With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air here at The Lemonade Stand. So we asked a group of authors to choose an author they love – someone who moves them, be it through their words or uplifting presence in our fandom – and write them a love letter. Due to the overwhelming positive response, we will be posting these daily, from now until Valentine's Day!
“A single candle can illuminate a room. A true friend can light up a lifetime.”
I read this quote and you immediately came to mind, because YOU, sweet Becca, are that light. You brighten this entire fandom every single day with your words, your spirit, and your contagious positivity.
I remember being instantly smitten with you when we first met two years ago over a flurry of reviews, replies, and all the messages that followed. Even through the computer screen, your genuine kindness and warmth was evident – but when I met you in person, I absolutely fell in love. I sat at your kitchen table – me the suburban mom with the minivan and you the live out loud mom with the corset and her finger on the pulse of the city. On the surface, we appeared so different, but beneath, so much the same. It’s the differences that I admire and as a result I find myself living more in the moment… out loud.
As a writer, you’re much the same, leaving me in awe with your words, which are poetic and bold, and just like the ropes in Forget Me Knots, they leave a lasting impression. The beautiful way you weave your words often leaves readers like me breathless, much like a sharp pull of the corset lace from Eighteen. No matter the genre or subject matter you choose to explore, your stories are absolutely captivating and nothing short of brilliant. With each story you write, you always bring something new and different, a fresh perspective that encourages growth and often instills hope.
You pal, have an exceptional gift for story-telling, but also an equally extraordinary ability to share your talent. You’re a born nurturer and have made such a profound impact on so many writers, myself included, by inspiring, encouraging, and helping us to find our words or in my case, my perve swerve.
I could go on all day, because you are so many things to so many people, Becca. A muse. A goddess. A sounding board. A source of endless encouragement and insight. But above all, you’re one of the most genuinely kind and amazingly talented people I’ve had the pleasure to know and a very dear friend and I’m so grateful to have you in my life.
Once upon a time, I stumbled upon your Amish story. My knowledge of the Amish consisted of a Weird Al Yankovich video and what little I'd seen on television and movies, so I wasn't quite sure if your story was for me. But your writing was amazing, and I'm a sucker for anything Edward and Bella, so I read a few chapters. It wasn't long before I was hooked, and "In Your World" became, and remains,one of my favorite fan fic stories ever.
I love stories that tug on heart strings. That’s the kind of stories I like to read and write.I also like stories that make you think, make you question, and teach you something. While “In Your World” was fiction, I learned so much about the Amish community. I’d never heard of Rumspringa, and those scenes at the barn party were some of the most enlightening of any story I’ve ever read. To think that innocent, sheltered teenagers are sent out into the world, exposing them to things they’d only heard about (drugs, sex, music) . .. I can’t help but think how equally exciting and terrifying that must be for them.
And then there were the love scenes. From the courting to the cornfield, from the hayloft to the wedding night, and then all the cold winter nights in their new home . . .*happy sigh* . . . the love scenes were written tastefully and beautifully and really showcased the devotion Edward and Bella had for each other.
Honestly, it’s embarrassing how many times I swoony sighed. :)
While I was reading, I told my husband that maybe the Amish have the right idea. Maybe a simpler, more peaceful life wouldn’t be so bad. But then he reminded me of how much I like my WI-FI, so . . . :)
“In Your World”will forever be on my list of Top 5 Fics, and you will forever be one of my favorite authors. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lavish praise upon you and your story, and I’m equally thrilled to be able to hold the published version in my hands.
Happy Valentine’sDay! xxoo
I remember the first time I saw your name, back when we both used to post Monday teasers for our fanfics on The Fictionators blog. Back then you were just someone writing a very funny story about a sexy soldier Edward and his MudElla. And if I’m being totally honest, I was probably a bit jealous of your review count for Mud, Swear and Beers, because NOBODY was reading my story!
Rather sadly, I still remember our first conversation. It involved nipples and my desperate search for a better word to describe these. Having gone through nubbins, peaks and every other iteration we came to the conclusion that nipples it must be.
From the start, it seemed as though we had lots in common. We both started writing fanfic within days of each other, we’re both British and we’re a similar *cough* age. Okay, you’re right, I’m slightly older. Still, we started pre-reading for each other, becoming sounding boards for storylines, commiserating with each other when we’d get a bad review. And through all this, a friendship grew, leading us to be called the ‘Ant and Dec’ of the fanfic world, and I can’t think of a better description than that.
