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Fandom Q+A K.M. Hayes Q&A

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What do you do to get into your creative writing mode? Do you listen to music? Go outside? Seclude yourself in your dungeon? Play your album of screaming cat noises?  :umad:

 

Seven published novels in, I don't need a lot to get me into Writer Mode. I just open the laptop and go. Sometimes if I'm getting lazy or the writing is hard, I set timers and see how much I can write in, say, 30 mins, just to give myself a more immediate goal. I don't really snack or anything. I sometimes listen to music or I watch my favorite League of Legends pros stream;)

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If I honestly don't know where the sotry is going, it's usually because I've made a mistake or I need to brainstorm. If a scene just feels off, I look at what I've written and usually find the book took a wrong turn several chapters back and I need to revise. If I'm truly blank, I take the time to come up with at least 5 possible ways the story could go from where I'm at. Usually your first ideas will be the most cliche or obvious, and the next ones are stronger.

 

I had to interrupt my own question I was typing to just comment on that. I hope all the aspiring writers are listening because that is outstanding advice. I'm curious since it sounds like you are a bit of a 'pantser'. Do you work out the story beats in advance, or pull the Stephen King route and just go for it? 

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Miyazaki movie...I love so many, but as a creative person Kiki's Delivery Service has actually gotten me through some hard times. When Kiki loses her ability to fly--sometimes I've felt like that in my writing. And watching her go through finding that strength and joy again is very powerful for me.

 

DBZ: Gohan. Attack on Titan: Annie. InuYasha: Sesshoumaru! Sailor Moon: Rei.

 

As far as inspiration for my writing, it's a big mix! I take a lot from my creative loves: cartoons, books, video games, art. I also take a lot from my personal experience as well. Not in a "I write my exact life events into a book," but I certainly draw on things I have or am currently struggling with, things that have meant a lot to me in my life, things that have made me happy.

 

And the Chipmunks? ...I'm afraid to answer this...but their voices. It's hard for me to get past their voices:(

 

I love Kiki, it's my favorite as well, with Pom Poko being a close second.

 

You don't like the Chipmunks?  Well, clearly, we can never be best friends :(

 

Hm, lets see.....Is there an idea for a book or series you've had swirling around in your head for a while, but find you've been unable to put down to paper (or computer document, as it were).

 

Have you ever been struck so powerfully with an idea for a story that you literally had to stop what you were doing to write down all the ideas you had for it before your head exploded?

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First of all thank you so much for that wonderful job you did and the love you have for the fandom.

 

Tell me, do you think this is a good thing socially? One of the things that kind of upsets me is when I see fellow bronies putting down the fandom as "no different than any other" when in my experience it's been so much more than that. This show and fandom change the course of my life, so I see both as powerful forces for positive change.

 

What do you think of the show and fandom's impact when it comes to lives beyond that actual viewership and fan activities?

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Alright, time for some serious spoilers delving into the book.  :yay:

Every time I talked with someone who had read the book, one of the first comments from them was usually about them identifying with one of the characters.  How deliberate was it to try and represent different 'types' of bronies within the group?  Also, which character did you relate to the most?

It was fairly deliberate:) Mostly because I thought it was important to kind of show as many ways of being a fan as I could. I would call myself more of a quietly passionate fan, though I love and respect those who are involved and in every aspect of the fandom. I wanted there to be room for all those in the book. I also wanted to get a decent variety of how fans express their fandom--from art to fashion to writing, etc. (Also something I hope to continue if there are more books.)

 

As for the one I identify with most, really I have to say Drew. He's a big product of myself, in that I gave him art like I had in high school. I was also severely bullied in elementary and jr. high, so those feelings and experiences he has come from a very real place for me.

What are your favorite books and who are your favorite authors to read?

 

One of my favorites from my childhood is The Chronicles Of Narnia. They were really the only books that grabbed me as a child. The Giver and Dune hit me hard in my tween years, loved those. Today, I read a lot of YA because it's what I write. Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, Kasie West, Sara Zarr, Julie Halpern--love them on the contemporary side. Leigh Bardgo, Kiersten White, Sara Raasch, Ellen Oh, Cindy Pon, J.R. Johansson--love them on the spec fic side.

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And the Chipmunks? ...I'm afraid to answer this...but their voices. It's hard for me to get past their voices:(

 

 

You don't like the Chipmunks?  Well, clearly, we can never be best friends
 

tumblr_mtt5a7BKCW1rwnmioo8_250.gif

 

Are you enjoying the Q&A? <3

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Welcome KMHayes! So I really like to write, but the thing is is I never get anything published, even a fanfiction! I find that I'm really excited over a story idea but after I get through the beginning I reach the middle of the story and don't know what to do with it! Have you run into this problem? And if so how do you get around it?

