I am thrilled to introduce you to prolific fanfic author @kingsbesideme this month. She has written some of my amazing fics, and I’m so excited to share her with you this month.
This is a regular installment of No Stunts Magazine, so if you’re excited about authors and peeking behind the curtain in their brains, I encourage you to look at the last few issues for profiles of BananaHeathen, ItsMotivatingCara, CuckooTrooke, _LilyBlue28, Green_Feelings, BoosBabyCakes, KingsOfEverything, Jacaranda_Bloom and Outropeace.
If you like this feature, want to chat, or give me suggestions for future profiles, please hit me up on Twitter. @Rosann_1986 (formally @FlyWishing).
Without further ado, I introduce you to Chloe!
Handle: lovelarry10 on ao3 / @kingsbesideme on twitter
Works: 89 lol! A few would be: You Were Made To Be Mine (which will be finished!), Piece by Piece, Better Mistakes, Worth the Wait, Listen To Your Heart, Love Will Tear Us Apart, When All Is Said and Done, There You Are, ‘Til Everything Changes, Kiss From A Rose, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, You Are My Sunshine, The Little Dog Whisperer, Just Let Me Adore You
Rosann: Thanks so much for being here! What do you like people to call you? Chloe: Chloe is fine!
Roann: 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?
Chloe: I’ve been here since about 2016, and started reading fics then. I really enjoyed the few that I read, and figured that perhaps I could give it a go. I’d never written any stories before so it was a hope for the best situation. I wrote my first fic in a matter of days, I didn’t think too much about it and just sat and wrote it on my laptop. I didn’t really do any editing with it (something I’ve learned to do since!), and just went for it and posted it on Ao3.
Rosann: I love that you did that–so brave to just drop a fic written in a few days! What’s your favorite fic that you’ve written and where did the idea come from? How long did it take you from your first idea to publication?
Chloe: That’s actually a really hard question to answer, because so many of my fics are very dear to me.
Rosann: What’s your favorite trope (if any) to write?
Chloe: I’m the sort of author that loves to write what I really enjoy reading myself, which is probably why the same few tropes seem to crop up over and over again in my stories. I love to write kid fic, it’s definitely my favourite and I think that probably comes across when I write. I get so many lovely comments about the child characters I write and how realistic they seem which is so, so nice because that’s what I strive for. I also love writing mpreg stories, and Christmas ones too. I don’t think there’s been a year I haven’t written a Christmas story since I started publishing on Ao3 so long may that continue! I’ve also dabbled a bit in A/B/O fics and think I’d like to explore that a bit more because it’s so fun to write and to be a bit creative with as you can (within reason) do what you want with it.
Rosann: I love that you write what you want to read. Such a great suggestion for people wanting to start out. How do you handle writer’s block (if you experience it).
Chloe: I have this year… it’s been awful. I wrote a short Valentine’s story and then I felt like I just gave up with writing. I had several prompts that I loved, but every time I went to write something, my mind went blank, and I just froze. Going from someone who has published multiple stories a year to this was actually scary, and there was a point in the summer when I felt I would never write again. In the end, I just didn’t bother to open the Google Docs app and had a proper break over the summer, taking the pressure off.
The ‘eureka’ moment came when I decided I had to write a Christmas story. I found a prompt that I adored, and I think that was enough. I spent a day or so planning the whole thing out with my friends, and it just somehow reignited the spark inside me and off I went. The whole thing (67,000 words!) was written in a matter of ten or so days, and I think going back to writing with something I was genuinely excited about was the key.
Rosann: I do think that happens to many authors at some point. I’m glad that you were able to overcome it! A lot of times, the “real world” frowns on fanfic in general. Have you had this experience? Do your friends and family know what you write–and how do you deal with questions about it?
Chloe: My son has an idea I write stories but he doesn’t know what they’re about or anything like that. Other than that, no one in my real life knows anything about it, and I’m happy for it to stay that way. I have amazing friends in the fandom who help me out, and they’re all I need.
I do get a little bit annoyed when I hear people putting down fan fiction, especially when it’s something like Twilight, which of course started as FanFic and then became traditionally published and successful. Why do we need to put down something that is written for a fandom or a small community of people who seek out stories to offer them comfort?
For some people, they write as an outlet, to express emotion in a way they perhaps couldn’t in real life, or to relate to experiences they have been through. Who are we, who is anyone to say that is wrong?
