Planetblue recently surprised her readers with a new story called Crazy Like That. TLS had a head's up on the post and our excitement was bubbling, because once you've read a Planetblue story, you KNOW it's going to be one EVERYONE is talking about!! Crazy Like That is no exception and I, for one, read it in my work bathroom, because I was dying to know what top secret story she had been writing for her fans. It was everything and MORE that I'd hoped for, just in chapter one! If you haven't started it yet, dive in with us:
1. You seem to enjoy writing fics that make your readers question their moral compass, Crazy Like That is no exception. When you generate story ideas, does the genre you want to write determine the story or do you go with a theme you want to explore?
First, I’d just like to say thank you so much for wanting to speak with me about my new story. I’m honored that TLS has always been so supportive of me.
Usually when I’m ready to write a new story I know what kind of theme I want to explore: fun, sexy, moody… whatever. Then try to see how I can twist it, what sort of spin I can give it. I’m not interested in writing something that’s been done (and done well), so I take my idea and make it unique in some way.
Pushing boundaries of what people are comfortable with is a scary thing, but it’s also a thrilling way to do exactly that. Can I make killers garner your sympathy? Can I make a thief a dashing hero? Crazy Like That is no different. I hate to use the words “cheater fic” or “olderward” because to me, this story is just a bit more than that. It explores something beyond those two descriptors. People aren’t solely ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Everyone has both in them, and that’s what I like to bring out and play with. I’m not so good with “safe”.
2. The writing style for this fic is a bit different than your previous stories, was that intentional?
Well, yes and no. If I’m honest, I wrote the first chapter with some liquor in me and that’s what happened. Did I continue it that way? Yeah, then it was absolutely intentional. My previous fics have all been very meticulous, mapped out in endless research and detail of specific locations, names of streets or stores, even exact travel time for a road trip and crystal meth prices by state. This time I wanted to just write feeling and emotion without having to worry about getting bogged down in details.
I think of it as “stream of consciousness” writing as opposed to picking every word carefully. I just wrote what came to my head and kept it. It’s one person’s thoughts of what is going on around him, and as we know thoughts don’t always make sense, don’t always go in a correct order. I wanted it simple and I think you’ll see a progressive change in Edward’s thinking as we move forward and the story amps up. It was a great experience to take a step away from myself and what I’ve done before.
3. Is there any possibility for a CLT BPOV chapter?
As you know, I write all my stories ahead of time, so I do know the answer to this. But I’ll never tell. I think revealing too many details about a story – how many chapters or confirmation on what the characters have alluded to – tends to give the reader a roadmap of what’s to come, and I really like to use the element of keeping the reader in the dark. Evil Planetblue. I know.
4. I notice a bit of "fade to black" with the CLT E/B relationship. Is that based on the theme or will that change?
I write what feels right for the story. Sometimes a big ass lemon is warranted. Sometimes it’s not. I would never force a sex scene into a story where it didn’t fit, just to have one. That being said, I think you’ll get a bit more of a view into that aspect of their relationship.
5. Will we ever find out how the CLT E/B relationship came to be, like through some history or background?
Oooh another question I shouldn’t answer. But I will say that I think it’s important to see how people have come to be at the place they find themselves.
6. What was CarrieZM's reaction when she read your first chapter? Did she know you were headed this direction?
I think she knew I wanted to try my hand at drama, but this in particular? She had NO idea. I’m always writing, and I’ve sent her maybe four beginning chapters of fic that just have never been written. She’s always along for whatever I throw at her, but I knew this kind of story is her kryptonite, and I wanted to give it to her. So when I sent the first chapter to her of this, she was pretty much YES YES YES! That’s the one! I’m just glad that I can still surprise her, cause she also didn’t expect where I ended up taking it.
7. Your writing usually appeals to a wide variety of readers, so far, has the theme of Crazy Like That, proved any different?
I do know that this story feels like a hard limit for some, and they’ve graciously let me know they might have to bow out. I respect that. Not every story is for every person, and that’s the great thing about fic. If this isn’t your jam, there’s another one out there for you. I never want to be stuck in a loop of predictability, and I’m really lucky that my readers let me explore darker themes sometimes. Evolving as a writer, I think, is really important or you end up writing the same story over and over just with different locations or styles of dress, LOL. I’m extremely fortunate to have readers that trust me no matter where I take them. That is huge. It’s the best gift I could be given, that they let me try new things.