Edited by Felix
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I totally get that, I mean, I think writing in general remains something that people are really self-conscious about, but sadly there doesn't seem to be a larger conversation about how self-conscious people are about it.  I mean, yeah, some people are just plain happy to write however poorly they want online, but if you've ever been in a comments section for a bad fanfic (especially poorly written ones), you see that some people have a really hard time taking criticism for their writing or learning how to improve, and not just adolescents or teenagers.  On the one hand, sure, maybe they write badly and deserve the criticism they get, but on the other hand, some of said criticism can be so fierce that people just become plain scared or just too frustrated to bother trying to write anything else, and that's a shame.  As a fanfic writer myself, I never want to see people give up at writing, which is why I think reviewers need to be more careful when they're giving feedback, even if some of them write reviews for more humorous purposes.

 

Anyways, onto my next question.  When you first joined the forums, we'd briefly talked about fanfiction a little.  You seemed quite warm and receptive to the idea of fanfiction, so I'm curious, have you moseyed on over to Fimfiction and read any brony fanfics published there?  Any fanfic genres you particularly like and dislike?

 

I haven't had the chance, but it's on the list of things to do! I'm currently buried in manuscripts for a week-long class I'm teaching in a couple weeks, and they've been sucking all my extra time. I definitely plan on getting that direction, though.

 

I don't think there's anything I'd say I'd dislike in fanfic genres. I mean, are there genres that aren't for me? Sure. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad. They're just not my style. But that's the beauty of fiction--you can find something for yourself, and other can find something they love. It's great that we all have so many choices.

Hello there Miss Hayes it's great to have you visiting here! I have just learned about your book myself and am taking a interest in reading it soon enough.

 

What are your thoughts on the MLP Forums site? What kinds of music are of interest to you?

 

The forums have been really cool and welcoming! A bit overwhelming, but I'm enjoying finding all sorts of new things.

 

I like lots of different music. I actually really into music from the 60s and 70s, kinda of the "folk music" side. Things like Jim Croce, Credence Clearwater, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor, John Denver...my dad listened to that stuff and it just makes me feel all nostalgic and happy. And then on the totally opposite end, I'm WAY into Kpop. BigBang, 2NE1, Shinee, BAP, Girls Generation...the list goes on. So I like all that and everything in between:)

Thinking about a sequel already, are we? :comeatus:

 

There has always been talk with the publisher of that possibility, but it really depends on how well the first book does!

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I haven't had the chance, but it's on the list of things to do! I'm currently buried in manuscripts for a week-long class I'm teaching in a couple weeks, and they've been sucking all my extra time. I definitely plan on getting that direction, though.

 

I don't think there's anything I'd say I'd dislike in fanfic genres. I mean, are there genres that aren't for me? Sure. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad. They're just not my style. But that's the beauty of fiction--you can find something for yourself, and other can find something they love. It's great that we all have so many choices.

 

Just for a short list of recommendations for fics that are the best the fandom has to offer if you're ever interested?:

 

-My Little Dashie

 

-It's a Dangerous Business Going out Your Door (If you like Lewis and Tolkien, you'll like this.)

 

-Past Sins

 

-The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog

 

-Fallout Equestria (SUPREMELY EFFECTING! I jumped with joy and cried buckets with this.)

Edited by Steel Accord
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I'm very excited to hear that! I know that certain people have sadly chosen to stigmatize bronies as a very homogenous group, and I am happy to see anyone opposing such a silly notion. I have an anxiety disorder as well, and belong to a religion that is not exactly popular, so it's also cool to know that we have some things in common.

 

I have another question for you actually, one that I'd imagine is on a lot of people's minds here tonight. Is there any chance you might be compelled to stick around after this little Q & A? We at MLPforums would be happy to have you if you felt like dropping back in on occasion :)

 

I will certainly be around on the forums! Probably not hugely, but it's fun to check in and see what people are chatting about. I'd be on more if I weren't so darned busy. Summer is especially tough with kids out of school. I'm on constant "Entertain me!" duty;)

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I haven't had the chance, but it's on the list of things to do! I'm currently buried in manuscripts for a week-long class I'm teaching in a couple weeks, and they've been sucking all my extra time. I definitely plan on getting that direction, though.

 

Have you had a chance to check out the various fan animations out there in the fandom? (Let's be honest here, I just want to know if you've seen Snowdrop :D)

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I want to tell my mom I'm a brony. Is there any advice you can give me, Ms. Hayes? It's certainly a refresher to see someone who actually doesn't have any objections to us.

 

Hmm, well, I don't know anything about your situation, but I guess I can say if you want to tell her, then do it. If you don't, then don't. You're not ready, and that's okay. I think we all have times when we need to keep something for ourselves and it takes time for us to be ready to tell more people.

 

But you know, moms are mostly pretty cool people, and they love their kids no matter what. It might be scary and she might be confused at first, but it'll all smooth out.

