Friday, October 26, 2012

Gold's Left Behind

I suspect everyone's had to deal with this at some point in their lives... friends moving on to (what appears to be) bigger and better things, feeling as though there's not much for yourself. Buck up - you're just as important in your own right.

[Adventure][Shipping] • 23,300 words
As her friends find success, Applejack begins to worry that her life as a simple farmer makes her the least special of her friends. Rainbow Dash comes up with a plan to show her just how special she is - and discovers something about her feelings for the country farmer in the process.

Hit the break for a chat with Gold, and links to Left Behind out on the ponynet. Don't forget to grab your own ebook copy over at the Downloads page!

Where do you live?

I live in a little apartment in New York City.

What kind of work do you do? (i.e. are you a student, do you have a career/day job, etc)

I'm a "Liaison".

...I know, it sounds dirty, but I swear it's not!

Basically I'm hired to be an in-between for my company and... anything else, really. Clients, other companies, government officials... my job is to make sure my company has good relationships. It's a pretty weird career, but I love every day of it.

How did you discover My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? When did you realize you were a fan of the show?

I came to the game a little late, actually - I discovered MLP right after the season 2 finale aired. After hearing about it on Reddit, I decided to give it a shot. Watched an episode... and it didn't really hook me. I shrugged and didn't think about it.

A few months later, I was in a bad place. I just needed something to cheer me up, and came upon an argument on the internet, between a Brony and someone who clearly hated the fandom. The hater lashed out at the Brony, calling him all sorts of horrible names which I don't need to repeat. In a display of maturity and class, the Brony did not rise to the fight... instead, he replied with a single sentence.

"It makes me happy."

This struck me in a strange way... so I decided to give it another shot. And I watched both seasons in a few days. I was completely obsessed. Needless to say, I now see exactly what he meant.

Do you have a favorite episode?

"The Return of Harmony". Is that cheating, picking two? That moment when Discord is introduced... still sends shivers down my spine. So good!

Who is your favorite character based purely on the canon of the show itself? Would your answer change if you considered the fandom in its entirety (i.e. art, fanfiction, memes, etc)?

Applejack is the answer to both those questions. Applejack is best pony!

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

It's sort of silly - when I was a kid, I had two imaginary friends, both of whom were dragons. They were named Silver and Gold. Silver was mathematically minded, loved order. Gold was artistic and creative, a storyteller. I didn't realize it at the time, but they were representations of my left and right brain. In my real life, I've become like Silver... but when I try to write, I'm Gold.

Have you written in other capacities (other fandoms, professionally, etc)? When did you first start writing?

I've been writing for fun as long as I can remember.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

With the visual novel I'm working on, writing takes up a lot of my free time - but I like hanging out with friends, and exploring New York. Seeing plays, going to museums, that kind of thing.

Who is your favorite author (published or fanfiction)? Do you have a favorite story or novel?

A tie between Philip Pullman and Asimov. His Dark Materials and Foundation are my two favorite trilogies. I cannot count the amount of times I've read them. Again, I'm totally cheating by picking six books.

Stephen King believes that every author has an "ideal reader" - the one person who they write for, the one person whose reactions they care about. Do you have one, and if so, who is it?

I can't say I really do. I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on my stories - regardless of how they got there, or why they're reading it.

On that note, readers: if you enjoyed a story, please please PLEASE let the author know. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to hear that our stories touched you in some way.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers, or writers who are struggling with their own stories?

I think many writers are so caught up in trying to find the perfect idea for a story that they hold themselves back. My advice for anyone trying to write is... to just write. Does an idea pop into your head? Don't overthink it, don't overanalyze it, just write. If it's bad, you can throw it out. I have a folder on my computer with tons of written works which I've thrown out. These are the side products of the stories which I am really proud of.

In short: Be willing to write bad stories. Everybody does, and it helps you figure out what you can do better next time.

What is your typical writing process? (Do you work through multiple drafts, do you have any prereaders/editors, etc?)

I do an outline for my story, and then I rough out the whole thing. I go through and see which parts of the story aren't being told well, and re-do them. Then I go through it once for general edits, and finally, I hand it off to my editor, Clavier. He is one of the most amazing editors out there. He says it himself best: "I'm a cruel editor, but invariably improve what I edit." If you have the strength to see your work get torn apart, you may want to consider contacting him. We do a pass of the work together, fixing everything. Then, once that's complete, we do another pass - and if it checks out, and feels smooth, it's published.

That's the process for my more serious stories, anyway. For the goofier ones, I write them and do one editing pass, and then I publish it.

(You can find Clavier here:

What inspired you to write Left Behind?

On one hand, a lot of it was inspired by the show. There are tons of little moments between AJ and RD that just... make you want to write them a story. They are so similar and so opposite in all these funny ways. So the question I asked myself was: could those two characters be put in a situation where they could discover feelings for one another? And suddenly I was writing.

On the other, I put a lot of thoughts and emotions from my real life into my stories. Left Behind is sort of this strange blend of epic fantasy adventure, entirely from my imagination... and some really personal stuff.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can't point at one thing that inspired Left Behind. It came from a lot of places.

Did you run into any tough spots or challenges when writing Left Behind?

I did. I had all the major events planned out, but often I wasn't sure what the best, cleanest way to each one was. Clavier helped a lot with that. Also I am terrible with pronouns.

When you set out to write Left Behind, did you have any specific messages or themes in mind?

No. I don't usually write with the intention of giving the reader any messages or having any themes. All I ever set out to do is tell a good story.

Where can readers drop you a line?

The best place to reach me is my email: I also check FIMFiction messages all the time- so you can reach me there too!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I just want to thank RBDash47 for interviewing me, it was an honor to be asked. I also want to thank anyone who has read this far. You're great. Yes, you, reading this now. Thank you!

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