Oh lord, I had planned on being done with this blog by now, but it seems as though I will be gracing all of you with my presence a bit longer. Before I answer the questions sent to me, I just want to give everyone a quick thank you! You guys have been so lovely and patient with me through all of the ups and downs of the past two years. i can honestly say that just about everything in my life has changed since I started this blog. It’s pretty crazy to think back and remember where I was two years ago.
When I started this blog I was 23 years old and on the fast track to nowhere. I had just finished culinary school and had only just started my first post-school job. Now I’m 24, turning 25 this November. I’m in an entirely new job, which I love sometimes and hate with the burning fire of a thousand suns other times. Ha. I’ve lost friends, but gained new ones. It’s been a crazy ride, to say the least.
I got some really great questions and as I’m an over-sharer I’m a bit long winded, so apologies. I also got some rather personal questions, I’ll answer delicately. I’ll be answering them in the order in which they were received.
1) What inspired you to start Let It Be, and how did you decide on James for your founder?
2) What is your favourite generation? And who has been your favourite character throughout the legacy so far? YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE I DEMAND IT. 🙂
1. Let it Be began, actually, with a case of food poisoning. I had gone out to eat at a Mexican restaurant and due to cross contamination I wound up with a really bad case of campylobacter. I was completely drained. I felt terrible, I was so exhausted and drained from the illness that I could hardly even hold my own head up (and that’s no exaggeration). I didn’t have much I could do so I wound up on my computer and I had been playing the Sims 3 and I could remember that people used to write stories with the other games and I thought well, why not check it out for this game? I had never been able to play a legacy in Sims 2. I always got bored and way too sad when my sim died. When I found DITFT, I just decided, on a whim, to do it. I had written little stories for Sims 1 in the past but I was like…12. So they were just terrible. So I just…went for it.
As for why James was chosen….I wanted a person who was going to represent sort of the…old fashioned rural values that people think of when they think of their Grandparents. I also wanted someone who would have an old fashioned name, since this was the very beginning. I also wanted a strawberry blonde – as I was strawberry blonde when I first started this blog so, it all just fell into place. I really didn’t spend much time actually make James’ sim. His face and all, just kinda went with what looked good to me. Haha. James’ personality came in as I was writing him, though to this day I still consider Gen 1 to be my weakest generation. There was so much more complexity in my head involving James but at the time I didn’t…feel comfortable, really putting it all in there. As weird as that sounds. 😄
2. Now…is that my favorite one to work on…or my favorite because of the craze it drove you guys into? 😄 I think I probably would have to choose Charlie’s Gen for both. That is definitely the Gen I think I’m most proud of. I feel like that was where I was really on top of my game and churning out a story. Plus I feel rather accomplished over the downward spiral I was able to put her into. 😄
How much staging and set up do you do for your chapters? Which chapter/generation required the most work in this regard (not counting the current, because I know that doing the voice acting is more work than just writing and shooting pictures)
In the beginning I did no staging whatsoever. I wrote around what James did. It wasn’t until Gen 3 that I started actually putting things together. Now, I stage everything. There’s not a single shot in LIB today that isn’t set up. Most of the time I build my own sets and take a hundred shots to find one. 😄
I think the gen that was the most obnoxious in the amount of work I had to do was actually Kennedy and Madison’s because it was literally three different game files and staging in Bridgeport is a nightmare. I do not recommend it to anyone, ever. The chapter in that that required the most work was the chapter in which Marcus is killed. It was a lot of set building and posing and changing outfits and I had planned the finale of Marcus dying in the sun – not realizing that in the Sims 3, vampires don’t actually die because of the sun. EA I am disappoint. The over all generation though that I think I had to do the most stuff for was probably Nines Generation because I had to build all of the political offices, the campaign offices and the jail in addition to the regular staging – and it required a lot of extras and side characters.
Hurray an update
I dont really have any Q&A except that Im wondering when the crossing bridges story will continue? Styx said its your turn to update 🙂
To those who dont know about it its really really good. http://crossingbridgesstory.wordpress.com/
Thank you for the CB plug, Sydney. The best answer I can give you is that it will continue when I get the chapter written. At the moment, due to all of the things going on in my personal life I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from writing. I’m trying to focus on my health and well being. 🙂
Emy asked (again 😉 ):
Ooo, oo! I thought of another question.
Do you have any writers you really admire and/or who really inspire you? Sims writers or otherwise. 🙂
What is your favourite book?
