50 questions with author Emulated

[WARNING: The post may contain spoilers.]

Emulated is best known for his stories A Vulcan’s Love and American Differences. I spent some time getting to know him, and asking a few questions in an interview with him. Here is what he had to share.

Q. Tell me what sort of stuff inspires you in your writing?

A. All different things inspire me in my writing. Sometimes a particular story line/plot may be based on a similar event that I am aware of personally, but most of the time it’s all decided in my head. Amusingly, I get a lot of inspirations during car journeys. I have no idea why, but I can come out of the car at the other end brimming with ideas!

Q. What are your favourite books?

A. My favourite books are: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Kite Runner

Q. What inspired you to write A Vulcan’s Love?

A. I wrote A Vulcan’s Love because I wanted to read a Star Trek story. Confused? Well the thing is that while there are many Star Trek stories online, most of the ones that focus on a ‘gay storyline’ are generally slash fiction. Therefore seeing an emptiness in the ‘market’ I sought out to fill that void with a story that I, myself as a reader and Star Trek fan, would enjoy.

Q. Does T’Luk or Kai represent anyone in your life?

A. As Kai was the first protagonist that I ever created, some parts of his personality are based off me. Like his humour, or interest into different cultures. As for T’Luk, in part he represents my logical and cool side. But as a whole, they are both very much on their own, in that they aren’t based on any particular people in my life.

Q. What inspired you to write American Differences?

A. In the beginning, American Difference was a type of ‘experiment’ of sorts. I mean that in the sense that A Vulcan’s Love was released in a very ‘controlled’ environment. E.g. There was very little in terms of direct competition, and I knew quite a lot about the Star Trek Universe. With American Differences, that all goes out of the window, due to the extreme competition and variety of that genre.

What drove me to choose that genre was because of A Vulcan’s Love. I released chapter one of A Vulcan’s Love three months before and had received a large amount of very kind feedback. One comment that many people made was the fact that they liked my writing style. So in my attempt to broaden my writing skills, and ‘Emulated’ bookshelf, I went about to make American Differences. But while it began as an ‘experiment’ I quickly changed my position on the story and immediately considered it to be equal to that of A Vulcan’s Love.

Q. Do any of the characters in American Differences represent anyone in your life?

A. Actually, none of the main characters in American Differences represent anyone in my life. Again, this tied into the fact that I wanted to push the boat out there, even from a writing perspective. Some of the secondary characters do have some similar traits from real life people, like some of the teachers are similar to some teachers that I have had during my schooling. But as for the main characters, they’re all unique.

Q. Is there anyone who inspires and/or encourages you to write?

A. Outside of ‘Emulated’, no one in my ‘actual’ life knows that I write, so all of my inspiration/encouragement comes from online. As for people who inspire me, well the works of people such as Comicality, and Dom Luka are very inspiring, so I strive to make my stories match their stellar quality. In terms of encouragement, that comes from everyone who have taken the time to email me. It’s a very kind and encouraging gesture.

Q. What is the most thoughtful feedback you have received from a reader?

A. There is one particular reader, someone who I keep in contact with now, and who was also one of the first people to comment on my stories. They typed out quite a lengthy email detailing what they liked/thought about my story, and made some other kind comments. It was a very kind thing to do, and was greatly appreciated at that early stage in my writing.

Q. How did you find your editors, and do they provide you with thoughtful feedback?

A. My brilliant editor, TalonRider, actually approached me on GayAuthors.org, and offered his editing services to me. I had been writing for a few months at that point, (and had been thoroughly enjoying it) so I jumped on the offer! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Talon provides some brilliant feedback. Whether it is a note about a particular sentence, or the story in general, I very much appreciate his opinion/views.

Q. Why Riker and not someone else as Captain in A Vulcan’s Love?

A. I wanted all of the main characters in A Vulcan’s Love to be original characters. (E.g. they weren’t in Star Trek). But to limit the ‘alienation’ for the reader, I decided to choose a setting that many Trek fans would be familiar with. Also, given the time and plot the story followed, having the story based on the Titan seemed natural, and by having Riker as Captain, it kept our feet rooted to the ground, so to speak.

Q. What sorts of car journeys do you go on?

A. Usually it’s just the odd journey to the shops or to see family, but even a few minutes in a car would get my mind wandering!

