har, har). Joking aside, I find Aria and I have the best flow, especially if I'm in a mood. Adagio is actually the most challenging as she tends to sport a bit more emotional range in a single conversation. Really, she can go from gritting her teeth to chortling at the absurdity of events in a matter of seconds.

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7433979 I think that's a good standard for Adagio, yeah, she's least likely to sit at any one level. And you're right, when Sonata gets the surprise zingers, they're very often great!

I liked you pairing up Flash and Aria in Tooth Hurty. I usually imagine him being quite a good match for Sonata, and he's left following her trail of devastation, open mouthed and very much in love. Pretty much for the rest of his life. So with Aria, do you think it'd be a similar thing but more so? One imagines he gets flak from his friends whenever she's generally rude towards them, but doesn't hear any of the criticism because he's that taken with her. How do you think their relationship would proceed after the events of the story?

:rainbowlaugh: I guess Flash has a bit of a thing for strong, abrasive women. Flash has an interesting line in Legends of Everfree where he wants to begin with Sunset again as "...friends."

"Yeah. You know, you've changed a lot since we went out. You're so much... nicer."

Like a lot of people, I think Flash is attracted to drama. However, living with someone who is a constant source of it can be soul-destroying. Flash is also a peacemaker if he can muster up the confidence to stand up to his intimidating, smoking hot mate (whoever that may be at the time). As much as I can see Flash hitting it off with a slightly-more attentive Sonata Dusk, I'm certain ill-treatment of people around him would wear at him.

Still, there must be some amazing dates in there! Most of them crime-free, as far as most anyone would know...

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7435081 True, but he also likes Pri-Twi in the first movie, who isn't overly abrasive. I agree, drama sounds like a good fit for him, and he is one to smooth edges almost automatically if he doesn't feel to cowed.

Which other characters would you be interested to see Aria in a romantic situation with?

I think Aria and Vinyl would make some scary wubstatic amaza-music together. I played a little with Starlight and Aria, and I think they'd get up to some hardcore mischief. Heck, on that note, Trixie, Starlight, and Aria would make quite the fun Total Annihilation Trio.

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7436647 Aria with Starlight and Trixie together would be interesting to explore. I could see Aria struggling to put up with Trixie's ego, but that'd just make her angrier and even more destructive. Throw in Trixie's obvious lust for Adagio, and Aria's behaviour could be potentially explosive.

Regardless of who it's with, what do you think the perfect Valentine's Day date looks like for each siren?

Adagio would love to be wined and dined. Also taken somewhere special, something classy like an art gallery. She'd take care of the evening's entertainment and someone(s) lucky would be nursing bubbly wine hangovers and picking rose petals out of her luxurious curls the next morning.

Aria would hate shelling out cash to the capitalist machine herself and from a mate or mates. She'd be happier with a mock stag party where everyone got drunk and laid afterward and either fast food or something tasty, but unconventionally romantic, like a burger or teriyaki.

Sonata loves flowers, chocolates, and setting all the animals free at the local zoo. Also, a swim date would go over nicely. She'd cook a giant porterhouse to share, mashed potatoes, and probably go exotic on the fruits and veggies.

As a side note, Rarity loves Adagio's day, but would let her date cover the evening's entertainment and SHE'D pick the classy activity.

Sunset would love doing things Aria style as long as she got a box of chocolates and maybe some bubbly. She'd have to do some art project for her mate(s), meaning a blue-haired bat pony and probably a bunch of others would get elaborate cards from her and Pinkie. She might kill for some of Sonata's steak if she had to (she wouldn't, though Sonata might encourage a fistfight).

Princess Twilight Sparke would do things by the book, literally. As in she'd go off a book she read for Valintine/Hearts and Hoove's day rituals.

Flash got invited to, and attended, Aria's stag party.

Sci-Twi would prep and have chocolates and activity suggestions. Timber appreciated both and hit her with a classic V-day date.

Human Fluttershy would be bombarded with flowers and chocolates at the animal shelter.

Pony Fluttershy would wake up to find all her animals taken care of and Discord's actual, still-beating heart on her coffee table and be serenaded by him as his heart caught fire all Temple of Doom style.

Rainbow Dash forgot. Lucky for her, so did Applejack. RD shared the chocolates her parents got her and they both got blasted hanging out with Aria.

Pinkie got rained on with chocolates and flowers. Dan Mandel had a Willy Wonka and a florist on his list.

