Passion. Intensity. Captivation. These words (and so many others) describe Artists in all their forms – today we are celebrating the Artists in the stories and the Artists that wrote the stories. First off, the day that we have all been waiting for is here – “The Apartment”, by our lovely Amanda Black, is published today, so without further delay, here she is!!
Here at FicSisters, The Apartment, by our beloved Amanda Black, is incredibly special to us. We read it as a work-in-progress in its infancy, re-read it with gusto as a completed work, and now, to see it here today – published! Wow! Just wow!
“For once in her life, Lily was putting herself first…”
Lily Blake is a caregiver, at home, at work. Somewhere along the way, in some strange way, her life has become not about her. She is nearly always catering to the needs of her father, fiancé, and her job. Until one momentous day, she sees the sign, “Apartment for Rent”. This little sign changes Lily’s life and opens up her world to a kaleidoscope of colour and light.
Ethan Foster: aka aforementioned “colour and light”… Ethan, like Lily, doesn’t recognize his own life anymore, and after some turbulent events, he finds himself back in his hometown. We bet he didn’t realize a brunette goddess was about to turn his life on its axis!
“The Apartment” is a very special story; at its essence there are two souls who share incredible passion and chemistry, which in time, turns into the deepest love. It is intense, addictive and heartbreaking. It goes without saying, we loved every single second!
We have a special treat for you now, earlier this week we had the delight of chatting to Amanda about “The Apartment”, so without further ado…
How does it feel to have your first story published? *claps hands*
Ahhhh!!! Awesome sauce! Seriously, it feels like I’m finally giving birth after four years of labor. The initial writing that took almost a year. The rewriting and the editing. More rewrites. Thinking everything was ready to go only to have it all fall through and needing to start over again. Let’s just say that I’ll be one proud mama once this thing is released to the world.
There is no question that Lily and her Beautiful Stranger’s first meeting is intense (to say the least), we would love to know – where did the inspiration for this incredible scene come from?
Well, it’s no secret that the original fanfiction was inspired by the movie Last Tango in Paris. There were certain aspects of that film that I absolutely loved (such as the fact that they jump each other immediately), but there were others that were rather gritty and bleak (such as the fact that Marlon Brando is creepy and borderline rapey through the whole thing). I was intrigued by the idea of a couple being instantly drawn to each other, but I wanted to see how their arrangement would play out today with real life breathing down their necks. I also wanted to see how sexy it could be instead of gritty and bleak. As I kept writing and the story developed, it grew into its own animal and became more than I ever expected.
If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?
That is a really hard question! So many great characters out there. I had to think about that for a long time and debate between a few. I always admire strong characters who think and do things I’d probably never have the nerve to do, characters who make their lives into what they want it to be. I also admire characters who are intelligent and always seem to know what’s going on and they always have a backup plan.
Not to sound too trendy, but I think one of the strongest female characters out there right now is Daenerys Targaryen from A Song of Ice and Fire series. I haven’t had a chance to read all of the books yet but she is by far my favorite character on Game of Thrones. She had a miserable childhood and put up with abuse and being repeatedly discounted as a weakling. She fought tooth and nail to make a better life for herself only to be knocked down over and over again. She refused to give up and eventually became the leader of a massive army and the mother of dragons. She’s pretty much a badass.
Supposing you could have any work of art – from painting to sculpture – in your living room, what would it be and why would you choose that particular piece?
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. I would probably need a bigger living room to hang it on the wall, but there is just something about that painting. I always make a point to see it whenever I am at the Art Institute of Chicago. Anyone who has stood before it would agree that just the sheer size of it is breathtaking, but when you get close and look at all of those tiny dots that make up the piece, it is mindboggling to think about the amount of time and patience it took to finish it.
So, has any of your family read your story, if they have, what do they think of your fabulous lemons?? Surely there was a blush or two?
NO!!! Not yet, at least. This was very hush hush and under the radar for years. My husband knew what I was writing, but he’s never sat down and read it. I finally came clean with the rest of the family when the book release was officially set, but I cringe when I think of them actually reading it. I keep warning everyone who asks me about it that they shouldn’t bother with it if they don’t like steamy, but I don’t think they get just how steamy I mean.
What was the first thought that ran through your head as you saw the finished product?
SQUEEEE!!! My baby is finally here!
FicSister’s Note: Please keep an eye out for part two – “The Blank Canvas”. Coming soon!!