Some of my favourite fanfic memories are of when we were regularly writing The Art of Getting Fluffed together. You used to send me your chapter while I was at work, and I’d sneak into the toilet to read it. People gave me funny looks when I came out, almost doubled over with laughter; God only knows what they thought I was doing.
I loved the way we used to try and leave an impossible cliffhanger for each other, waiting to see how we climbed out of the hole. I think our enjoyment of the process definitely came over in our writing, and it was great that all our readers joined in the fun. Oh yeah, by the way, we really should finish that story, shouldn’t we?
When you wrote Orange Kisses and Peppermint Hearts for my birthday I think I jumped up and down and squealed. Like all your stories it’s sweet and beautiful with a whimsical quality, and when it went on to earn rave reviews I couldn’t have been prouder. Every time somebody mentions it on facebook or twitter, I feel a twinge of pride, knowing you wrote that for me. Thank you!
Since those days we’ve been through a lot. We’ve met up in three different cities, drunk a few bottles of wine together, and you’ve gone through the pregnancy and birth of your beautiful baby. Now I’m lucky enough to be pre-reading another of your fantastic stories, and I’m loving every word of Sea Salt.
Now stop reading this and go write me some more words!
Love you loads,
My first fandom experience with you began over my love of your writing back in 2012. I realized that you had such a fun, hilarious and descriptive way of laying out your characters and scenes. I would review and I noticed that you were one of the few authors that would respond to my reviews.I always appreciated that fact, and admired the way you engaged me in your review replies … it wasn't just about thanking the reader with you, but more about getting to know us better, and showing gratitude in a very personable way. I felt that thoughtful connection and appreciation for you immediately. Anyone that has interacted with you knows that you do this in every facet of your friendships – you're that giving, incredibly loving and nurturing friend who consistently shines with kindness and thoughtfulness.
My dear friend, that thoughtfulness has even branched out into my other author relationships with people that I feel so blessed to have gotten to know through you, including Postapocalypticdepository, CarrieZM and Planetblue. These ladies truly reflect the type of positive and edifying experiences you encourage in everyone around you, proving that wise adage about “the company you keep.” On this Valentine's Day, I want you to know how much I appreciate the love you've shown to me and to others, and I hope you feel that love in abundance too!
You are such an amazing woman, mother and friend, and I love you!
The reason I choose to write to you is very simple. Ever since I stumbled upon your fics you have been inspiring me. So since I’ve discovered your writing, on every napkin I’ve written words on, on every stroke I’ve made on this very keyboard, every time I am struck by the urge to write about the beautifully complicated and pained but victorious nature of human emotion I am inspired and motivated by what you have done. You have indirectly written my youth, my feelings, my falls and triumphs-- if not exact, you have nailed the sentiment. You have written everything I ever longed to read or write and displayed it so naturally that I’ve lived your stories, I’ve cried with your characters and I celebrated their wins as if they were my own.
As an author, you understand human flaws then shape them unapologetically and so even in the painful mistakes and seemingly unforgiveable actions, I understand and forgive; for through your words I see the earnest and often brutal pains of navigating life and its trials, big or small. You write adolescents as they are meant to be: flawed but trying, making mistakes and learning from them; and that is where the beauty of youth lies.
You understand the difference between a weak female character versus a female character in love and the strength and vulnerability that lies within imperfect relationships. You understand that mistakes and selfish choices don’t have to necessarily create a terrible character rather you have the ability to turn these things in to complex and stunning studies of humans, particularly the young and raw. Then, in the midst of the angst and struggles, you effortlessly weave in the freewheeling and careless but so-real antics of adolescence. Whether these characters are dealing with sudden death or spray painting a boxcar you write them alive and realistic; you write the essence of memories that have faded for me long ago and renew the feeling in me. On a much more shallow but fun note you can write a hot male lead like nobody’s business.
As a fellow writer I suppose I could stop writing anytime now. You have pretty much written everything that I’ve ever wanted to and you’ve done it better than I ever could. You’ve done it better than most mainstream authors could, too. Problem is, beyond entertaining and captivating, you do exactly what I think a good author does to her fellow writers: you inspire. I read (and re-read) your fics and I’m struck with such excitement and such inspiration—I want to march forward in your wake.
