Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Letters

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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! 

Dearest Shay, (Savage729)

It’s hard to put into words just how much you and your stories mean to me. I’ve stressed over this love letter for many days now, afraid it won’t fully convey the adoration I have for you, but I’ll give it my best try.

I was still new to the Twilight fandom when I first started seeing mentions of you on Twitter. Actually, they weren’t about you, they were about Carlisle and how everyone wanted him dead. In my naivety, I couldn’t fathom reading something that would make me hate Carlisle Cullen but, after a while, I couldn’t resist any longer.

Reading “Offside” completely rocked my world. I’d never read a Carlisle or an Edward like that and I easily became hooked. It didn’t take long to understand why everyone brought out their marked-for-Carlisle pitchforks with every update and, soon, I had my very own pitchfork to add to the hunt.

The way you create and write your characters blows me away. Each one is different, flawed but strong, and most importantly, real. The same can be said about your stories. Every plot is unique and fascinating and makes me thirst for more. Never in my life would I have predicted falling for a caveman named “Ehd” or a character on the Autism Spectrum who’s OCD tendencies cause him to poke a fish-shaped birthmark on Bella’s shoulder.

What fun it’d be to observe you working your magic! Let’s get together again soon, so I can pick your brain, okay? I’ll bring the Fireball.

I remember watching a clip of Michael Sheen doing a dramatic reading of a Twilight fanfic on VH1 and thinking, “How ridiculous. I’d never read a story like that!” It was months later that I started reading “Unexpected Circumstances” and realized it was the story Michael was reading from! I’d never been happier to eat crow than in that moment because that fic quickly became (and still is) one of my all-time favorite stories! I read it for a second time last weekend to get some inspiration for this letter and fell in love with it all over again.

I mean, who doesn’t enjoy reading about Jessica being drawn and quartered?!

“Surviving Bella”, “Temp My Tongue”, “Not What She Seems”, “Caged”…the list goes on and on with your amazing fics and now, you’re a published author! The Evan Arden series, “Savaged”, “Alarm”, just to name a few, are all amazing books. I couldn’t be more proud of you as a friend and as a fan.

After all this gushing about your stories, I have to say, what I love the most about you is how you are in “real life”. You’re always welcoming, gracious, and kind to your fans and you’re a fucking hoot to party with. I greatly appreciate how eager you are to offer advice, as well, as chocolate cake shots to everyone you meet. Thank you for being a kick-ass original, who isn’t afraid to take risks and push buttons in order to make people feel for, understand, and accept characters and plots that are outside of the norm.

Shay Savage, you’re a true genius and an inspiration.

Jiff Simpson

P.S. I’d also like to thank you for sharing The Savage Trainer with us. He’s…very pretty. :-)

Dear The Black Arrow,

It feels strange writing a love letter to someone who doesn’t know you.  I like to think of it not as creepy stalking, but more as following in that good old Valentine’s tradition of sending a card to someone you admire and only signing it if you have the courage to…  We’ll see how I fare on that last bit.

And what has prompted me to take the scary step in writing this letter?  Well, it all started with these words:

“Throughout time, as long as humans have loved, they have believed in soul mates.”

When I read those words I didn’t know the effect your story would have on me. 

I had been introduced to the Twilight fandom by friends who should have known better.  They kindly directed me to the more (ahem) salacious stories the fandom had to offer.  The Blessing and The Curse though was the first story I read that stopped me short.  It had a genuinely ingenious take on the Twilight story.  It kept some of the elements from the novels but skillfully twisted them, placing them firmly in a very real, all human world.  Your Bella and Edward were compelling.  Their relationship complex, and at the heart of their story was the constant sense that they truly were meant for one another; not unlike Cathy and Heathcliff.  And there again, another clever nod to the Twilight books.

All of these things were enough to keep me reading, but the thing that arrested me the most was your beautifully crafted words.  They conveyed joy, hope and pleasure alongside regret, fear and sadness.  They captured the heartbreak of death and the elation of love – a difficult balance to navigate at the best of times, but something that you made seem effortless.

I’ve been back to read your story many times.  Every time I do it reminds me not to be jealous of your words, but to be inspired by them.  They didn’t just entertain, but encouraged me to start my own writing, and through that my world opened up and became Technicolor.  I’ve met some incredible people through fandom and made some truly wonderful friendships all over the world.  I can even be found lurking on Twitter, something I would never have contemplated Pre-Twilight-Fandom.  All of these things have enriched my life.

So you see, for me, your words have had a butterfly effect.  And so that is why I will proudly sign my love letter to you and The Blessing and The Curse.

With admiration and thanks,
Emmanuelle Nathan

Dearest Chocaholic123,

Some might say fate brought us to Fanfiction within a few days of each other, perhaps it was—with a little bit of Fifty thrown in too.

It only took a random conversation around nipples for us to know we were meant to be. We clicked straight away with the same dodgy sense of humour and love of writing. It was love at first type.

