Happy November Klaroliners! This week I had the opportunity to interview wanderlust–bitethedust. She is the author of Umbrageous Lions, Down the Rabbit Hole, and Witch’s Brew. In this interview we talked about her writing, Klaroline and its wonderful fandom, and her works in progress.
Hello! My name is Tiffany and I go as wanderlust–bitethedust on both fanfiction and tumblr. I am currently attending college and majoring in both English and Psychology while on the premed track. I fell in love with Klaroline the moment that Klaus gave that grandiose speech to Caroline about true beauty. He had never been so heartfelt in my opinion and I have joined the ship since then and I refuse to leave!
KM: Because you are in college, Cornell by the way congrats, how do you manage between fanfiction and your studies?
Tiffany: Managing college and writing is a lot more difficult than what I am used to. I used to just write whenever I felt inspiration hit and I still do, but now it with so much work sometimes I cannot act on my inspiration right away. What I do now is that I work throughout the day and then spend my nights and weekends working on my fanfictions and other side things that I am doing.
KM: In your bio it says that you hope to make a profession out of writing. If you do choose to do that will you stop writing Klaroline fanfiction?
Tiffany: I do want to make a profession out of my writing, but I don’t think I will ever stop writing Klaroline fanfiction. Fanfiction has always been where I experiment with my writing. I use fanfiction as a way to explore random plot bunnies that I have, just to see what I can get away with. Besides fanfiction has a special place in my heart because it has been with me since I was in middle school when I was going through so many transitions.
KM: Which of one your three KC fanfics are you especially fond of and why?
Tiffany: At the moment I am most fond of Witch’s Brew but that is only because it is new. It’s young so it is the baby that I am paying the most attention to. Overall, Down the Rabbit Hole has always been my favorite mainly because it is such a fun story to play with. Everything about that story is so new and different and it is by far my oddest experiment with so many new elements up in the air. I really love all the possibilities that come with Down the Rabbit Hole.
KM: Which is more challenging: coming up with titles or writing summaries?
Tiffany: Coming up with the titles is always the hardest part for me. Summaries are easy because I know what the story is about and know what parts to put to grab attention, but the title is always hard. Titles need to memorable in my opinion and they need to encompass the theme of the book while being less than 5 words. And that is so difficult! I usually like to keep the titles down to two words (Down the Rabbit Hole being an exception) so there is always a struggle coming up with titles for me.
KM: Why is Klaus the better choice for Caroline and vice versa?
Tiffany: This is probably the question I can rave on and on about! Okay so let’s start with Klaus. Klaus is your typical antagonist, dark and murderous, someone that you wouldn’t want to bring home to your parents. He comes from a home with a hateful father and shunning mother who abuse him and through numerous life experience is taught that love is weakness and having a weakness (Henrick, his favorite horse, family) always bring pain. So it is easier to go without it, but the thing is Klaus is a bleeding heart. He can’t help but love and care so he hardened his heart. Caroline is so perfect for him because she doesn’t force him to open up. She just tells him that yes pain is a side effect of caring about others but damn if it doesn’t feel good to feel something as all-consuming as love for someone else. And Klaus loves Caroline, knowing that by entrusting his heart to her he could get very seriously hurt, but hoping, praying that the love and loyalty that she gives to others can be bestowed unto him despite his misgivings. Caroline and the other hand has been number two in everyone’s book. She is the Other best friend, the surrogate mother, the Girl After Elena, the Rebound. She has never been put first in anyone’s eyes and that is painful. Yeah, she improved as a vampire but no one really took the time to ask her about how she is feeling and what she wants. Caroline is a queen and she knows it, but she hides it because she doesn’t feel that with her current company it would be appreciated. Klaus encourages her to show who is she. He wants to hear about her hopes, her dreams, her nightmares, her thoughts. To him, her opinion has value which is something that no one in her previous relationships really seemed to want. That and Klaus always out her first. Klaus prioritized Caroline in all aspects. He only helped Stefan because he knew it would hurt Caroline if he didn’t. Klaus doesn’t mind if Caroline is the queen of the world and he isn’t king. He’d be okay with just giving her the world on a platter if that would get him one look of happiness. IF THIS ISN’T LOVE I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!! (Oh, this was long)
KM: How did you get into reading/writing fanfiction?