Q. Tell me about the book The Kite Runner?

A. Well it’s a book that I’ve studied at school, but before you roll your eyes, this was actually one that I really enjoyed. It basically follows the life of a young boy who lived in Afghanistan when he was twelve, and how his life changed when the Soviet Union moved in, in 1980. It’s graphic and crude in places, but a very good read.

Q. Do you not like Star Trek slash stories?

A. To be completely honest, not so much. You see, my problem is that they (the authors) are using characters who we all know and (perhaps) love, but then they ‘mould’ them to fit their story. But hey, if it wasn’t for slash, then perhaps there wouldn’t be as much online gay fiction about. So I try not to be too hypercritical, but it’s the original ideas that work better for me.

Q. What do you think of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer?
A. I’ve never read anything from that series, but I hear they’re quite good! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q. Is there another gay online author to whom you look up to, and if so, why?

A. Now that’s a tough one, as there’s quite a few. If it came down to it, I’d probably say Comicality. The guy is a literary genius, not to mention that it was his stories that I first started reading (so he gets brownie points there!) But I look up to him in the sense that first and foremost, he’s a great guy. What he set out to do, and what he does is just remarkable. It transcends the fact that he’s an awesome author to just being a good person.

Q. Do you have any little quirks when you are writing?

A. Sex scenes. Without a doubt it’s the sex scenes that really get to me. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps it’s just the mechanics or something, but I just find them hard. Especially when you want to make each one different, memorable even.

Q. Do you have a particular goal that you wish to reach, in terms of writing?
A. Other than sitting on Comicality’s shoulders? ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, I don’t really have a particular goal as such. All I’d like to see is something still being released with the Emulated name tag in years to come.

Q. How many drafts do you typically go through in a chapter?

A. I don’t go through drafts of a chapter, per se, but I do go back and rewrite/amend some particular scenes. About three times for some scenes.

Q. Who is your favourite Star Trek character of all time?

A. Awww, so many to choose from…I have quite a few at the top, but to pick one of them, it’d be the Doctor from Voyager. He’s fantastic!

Q. A common question for published authors, but a valid one nonetheless: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in writing online stories?

A. Write. Pick up a pen, (or use a computer) and just start writing. Reading is just as important though. Not because you want to steal ideas, but so you can see what other people have done/what you can do. But most of all, just let your imagination run wild. If you think up some ‘crazy’ idea, think about it some more, you might be on track for the plot for your first story!

Q. If you could meet Comicality, what would you ask him?

A. Aside from his real name and phone number? No, I’m kidding. But I would thank him for sharing his wonderful stories with the world! As for a question, I’d ask him what he sees for the future of Comicality (i.e. The future of his writings/stories).

Q. How long have you been writing creatively?

A. Aside from any essays for school, A Vulcan’s Love was my first attempt at writing creatively. So that was a little over a year ago now.

Q. What authors influence your writing?

A. Well I aspire to be as great as someone like Comicality, Dom Luka or Viv, but as for influencing, I try to write in a different direction from them, to further separate us.

Q. What is the biggest challenge when you write A Vulcan’s Love?

A. The biggest challenge I had when I first started writing was Kai’s name. Coincidentally, both Matt and Jamie were options, but I settled on Kai. As for a challenge that I face in every chapter, it’s trying to walk the fine line between ‘not enough Trek’ and ‘too much Trek’. I want the story to appeal to as many people as possible, to I try to balance them both out.

Q. What is your plan for your next story?
A. Ssshhhh!!! I can’t tell you that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have a few ideas floating around at the moment for a new series for next year, but nothing solid.

Q. If you had a million pounds, what would you do with it?

A. Aside from giving away a generous amount to both charities and family, I’d probably use it to travel, to see some of the world. It’d be great to spend a few months on each continent, visiting many different countries. Yep, that’s what I’d do!

Q. What are your favourite films?

A. I love Star Trek (obviously!), Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Lord of the Rings.

Q. Where do you travel the most?

A. Most of the time it’s travelling into central London. There’s nothing better than spending a day in the capital!

Q. What do you always bring with you on your car trips?

A. It depends. If it’s a short trip then it’s usually just my iPod or something, but if it’s a long journey, then I’d take a book.

