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Author Interview Sunflouwerhabit

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ARTICLE BY: @ROSANN_1986 FEATURING: Sunflouwerhabit

I am so excited to introduce you to @Sunflouwerhabit this month. She has written some of my favorite recent fics, and I’m so excited to share her work 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 and Jacaranda_Bloom.

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 Lexie! 

Handle: @sunflouwerhabit

Pronouns: She/Her 

Works: Everybody Wants You (And I Don’t Mind the Gold Rush), Down the Line, write this down, In the Name of Being Honest (co-written with rogueskimo), It’s Fine To Fake It ‘Til You Make It (‘Til It’s True), and new this month, And Now I Date Cate’s Brother.

Rosann: Welcome! Thank you for being here today. What do you like people to call you? 

Lexie: Lexie is perfect 🙂 

Rosann: To start out, can you tell us how you decided to get started writing fanfic for the 1D/Larry fandom? How long did you write before you published for the fandom? 

Lexie: The One Direction fandom has always been home to me. The boys releasing Little Things changed the trajectory of my life. One listen – and one watch of the video diaries – drew me in and now it’s a forever love. I am currently twenty-four, but I’ve had the same Twitter account since 2012. I was thirteen. A baby! And, even back then, I found solace in fanfiction. The queer representation was comforting and validating for reasons I didn’t yet understand. It felt like a safe place. (And it still does).  

My writing journey is a little more complicated. I began writing Larry fanfiction years before I published them online (I wrote two stories- Hide and Seek and Postcards- when I was… fourteen? Fifteen? And they will never see the light of day, but they are my actual origin stories hahaha). Around the same time, I published a few Harry Potter fics. My updating schedule was one chapter a day. It was intense. I treated it like it was my job and it just wasn’t sustainable. I loved writing, but I didn’t have a healthy relationship with my creative process. That, paired with my perfectionism and anxiety, made writing not-so-fun. I had to stop. But when I was nineteen, an idea for a story I needed to tell – a Larry baseball au! – took root. Three years later, Down the Line was born. 

Rosann: That’s amazing! I love an origin story! 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? 

Lexie: Oh, this is so difficult. It is like picking a favorite child. These are my babies! There are little pieces of each story that make me unfailingly giddy. I think… It’s Fine to Fake It has my favorite characterization. That Louis is my everything, and I am so proud of the first kiss scene because it was the first time I wrote a physical scene well, like, ever. In the Name of Being Honest was a writer’s dream come true, both because I was able to write it with Liz (who is absolutely brilliant, I love picking her brain), and also because of the plot twist! The structure! The ultimate hurt/comfort! It was so much fun to delve into that world. And my angsty baby, write this down… creatively, it was my most challenging, but it’s also the project I am proudest of. The winters, the dual point of view, their growth as characters. The Snowglobe. Ahhhh! I love that monster so much.

But Down the Line is my fic. It’s me in fic form. It feels like my soul inscribed on a ridiculously long manuscript and it’s funny because it wasn’t until about six months before I published her that I was convinced I would publish. For two and a half years, I was writing the story for a single audience: myself. There were no plans for anyone else to ever read my silly little baseball au. In 2018, I told my sister that I wanted to read more fics with the boys as baseball players and she was just like, “Okay? So write one!” And I was hesitant because I hadn’t written in so long, but plotting the fic out with her over those next few days fueled me with this unrelenting creative fervor. Together, we decided the key plot point would be that Harry was a pitcher on a rival team who hit Louis’ knee with a pitch during Game Seven of the World Series. I took that little seedling and ran with it. I kept writing and the plot kept expanding and then three years later, I published a 270k fic about baseball players. And now it’s my brand 🙂   

Rosann: I absolutely adore Down the Line, I’m so glad you *did* publish it so we can all enjoy it. I don’t want you to out your anonymity, but can you tell us if you’ve written under other names, or if you’re perhaps traditionally published? Are you professionally trained?

Lexie: I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer! Five year old me was always begging for notebooks and diaries so I could give my (very big) thoughts somewhere to go. (I know for a fact my very first creative pursuit began with, “Lexie wants a dog but her mom said no). ((I really wanted a dog. Putting myself into my characters is a lifelong habit)). At this point, though, I haven’t published anything traditionally and I haven’t been trained beyond a few elective college courses. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do hope it involves me writing in some capacity. And I hope it always involves writing in this fandom. 

Rosann: I hope it does too! And my experience with writing is that if you want to write and publish, you can (you already have!). What’s your favorite trope (if any) to write? 

