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Author Interview – wildestdreams

With fanfiction, it gave me a platform, community, and also the opportunity to write about my favorite celebrities. For One Direction, I think I started writing around 2012

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This month I’m featuring @thelavendrhaze! AKA wildestdreams on AO3. She wrote one of my favorite A/B/O high school fics among other great works. I’m happy to welcome her to my column 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, Sunflouwerhabit, Outropeace, LoveLarry10, Superglass, and ImogenLee

If you like this feature, want to chat, or give me suggestions for future profiles, please hit me up on X. @Rosann_1986.

Handle: @thelavendrhaze on X/Twitter and wildestdreams on AO3.

Pronouns: she/her

Works: all here 🙂

Rosann: Welcome and thank you for agreeing to answer my questions. 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?

@thelavendrhaze: Prior to writing fanfic for the 1D/Larry fandom, I was writing for the Jonas Brothers fandom. I think I began doing that in 2008. It was my introduction to fanfiction and I loved it because growing up I used to always write original stories, but never had anywhere to share it on. With fanfiction, it gave me a platform, community, and also the opportunity to write about my favorite celebrities. For One Direction, I think I started writing around 2012. I wrote a couple of het fics on the old 1DFF site and when I got into Larry around 2013, I began writing H/L fics instead. Now, all I write is Larry fics, and I really love it so much. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m still here – over ten years later – and I’m really grateful for the readership I’ve had. 

Rosann: 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?

@thelavendrhaze: I’ve always said that my favorite fanfic of mine is you are in love. I spent a year writing that fic and there was so much emotion and so much of myself that I put into it, that it felt deeply personal. It was also the most fun I had writing a fic because I was really able to dive into that universe and fall in love with those characters. The idea for you are in love was an amalgamation of different situations that happened to me and some of my friends during high school and college. 

Since then, I’ve written many more fics, but I have to say with venom on your tongue and king of my heart have quickly shot up as two of my favorites. I put those fics out this past year and I think both helped me grow immensely as a writer. The idea for king of my heart came to me in November 2018 after I read Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I wanted to write an AU for that book because it’s one of my favorites, but I wanted to explore more of Henry’s Mom and Dad’s story. He was an actor and she was a princess. I thought it fit so well with Alex and Henry’s dynamic, so I sort of combined them! I finished that fic in July of 2023. I had picked it up and put it down many times over the years, which is why it took me so long to complete it. I really wanted to do it justice and take my time with it!

As for with venom on your tongue, I officially started planning that fic in June of 2023. I always knew I wanted to write a boarding school fic with the academic rivals-to-lovers trope. That idea came to me from the book Winner Take All by Laurie Devore. I also really wanted to explore writing a character like Harry’s, who was a football star, struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps. Louis’ character was entirely inspired by Olivia Rodrigos’ album Guts, as were other parts of the fic. I finished writing this one by December 2023!

Rosann: I love knowing the origins of my favorite fics! What’s your favorite trope (if any) to write?

@thelavendrhaze: Friends to lovers is a classic and it can be explored in so many different ways, so I always love writing that one. I also really love fake relationships and the hijinks that come with that trope.

Rosann: How do you handle writer’s block (if you experience it)?

@thelavendrhaze: I’m actually still trying to figure this out. I think the best way is to push yourself to write even if you’re hating what you’re putting down. Once you get to the other side of it, it gets better. This works for me because the way I write is I do it all in one go and then once I finish a chapter or a good portion of the fic, I go back, read, and edit it. So even if what I’m writing is shit at first, I’ll just fix it later. Other things that I do to get over writer’s block is to also allow myself to take it easy and not push myself. I’ll listen to music, watch shows or movies, and read books or fics. Anything to inspire me and get the creative juices flowing!

Rosann: That’s great advice! Do you read other things while you’re writing? Why or why not?

@thelavendrhaze: I read books before I write just to help me get in the mindset. For example, right now, one of the fics I’m writing is inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Betty”, “August”, and “Cardigan”. I’m having it set in a pretty, small coastal town, so I’m trying to find books that have the summer, beach, small-town vibe. It helps me get in the mood. I sometimes read other fics when I’m writing, but I do fly through those quicker than I do actual books, which means I get less writing done. 

Rosann: That’s cool. I love the idea of filling your creative bucket with other media. 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?