 

It breaks my heart that it even has to be a secret, you know? I mean, I grew up loving X-Men and watching it on TV and no one ever told me I was weird and I couldn't do that because I was a girl. I just don't really get what the big deal is--it's a great show, and anyone should be "allowed" to like it. Our culture is seriously messed up on this topic, and I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

Pleased to meet you K. M. Hayes. :)

 

Considering how much you love the show, have you checked out the comics if you had the time? I'm a fan of them; personally. :)

 

I have! I have four of them--me and my daughter have really enjoyed them:) They are always on the "buy list" when we have a little extra cash.

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Greetings, K. M. Hayes.

Have you ever been invited to work the Faust and/or DHX?

You're a great writer, and you should totally work with her as a show dev!

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How often do you get negative criticisms of your work, and how do you deal with them? I've always been excellent at ignoring insults and staying level-headed during a debate, probably because I was never seriously bullied as a child and was often complemented for my skills, so I could develop a strong self-esteem. However, many were not so lucky. I would imagine some advice on taking criticism from a fellow anxiety-sufferer might help give them courage.

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Oh! Before I forget. How is the MLP dress coming along? Channeling your inner Rarity is tops in my book!

 

#characterbias

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Would you say the teen who becomes a brony in the book is based off of anyone in real life?

 

More like a mix up of a lot of my own personal experiences? Drew comes from my art background and is bullied like I was, but he's not me at the same time. He's actually a lot more chill, and though he's nervous around people because of his past he's actually quite good at making friends when he has the courage.

 

He also comes a little bit from a story a teen was telling me about a brony at her school. She was telling me that most of the kids at school don't bug him, but actually it was his father who was the meanest to him. She said his dad would call him a loser and a freak in front of his son's friends and make it really clear that he hated MLP. It was so hard to believe and then...so not hard at the same time. That story...I pulled a lot from that for the conflict in my book.

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Thank you for taking the time to join us tonight, and welcome to the forums!! ^^

 

Not sure what to ask exactly but I'll try, haha.......

 

How long have you been of a fan of MLP? Who is your favorite of the Mane 6 and why? Who is your favorite background character and why? What is your favorite episode of the show?

 

Thanks!

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More like a mix up of a lot of my own personal experiences? Drew comes from my art background and is bullied like I was, but he's not me at the same time. He's actually a lot more chill, and though he's nervous around people because of his past he's actually quite good at making friends when he has the courage.

 

He also comes a little bit from a story a teen was telling me about a brony at her school. She was telling me that most of the kids at school don't bug him, but actually it was his father who was the meanest to him. She said his dad would call him a loser and a freak in front of his son's friends and make it really clear that he hated MLP. It was so hard to believe and then...so not hard at the same time. That story...I pulled a lot from that for the conflict in my book.

I see. This kind of reminds me of all those stories I've heard in the news of kids who were bullied for being bronies, like the kid who nearly committed suicide for being a brony and ended up getting a lot of support from even the show staff.

 

Speaking of show staff, how popular do you think this book will get with the fandom and maybe even the show staff? Do you think any of them will get the book?

 

Oh, and I never said this but thanks for being here.  :) 

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<Character Spoiler>

 

What was your motivation for the ‘Teagan’ character? I found it a tad odd to have the theme of obsession in the book, not that it detracted from anything

Heck yeah, Sesshoumaru! :angry:

 

 

 

This came from a place where I wanted to show a little bit of how girls were bullied vs boys, how it can be dangerous in a very different and scary way. And it was a way of showing a "line," so to speak, between what is okay and what is so not. I also wanted to show the abusive nature of what might have been a relationship under other circumstances, had Skye not been befriended and started to believe that was the best she'd ever get. Which does happen. I've seen it, and it's heartbreaking.

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Hmm, well, I don't know anything about your situation, but I guess I can say if you want to tell her, then do it. If you don't, then don't. You're not ready, and that's okay. I think we all have times when we need to keep something for ourselves and it takes time for us to be ready to tell more people.

 

But you know, moms are mostly pretty cool people, and they love their kids no matter what. It might be scary and she might be confused at first, but it'll all smooth out.

 

It breaks my heart that it even has to be a secret, you know? I mean, I grew up loving X-Men and watching it on TV and no one ever told me I was weird and I couldn't do that because I was a girl. I just don't really get what the big deal is--it's a great show, and anyone should be "allowed" to like it. Our culture is seriously messed up on this topic, and I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

 

I have! I have four of them--me and my daughter have really enjoyed them:) They are always on the "buy list" when we have a little extra cash.

 

My mom hates the MLP fandom, so unfortunately.... it's not quite so easy. But I do appreciate the advice, so thank you, Ms. Hayes. Pleasure to meet you.

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When did you get to the point where you could basically "quit your day job" and become a professional writer?