I have a lot of writers that I admire. Non Sims writers, I have to say I admire people like George R.R. Martin for writing characters that caused me to be so emotionally invested in that I actually began to shake uncontrollably and felt like a close relative and friend of mine had died. One of my favorite writers is Hugh Howey. He started off writing a short story called Wool that he put on amazon. It became so successful that he’s now written an entire series following that short story. On top of that, he’s a really nice guy. I admire people like that.
For Sims writers, I’m hesitant to name specific names because I don’t want anyone to be upset that I didn’t mention them. However, I will say that I admire most those writers whose work isn’t as well known as others. Those people who don’t post their face rolling across the keyboard and instantly get 600 comments. Those people who keep on chugging away, telling their story. I will also say that just because someone is super well known and gets all kinds of dedications, spotlights, comments, etc that does not mean that their work is of quality. I also really admire writers that, like me, do all of their own work. I rarely use non-original sims and I build all of my own sets and decorate them all. I design every sim’s look, and I know how much work goes into it all. So the people who tough it out, I admire.
My favorite book? Goodness, that’s like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. 😛 Haha, I have a few favorites. In terms of a book that I can read over and over and over again: The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory. I also have a secret love for Meg Cabot books, those are my fluffy favorites. Sense and Sensibility is another favorite along with Pride and Prejudice. I also loved, loved Game of Thrones and I’m especially partial to Shel Silverstein poetry. My hands down favorite book when I was a teenager was Speak. I’m also very strange and I actually like reading Shakespeare. This has offended a lot of people. My favorites are Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. I actually got to play Lady Macbeth once which was awesome. Oh yes, and one of my favorites is Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.
Okay, questions for the Toasty…
1) I know about one sim who was inspired by a real life person in the Masons. Are there any other character who are based on people you know irl and through the net? Does your opinion of the person affect how the character behaves and lives out their life?
2) If you were to collab with any other sims writer, who would you pick and why? (not including Styxlady because you guys already did it with Vince and Seeley :D)
3) Are there any books that influence your writing?
4) Which Mason would you most like to spend a weekend with and why?
1. Haha absolutely and this will come up in a later question as well but Scarlett and River are very much based on myself and some experiences in my life. Thomas’ drive and desire to make money and have serious ambitions was heavily inspired by my father. My father grew up dirt poor and he left home at 14 to go to boarding school (his choice) because his local high school was not accredited, meaning that he when he graduated from high school his diploma would be worth nothing. So he actually worked to put himself in boarding school, when he got out he went to Virginia Tech, and of course, worked to put himself through that. He decided when he was young that he was never going to have to go without something and he would never tell his children that he couldn’t afford something that they needed. So he worked and worked and worked and worked when I was a child and before I was born to give me and my brother the best life that he could possibly have given us. He taught me the value of a honest days work and he taught me that the right road is always the hard road…but it is the right one. There’s also a lot of him in James, in that regard. My father has always been this sort of, mighty figure in my world. Someone who is always standing tall and proud.
The relationship between Parker and River was heavily inspired by my mother and my Aunt. Who have a lot of unresolved issues between them and to some extent the relationship between Kennedy and Madison. Especially on Kennedy’s side as my mother is the older sister.
As I said before River was inspired from myself, but also so was Parker, her sister. Parker is who I wish I was, haha. I don’t ever like to borrow 100% from one person. I take little bits of people I like or don’t like and throw them into characters. There are two exceptions to that rule: Mikey Page and Marcus. Both of them are actually based rather heavily off of an ex-boyfriend of mine. In the personality department, anyway. Especially Mikey. The boy that he was based off of was very controlling and when I finally stood up to him he crumpled into tears, much like Mikey did.
2. I would be open to collabing with most anyone, really. Though it makes it easier when its an author whose work is in a similar voice to yours. If anyone were to approach me about it, I would consider it if it was a viable idea. Though for some weird reason people are very afraid of approaching me about things like that.
3. Oh definitely. Books and music are very important in my writing. Both can send me little sparks of ideas. Of course the most obvious influence that I used was in River’s generation where I decided that much like Bridget Jones’ Diary is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice that I would retell a classic novel with River’s generation. In that case the book chosen was Middlemarch by George Eliot. River is of course Dorthea while Conrad is Casaubon and Will is Wil Ladislaw. In less subtle ways though, Sense and Sensibility was also an influence regarding the relationship between River and Parker. With Parker actually acting as Elinor and being protective of River or who in this case was Marianne. I’ve also had a few movies as inspiration. I accidentally stole a line from Tangled with Kennedy. Haha. I know there are more but at the moment those are the only specifics I can think of.