Lexie: Oooo, hurt/comfort for SURE. (Is that an appropriate answer? That’s a trope, right? Maybe?). I love exploring the tenacity of love – how it can preserve and flourish at times when it feels like it shouldn’t, how you can be loved even when you can’t give the love fully in return or when you feel like you don’t deserve it, how it can make you better. There is so much beauty and hope in knowing you can be broken and still loved. Along those lines, I will also always, always, always develop a Found Family trope whenever I can. Fics with multiple characters and layered dynamics just always elevates the plotline for me. And I love the softness of friends to lovers. (I’m a softie at heart. My characters are always just precious babies). 

Rosann: I love that! 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? 

Lexie: The way fanfiction is scrutinized and belittled greatly upsets me. I think it’s born of a number of factors – people not understanding it, living in a society that is misogynistic and homophobic, and an inherent devaluing of things that aren’t created for the sake of profit. Fanfic writers are pure in their passions – their passion for writing, their passion for their special interest, their passion for their community. It’s art for the sake of creating. I love it so much. AO3 stories were the first to show me the soft, tender sides of queer relationships. There tends to be more representation for people of color and other minority groups as well. I just want to scream and tell everyone that fanfiction is a cultural marvel and it’s wonderful. I want everyone to love fanfiction the way I do. At the same time, though, I’m not willing to jeopardize my safe place for the sake of that pursuit. My sister knows I write fanfic (we grew up in the One Direction fandom together, so. She gets it! She’s not very active anymore, but she went to Louis’ show with me!) and my best friend has read Down the Line. No one else in my life knows about my stories. I call it my secret identity. It’s hard because I want to gush about these works I’m so proud of, but it… almost feels too personal? If you’re not in a fandom, you don’t understand how important that fandom can be, and I would rather be able to exist freely in this community without having to justify or explain it. Maybe that’s something I’ll overcome eventually. Maybe not. 

Rosann: I know what you mean, but know that you bring a lot of joy to people who are able to experience your work. Many writers include people from the boys’ real lives/situations. What are your thoughts for including personal things like that or not?

Lexie: I think writers have the right to craft the story they want to tell. That creative license extends to the characters and events that shape their universes. There is a responsibility, though, that we have to respect the traumas and losses the boys have experienced and to handle those topics as tastefully as possible. I’m incredibly protective of the boys (I’ve been here too long not to be), and I don’t think those real life situations should be blacklisted, but they need to be handled delicately. Many of those situations are traumas, both in real life and in our stories.  

Personally, I very much prefer creating OC’s. It feels more natural. In the earliest drafts of Down the Line, the other Spiders teammates were various celebrities/friends of the boys, and I just never liked the restrictions that came with that. It seemed a little corny, too. I’m so happy I made the change I did. I liked the story much more on the flipside 🙂 I also feel like I have more freedom with my OC’s! I love my OC’s!  

Rosann: Agree! Being able to write Original Characters inside the world you create is so much fun. What are the hardest scenes/tropes for you to write? 

Lexie: … Everything <3 Nah. I feel like the scenes I struggle most with are ones when characters are angry, like during the big arguments. I’m not a particularly angry person, so it’s difficult for me to tap into that emotion and make it believable and it always feels like it falls flat. And I love writing fluff, so I always want to stop the fighting and get back to the soft stuff!! In general, I also really, really, really struggle with physical descriptions. I’ve only recently realized that I have aphantasia- which means I don’t have a visual imagination. (What do you mean other people can picture things in their mind? Like if I say the word apple, you can picture an apple? What?!). I can only sometimes procure really, really weak mental images. And, so, because I don’t see things visually when I’m writing, I always doubt that I am doing a good job of explaining settings to readers. It’s a point of high stress. I look at so many pictures and simply try my best. I’m a dialogue girlie through and through.  

((Also. Smut. I’ve only attempted a few times, but as someone on the ace spectrum, it’s hard for me to delve into the emotional core that makes for a good smut scene. It’s a work in progress)). 

Rosann: Your plots are so good, you don’t need smut (in my opinion). So only go there if you want to. 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)? 

Lexie: Trigger warnings are the bare minimum. When we write fanfic, we are writing for a community. Some members of the community use fics as an avenue for self discovery (especially in terms of sexual preferences and desires), others see themselves in the character’s personal healing journeys. Others are reading for fun. All of those reasons are valid, and making sure readers know what they are getting into with my fics is something I feel personally responsible for. Blindsiding them with potentially triggering material breaks the trust that exists within our community. This is a haven from the rest of the world, and writers have the ability to keep our potential readers safe. We lose nothing by looking out for each other. 

