I am so excited to introduce you to Miia, or @hlslaundryday on Twitter and CuckooTrooke on Ao3. Miia’s work is some of the fandom’s recent most talked about fics, and she is a very talented writer.
This is the third installment of this feature, so if you’re excited about authors and peeking behind the curtain in their brains, I encourage you to look at the March issue of No Stunts Magazine for my profile of BananaHeathen, and the April issue for my profile of ItsMotivatingCara.
Without further ado, I introduce you to Miia–aka CuckooTrooke
Handle: @hlslaundryday on Twitter // CuckooTrooke on ao3
Works: love is a word you gave it a name, I’m insatiable it’s all your fault & This chemistry like candy to me, and a few others
Rosann: Thank you for agreeing to this profile! What do you like people to call you?
Miia: Just Miia is fine 😉 I get Mia a lot and that’s fine too.
Rosann: How did you decide to get started writing fanfic for the 1D/Larry fandom? How long did you write before you published for the fandom?
Miia: A friend of mine was a big 1D fan when we were teens, so I was definitely aware of all things 1D and Larry but it wasn’t until 2020 that I learned more about it.
I became a fan of Harry during lockdown and through him I discovered Louis’ solo career as well. I had no idea Larry and larries were still thriving in 2020 so I was surprised to find a very active fandom. In my previous fandoms I wrote and read fanfiction too, so after being in 1D/Larry fandom for about six months, it only felt natural to start writing for this fandom as well.
Rosann: I love that you’re such a recent member of the fandom! What’s your favorite fic that you’ve written and where did the idea come from? How long did it take you from first idea to publication?
Miia: I have a love/hate relationship with all of my works and choosing one favorite is like choosing a favorite child, hah. I think my current favorite is actually my current WIP; the sequel to love is a word you gave it a name. I started writing it about three months after publishing LIAW; in the beginning of August in 2022. Obviously the idea for the sequel was already there when I was writing LIAW, so I guess you could say it has, in a way, been in the works since September 2021 and during this interview late March, it’s a few pages away from being finished.
I wish I had an interesting or inspiring story to tell about the origins of LIAW’s idea, but the idea for it honestly just came from a bunch of tropes, plotlines and scenes that had been playing in my mind for a while but which I couldn’t fit into any other fic. When I’m thinking about age gap, gender fluidity, famous/non-famous, Nordic Getaway etc., they were ALL supposed to be in different fics as well. But I shoved all of them into one fic and started building a plot around them. Much to my surprise, that mess somehow worked out.
Rosann: I love origin stories and even more so love knowing that a mess of tropes lead you to writing something so brilliant. On that note, what’s your favorite trope (if any) to write?
Miia: Honestly I’m such a sucker for alpha/beta/omega dynamics. I’m aware there’s a big chunk of people who are weirded out by it but for me as an author, it’s like a massive “playground”. There’s so much you can explore, varying from heavier topics like gender roles and misogyny (in omegaverse the oppressed group is usually the omegas) to scenting and nesting. The possibilities in that verse are just endless, and when done ‘right’, it can be extremely eye-opening and even comforting, both for the writer and the reader. I wouldn’t tell anyone to read something that makes them feel icky or otherwise uncomfortable, but I wish people knew that a/b/o is so much more than just “people acting like animals.” There’s so many more layers to it.
Other than that I don’t really have a favorite. I personally like a little bit of challenge. But I must say one thing that you will probably always find from my fics is healthy communication. It’s only natural for humans to be insecure and not the best at communicating sensitive or vulnerable things, I’m definitely like that in real life, but maybe that’s why I find good communication in fics so comforting to write. Even if my characters isolate and act irrationally because of the lack of communication, I still try to make it obvious in my writing that the safe environment for talking is right there. It just requires a little nudge for them to open up.
Rosann: ABO is something I’ve grown to really love as well, for all the reasons you mention. I love the way you talk about your characters as though they are alive! You do a great job with creating authentic vulnerability.
How do you handle writer’s block (if you experience it).
Miia: Honestly I just try to push through it. It’s not easy by any means, but for me it’s a better option than not doing anything at all. I open my laptop and go to my docs and just try to get something out. The text I get out in that mindset might not be great but it will still always give me a decent base that I can work on later when I feel more inspired. If I’m struggling with one part of the story in particular, then I just move to somewhere else, and return to the challenging bit later.
My beta is a massive help when I feel really stuck with something. Also, there’s a difference between a writer’s block and exhaustion, and most of the time I’m personally struggling with the latter. That’s when it’s important to take a step back and rest for a few days, or even a few weeks.
Rosann: Good advice. Do you read other things while you’re writing? Why or why not?