Tempest and Chrysi got invited to Aria's thing. Thankfully for Oddjob, everyone tips well.

Button picked flowers and saved up enough bits for chocolates for Sweetie and his mom (Gibson got hoof-smacked for calling him a "dork" for the latter).

Sweettie Belle, Apple Bloom, and Scootaloo accidently burned down a hearts and hooves day float for their dates (it was a heart, Discord affectionately called them "Copy-cats"). Spike put it out. He was invited to Aria's thing but had a date

Starlight discovered a dimension of pure love and blissed-out her friends, and also, the universe. Trixie took care of dinner plans and also almost died.

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7437155 Whoa, I think that might be the biggest answer we've ever had here, thanks for all the detail! Glad Flash went to the party, that sounds like a good place for him. I can absolutely see Starlight doing that. I wonder how long it'd take Trixie to think of charging for it.

I added a bit here:

Human Fluttershy would be bombarded with flowers and chocolates and all the animals Sonata released from the zoo at the animal shelter.

Do you prefer to write Aria as more like Adagio, or more like Sonata? Some people see Aria and Sonata as a duo of idiots that Adagio has to put up with, while others prefer Aria as Adagio's co-conspirator and Sonata as the passive third party following them around.

I enjoy that all three sirens have their own agendas. Aria defs has a more even flow compared to the other two and is constantly doing something. Out of the three, I'd say she has the least amount of machinations and deals with everything using a head-on approach. Who she hangs out with is a total mood thing. Sonata is fun if she's down to play big sis or maybe do some partner in crime stuff. Adagio is great for scheming and helping determine who's ass needs a good thwamping.

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7437699 I like how they have someone like Aria within their group, so the more direct approach is readily available when desired. I was really happy how Aria was the one to respond swiftly and violently in Shadow Play.

If the three of them relied on having careers to survive, what do you think they'd end up doing?

It's subtle, but Aria and Adagio bring in plenty of legit income.

Aria is a streamer. She's also a skilled software engineer. Streamer pays a lot more and it's her 'thing' to hate everything. Long reign "That Blazin' Bi@#$!"

I may not have quite gotten to it, but Adagio sits on the board of directors for a major tech company. She tends to do whatever job she feels like doing at the time. She also has a ludicrous amount of investments. She's ruined entire companies mid-conversation with a CEO who was annoying her by destroying their stock prices. She basically owns the concept of money.

Sonata would have to focus quite a bit, but she could work her way through a kitchen all the way up to a super accomplished chief if she managed to get a couple peeps to wash up after her. She's something of a food and disaster artist in the kitchen.

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7438543 Adagio owning the concept of money is a lovely idea, I'm completely down with that. Also, absolutely, yes, Sonata and cooking goes together so well. Get her a cooking show with a support team and she'll be all set.

To ask a completely different and much more stupid question: if the sirens were desserts, what desserts would they be?


Adagio would be an orange-chocolate truffle cake with a cherry on top of the chocolate mousse frosting.

Sonata would be a fun mix of three scoops of ice cream inside white chocolate dipped waffle cone with jimmies. Ice cream flavors bubble gum, chocolate-mint chip cookie dough, and s'more.

Aria would be a sweet plum and lemon mochi served up on a bed of Almond Rocha.

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7439532 Sounds delicious! I could imagine Sonata answering that question with a long pause, followed by, "I dunno. Like, one with sand and cacti and stuff?"

Because there's so little of the sirens in canon, each reader tends to have their own headcanon to fill in some of the gaps. Do you ever find that works against you when writing, with everyone working from a different set of fleshed-out details? And if so, what steps can you take against it causing problems?

Honestly, it hasn't come up that much. I'd say a major advantage of my writing is how much I've produced so I'm used to my readers accepting those versions of the sirens. Developing the characters while keeping them true to the source material works wonders.

Plus there's always good ol' snarky, sex, and ultra-violence to keep flowing.

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7440535 That's good to hear, glad it hasn't been much of an issue.

I know that in stories like your Love Tap series, the sirens are sent back to Equestria, whereas in others they stay in the EG world. Where do you think they'd like to end up, given the choice? Do they still harbour much love for Equestria, or has the human world been fully embraced as their new home?

I see them ultimately loving the creature comforts of EG world. Equestria magic seems to feed the girls well and the oceans of Equestria would hold much appeal, but there's just so much Netflix and the Internet have to offer. Food options between the two are also no comparison for three predators.