On the flipside, I don’t know if readers owe us kudos or comments, but it’s really nice when they leave them. We exist in a virtual community with direct links to each other and that gives each one of us a unique opportunity to let creators know that the thing they created means something to us, so. Why not take it? You will also never lose anything by spreading kindness and love. (And Kudos especially are so easy to leave! A single silly little tap and you can be on your way!).  

Rosann: Can you give other burgeoning writers some writing tips–for writing or publishing? 

Lexie: Ahhhhh I feel underqualified, but!! I have three little rules that I am constantly reminding myself of (partly to improve my writing, and partly to continue making sure I go about creating in a way that is healthy to me). They are: 

  1. Write what you love. It sounds simple but I have found my writing is at its best- and comes most naturally- when I frame my projects like I am trying to write my new favorite story. My fics could all be tagged as pure self-indulgence, because I’ve realized that as long as I am creating worlds and characters I would be drawn to if someone else wrote them, then my fics and the time I put into them are worth it. Readers loving the stories is an incredibly special feeling too, of course, but I am way less likely to feel pressured or burnt out if I make myself my own target audience. I’ll never publish anything I don’t personally adore, and that means the story is a success no matter the reactions or attention it receives from others.
  2. Let yourself write bad things. “Bad” is subjective- of course- but sometimes the words don’t come in the way I want them to or the scene isn’t building properly and it’s so frustrating. When it feels like I can’t write anything right, I will switch to a silly Google Doc font and let go. With no hesitations or contemplations, I write without worrying if it sounds awful or if it makes sense. Sometimes, my favorite lines are born of those dumps. Other times I delete everything and start again. Both outcomes are okay. Don’t overthink the little things. Giving yourself permission to write without worrying about the final product is so freeing. 
  3. Embrace every arc of your creative journey. I like to jokingly disparage the fics I wrote at fourteen and at fifteen, but in truth, it’s important to me that I cherish them and let them exist in their own little time capsule. It’s okay to look at those stories and cringe. In a few years’ time, I may look at Down the Line or write this down and cringe. That’s okay too. We write to get better, but our past stories are what helped prepare us to write the stories we’re telling now. Give yourself grace and be proud because no one else could write the stories you wrote at thirteen or twenty or thirty. They’re yours, and each one matters. So write, keep writing, keep writing, keep writing, and don’t be afraid to write something you think you may eventually outgrow. Let what you write today exist as proof of who you are at this moment in time. Also, put your writings out into the world- this community we’ve built is so accepting and encouraging and it can be the safe place for your stories to flourish.

Rosann: Those are great pieces of advice! Don’t sell yourself short, you have plenty to offer! Do you have favorite fics that have inspired you?

Lexie: Oh my god. I have a decade’s worth of favorite fics that have changed my life! Our fandom is beyond talented and just… god. My forever author crush is Zarah5. Just. The talent. Wear it Like a Crown is my favorite of theirs. And my top 5 favorite fics ever are: 


  1. Mine Would Be You by crinkle-eyed-boo (literal, utter, total perfection) 
  2. Hiding Place (this fic was recently orphaned, but I’ve read it a million and one times. It’s the canon au). 
  3. Wear it Like a Crown by Zarah5. 
  4. Make Your Words a Weapon by HelloAmHere (I…… love soulmate au’s). 
  5. This Wicked Game / Perfect Storm by cherrystreet (both are perfect. I will not and cannot choose). 

I have so many fics I could gush about. I’m so lucky to have grown up reading stories crafted by the writers in this fandom! 


Rosann: LOVE those recommendations. Some of my favorites as well. Do you do anything to promote your fics? Mood boards/book covers/playlists or something else?

Lexie: I religiously put together playlists for each of my fics. I take it so seriously. The songs are placed in a specific order. It’s a whole ordeal after actually finishing the story and I live for it. For me, music is so critical to the writing process (I don’t think I listened to a single happy song for the two years I spent writing write this down) and I love being able to offer a second medium that delves into the heart of my stories. Plus, it’s also for me because I love being like “oh, it feels like a It’s Fine to Fake It day!” and then playing that playlist on an endless loop. 🙂 

Rosann: Love the way music goes hand in hand with words for you. Thank you so much for being willing to answer my questions! Thank you so much!

Please follow Lexie on X and AO3 @sunflouwerhabit

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