Q. When did you feel most out of your comfort zone?

A. Hmmm, probably on my first day in high school. It was INCREDIBLY different to primary school in every way. Ironically, I ended up loving high school over primary school, mainly because they didn’t treat you like kids anymore!

Q. Where did Kai’s name come from?

A. I’m not really sure to be honest. It was just a name that I really liked.

Q. If Dom Luka could give you one thing, what would you want it to be?
A. His talent with writing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, I’m not too sure, perhaps a few pointers on some stuff I’m working on, but other than that, just reading his stories is rewarding enough!

Q. What’s on your favourite iPod play list?

A. My favourite play list has a little bit of everything, from Daniel Merriweather, U2, Lady GaGa, and some Beethoven thrown into the mix!

Q. If Santa Claus met Kai and T’Luk what would he say to them and what would they say to him?

A. Hehehe, he’d probably ask them what they’d like for Christmas, while they’d ask ‘What’s Christmas?’. Saying that, T’Luk would probably raise an eyebrow and state, ‘Intriguing’.

Q. Who’s the bottom? Kai or T’Luk?

A. I’ve always tried to show that while all of my characters are versatile, my protagonists are ever so slightly submissive (only in the bedroom). So T’Luk would bottom 45% and Kai 55% of the time.

Q. Describe your working relationship with your editors.

A. My editor, TalonRider, and I have a great working relationship. He’s both excellent at his ‘job’ and is just a generally great guy. And in the case of my Anthology entry, Neoplasia, he even beta-read that one for me too. I’m very lucky to have him as an editor, and a friend.

Q. If you could have lunch with a famous or historical person, who would it be, and why?

A. Sir Stephen Hawking. I’d want to have lunch with him because he is arguably one of our most prized scientists alive today. Not only that, but he has some very interesting views on both the future of Humanity, and how big a role space will play into that.

Q. Are there any published authors that you look up to?

A. Not so much, no. There are some published authors that I like, but I don’t particularly look up to any of them.

Q. Do you have any plans to publish any of your work?

A. Not right now, as for the future, I’ll just have to wait and see…;-)

Q. Have you ever thought when a hurst goes by that you might be the next to die?

A. Wow, a strong question there! Sure, death is something that crosses my mind on the rare occasion, like most people, but I don’t like to dwell on it! Besides, I still have so much left to do! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So many stories to write and finish!

Q. Are you a romantic in your personal life?

A. Hehe, I try to be. Yeah.

Q. Who is your favorite character in your stories so far and why?

A. I can’t tell you that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ok, aside from the protagonists, it’d probably be Alex from A Vulcan’s Love. Just because he’s such a decent guy who’s so full of life. He’d always be fun to be around.

Q. How do you come up with your story lines?

A. Most of the time I’m sitting there thinking about something completely unrelated when my mind forms a link to one of the stories and I think, ‘Huh, that might be a good idea…’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q. Since fiction writing is a creative endeavor and assuming you’ve experienced “writer’s block,” do you have ways of getting your creative juices flowing again?

A. If I have writer’s block, it’s usually because of a certain scene or action/event. So I’d instead write about another scene until I come back to it later. But if I really can’t bring myself to write, I don’t. I take a little while off and do something else that I enjoy.

Q. How long does it take you to write a chapter?

A. It varies, but from start to finish, about five days. Sometimes I can get them done in less, sometimes I get really behind and it takes a little longer. It all depends on what else is going on (like school work!). ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q. Who do you think you are?

A. Thinking is different than knowing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Q. Is there a particular scene in any of your stories that you look at now wishing you could go back and perhaps change in some small way?

A. There are some scenes in A Vulcan’s Love that touch upon sexuality. I’d probably like to rewrite them a bit. As for American Differences, I’d totally change the sex scene at the end of Chapter one. (I’d take the one from the beginning of chapter two.)

Q. If you could have one wish, would you give it to me?

A. Of course.

Q. What’s your favourite cereal?

A. Frosted Shreddies. For the non-English readers, they’re these little, sugar covered squares of wheat. They’re great! (Whoops, wrong cereal!)

Q. Boxers or briefs?
A. Boxers. ๐Ÿ˜‰