Also, I think a lot of people focus on the choices FanFiction allows us in the genre category. It’s very limiting. Nothing is all romance. Nothing is all angst. Nothing is all drama. It’s always a little of everything. How do you take 80,000 words and call them one thing? But maybe with Badlands, if there had been a “psycho” genre then it would’ve been easier to classify, ha ha. If I could choose a one word genre for CLT it would be… nope, not gonna say…
8. Would you rather be like CLT Bella or Tanya? (Bad girl vs good girl)
Bella all the way baby! Bad girls always have more fun. You can’t take fun with you when you die so you might as well have it when you can. Would you rather listen to a ninety year old Bella tell you stories about her life or a ninety year old Tanya? Yeah, I didn’t think so ;)
9. Have you ever thought of writing something more personal?
Some writers will go with a topic they’re familiar with, like a bad breakup or illness. Well I was a meth dealer that killed people, I did steal art from a museum, and I worked as a flight attendant on a private plane for a while! All kidding aside, I think that a small part of me would love to experience a little something from all of my stories. All of us have a desire to be someone else at one point or another, so I use writing as a way to step in those shoes for a while.
10. Anything you’d like to tell your Crazy Like That readers? Advice? A little reassurance perhaps?
I think it’s important to remember that a story needs to feel organic. It needs to flow and go on the path it’s meant to be on. You can’t force sunshine and rainbows just to keep people happy, nor should you make it horribly tragic, just for the sake of doing so. My awesome pre-reader, LayAtHomeMom, and my beloved beta, Carrie ZM, would never let me put out something that they themselves did not love and want to stand behind. They’re both proud to have their names on this. But as for your last question about a little reassurance? All I have to say is: HA! Never.
CarrieZM: “When Planetblue Fic sends you her version of a ‘hot mess’ and your heart skips a beat. #omg #getwritingnowplease”
That was my Facebook status the day Aimee (Planetblue) sent me the first chapter of Crazy Like That. She had nonchalantly mentioned earlier in the day that she had written something a little different while being slightly tipsy and was debating on whether to send it to me, that ‘it was a rough draft, a hot mess’ totally downplaying it. I, of course, begged her to send me what she had and immediately began gobbling up her words not knowing where she was leading me until I reached the very bottom of the page. I let out a gasp and in my excitement nearly fell off my bed. Some of you might not know, but Olderwards are my weakness, my own personal brand of heroin ;), throw in a strong Bella, and I’m on cloud nine. I quickly pm’d her with quite a few OMGs and YES! YES! YES!, and the rest is history.
I’ve had such an awesome time watching Aimee work her magic with these characters, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to see your reactions and thoughts with each update! Happy reading!
Reaction from the Pre-reader:
Layathomemom: Bad decisions make great stories.
And given Edward’s last two words in the first chapter of Crazy Like That, I knew this story would be one of the best.
With those two words, legitimate goose bumps erupted on my skin and it was clear that once again, Planetblue was going to set this fandom on fire. Initially, PB sent me the first six chapters of the fic and asked that I give her a general impression before I did my typical pre-reader thing. I must admit my reaction was less than eloquent. It may or may not have started with ‘HO-LY SHIT’ and ended with me shamelessly begging for more.
From start to finish, Crazy Like That is one of those stories that had me salivating for the scandal, titillated by the taboo and side-eying myself for how right the wrong feels. I don’t want to spoil the fic for readers; I’ll just leave you with this… Buckle up, fandom - Planetblue is going to take you for a ride.
Reaction from the Readers:
RoseArcadia: You have to love a story that starts out with a feel of utter Pleasantville vibes, and then goes straight into a forbidden naughty place that you desperately don't want to be turned on by...but you most definitely are. A man trying to escape the mundane reality he's stuck in, a sweet naive woman by his side, and then a girl who embraces her sexuality and makes no excuses for it. The title really does say it all!
Wonderwallthefirst: The lovely Kennedy asked me to write a few words on Planetblue's new fic Crazy Like That. I've been itching to start this one because we all know if Planetblue is writing, we're going to want to be reading. As it starts off, you're sent into a world a little like "Friday Night Lights", but you soon realize Edward is no upstanding and moral Coach Taylor and Bella isn't his Tami Taylor. Not by a long shot. We've read stories of forbidden lust before and in this Twilight world we're in, many of us want our canon couples to pull through, no matter what. I'm curious to see where we get taken on this ride and who we'll be rooting for. What will the HEA be here? Will there be one? I'm betting Planetblue has a few tricks up her sleeve and I for one will be glued to my seat.