(No one panic, she totally knows I feel this way. She’s cool with it.)
All of this is you as a writer. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to count you as a friend, too. I could go on about how wide open and hilarious and smart and accepting you are, but I’m not as good of a writer as you are and the words to describe how much I adore you are well beyond me J
Before I read fic, I was already a voracious reader, but pretty much read mystery novels exclusively. I loved me some strong, complex protagonists, male and female, and intricate mysteries where I couldn’t predict whodunit. It took me a couple of months of reading fic before I stumbled upon “Edward Cullen: Dick for Hire.” And then I let out a breath I didn’t realize I had been holding… No, wait…
All kidding aside, as I sat and read a great mystery with an Edward who cursed as much as I do, appreciated a good tequila shot, and was interesting and complex AND had a Bella who could go toe-to-toe with him, I had an overwhelming feeling of holy shit, I think I just found my people. I didn’t know fanfiction could be like that – that it could be written with that kind of voice - and I hold you directly responsible for my first one shot as a result. You made me realize that sarcastic and funny had a place in fic – that I could write in my own unique voice, with my own personal versions of Edward and Bella, and that was totally okay.
I was too shy and too new to interact with authors at that point, but I knew I wanted to know you. Anyone who was smart enough to write a mystery that challenged me and funny enough to make me laugh as hard as I did reading your work was someone I thought I would probably like… someone I would love to hang out with and grab a drink and shoot the shit. And that ended up being the understatement of the century. I am still ever so thankful that I found the nerve to PM you and ask if you wanted me to beta after going through a chapter of “Vines” for Project Team Beta. I was so nervous... I must have started and deleted that message five times before I finally gathered my courage and pressed send.
As I watched you evolve as a writer through “Vines” and “Blind Spot”, you taught me so much about how to craft a good story, create interesting, fully developed characters, and somehow retain a unique voice through different genres. Watching you just fucking go for it every time gave me the courage to try. First to even try writing, then to try and go further, delve deeper… just to put myself out there in a way I never had before. The encouragement you gave me when we were bouncing ideas around for my Age of Edward piece meant the world. There may have been a small fist pump when you liked what I was thinking – the Jo “seal of approval” is a pretty big deal, my friend.
And now you’ve written two books! The idea of writing a multi chapter fic is still overwhelming to me, and you’ve written two original, wonderful books. Really fucking fantastic books too, I might add. Proud does not even begin to cover how I feel.
I honestly can’t imagine not having you in my life. You’ve taught me so much about writing, about friendship, about trusting people (and not), about ellipses… Thank you doesn’t even come close to covering my gratitude. I love you so fucking much.
When I was asked if I wanted to write a love note to an author within the fandom, you were the first writer that came to mind!
I have never written a love note, so you’ll have to bear with me!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...
1. You're one of the nicest people I've met within the fandom and even though we haven't even met in person I still consider you my friend. We have the kinship of both being Aussie, which is probably how first related to each other, but you're also just so damn sweet and down-to-earth.
2. Your writing is excellent! I love your sense of romance, all your pairings get there in the end, even if it's an uphill battle, and when they do its all swoony and sweet. Your Bellas are always strong and don't take a lot of shit from anyone. Especially Edward! I loved Yosemite Decimal, the Dozer was so hot. Weather With You brought us some sexy Aussie fluff, and Mate of Honor was just so funny; who doesn't like someone who can laugh at themselves? You picked on Aussies and it was hilarious without being offensive. You also have a bunch of amazing and varied one-shots that I could just keep re-reading over and over.
3. You contribute to the fandom more than you probably think. You're active with reading and you're usually around on Facebook for a quick chat or even just a quick hello, or to chip in your encouragement or opinion when it’s needed.
4. You make excellent graphics. I know this because I played with some of them during the DTE contest. You didn’t really even need me there.
5. Your contribution to the DTE one shot contest was amazing, I know it was a lot of work because I saw it first hand from both you and Nic! You both spent a lot of your spare time, effort and emotion on that contest and it showed in the results.
I am sure there are more characteristics I could point out, but the main objective, and I hope I achieved it, is that you feel loved. You are loved. Not just by me, but by a lot of other readers and writers and Facebookers within the Twilight fandom.
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day. You deserve it!