The result has been days filled of laughter, late night chats and long distance journeys. We quickly become best friends through our writing, and shared every part of our lives together—babies, Bunny, bicycle-obsessed husbands, and book deals—to name a few. I wouldn't be where I am today without you by my side, listening to me waffle on, holding my hand, and making me laugh.

One of the best parts of being your right hand girl is that I'm lucky enough to roll around in your words before anyone else gets the chance. I discovered your amazing ability to weave a story in the gritty world of car manufacturing and hot union reps. Now, we've travelled all over the world, through every perfectly crafted emotion, and have ended up with my favourite rock star dad and Love in London—with so much more to come.

I have adored every word. You blow me away each and every time you tell me you've written something new.  I'm so proud to watch your talent grow and be recognised by more and more people. You're the brightest superstar. But what makes you irreplaceable is how you shine on everyone around you.

You're the kindest person and your generosity and support is boundless for anyone lucky enough to be in your company. I don't know what I did before you were in my life, but it was certainly less colourful. I love you with every corner of my heart. And I can't wait to see what the next Fifty years will bring us.

Your other half always,

Dear Cosmogirl7481,

Has it really been almost six years since we bonded over reviews we exchanged on Twilighted? By the way, remember Twilighted? So many fic friendships were formed   there.

Including our love affair.

I wish I remembered my password so I could read our first interaction with each other.From that first review and response we hit it off and have never looked back. I truly value our friendship that goes deeper than just Edward and Bella and cock. Though, it's about those things too.

Over the years, it's been my joy and honor to call you my co-writer, my beta, and most importantly,  my biggest supporter in all things. You have been there when others have not. You're there even though you're across the country from me.

Some of my best memories are of late nights writing LiMB with you, and you making me write smut. I never would have had the confidence without you. Also, texting crazy plot ideas back and forth has been a blast.

My birthdays also have been so special due to all the wonderful fics you've written in my honor. I know the fandom thanks you for those and all the wonderful, serious, funny, gut-punching, sexy stories you've shared with all of us.

We've loved them all, even that time you killed Edward. (You will never live that down.) You have a way of making stories dirty and sexy but still fun and romantic.  Who else would write Jasper and Emmett as gay cats?

I know you still have plenty of stories to tell, and we're all waiting to read them.

I will always be your biggest fan and fic wife. Let me know when you're ready to chuck all this and run away with me to the Bahamas. The taco cart is waiting.

With much love,

To WildHeartAstrid,

I’m writing you this letter to thank you. Having the opportunity to speak with you about your passion for writing and your excitement to grow has given me inspiration that I am infinitely grateful for. You are just embarking on this crazy path of writing FanFiction, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch you mature as a writer and to support you along the way.

You share the same passion that I have, and the dedication and enthusiasm that you have inspires me to remember why I write. Witnessing your leap into FanFiction reminds me of when I uploaded my first story, and reignites my zeal for this passion of mine; reminding me why it is so important to me in the first place.

Most importantly, your passion and yearning to produce a story of your own has encouraged me to always remember that I do this for the fun and joy that it brings me. I am five years into my own adventure of writing, but at the end of the day, I do it for the same reasons you do. We are cut from the same cloth, and meeting you through this fandom and our shared passion is just an example of one of the many rewards that I gain through this.

I speculate that there are three things you must possess to be a successful writer; a natural aptitude, a passion for the craft, and a longing to constantly produce better work. I believe you have all three, and as long as you continue to love what you’re doing, the possibilities of where you can take your passion are endless. I’ve told you before and I’ll never stop reminding you, as long as you keep writing, you keep growing.

Thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, and inspiring me. You’re a beautiful person, and I can’t wait to see the places you go.

Your fan,

Dear LolaShoes

The nice ladies at TLS asked me to write a Valentine’s Day Love Letter to an author that I adore or who has inspired me in some way and I chose you.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Your awesome stories,

I used to view.

Yours are among the first Twifics I ever read and they have left an impression on me.  Long after I’ve forgotten the words I still retain vivid mental pictures of some of the scenes and a warm invisible cloak of the feelings the stories engendered.

I can still see and laugh at Aro in his trainers.  Bella giving Edward her damp panties while they car shopped.  The pole dancing lesson and stripper shoes.  The room decorated with intimate photos of them and how he understood the reason she’d created it.  The Opera.  The honeymoon on Isle Esme and Bella waving her bikini clad butt in Edward’s face.  Training with Jasper after her change.  Bella’s gift and her falling in love with human food.  Bonding with the family.

What a sense of family you created, how I envied them and how I loved that your writing didn’t make me feel like an outsider looking in.  It sometimes felt like the warmth emanating from the story was heating my cheeks through the computer screen.

And then there was the heat between Bella and Edward.  From Stephanie Meyer to Scorchio!  Mercy but there was a lot of sex in your stories!

And the Love Days.  Oh LolaShoes, how I loved your Love Days!  They were like being slowly yet pleasurably turned inside out.  I could feel the pull between them and get stuck in the gooey syrupy sweetness of it. 

Sigh . . .

Non Creepy Love,

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