Maplestyle: I had heard smatterings of talk about a new story from Planetblue being in the works. When I opened my email on May 7 and saw a new story alert from her, I did a little jig in my chair, even though I was at work. I may have even squealed… but if anyone asks, I saw a mouse. The summary doesn’t give away much, so intrigued (and also because I have zero self-control when my favorite authors update) I opened it up, despite being at work. To say that I was shocked when I saw the subject matter, would be an understatement. The topic is scandalous, made more so by the fact that Edward is in a position of authority, and I find myself asking “how can a fic about a topic that is so bad, be so good?” The answer is Planetblue! Planetblue, it seems, has given us another gem. I find myself rooting for Edward and Bella, even though I probably shouldn’t, given what they are doing. Only three chapters in, I’m already in love with this story, and begging for Edward and Bella to just run away with each other!!
AlliZ: Crazy Like That showed up in my inbox on a Thursday morning, between work emails and patient account adjustments. I ceased all work related activity until I had gobbled up all the words. It’s got a Friday Night Lights feel, with a deeply flawed Edward making some very bad choices. At only three chapters in, this story isn’t anywhere near unfolded and I’m already hooked. I’m constantly waiting for the next update to hit my inbox so I can get a little more insight into how Edward started down the path he’s chosen and what’s going to happen when people find out. It’s a going to be a trainwreck of epic proportions and I cannot wait to see the carnage!
Midnight Cougar: I was asked to give my reaction to Planetblue’s newest fic Crazy Like That and well, frankly, I can’t get enough! As Nic said on fb, it’s so my ‘thing’—it’s naughty and forbidden and Olderward and complicated and one of those stories, where, even after a few chapters, I need more! I am truly captivated by this unconventional Teacher/Student relationship between Bella and Edward—Mr. Cullen is taking his teaching skills to a whole new level... after school hours, on the blanketed flatbed of his truck, while sharing a “joint” with his student-lover—yeah, it’s so naughty! *grins* He's a “seething tiger,” he said, and I’m in love with that description—there’s something about it that makes me even more intrigued by him. I think this Edward, who claims to love his sweet fiancée, Tanya, is in one hell of a messed up situation... and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out—and who gets burned. I suspect there is much more to this young, flirty, small town Bella than we’re seeing on her sexy, short-skirted surface. I can’t help but wonder what lessons are going to be taught by the end of this story—and not just the ones imparted in the classroom or on the football field by Mr./Coach Cullen... but the ones of the life-lesson persuasion. The anticipation of what’s going to happen next is great, because these characters are playing a fiery hot and secretive “deadliest” game. Makes me very thankful it updates twice a week!
Compass54: With a Planetblue story, you have to pay attention. There are things hidden in and between the words, the specific words chosen and the hesitancy or force with which they’re spoken. Crazy Like That is no exception and it already has my imagination spinning. Without raving about the beginning with its rich description of the football game, let’s look at what’s happening with our key players. Edward is the coach but it’s like he’s living vicariously through the boys on the team, as if he’s not ready to give up that life yet. He can’t stay away from a young cheerleader, Bella. He knows it’s wrong but he’s sleeping with his fiancée covered in Bella’s smell, and allowing her to call his cell. She’s playing with him in public at school, having sex with him in the back of his truck, so why aren’t they trying to hide it more? Bella seems to have the upper hand and yet there’s more than just sex going on here. “Edward, what am I going to do with you?” Is he the one taking the big risk if they’re found out? Is he looking for an excuse, a way out of a life everyone expects him to lead or is it just this particular girl who’s turned his world upside down? I cannot wait to find out…
Jayhawkbb: She’s baaaaaaaaaack. Planetblue, that is. And her new story, Crazy Like That, is off to a fantastic start. She has a knack for crafting plots and characters that draw readers in, make us put aside preconceptions, and keep us running back for every update – even when we know it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And this fic is no exception. Already, it’s clear that Edward’s choices have thrust him into a situation which may quickly spiral out of control, causing pain and heartbreak to flow like scalding lava over not only himself but also people he cares for. Why is he willing to risk so much? I have a feeling that Planetblue’s Edward will not have a lustful, stereotypical manswer. With each chapter, we get a little more insight into his psyche, and I greedily search through the carefully-chosen words for new pieces to the Edward puzzle.