“Art is a passion or it is nothing.” ~ Robert Fry
Hello, awesome people! If you follow me on twitter, I am sure you have seen me recommend Nineteen Canvasses by cars1 (@carlemon on twitter) to every single person who asks for a fic rec. It is so well written and such an original story, it will make your armpits sweat…wait…that is only me, huh? Just typing this, sweaty armpits. TMI? Sorry, but if you have seen me talk about this, and a few of you have, you know it is true.
Not only is the story amazing, but the author herself is an awesome person. She has become a friend of mine. I got to meet her in Nashville. Yes, there were tears, mine not hers. With that being said, I know my mom always said it is not nice to pick your favorite and then announce it to the world, but I must admit Nineteen Canvasses is my favorite. I will try my best to give a spoiler-free review, I, myself, do not mind them, but I know some of you out there prefer things without hints.
Edward, or as a few of us refer to him, Towelward, yes, Towelward, don’t you want to read just to see what that is about? He’s not your normal tortured artist. Yes, he has some issues, but don’t they all? He has a different view of the world, not because of some horrible break up or child hood drama. Edward has lost all inspiration for painting, but then feisty Bella comes along, can she be his new muse?
“…for the first time in months, there is no hesitation. Inspiration has hit. Fast and furious and unrelenting. I coat my brush with red and start to paint.”
Bella, dear Bella, she is one fierce woman; even on her bad days she takes the bull by the horns. She lives her life to the fullest. After a life-altering accident, she has her life where she wants it to be; an awesome career and the best friends she could ask for.
Then Edward is thrust into her life, can she handle being his new muse, does she even want to be? Her trust is not something that she gives freely; can she trust Edward…at all?
“I want to try Edward …if you do.”
Nineteen Canvasses has every emotion possible. Don’t let the romance/drama category fool you; it is so much more. When reading Nineteen Canvasses, and I have read it several times, I experience probably every human emotion. Shock, pity, anger, hate, fear, love, fortitude, courageousness, triumph, elation, outrage, and pure joy.
If you give it a shot, I know it will affect you just as deeply.
Summary: Bella thinks she finally has it all together after a life altering accident, but when she meets Edward, a once successful artist who has lost his inspiration, everything she thought she knew changes. All Human. Rated M for a very good reason. Romance/Drama Bella & Edward
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. Thomas Merton ~ Thomas Merton
We are a bit late reviewing Ruth Clampett’s Animate Me, but when it was published, our International House of FanFic was still under construction, if you know what we mean.
As we are celebrating Artists today, we thought it was a wonderful opportunity to shine the spotlight on one of the best characters we have had the pleasure of immersing ourselves in…our delicious Animator extraordinaire, Nathan.
Honestly, words fail us at just how he wound his way deeply and firmly into our hearts – we cheered for him, we shared his ups and downs, we wanted to kidnap him and keep him all to ourselves…ooh, maybe we shouldn’t admit that last bit??
“No…it couldn’t be. Not her. She is not here shopping at Jimmy’s Geek World. Impossible. No”
Nathan loves the beautiful Brooke – who works at the same animation company as him – from afar. After a chance encounter one weekend, Nathan meets Brooke and the pair strike up a special friendship. But, it’s complicated…which, let’s be honest, makes things all that more interesting!
The story has it all, love, longing, UST, drama, heartbreak and laughter – and when this FicSister read it, she could not put it down. There were chapters being snuck at work, when dinner should have been made and at 3am – it’s just that good. Ruth is an author of rare talent.
You can also check out Ruth’s site: here
*THE COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED*
Winners will be notified individually, we had an outstanding number of entries. Thank you!
Exciting news…the lovely Ruth Clampett has a gift for five lucky FicSister readers – she is offering Advanced Reader Copies of her upcoming book “Work of Art” for Kindle. All you need to do to have a chance to be one of the lucky five, is send us both your Kindle and regular email address via our “One Liners From You” box on the right-hand side of the page. Five names will be drawn at random on Monday, 6th October. Winners will be notified on or before the 7th. “Work of Art” will be released on 4th November 2014, and it also features another fabulous Artist, this time a painter. We just know this will be another Ruth masterpiece! And, oh my, look at that cover!!
It meant a lot to me when I got a message from FicSisters about how they loved the art themes in my fics. All three of my fanfics: Work of Art, Animate Me and Dodge and Burn feature main characters that are in the arts: a painter, animator and photographer all of which are subjects I have a great passion for.