There's really only so many times you can interrupt a musical number delivered via singing crab by devouring the backup singers before it starts to get as predictable as the tides.

Group Admin

7441464 Sure, that makes sense to me. And I think hiding immortality through history in the EG world means a lifetime of moving on after a few years in each place, so I doubt they'd be too attached to the concept of home.

What do you find to be the most frustrating or limiting thing about writing each siren?

Honestly, there's something of an annoyance of turning each one into a character of themselves.

Sonata's "for realzies" run the risk of getting used, for realzies.

Adagio sometimes speaks through gritted teeth, but there's a risk with her getting upset at her rambunctious sisters of basically sporting lockjaw.

Aria also, you know, smiles plenty. She's abrasive and a bit of a grump to those who get on her nerves (lots of dorks), but she's not hitting MTV's Daria levels of smile-denials.

Group Admin

7442808 Honestly, the 'for realzies' line gets copied verbatim so often, yet is used only rarely to inspire other Sonata sayings that are is similar but not the same. Really doesn't help the reputation of lots of siren stories being very similar to each other.

The chapter you released last night suggested some themes of Sonata feeling like she's a lodestone that others feel they need to take care of, rather than someone who is self-sufficient and contributes her part. What, in Sonata's mind, does she contribute, do you think?

Sonata keeps Aria and Adagio from straight out killing each other. She also helps regulate the group when they're getting far more agressive than usual.

She also makes sure the other two get something resembling a balanced diet. Aria has a tendency to carb and sugar load while Adagio's portion sizes are restuarnt sized almost all the time unless Sonata brings it up.

Sonata: "You know all that extra food is going straight to your thighs, right?"

Aria: *Looking up from a fully-loaded burger at Adagio's massive bowl of pasta cabanara* "Word. I know you love your hips, but those pants are begging for mercy."

Adagio: *angrily chomps on the pasta on her fork, chews, swollows* Huffed out sigh. Girls, If you greedy sows wanted some of my pasta, you could have just asked.

Aria: *scowls* You're going to LOOK like a pig if you eat that whole thing.

Sonata: Aria! Adagio! Stop talking about pigs! You're-a gonna upsetta the procetta!


Adagio: Sonata, I'm sharing with you because you deserve something for that, probably offensively delivered and mispronounced, pro-SHU-toe line. Aria, you get some so you'll be quieter longer.

Aria: Hate your reasoning, but I do love pasta dripping with butter and fat.

Sonata: Yay! Food based head pats!

Group Admin

7444290 That's an interesting thought, I like the idea of that being her role. That her being required just to keep the peace is the price of having both Aria and Adagio around. Reminds me of Derek Smalls. That's interesting, I see Aria as more of steak-steak-steak girl, but each to their own!

Given the comparative lack of Equestria Girls characters, one area of relationships stories have explored surprisingly little is that of the three sirens with the human Celestia, Luna and Cadence. Do you think there's any room for mileage there?


Cadence, I'm sure, would love to explore their ideas of... well... love. Shining Armor might have to be the brakes in that situation because they might accidently go on some sort of affectia-sex rampage otherwise.

Luna and Celestia both had to deal with being magically brainwashed by the trio. I doubt apologies would be forthcoming from our girls. In fact, I can see Luna pulling her sister away from the house after a round of bloody noses was delivered to all parties involved.

I mean, in my head that meant some fisticuffs, but in hindsight, maybe everyone would go anime for a bit there.

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7445720 Yes, the human Celestia and Luna seem a little less forgiving than their pony counterparts, I can see that would be a slow recovery. I could see Cadence figuring she already lost Shining to a love-eating magic monster once before, so this time she's going to take the initiative and seduce said monster.

What character traits do you like about the sirens which are unique to them among FIM/EG characters? Sonata has some overlap with Pinkie, for example, so what do you like to use her for in stories that Pinkie just doesn't fit right for?

Sonata's lackadaisical approach to lofe is far more psychotic but most standards. While Pinkie can be pushed to go sideways, Sonata tends to just exist in that space.

She's basically a walking fountain of dark humor. Sonata is also a great source of airheaded-toned jokes. She's so good in fact, it's almost impossible to tell when she's serious or pulling one over on everyone.

Group Admin

7448739 I like that way of looking at it. Pinkie at her most extreme is Sonata always!

I'm afraid that's all we have time for this month, thank you so much for doing this interview, it was a lot of fun. Looking forwards to your future stories!

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