Reader & Writer Q&A and a few wrap up questions…
sally: I want to know why Sol’s fics are always so sad!
Sol: Hi Sally, thanks for the wonderfully interesting questions! I wish I had a solid reason to state why my stories are often sad, mostly the wistful endings. However, most of it is not because I set out to write “sad” stories. Of times, a story/plot comes to my mind and I feel compelled to write it. Over the course of plotting and building upon the storyline, if the road leading to the ending twists and turns out to be unhappy – then it is what it is. I don’t intentionally seek out to write sorrow-ridden stories although the majority has end up that way. Though, I have found that one of the emotions that tends to make us remember more is a sad one; it is almost as though we seek the other side of happiness in order to consider something memorable. The saying, “you never know what you have until it’s gone” aptly applies to demonstrate how sad endings impact you more than happy endings. I do want to state that I have fought over happy versus sad endings for all of my stories, but metaphorically the coin flip tends to favor the latter.
sally: Do you ever feel pressure at all?
Sol: I think that is quite a very important and frank question. To be perfectly honest and avoid having to sugar-coat anything, I don’t feel any pressure writing fictions to be well-received by the Soomp! fanfiction section. No one writer should ever burden themselves with such superficial pressure, I have learned. If that was that case, I would have probably stopped posting/sharing my stories a long time ago. To feel pressured is a heavy load and unnecessary load of stress to put on myself if that were ever to be the case.
As I mentioned before, I write for me – for catharsis; therefore, it is the best feeling in the world to know that I get an intangible joy from writing for myself above all – before I ever share it with others. The only pressure I feel regarding posting/sharing my stories online is the fact that they are distributed outside of Soomp! without my prior knowledge and written consent. The issue of online posting can be stressful in the sense that I always strive to protect my works; I have only ever shared my stories on Soomp! and my wish is to keep it exclusive to Soomp! However, I have learned that nothing that ever goes on the internet is private so I have learned to relinquish that control/pressure factor that plagues me. When it comes to my stories, I feel much like a mother lion ready to protect her cubs because they are not only precious but very personal. It is almost like handing pieces of your heart around to other people and hoping that they don’t lose a piece or give it to someone who can really do permanent damage to it.
Aymez: I really love your stories and it’s amazing that you could manage both work and writing fanfics at the same time. Which brings me to my question, I hope it’s not too personal but does is your profession related to writing (i.e. journalism, screenwriter etc)? You’re an inspiration to many young writers out there who are actually pursuing degrees not related to writing.
Sol: Hi aymez,
Thank you for taking the time out to cultivate such a meaningful question. And I truly appreciate your compliments – in particularly regarding me, Solangel the writer, as an inspiration to the other young writers who are pursuing degrees not related to writing. To answer your question, my profession is not related to writing (in terms of journalism, screen writing, editing, etc.,); however, I am heavily involved with research writing. Research writing is more about the written composition of cold, hard facts that are deemed to be relevant to the topic at hand. Therefore, there is less ‘reality escapes’ compared to the fictions that I write (as a hobby, therapeutic session – if you will). As a result, it is hard at times to balance between my offline life and my online life on Soomp! I do try my best to manage both, but I do admit that more than often one suffers because of the other.
Delusionalbetch: Hey Sol! I am deeply moved and impressed by your writing which makes me curious about your age, inspirations, journey. I know what I’m asking is very broad to make it clearer, what motivated you to write CBU, BP, TJOBH and LB? And if given the opportunity would you allow your stories to be published?
Sol: Hi =) Thank you so much for the flattering compliment regarding my writings! I mentioned the multiple layers that motivated me to write CBU, Bp, TJOBH, TAS, and LB both individually and as whole already in the interview with Phim (a.k.a. starforme/fancracked). However, I don’t mind restating that underneath the umbrella of why I write is based off of intrinsic motivation as well as a need for therapeutic release. I have been asked many times regarding if I would ever publish my stories, and the truth of matter is I am still waiting for the “right time and place.” However, my goal has never been to have my stories published. I still need to improve on many aspects of my writing before I decide to pursue publication. I enjoy where I am at right now (Soomp!) so at the moment, no. However, in the future it is a very large possibility.
gogodamsel: I’ve already told you this before, but I’m going to tell you again: you are an extraordinary writer, and I admire you so much. I really think you have the potential to become the next Robert Ludlum or Stieg Larsson. Seriously. I wonder, who’s your favorite published author?
Sol: I cannot put into words just how humbled and honored I feel for your wonderful comments. To compare me to Robert Ludlam (the Godfather of thriller novels) and Stieg Larsson (the pundit of crime fictions) is not only humbling but very sweet of you! To answer your question, I do not have one favorite published author: I have many. And this is only because I believe books are all separate journeys, stories, that are told by a variety of people. Each one more different than the next; therefore, I respect each and every published author out there due to the fact that their works cater to different readers’ preferences as well as their own personal propensity for writing. As a result, the range of authors that I admire are quite an eclectic group; on one end you have F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, W.H. Auden and the other author’s the defy fiction such as JK Rowling and Anne Rice. Then again, I also have a soft spot for classic adolescent literary writers such as Judy Blume and R.L. Stine. The list can go on and on =)
Syalovee: Hi Sol! I’m a big fan of your current story. I want to ask, what are you currently doing ? Are you working, or studying. If it is, please state your field. I sound like a stalker .___. I’m sorry! It is just that I’m really curious about your offline life lol. Another question, what inspired you to write deep and dark story like Love Bugged? It took a lot to write something that dark. Thank youu <3
Sol: Hi; thank you so much for reading Love Bugged currently. To answer your question, it has always been a personal preference of mine to not answer personal questions about myself. It is not because I am distancing myself from my readers, but rather I would like readers to read my stories without any preconceived notions about its author. It may be a big assumption to make that details about me as a person may affect how others read my stories, but I personally feel it is better that I remain in the shadows and allow my stories take on the spotlight. I hope you understand =) And to answer your question about what inspired me to write a deep and dark story like Love Bugged, I mentioned some of the main reasons in the interview already. But I would like to add that ultimately what drove me to write Love Bugged was the need to tell a story that reflects human characteristics and traits of people who do not have such fortunate lives. It was a therapeutic process for me to write it, and I am thankful that I did and even more grateful that I have readers like you who enjoy it.