4. Ooh that one is interesting. I think River and I would probably get along best because we’d both just chill. I think it would be really fun to hang around with Madison and Savannah though. Ooh or Parker…. I think the shorter list would be who I wouldn’t want to hang around with. I would have to say Catherine for obvious reasons and Hannah. Though she wasn’t REALLY a Mason. Or Natalie. I wound up hating her at the end.
I’ve seen you mention that Scarlett’s experience with Mikey was the same as an experience you had…what is the correlation between the two?
Ahh, well this question I will have to answer with some adult content, so SCROLL ON BY if you’re the offended type.
Ahem, well , how to put this… Scarlett and I both had a similar first sexual experience, except that she had a choice and I didn’t. The guy who did this to me, was very similar to Mikey in terms of being cold, creepy and unbalanced. However we both had the same reaction to it where we hid it from everyone and let it fester inside of us until we hit rock bottom.
I could go into my whole rock bottom thing, but that’s another story for another time.
I have a couple of questions:
How far ahead do you tend to plan your story?
And…Do you let gameplay influence the story at all? How about reader comments?
Also, can I be in the Masons? 😀 Haha, just kidding.
(okay, really I’m not kidding at all and would probably scream and faint like a total fangirl if you did put me in, lol)
It depends on the generation. By Generation three, I had already planned up to Generation 7. Gen 8 was planned last minute and Gen 9 was changed halfway through. Gen 10 was planned during Gen 9. Currently I have the final Generation planned, a faint idea for the culinary gen, the names planned for the medical gen and that’s about it. Haha. The last gen has been planned for a while now.
I no longer let gameplay influence me because I no longer actually play the Mason file. I only stage now. I used to let the gameplay influence me. As far as reader comments I have only once let it influence me and I can’t remember exactly where it was because a reader pointed out a gaping plot hole I had going. Well, it would have been a plot hole had I continued but thanks to the sharp eyed reader I patched it right up. 😄
Hmmm, maybe. 😉 You guys have given me an interesting idea. 😉
Mason’s question: What ever happened to Katherine Mason, really? It seemed really random that she just left and didn’t seem to flow with the rest of the story.
Well, the thing with Catherine is that she was the simself of my former best friend. During Nine’s Generation, the real Catherine betrayed my trust and tried to blackmail me. I will never know for sure what exactly was going on in her head when she turned into a psycho hose beast except that I’m pretty sure the trauma of her boyfriend dumping her made her go irrevocably insane. At the time I was set to go to Oregon, something I had been planning since November 2010 (this was January 2011 and all of this happened while my Dad was being treated for his fourth cancer diagnosis and she called me up to do all this crap the day before his birthday). When I told her of the trip, she was in Florida with her boyfriend and to be blunt she couldn’t have given a rat’s ass if I was moving to Uganda. Her boyfriend dumped her the following January, after she had been telling me for months months that he was going to propose to her. I had my doubts, but as I’m a good friend I kept my mouth shut. She was happy, that’s what mattered to me. I thought that the guy was irresponsible with money and lacked a good moral fiber in accepting the consequences for his decisions. I said nothing about this, again…she’s an adult who can make her own decisions.
The boyfriend dumped her and like a good friend I went over to her house with liquor and cheesecake. I should have known something was up because when I wen to her house her mother and I actually bonded. Keep in mind I have known these people since I was a baby. i mean literally, a baby. I have never felt very comfortable with her mother. Ever since she found out that I am learning disabled she has treated me like I’m mentally handicapped. It’s also no secret that I have had struggled with my weight and body image in the past and this woman would go so far as to say to her daughter in front of the entire family when we were going out to “make sure that Rebecca doesn’t go off her diet”. This woman is very strict and a giant busybody. She always has her nose in everyone’s business, but you know…24 years of that, you get used to it. Her mother already made it clear to me that she thought my trip was a massive waste of money. But this woman is so frugal it’s not even funny. Except of course when it comes to things she wants. Like vacations with her husband to other countries like South Africa where they stayed with someone they met on a forum. Let me just…clarify that some more. They went to another country…on another continent and stayed in a city known for not being the safest with people that they met on a forum. However, because I was going to meet with someone who I had not only been around in the writing community for several months I had been playing world of warcraft with her, had her phone number and her home address and was being helped to plan this trip by a man who was a family friend whom I had a searched public records for….. Suddenly I was in mortal danger. So my best friend proceeded to tell her mother all of my secrets, several things that were told in strict confidence about mistakes I made in my past that I’m not proud of. Her mother, being the absolute annoying busy body that she is decides that it’s her job to parent me like I’m 10 years old again and the two of them proceed to blackmail me into telling my parents everything. Now, remember at this point in time I am 23 years old. I admit to making mistakes in my life, but every mistake I have made I made while I was a legal adult. Therefore I consider it my business. I don’t frankly give a crap if people disagree with that.