They say write what you know, and I’ve grown up in the world of arts. My father was an artist, I’ve been close to many artists and my background includes being a photographer and art director. I love the sensitive, expressive nature of artists and how they see the world. The ones I have loved most are very passionate people and that passion inspires me in my writing. I take great joy as I write to include details about the process of creating. My favorite love stories are ones where you feel immersed in the character’s world. I want the reader to feel like you’re in the studio looking over the artist’s shoulder. I want you to feel the artist’s excitement when they’re inspired, and see through their eyes what type of work they admire. I hope this gives a richness to my stories that lingers long after you’ve finished reading.
By publishing Animate Me and now, Work of Art (book 1 releases November 4th), I’ve been able to go in and re-edit the manuscript, carefully polishing the story using what I’ve learned on my writer’s journey. People love the illustrations that were added to the book version of Animate Me, and my pre-readers for Work of Art are really excited about how this story has evolved.
Summary: Work of Art ~ Book 1 The Inspiration
In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?
For years intelligent and bright-eyed Ava Jacobs has worked diligently toward a career in the art world. Ava is swept off her feet when she meets the passionate artist. She soon realizes, however, that he’s on a destructive path; one she doesn’t intend to join him on.
In the decadent world of patrons, art groupies, and predators, feisty and beautiful Ava knocks Max off his pedestal. A stunned Max sees something special in Ava and offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse. As their lives and passions collide, will he realize that she alone has the power to heal him? Can their hearts come together to create their own work of art?
Thank you to FicSisters and the awesome fanfic readers for your support and encouragement. It’s a terrific community that I’ve been proud to be a part of.
“Creativity takes courage” ~ Henri Matisse
Passion is what springs to this FicSister’s mind at the mere mention of this immediately enticing story. The Art Teacher is quite short being complete at 15 chapters, but it is strongly written by spanglemaker9, the author of The Wedding Party, Faking It and many more fabulous fics.
Down to earth Bella Swan is reincarnated as lonely Isabella Dwyer when she is forced by circumstance to live with her mother and stepfather, and then to attend an elite private school in NYC. Renee, “…a little nobody from the sticks…” now has a stick up her arse, her nose stuck in the air, with delusions of grandeur to match her lofty expectations for her unfortunate pawn of a daughter.
Renee enrolls eighteen-year-old Isabella in a ten week Art Appreciation class, purely for the sake of appearance and to further her own selfish ends. From chapter 1 it’s painfully obvious, and honestly, it is actually sad to see what a failure as a mother Renee is; it’s quite ironic that Renee’s ploy to fit in with the right people is what ultimately leads Isabella to want to break away from them. Isabella’s seemingly innocuous first look at her art teacher became a life altering moment…
“I feel my face flush just looking at him, and something funny happens in my chest. Jane told me he was hot, but that doesn’t even begin to describe him. He is young; not that much older than us. Actually, he can’t be very far out of college—early twenties. He’s tall and a little bit lanky, but well-built. Nice shoulders. Long legs. He has his head down as he comes in. He’s nearly late and he looks preoccupied and a little distracted. Plus he’s carrying a lot of stuff; books and folders full of paper. At first, all I notice is his body and the hair— thick and almost too long; somewhere between auburn and brown and all messy. Not artfully messy, like the boys I go to school with, every angle carefully and expensively razored. Messy, messy. Like he hasn’t had a haircut in too long and he doesn’t own a brush.”
As Bella analyses her reaction to Art and Life, a book distributed by Edward, she considers “None of it would have meant much to me at all just an hour ago, but Edward holds the keys to this undiscovered world.” she has no idea of how true that statement will turn out to be. Her life, her career, her love, her passion…all unlocked in that moment.
When Edward’s work is displayed in an exhibition a couple of weeks later, he asks Bella what does his painting make her think… “Um,” I take a second to consider my words. “It doesn’t actually make me think anything. It makes me feel.” And there you have it ladies: the nub of this story – the beauty of it if you will – is how this story makes the reader feel. Passion and love for art, each other, and life; angst and heartache over the impossibility of the situation, bad decisions and egotistical, self-serving characters; emptiness and happiness. It’s all there no matter how many times you read The Art Teacher.
Go on – read this passionate story and allow spanglemaker9 to reveal what a master artist she is. Feel her perfect brushstrokes uncover Edward and Bella’s souls while simultaneously covering the canvass to make up the big picture, and remember, don’t just stand back and admire the painting – lose yourself in it!