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I had to interrupt my own question I was typing to just comment on that. I hope all the aspiring writers are listening because that is outstanding advice. I'm curious since it sounds like you are a bit of a 'pantser'. Do you work out the story beats in advance, or pull the Stephen King route and just go for it? 

 

I am a half-pantser? Hehe. I mostly go without an outline, but I do like to make notes about 3-5 chapters in advance of what I think will happen in the draft. Sometimes I stick to it and sometimes a don't. Basically it's like I have a flashlight in a dark forest so I can see a few feet ahead but not the whole landscape:)

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First of all thank you so much for that wonderful job you did and the love you have for the fandom.

 

Tell me, do you think this is a good thing socially? One of the things that kind of upsets me is when I see fellow bronies putting down the fandom as "no different than any other" when in my experience it's been so much more than that. This show and fandom change the course of my life, so I see both as powerful forces for positive change.

 

What do you think of the show and fandom's impact when it comes to lives beyond that actual viewership and fan activities?

 

 

I haven't had the chance, but it's on the list of things to do! I'm currently buried in manuscripts for a week-long class I'm teaching in a couple weeks, and they've been sucking all my extra time. I definitely plan on getting that direction, though.   I don't think there's anything I'd say I'd dislike in fanfic genres. I mean, are there genres that aren't for me? Sure. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're bad. They're just not my style. But that's the beauty of fiction--you can find something for yourself, and other can find something they love. It's great that we all have so many choices.

 

Just for a short list of recommendations for fics that are the best the fandom has to offer if you're ever interested?:

 

-My Little Dashie

 

-It's a Dangerous Business Going out Your Door (If you like Lewis and Tolkien, you'll like this.)

 

-Past Sins

 

-The Ballad of Echo the Diamond Dog

 

-Fallout Equestria (SUPREMELY EFFECTING! I jumped with joy and cried buckets with this.)

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I love Kiki, it's my favorite as well, with Pom Poko being a close second.

 

You don't like the Chipmunks?  Well, clearly, we can never be best friends :(

 

Hm, lets see.....Is there an idea for a book or series you've had swirling around in your head for a while, but find you've been unable to put down to paper (or computer document, as it were).

 

Have you ever been struck so powerfully with an idea for a story that you literally had to stop what you were doing to write down all the ideas you had for it before your head exploded?

 

Sorry about the Chipmunks:( I guess it wasn't meant to be?

 

I always have ideas I haven't put down yet, waiting for the right time for all the pieces to come together. I have been struck powerfully though, and have written novels in mad flurries when I get really excited about an idea. I admit that hasn't happened recently, though. Things change a bit when writing becomes your career. With deadlines and other responsibilities, a lot of the times you can just sit down and do that.

First of all thank you so much for that wonderful job you did and the love you have for the fandom.

 

Tell me, do you think this is a good thing socially? One of the things that kind of upsets me is when I see fellow bronies putting down the fandom as "no different than any other" when in my experience it's been so much more than that. This show and fandom change the course of my life, so I see both as powerful forces for positive change.

 

What do you think of the show and fandom's impact when it comes to lives beyond that actual viewership and fan activities?

 

Well, I think like in most cases, the fandom is a "you get what you put in" kind of thing, isn't it? I mean, I am not the authority at all. I am a fan, but at the same time I get super intimidated by the people who are super SUPER fans that exclipse my ability to fan by millions of times over, you know?

 

But yeah, I think this show and fandom can change lives. And I also think if someone doesn't think much of it, then it won't do anything for them in return. You get what you give. That's true in life, really, not just here.

 

sig-3813723.tumblr_mtt5a7BKCW1rwnmioo8_2

 

Are you enjoying the Q&A? <3

 

Very much! Haha. I was afraid no one would ask questions so this is great!

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Sorry about the Chipmunks:( I guess it wasn't meant to be?

 

I always have ideas I haven't put down yet, waiting for the right time for all the pieces to come together. I have been struck powerfully though, and have written novels in mad flurries when I get really excited about an idea. I admit that hasn't happened recently, though. Things change a bit when writing becomes your career. With deadlines and other responsibilities, a lot of the times you can just sit down and do that.

 

Well, I think like in most cases, the fandom is a "you get what you put in" kind of thing, isn't it? I mean, I am not the authority at all. I am a fan, but at the same time I get super intimidated by the people who are super SUPER fans that exclipse my ability to fan by millions of times over, you know?

 

But yeah, I think this show and fandom can change lives. And I also think if someone doesn't think much of it, then it won't do anything for them in return. You get what you give. That's true in life, really, not just here.

 

We'll always have that first post though.......*sad music plays*

 

Whats your favorite kind of story to write?

 

What's the genre you have the hardest time writing?

 

How do you feel about ships, and do you have a really weird ship from a cartoon or anime?

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