The main thing to take away is that if you don’t like it, don’t read it. I’m a big lover of Larry fanfiction (shocking!), but that doesn’t mean I would read it for other interests of mine. For example, I am an avid F1 fan but there’s no chance I would seek out fanfiction of the drivers, because that’s just not something I would want to read. However, I completely understand some people do enjoy reading and writing that, and that’s why sites such as Ao3 exist, to give everyone a platform for whatever their interests are.
Rosann: I totally agree with you about reading what you like. If you write a serialized fic, do you plot/outline before you write or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?
Chloe: I’ve published quite a lot of fics like this (a chapter at a time), and I enjoy it. I do find that I have to have the whole thing completed before I start to publish it, or the pressure becomes too much to write and keep to a schedule.
When I started publishing YWMTBM, I was writing a chapter every other day and that very quickly became unsustainable, and it soon dropped off until it was sporadic, so I learnt my lesson the hard way.
Advent fics at Christmas are fun because you know there has to be a finite number of chapters, and usually I dive in with those in November, so it’s ready to go throughout December.
I’ve also published a few others a chapter at a time, and they’ve gone down really well with people. The most fun thing is when you leave a chapter on a big cliffhanger and you have people screaming at you in the comments or on Twitter wanting more… that’s a great feeling to see people so invested.
I do plan out pretty much all of my stories. Shorter ones tend to be just sit and write it, but longer, chaptered fics are planned out, sometimes chapter by chapter, or most of the time in just a long story outline with the main points jotted down so I can see where it’s going.
Rosann: I’m so envious of people who can write that way–I’m a terrible plotter and wouldn’t be able to do that! 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?
Chloe: Personally, because Harry and Louis are real people that we base our characters on, I enjoy the realism part of the stories and that means using the people in their real lives to make it realistic. I’m pretty sure I’ve never written any original characters for their parents or siblings, and usually include their actual siblings (Gemma, Lottie etc) and parents. I also find it easier to write them because we ‘know’ them, and can see their relationships with H&L too. If I can imagine something, I can write it much easier which is why I make the choice to include people from their lives.
On the other hand, I do understand why writers choose to invent fictional versions of their parents or siblings, particularly if they’re writing them as a mean/abusive character. I think it entirely depends on what the character is used for in the story, but for me, as a writer and reader, I prefer a bit of realism!
It can be hard to write some of their real life situations in the stories, but I have done in the past, such as the death of Jay. I don’t write anything graphic, just mention it in passing, and it’s always for the sake of character development, or as a plot point in the story. Similarly, though, I’ve written Jay into stories since her passing, because that’s how it works for my story. If I mention her passing in my story, I try to tag it or mention it because I am aware it can be triggering for some people, and it is always best to give people an awareness when they’re heading into a fic.
Rosann: What are the hardest scenes/tropes for you to write?
Chloe: Honestly, angst. My friend Liz (therogueskimo on Ao3) says I’m really good at it, but my god, do I find it hard to do. I don’t read any hard angst myself because I just can’t deal with it, but sometimes, it’s necessary for the plot of a story. I’ve recently plotted out a story that is just angst ridden and while I think it will be good, I already feel anxious about writing it. I’ll rely on my friends and music as I’m writing to get through it. The main thing I focus on is getting these two men to the happy ending they deserve!
Rosann: I think sometimes we’re good at things we have to struggle with, because we work harder at them. Sounds like you do that! Do you do anything to promote your fics? Mood boards or something else?
Chloe: Ooh, yes! Teasing a fic is the best part for me. I really enjoy engaging with people and talking about what is coming.
I create moodboards for every single fic, and I recently used AI pics for the first time, which was fun. I try to capture the essence of the fic in my moodboard without giving too much away, and thanks to the amazing creators in this fandom, there is so much material out there to use.
I also tease a lot of excerpts and quotes from fics on Twitter before I post them, particularly when I post chapter by chapter. It can be fun to post a little snippet, usually something quite angsty or puzzling, to get people hooked and wanting to read and find out more!
I also love it when authors do that on social media too, and I’ve read so many fics because of the pictures, inspo and quotes they post!
Rosann: I loved your teasers for I’ll Be Home For Christmas! Anything else you want to answer that I haven’t asked?
Chloe: No, but what I do want to say is that I promise You Were Made To Be Mine will be finished, and I’m hoping that will be sooner rather than later! It’s not abandoned, and I’m so grateful for everyone asking after it… but it’s not abandoned or unfinished so just bear with me!
Rosann: Thanks again for agreeing to answer my questions, Chloe–good luck with everything you’re working on!
Please follow Chloe at lovelarry10 on ao3 and @kingsbesideme on X.