Friday, November 9, 2012

Helljumper117's Firebird

There have been a fair few fics exploring the idea of immortality surrounding the princesses, but what of the solar princess's beloved companion? (Also have to laugh - I made a point of calling out the shortest fic here in the Vault on Wednesday, and today's entry dethrones it!)

[Slice-of-Life] • 1,100 words
Forever here. Forever faithful. Forever my friend.

Hit the break for a few words from Helljumper117, and links to Firebird out on the ponynet. Don't forget to grab a copy in your favorite ebook format over at the Downloads page!

Where do you live?

The good ol' USA.

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

I am currently in my junior year of High School. My current job is at a local fast food restaurant, though I hope to eventually join the military when I am old enough.

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

I discovered the show in late September of 2011. I was browsing through YouTube, and came across the famous "Apple.MOV". Needless to say, I was confused and confounded by the strangeness of the video. I believe I then saw one or two PMVs, and also came across a video called, "Death Battle: Starscream vs Rainbow Dash." The video compared Rainbow Dash's and Starscream's fighting ability and then put them against one another in a 16-bit battle. In the end, Rainbow Dash triumphed over Starscream in an explosive finish. This video was immensely entertaining, but left me even more confused, so I did some research. I slowly found more and more about the show and its fandom, and buckled down to watch the first episodes in January of 2012. I was skeptical as to if I really liked what I was seeing, but I found myself enjoying the clever humor and the fun characters every episode I watched. I was sometime while watching the first episodes of season two that I "officially" declared myself a brony.

Do you have a favorite episode?

Probably "Lesson Zero" in season two. Twilight going insane was somehow just perfect.

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)?

Purely based on the show itself, Twilight Sparkle. I enjoy her awkward and nerdy personality, and admire her organizational skills (which I lack). However when considering the fanbase and the show as a whole, I would have to say Rainbow Dash. It was her in the "Death Battle" video that initially sparked my interest in the show. I have her to thank for my becoming a brony, so I consider her to be my favorite.

How did you come up with your handle/penname?

Simple, I am an overly obsessed Halo nerd. I had to implement it into my name.

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

My only writing has been in the fandom. I read a couple stories and crossovers on EqD that I enjoyed early in 2012, which got me to thinking about composing my own work. I started writing in March of 2012 on a Halo/MLP crossover just to try it out. I scrapped it about two months and 7,000 words of pointlessness in though. However, I tried again, wrote other stories, and I began posting them on FIMFiction.

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

I enjoy running Cross Country with my team, Marching Band, playing Halo, playing Starcraft, hanging out with friends, and watching Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, or anything else Sci-Fi related.

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

My favorite published book series is the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, though my favorite author is William C. Dietz, who writes other Sci-Fi and has written a few Halo novels/short stories. I also enjoy the Warriors series by Erin Hunter.

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?

Umm... I'm really not sure. I just write for whoever will bother to read.

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

Don't give up, and read, read, read. Published works, fanfiction, whatever. I honestly struggle quite a bit too, but reading what others have written helps to give me a better feel for writing and how I want to write. Also, listen to what others have to say about your work and accept all criticism graciously.

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

It varies, but I have a general process. I will usually get an inspiration from something, often times when I least expect it, and then begin playing possible scenarios out in my head, sometimes even acting them out as well (Weird, yes. Though strangely helpful.). I also have a friend at school, who is not a brony, whom I bounce ideas off of. I then write until I feel like it has some sort of substance and until I like it. I then send it off to my ever-so-helpful prereaders on FIMFiction for editing and feedback storywise.

What inspired you to write Firebird?

I realised that there were little to no fanfictions about Philomena, and figured that I could do something with Philomena and her relationship with Princess Celestia.

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

Oh yeah. I tried writing it several ways over the course of a month or so, but could never get it right or make it flow in an emotionally effective manner. I would start, but end up hitting the backspace less than one sentence in and staring at a blank document in frustration. Then one night a month later I just figured I'd try again, and thus came Firebird.

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

I mostly wanted to explore the fact that Philomena was the only one who would live nearly as long a Celestia, besides Luna herself. I guess one theme would be that death is not the end of a friendship, and that the bond of a strong friendship transcends what we may see as the end.

Where can readers drop you a line?

As mentioned before, I am on

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Becoming a brony is one of the best things that has happened to me. Like many others, it has helped me unlock an ability and a passion, in my case writing just for fun.

Colonel Jack O'Neill is best pony.

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