As for Bella, her motives are a mystery, too. She seems to enjoy toying with Edward, but I can’t help but wonder if she fully recognizes the power she has over him… and how dangerous that power could be if she loses her grip on it. Is she falling for him? Using him to amuse herself? Hoping to get caught just for the excitement and scandal it would bring? I don’t know. I don’t know if Bella even knows or if she’s caught up in that age we all lived through; that age where the pleasures of adulthood are as alluring as a Siren Song – and sometimes as destructive.
We’ve been here before with Planetblue. She’s written incredible characters, described them so well that we thought we’d figured them out, and then peeled back another, surprising layer of their personalities. She’s tackled tough subjects from a new angle and given us something to think about. She’s taken tales to the edge of there’s-no-happy-way-out-of-this-ville, and then given us a horse and a sunset.
Whether we’ll ride off into the orange-tinted horizon or go down in flames this time is yet to be seen. But I am one of many who can’t wait for the reveal!
Jandco: I am not reading Planetblue's Crazy Like That for a good character redemption. I'm not reading it while waiting for some twist that will make the characters into misunderstood, good people. I am not reading it to be appeased, I'm not reading it for a perfect tale about perfect people who always make the perfect choices or even have the conscience to try to do better. I'm reading for the unapologetic situation written boldly and without excuse (I do believe it's the only way to tell this story) by a brave author who dares to write not how things should be, but rather how they should not. (Remember how she pulled off serial murder in Badlands?) I'm reading it to take a peek into the dark underbelly of immorality, I'm here for a story that leaves me feeling scandalized and for the actions I find unfathomable. I'm here to get a glimpse to see how other minds work, to glean perspective outside of my own and even if I find the actions deplorable, the behavior despicable, and the situations immoral, I'm enthralled--and that is how I gauge a great story with great writing. Planetblue audaciously created a fanfic that busts past the boundaries and she's doing it without apology--just like her characters. Edward cheats. Not only does he cheat on Tanya-who is actually a likeable character-he cheats with a student whom he has authority over. It's sick. It's wrong. It happens. And it's told in this story so, so well. Just because some topics are uncomfortable and some characters are shameless, do we not read about them? Do we never tell the darkest tales? Someone should, and I'm so glad Planetblue is the one to do this because she completely nails it, she goes right for it without hesitation and the result is sharp and stunning. So, I'm reading Planetblue's Crazy Like That because it's a great story with great writing, but I'm reading particularly because it is exactly what I believe is so fantastic about fiction in general. You don't have to agree with the actions, you don't have to understand the decisions, but oh man, you should feel them. Sometimes I like to read fluff and perfection, but how boring would fiction and our fanfiction fandom be if all was pristine and never morally messy? Thank you, Planetblue, for muddying things up around here. I'm loving every word of it.
Chapter 5 teaser (that will post the Thursday after the interview)
It's too chilly to go to our spot, but we make it one more time before we truly can't.
Bella rubs her hands together and I pull one up to my mouth, sucking on the tips of her fingers as she giggles. "God, I can't wait to get where it's warm!"
My stomach knots, it's not the ulcer but that other ache. "You've got a bit of a wait there; August is a long time away."
Silence and the removal of fingers from my lips. "I'm not waiting until August. I’m leaving around Easter."
"What do you mean? What about formal? And Bella, you have to graduate." Panic of shortening time rises in me, making me act parental.
"My aunt, the one I told you about. She got me into that workshop. It starts late spring. I'll go to Beverly Hills High. 90210 and all that." She fist pumps the air a bit.
I'm horrified. "You can't."
Eyebrows rise. "Pardon me?"
"There's stuff here you'll want to do. It’s senior year. You can't just pick up and go. What about your friends, your parents..." Me.
What about me.
"I can't pass up this opportunity. Besides, you know I'm not much for sentimentality. I'll go to the homecoming dance with Mike, but that's it. That'll be enough for me."
"What about me?" I say aloud, before I can stop it.
Now her eyes narrow. "What about you?"
Special thanks to Planetblue for sitting down with TLS for the Exclusive Teaser!