@thelavendrhaze: I haven’t had this experience, personally. When I first started writing fanfic, I told a handful of people in my life. They were mostly just close cousins or best friends and I trusted them. I felt comfortable telling them because they knew I was in the fandom and I knew they wouldn’t judge me for it. It’s still the same for me now. I kind of just vibe out whether I trust the person to know this part of my life. I have best friends who don’t really read fic or know much about them, so I don’t tell them because this isn’t an interest of theirs. But then there are friends who are into fanfic and I feel comfortable telling them. They often ask me what I’m writing and sometimes I’ll even share chapters or snippets of what I’ve written to get their feedback. They’ve always been very kind and supportive. Thankfully, I’ve never been made to feel ashamed of it or made fun of.

Rosann: If you write a serialized fic, do you plot/outline before you write or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

@thelavendrhaze: I heavily outline any fic I write. I struggle to write if I don’t do that. My outlines are super detailed and take me time to put together, but I think it’s really beneficial for the writing process so I’m never stuck at any point wondering what will happen next. 

Rosann: I’m so jealous that you can plot in such detail! I struggle with 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? 

@thelavendrhaze: I think this really depends and there are a lot of layers to it. I have and do include real people in their lives in some of my fics. When it comes to their parents, I think about how the parental figures are represented in that particular fic. For example, in with venom on your tongue, the parental figures aren’t the greatest. Because of that, I opted to use original characters for the parents. In king of my heart, the parental figures are good and positive figures and don’t have a lot to do with the plot, so I opted to use their actual parents’ names. I wouldn’t ever use certain situations/experiences that are deeply personal to them in any of my fics, like what happened with Jay, Robin, or Fizzy, because that to me feels disrespectful. However, I’ve done fics where the parents got divorced and remarried, similar to Harry and Louis’ families. I never did it because that’s what they experienced in real life, but mostly for the sake of the story and how I wanted to play it out. Obviously, I don’t have first-hand knowledge of what exactly happened to them, so it’s all my imagination at the end of the day. 

When it comes to their siblings, I base it more on the two main characters. For example, does this Louis in the universe I created have a big family or a pretty small one? Both of these options lend something to the character and how he behaves, the trajectory of his life, etc. As for their friends, this is really a personal choice. Sometimes I really want to write original characters and giving the boys friends or significant others is the easiest way to do that. And then sometimes I get lazy and just add people who are in their lives in real life or have been associated with them to some degree. All of that to say, I think it’s fine to use stuff that we know about them as long as we are respectful. 

Rosann: What are the hardest scenes/tropes for you to write?

@thelavendrhaze: I would say fluff is really hard for me to write. There are times when it flows really easily, but then there are times when I just can’t get myself to write it. It can feel a bit daunting because I don’t want it to be cheesy. Smut is also something I struggle with. I’ve tried to approach it in a more technical way where I really piece it apart before putting it together. The thing that trips me up the most now is the dirty talk. I’m not very good at that and definitely need to practice so all of my smut doesn’t start sounding the same. In terms of tropes, I don’t think there are any tropes that are hard to write, but enemies to lovers can be tricky. For me, I like to make my characters and what they experience feel real. Their emotions and how they react/behave need to make sense. With enemies to lovers, you have to give them a solid reason to dislike each other. You also have to pace yourself and make sure they’re not immediately falling in love because that’s not realistic. 

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

@thelavendrhaze: I think the biggest tip I can give is to have fun with it. I know that’s really corny and everyone’s probably like “DUH”, but I have spoken with a lot of writers lately who don’t seem to be enjoying it like they should be. They write because they feel obligated to or they stop writing because of a mean comment or they feel pressure to put out something over-the-top and amazing. At the end of the day, none of us are getting paid to do this nor are we forced to be doing this. We have whole lives outside of this. Why do we come on here? Because it’s meant to be a form of escape. Writing fic has gotten me through some really tough times because I was able to immerse myself in these universes that include five of my favorite boyos ever! I get to come online and make friends and bond with my readers and other writers. We’re all just here for a good time. Once we stop worrying about hits, comments, kudos, unpleasant people who leave rude comments for absolutely no reason, whether our writing is good enough, or whether our fics are original, then we’ll all start having a fab time!

Rosann: That’s great advice, and so important. Do you do anything to promote your fics? Mood boards or something else?

@thelavendrhaze: Nothing crazy! I’ll randomly post some snippets. I do one tweet with a moodboard to put in my wip thread just to give a sneak peek of the vibes. I want to start putting more in my writing thread, though, I think! Just to better help me keep track of the process and share some BTS with readers. 

Thank you so much for answering my questions with such detail. I’m so grateful for your time and for your wonderful writing.

If you don’t follow @thelavendrhaze on X/Twitter, consider doing so and find her on AO3 as wildestdreams.

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