Tiffany: It is actually an interesting story how I got into fanfiction. When I was 11, so about 7 years ago, I moved from New York to Texas. I’m naturally a reserved person so making friends was hard. So, I got absorbed in books and reading. It had always been something I enjoyed doing. Eventually, I made a nice group of friends and one of them recommended that I start reading fanfiction. I gave it a try, the first fanfiction I read was a Darkest Powers fanfiction. I forgot about it and then I moved again and I had to start all over again. I meet another friend and she actually wrote fanfiction. I read some of her fics and I decided to try my hand at it since I always liked writing. My first fanfiction was for Maximum Ride, I deleted that one because it was horrible. It was a horrible oneshot. My first full length fanfic was for Degrassi (I was really into it back then) and I still have that mess up. I was so bad back then!
KM: In your opinion, what is the best thing about the Klaroline fandom?
Tiffany: I would say that the best thing about the Klaroline fandom is the sense of community. Everyone is so open and welcoming. I don’t really talk to anyone in the fandom but the few times that I did, everyone is so nice. I really love this fandom also because it is insanely organized!
KM: In your story, Umbrageous Lions, Caroline is written very different from her character on the show? Why did you write her this way and not keep her original characterization?
Tiffany: Umbrageous Lions has a lot of character adjustments! I think that I was tired of seeing Caroline portrayed as this angel. I really hate characters that are on their high horse and I guess Caroline came off that way to me sometimes. I wanted to explore a darker side of Caroline or maybe a more morally gray Caroline. I added in insanity because mental health and immortality? Who wouldn’t want to explore that!
KM: In Umbrageous Lions, Katherine and Caroline are friends and Kol and Caroline have a sexual relationship. Was a friendship between Katherine and Caroline something you wished the show would have pursued. Also, was it difficult to write the explicit scenes between Kol and Caroline?
Tiffany: I really wished that Plec explored a friendship between Caroline and Katherine. They’re both survivors and they are such strong female characters! They would have had so much fun being immortal best friends! As for Kol and Caroline in Umbrageous Lions… writing their scenes was as easy as writing the rest of the story. The way that my stories work is that I just kind of set the stage and then let the characters do as they wish. Everything that happens is kind of just met documenting which wild turn my imagination takes.
KM: Also, does the relationship between Kol and Caroline in Umbrageous Lions have any chance of being turned into a friendship..
Tiffany: I always wanted Kol and Caroline to be friends! Always! They have that sibling like vibe going on. I always wanted them to be friends and that hasn’t changed while writing Umbrageous Lions.
KM: Do you find it easier to come up with plots that are canon divergent and if so, why?
Tiffany: I find it so much easier to write canon divergents or completely AU. Whenever I watch a show, afterward my mind is always whirling with many “what if” scenarios that I can barely contain. I am always curious about what would happen if let’s say that Caroline had died that night against Elena. Or if Klaus had stumbled upon the werewolves torturing Caroline. Canon divergents are more fun. AUs just let me reign hell.
KM: At the beginning of your chapters in Down the Rabbit Hole there is always a sentence or two that connects a disney princess with the struggles that Caroline is going through. Do you write those first, then base the entire chapter off of them or is it the other way around?
Tiffany: The sentences that connect Caroline to a Disney Princess are always written first since they are kind of the driving forces for the story. Every chapter is based off the struggle of whatever Disney Princess Caroline is sharing a struggle with. Though it is kind of hard to shape a whole chapter on a sentence or two, but that is what makes it fun.
KM: Have you ever had a story that you never brought to fruition because it was too weird?
Tiffany: Several! Some of the stories that I want to explore break ‘s guidelines and other stories I just don’t know how well received they would be. I have always wanted to explore a story where Mikael was obsessed with Caroline, but I just never knew how people would take it.
KM: Your current Klaroline fanfics are all of the supernatural variety. Would you ever write a fic that was all human?
Tiffany: I don’t think that I could ever write an all human story. I get fairly bored of reality which is why I stick with supernatural and fantasy. There are so many avenues to explore and there can never be a dull moment with magic. Besides, with all human stories, I feel like it is the same drama being repeated. I have read a lot of stories where they happen to make it interesting but I don’t have the patience.
KM: Lastly, have you ever collaborated with another author. If not is that something you would be interested in doing?
Tiffany: I have never collaborated with another author. I would love to collab with another author mainly to see what we could make. I wonder how it would work and what would the story end up becoming. Collaboration is something that I am always open to.