Miia: I don’t, at least not fanfics. I might read a few one shots but I try to avoid any long works. I have such severe imposter syndrome that when I see the amount of talent the authors in this fandom have, I just want to throw myself into a trash can because there is no way I can compete with those works. So I don’t torture myself with that, I need to work on my writer self esteem first. But I can’t wait to be finished with my current WIP so I can just be a reader for a while and enjoy all the incredible works I’ve missed during this long process.
Rosann: I think a lot of us feel like imposters sometimes! But please know that you are brilliant!
What are your thoughts on writing/consuming smutty smut for people not in that same community and (assuming) they haven’t been in those situations? i.e. Can non-queer authors write smut?
Miia: There could be many reasons why non-queers prefer queer stories and queer smut, and I don’t think it’s coming from an inherently wrong place. I think the way you approach it matters a lot. As a queer woman myself, I’ve never felt like non-queer people couldn’t write (or read, for that matter) about queers as long as they’re sensitive to the subject matter and they have genuine desire to do the story justice.
You can’t write an authentic story about, let’s say struggling with homophobia, if you haven’t experienced it or you don’t feel the weight and threat of it personally. You can’t know what it feels like and you have to accept it, so you have to be open to listening to people who know about it. And if you use your skills as a writer to tell someone else’s story… why not! I wrote about gender fluidity even though I’m cis myself as well. Writers write about subjects they have no personal experience with all the time, I just have to stress that research and sensitivity is extremely important.
Rosann: I think you hit the nail on the head. Research is so important, when you’re striving for authenticity. I’ve noticed that a lot of writers include people from the boys’ real lives/situations. What are your thoughts for including personal things like that or not?
Miia: This is a very multi-layered thing to me and I have a lot of mixed feelings. I’d say it depends on the context. In fanfiction, the “perk” of writing about characters that already exist is that readers already have some kind of pre-existing connection to them. I personally love original characters but I’m also not bothered by authors using real people’s names from eg. Harry’s and Louis’ lives. I use them too, sometimes. In some situations though, to me personally, there are boundaries. To give an example; we all know the losses Louis has faced in real life and I feel like dwelling on those things in the story too much can feel like you’re making entertainment out of his trauma. Though at the same time, it can be the author’s way to vent their personal struggles and losses, so I’m not completely against that. It can be a very cathartic experience, I think. I also mention said losses in some of my fics too, but I don’t want to write detailed descriptions of the grief involved.
But other than that, links to real life don’t bother me! I slip “canon” things into my fics quite a bit.
Rosann: Lately there has been some discussion on stan Twitter about what authors of fanfic “must” do (for example, provide trigger warnings). What do you think a writer has responsibility for to their readers? Conversely, do you think readers have any responsibility to writers (for example, leaving kudos or comments)?
Miia: The only responsibility authors have is providing said trigger warnings (this is crucial) and other necessary tags. I left “open ending” out of LIAW’s tags because I felt like it would have spoiled it and I, in my naive mind, didn’t think it would cause the amount of upset that it did. If it would have been an unhappy ending, I wouldn’t have hesitated to tag it. But I’m smarter now 😂
Personally, as a writer, even though I don’t have other responsibilities, I still feel like I do. I think it’s more of a conscience thing than anything else. If I’m writing about, let’s say gender fluidity, I truly want to get it right so people wouldn’t get the wrong picture because of my stories. Same goes for smut scenes; I try to keep them realistic and don’t shy away from my characters having awkward conversations because having those talks are often vital for a healthy and fulfilling sex life.
Readers don’t owe authors anything, either. When I’m in the reader role myself, I try to leave kudos and comment/DM the author because I want these people to keep writing. If an author never gets any interaction, it’s easy to get discouraged and quit. So while I definitely don’t think readers have any responsibility, I highly encourage readers to interact with the works if they want to keep the authors.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that while readers don’t owe authors anything, it should be common courtesy to treat fic authors as hobbyists instead of professional writers. Leave your harsh criticism in your drafts or keep it in the DMs, unless the author explicitly invites you to give criticism.
Rosann: Those are important points. Thank you for sharing them. How do you deal with (or do you?) negative reviews/comments/suggestions?
Miia: It depends on the tone of the comment. When you know someone is just a troll, it’s easy to ignore whatever it is that they’re saying. But when someone is pointing out all the things that are wrong in your fic and they’re being very genuine about it, it’s hard to not let that get into your head. Best you can do is ignore them and focus on the good side, as much of a cliche as that sounds.
Rosann: Always focus on the good side. That’s so important! Miia, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!
If you haven’t followed her yet, please follow Miia on AO3 as CuckooTrooke (and @HLSLaundryDay on Twitter) and definitely read all the works she has posted. They are all amazing!