Thankfully for me, my mother agreed with me on that front and didn’t even want to hear any of my secrets. She said, you’re an adult and its your life…not mine. None of the mistakes in my life have had lasting consequences…unlike my best friend actually – but look, here I am still NOT spilling her secrets. Anyway, her mother called our house to make sure i had spilled the beans or else she was going to tattle on me. My mother gave her an earful. Keep in mind this was exactly one week after I had gone over to this girl’s house to comfort her. She called me up one night just to drop this crap on me. I was so worried about my Dad that I asked Catherine if we could please just do this another time because I really just needed a friend. I needed someone who could just be there for me. She told me no, and that she was doing this because she loved me. Well, people who smack around their spouses and kids claim to love them too…does that make it right? No, it doesn’t. When I hung up the phone with Catherine, only to be called by her mother twenty minutes later, I knew that it was the end of our friendship.
So, that is the TRUTH behind why Catherine was shoved out of the story. I really could not STAND looking at her simself anymore. That’s anotherr eason why I could never really play Lincoln. He looks too much like her. It was just too painful for me. As for the character, in my mind she did just what the real Catherine did. She went bat shit insane and hurt the people she claimed to love the most then vanished off the face of the Earth only to join an organization which will allow for her to never have to make an adult decision in her life. Oh and marry a guy who looks eerily like her exboyfriend and has the same name minus 1 letter.
This is way more information than you can ever want, I’m sure. But there you go! 😀
Did you make Madison gay just to be controversial or cool?
That’s an excellent question and one that I’m surprised I wasn’t asked earlier. The truth is: no, absolutely not. I would never in a million years make a character a certain way to create a buzz. In my head from the day she was born, Madison was a lesbian. And in my head, she was never one of those people who just KNEW immediately. She was the sort of girl who would struggle with her identity and ultimately realize who she was. Which I think is normal for people in general, we all have aspects of ourselves that we deny or try to ignore. But no, Maddy was always a lesbian. I can’t imagine her straight, at all. It’d be like…a straight Lafayette or…I can’t think of a good example. Haha.
For Charlie: I am enraged by you! Fuming pissed off OPB is not a good thing! Not only did you do what you did to sweet little puppy-eyed 😉 Vincent, but you almost killed my game! Do you have no shame!?!
This is for Vincent: How does it feel to be bested by the greatest Moss ever? Seriously how could you think you could outsmart Mr Kick-Ass himself, Seeley Moss?
This is for President Mason: Mr. President, what was your greatest accomplishment in your life? Oh and your super hot!
This is for Madison: I LOVE YOU! That is all.
Charlie:What game? I don’t understand what you mean. After all the people my son killed….
For Vincent’s question I felt the need to answer this one myself instead of from Vincent’s perspective. You have to understand that Vincent was a very damaged man. He wasn’t the sort of person who was just running around being randomly evil. He was self-destructing due to his mother’s treatment of him since he first was on his own. It was always my plan for Vincent to be caught because it suited his character. I think truly that if Vince wanted to kill Seeley…Seeley would be killed.
Nines: In my entire life, I believe that my greatest accomplishment is in raising four beautiful, well balanced adults and having several wonderful grandchildren. Personally, I believe the fact that I was able to contribute to making their world a bit brighter is the thing I am most proud of.
Can you give us some hints about what’s to come in the Masons?
Haha, well. I can promise that what i have currently planned for LIB will probably make everyone hate me. It’s very cerebral and very different. I can’t wait to share it with you guys.
Is there anything you refuse to write about?
Yes, absolutely. I refuse and will not ever write a rape scene. I’m hesitant to even write about a character who has had sexual assault in their past. I can’t even read stories with rape scenes or rape mentions in them. I don’t understand why so many people have to write about it.
I will also not write about pedophilia, necrophilia or anything that could get me in trouble with the FBI, haha.
Did you ever imagine that the Masons would be so popular?
The thing is, I don’t really think they’re all that popular. Everyone tells me that and people treat me like I’m a celebrity sometimes but really in the larger community I’m hardly a blip. However I am extremely thankful for everyone who puts up with my Shenanigans and wants to read my story. I think all of you guys are great and so wonderful, even those I have never heard from.
So, from the bottom of my heart..thank you.
I felt that was a good final question, so in closing I would just like to say that you guys are all wonderful and I am so glad that all of you have taken this journey with me. However, don’t be offended when I say that I hope I don’t get to celebrate a third anniversary. 😄