Summary: He gave me art and words and passion and life, but all I wanted was him. Romance/Drama Rated: M Bella & Edward Complete
“When I say artist I mean the one who is building things … some with a brush – some with a shovel – some choose a pen.” ~Jackson Pollock
Sometimes stories just stick with you..haunt you..make you think and ponder. Branching Inward does this. It’s a story filled with layers upon layers-mystery, intrigue, love and passion and strong, memorable characters. Even now there are times when certain FicSister fingers scroll through libraries of fics and nothing is quite hitting the spot, LifeInTheSnow‘s intelligent, thoughtful words call out.
We all love a tortured, passionate Edward…can’t resist the brooding, moody moments and the lure of his hidden depths. Branching Inward’s Edward is all of this and more; a charismatic artist, lecturing and inspiring. He may also be incredibly sexy… 😉
The scene in the prologue, just as Bella makes the decision to join the staff at Newhaven and spots an unusual man through the window, stays with everyone who’s read it…
“He surprised me by stepping off the path, leaving oval impressions in the ankle-deep powder as he stalked toward the snow-laden branches of the round oak. Without its leaves, frosted all over with a white fringe, the tree reminded me of a dandelion, spherical and spindly- but huge, probably hundreds of years old.
Effortlessly, this person hauled himself up onto a low branch and scrambled up a bit. The tree was stronger than I thought, barely moving under his weight. He was suddenly closer to me—if he climbed much further we would be at eye level.
Now my mystery man lingered in his perch, elbows braced against a leafless tree limb. I stayed totally still, transfixed by the character in the tree, not wanting the show to end and really hoping it wouldn’t end with him startled by yours truly and pitching into thin air. He just gazed at his surroundings with an inscrutable expression. He looked pained, cautious—conflicted somehow. Steam puffed out from his lips and the recess between his neck and his scarf.
As he turned his face a few degrees-away from the tree, toward the sun-I gasped to see a shock of brilliant color refracted in his eyes. I could see even from this distance that his eyes were green like soft moss. His one gloved hand rose to remove the woolly hat and shake ice chunks loose, revealing a mop of unruly bronze hair. His other hand, bare and wet with crystals of clean snow, raked across his forehead and through his hair, and he visibly relaxed. Small lines of worry disappeared from his face.
He palmed some fresh snow and scraped it along the back of his neck and up along his temples.
I gulped, blinking slowly.
If I thought he was handsome before, he was utterly transcendent at this moment. Peaceful and exposed, neither suffering through the cold nor immune to it, but absorbing it with an uncritical openness that shocked me. The sun danced in his eyes and he seemed to take a moment to bask in the cold, bright light.
Then, just as quickly, his expression clouded over once again. He squinted and looked down, hopping lightly to the ground and walking back in the direction he came.”
As the story gently unfolds, we learn of past sadness and watch as both Bella and Edward begin to trust each other and piece together small, but significant clues which help to lift dark clouds hanging over Edward and his family. Their connection is beautiful, the story captivating, the writing exquisite.
It’s easy to devour this from beginning to end every time, every reread. The words are like poetry, the imagery so vivid, it’s like visiting another world, like living in the story…maybe it’s time to lose yourself.
Summary: He’s a brilliant, sensual, tactile artist with a huge personality and love for life…at least, he used to be. She’s a shrewd historian, content to observe from a distance…until now. At Newcoven College in Clearwater, OH, no secret is safe. All Human. Complete.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton Thomas Merton
Spanglemaker9 is one of the best authors in the fandom – her stories are on our top ten favourites lists and she delights fans everywhere. We are honoured she joins us today!
I love artists. I love writing about them and I love reading about them. I think it’s because I was a visual artist long before I was a writer and I’m still largely visual when I tell stories and read them. As much as I like it when Edward only has eyes for Bella, it’s equally appealing when he gets lost in his art. Talent is hot!
A couple of my favorite Artistswards (besides the ones I’ve written, of course!):
Branching Inward by Life in the Snow: Perhaps the best Artistward ever written and one of my all-time favorite fics. (See FicSister review above.)
Memento Mori by BlueIsSoul– A fantastic one-shot, very different from the norm.
“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” ~ Auguste Rodin
More Artistwards to keep you happy! (Please note as well as traditional artists such as painters etc we have also added artistic photographers, museum curators, designers etc for your reading pleasure!)
Full Length Fics
From the bottom of our little fic-loving hearts, we would like to thank Amanda Black for sharing herself, Ruth Clampett for her amazing generosity, Lynzylee for sharing her passion, and Spanglemaker9 for being her lovely self. We truly hope there is a story here that catches your eye and ignites your soul!
Wishing you all peace in your hearts.