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January 2013 Author of the Month

Lainiee featured story So I was Hit by a Car the Other Day

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
Lainiee lives in NYC. She writes sporadically, mostly because sometimes she finds herself employed or trying to maintain a social life. When she started writing, it was mostly out of boredom (and as a therapeutic coping mechanism) during high school and she never thought of pursuing it seriously. These days she sometimes thinks about it, but her number one priority is still to entertain herself and others (and that whole, ‘write what you want to read’ thing).

SUMMARY
Lucky had resigned himself to the life of an observer. The little brother. The best friend. The sidekick. The straight man. He was perfectly fine with being annoyed by everybody as long as he didn't have to actively participate. But then life decided to kick him in the balls (and throw him in front of a moving vehicle) and dumped his twitching body into his own crappy, never ending soap opera. And if he was irritated before, man, is he pissed off now.

EXCERPT
Scooping up the bottle I looked back at her, still grinning. "You say something?"

Her eyes widened in sudden fear and her mouth dropped open, which was when I turned around and suddenly became very acquainted with the grill of a large SUV.

With Cricket's scream ringing in my ears, the last .13523 seconds of my life formed one cohesive thought, not of regret, not of fear, not of the crunching pain that were my bones, but that sweet, sweet feeling that I was all too familiar with: ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

I'm sure I would've waxed poetic about how cruel this all was and how there was no way in hell I deserved this and this is by far the most evil and nasty thing fate could ever do to me, but like I said, there was only that one thought in my head, and then a sharp pang of intense, searing pain and then nothing.

INTERVIEW
interviewed by Kero

What was the hardest part of the story to write? The most fun? Your favorite?

It’s been a while, so I don’t remember. Probably the more boring parts, where I’m obviously floundering and there’s nothing really going on and it’s either stupid school nothings or Lucky getting too introspective. Also it got a lot harder when I had to follow an outline. In the beginning, it was easy and so much fun to take reviewers’ comments and change the direction of the next chapter, just to mess with people. But I guess the most fun was both throwaway chapters (the recap and the first ending) and the epilogue; things that didn’t have much to do with the main plot, haha. As for my favorite… Probably the pregnant diner scenario. Writing that was the only time I’ve ever made myself laugh out loud.

Do you have any suggestions for people that get writer's block? What do you do to overcome it?

Either power through it (knowing that the first few pages are so will be complete crap), or take a break. More often than not, I find myself opening up a document and just staring at it or rereading what I’ve already written only to write nothing. Yeah, those days suck, but I always feel better if I go and take an hour long walk or run errands- if I’m thinking about what needs to be done then, I usually come back refreshed and at least I’ll have organized my thoughts. It also helps when someone gives you a hard deadline. There’s nothing like that surge of productivity due to last minute panic.

Any piece of advice for aspiring authors out there?

Gonna steal this one from Nike: Just do it.

Hold up, is that their slogan still? Or am I stuck in the 90’s?

What book or author has influenced your life? Your writing style?

In 6th grade I read Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen. Nobody’s ever heard of it, but it blew my twelve year old mind. I don’t know why but for some reason before then, I didn’t realize that books were allowed to be hilarious, you know? I thought comedy was reserved for Sunday comics and those crappy joke books about farts and wasn’t actually funny. I definitely fell in love with 1st person point of view after that, as well as wry humor, exaggerated details and plots revolving around slightly ludicrous yet every day events. For example, one chapter of this book was about a plan of vengeance in the form of making another character pee on an electric fence in exchange for some ‘dirty’ pictures. So good.

What helps you write? Do you listen to any music or go to a quiet place while you write?

Trying different things and just experiencing life. Even if it’s something mundane, like a grocery store, I try to observe things in a new light. I’ve ended up in some weird situations which were questionable at the time, but afterwards I’m always glad I did it- then I can write about it. Or at least mention it offhand to people and pretend my life is interesting.

I usually write in the quiet of my home. I don't listen to music most of the time, unless it's just something to wake me up or help remind me that time is passing. Or if it's the music I've been listening to on repeat often enough so I don't actually pay much attention to it.

I know how writing can be very personal to some people. Have you shown your work to friends or family? If not, have you thought about showing it to them? What were their reactions and was it hard for you to let them read your work?

Hell no. Writing is way personal to me, as it essentially started off as something just for me and my whims. And my xanga (haha, remember that?). I do have ‘safe’ pieces that I’ve written that friends could read, but as for Lucky’s misadventures, there’s a little too much unadulterated ‘me’ in it to comfortably bare.

Have you tried to get So I was Hit by a Car the Other Day published, and if so, what reactions did you get?

Nope. I don’t know how many people realize this, but the whole thing is almost 300K words. The most epic of novels barely even hit that, so if I were serious about getting this out there, I’d have to cut it down to about a quarter of that if I were to even think about starting the process.

Did you ever want to stop writing So I was Hit by a Car the Other Day? Or go on a hiatus? If so, how and when did you get out of it?

Psh, I stopped writing it all the time. Bitch took me years to write (according to Fictionpress.com, six in total) and went with me through different phases of my life. It was only sheer willpower and some promise to nobody that I finished it at all, but I’m glad I did. I don’t remember how often I’d stop and start up again, but I think even during my most active times, I was posting one chapter a month at the most.

Where did you get the idea for this story?

I didn’t. Not really. I actually had the characters from a previous (failed) story and I reused them. It was more of a character building exercise that went way out of control that started with an ‘I wonder what would happen if Lucky got hit by a car.’ This also explains my penchant for trolling people in the beginning, as noted in the previous question. There’s some small events that are based on some memories of high school, or actual things that happened closer to the present, but mostly it was the same sort of ‘what if’ extrapolation. (Though it should be noted, I did actually get hit by a car midway through writing the thing.) It was a surprise to me as well when I actually found a plot.

All of your characters have strong voices, did you planned to (or purposefully) wrote it styalized with that strong of a voice or did the characters developped that way on their own?

I mentioned that the story started off as a character study, so most of the characters had some defining aspect to them already, but as they dealt with more things they were forced to react. I guess in that sense, they did develop on their own, but I set out hoping that none of the characters would ever be interchangeable with one another, so I guess I did a pretty alright job.

All of your characters are so different and unique, which is your favorite and which do you think is most like you?

The cat’s my fav. No wait, Linx is my favorite because even when I try to make him do something ridiculous, I can always look back at a scene and be like, ‘dammit, why didn’t I make him say/do something even more so?’ And yet, he somehow comes off as logical and grounded. He’s also a scene stealer of sorts, but I would never make him a main character of anything. A combo of Lucky and Tiff is probably what I’m like in real life, in which case, leaning more towards Tiff, though I curse like Lucky. When I was in high school, Lucky was probably my spirit animal.

You haven't posted anything on Fictionpress since the end of So I was Hit by a Car the Other Day, have you been writing and do you plan on posting it?

Actually been trying to do that thing that I said earlier: cutting it down to a more sensible length. Essentially been re-writing the whole thing, though I’m at a point where I just may scrap it and start over with something completely different. I’ve written a few short stories here and there with the same batch of characters, but I’ve posted those on Livejournal, either my personal one or some writing community. There are other ideas I’ve been playing around with, but nothing that’s come to fruition.

Resistance Fun