Jia_kickass31: Hi Sol, i hope scribd already responded to your request. i love your stories and i just wish people will respect you and your work. i want to know more about you on a personal level. aside from writing, what is your regular job/profession? ^-^ [Also] what’s your ethnicity?
slowly, let’s unfold the mystery that Sol is. :D
Sol: Hi! Thank you so much for mentioning the situation with scibd; it reminded me that I still have readers like you who are mindful of the current situation, and support me. It means a lot and I appreciate that. I want you to know that it is absolutely nothing personal for me because I am unable to answer any of your questions. The reason being is they are all good questions regarding my whereabouts offline. I completely understand the natural curiosity since I have been on Soomp! For so long. However, as I mentioned in my answer in my answer to Syalovee I prefer to keep personal details about myself private because by doing so I have managed to allow my stories the spotlight rather than its author =) I recognize your SN from Soomp! and I want you to know just how much I appreciate your support as a regular reader.
Rin: Sol, I’ve told you this before many times but you are an amazing writer and your stories are incredible. I wonder…are your families, friends, peers, co-workers, etc…aware of your writing skills/hobby as well as your popularity on Soompi? Do any of these people you know in your offline life read your stories themselves?
Sol: Hi Rin, we discussed a lot during our PM exchanges on Soomp! and it is awesome that you reached out to me through this medium as well. To answer your interesting question, many people in my life know of my affinity for writing, but only a few I have chosen to disclose my works to (definitely my immediate family first and foremost). The reason being is that writing is a very personal, therapeutic process that I go through. It is one of the few things that I do for myself, as selfish as it may sounds, and it is also why I value it so much. To be even more frank, it is somewhat easier to share my writings with strangers than those closest to me because many a times what I go through in my personal life are channeled through my writing. So when I can finally detach from my life and write, it is a personal process and therapeutic process for myself. I believe in doing so, I have been able to keep a healthy balance for my mental and emotional expression. I hope that made sense. I also want to thank you for the unconditional support you have showered for not only me, but my stories as well (especially Love Bugged). It is one thing to write, but it always a bigger reward to have readers who truly enjoy the story. So I want to thank you for that =)
HELLO: Hi, Solangel. I have a question for you! Where do you get inspiration from? Where do you get ideas for your writing? How long does it take for you to form a stable plot? Are your characters/plots based on people you know or real life situations you’ve seen or experienced?
Sol: Hi =) As I mentioned in the interview, I get my inspirations from many times in life. The most being music. I am very musically inclined and driven; I listen to almost anything and everything as long as it has a memorable melody and lyrics. However, most of the time I get inspired to write a story because of a cluster of motivations. Usually, the inspiration of a plot can come from my personal observations of the life around me, a lyric, or a simple need to tell a certain story. As a result, there is usually not a time line that takes me to form a stable plot; some times a plot can take me just a couple of hours to cement while other times it may take me years. It all depends on the story that is attached to the plot; then, the events flow together to form the story. So, my characters and plots are loosely based of people I know in real life as well as situations that I have seen and experienced; they can also be the result of fictitious imagination (well, the majority of my stories are the result of the latter). At the end of the day, I am a person who is inundated with life experiences so naturally many of those experiences have transferred into my writings – although heavily exaggerated and embellished upon. What wonderfully insightful questions, thank you for asking them!
fancracked: If you could dedicate songs to characters/certain relationships (friendships/romantic ones), what songs would you choose?
Sol: Ah, you hit the nail on the head with this one =) The songs I usually choose for a story engage a mix of English and Korean lyrics; mostly it’s the melody and the lyrics that evoke a certain emotion I wish for the story. However, I do encourage readers to find songs that befit their mood when they read as well. There is something about music that just seems to enhance just about every experience imaginable. Please keep in mind that when these songs were chosen, they matched the year and time I wrote them.
For CBU, there were an eclectic combination of songs.
Hope – Who am I to Say (JaeWon + May)
As One – Waterfall (For all the characters as it was presented in the epilogue).
Lexy Feat. Park Bom – Baby Boy (JaeWon + TaeHee)
Lim Jeong Hee Feat. Tablo – Never Know (SangWoo + MiSun)
J – Crush of Love (SangWoo + May)
For BP, both songs were dedicated to DongMin & SuVy:
Shane Ward – Until You
DJ Sammy (Candlelight Slow Remix) – Heaven
For TJOBH, both songs were applied to all the characters in one way or another:
One Republic – Apologize
Rain (a.k.a. Bi) – But I love you
For TAS, it was a very sorrowful story so these two songs depict the story:
Eco Bridge Feat. Bubble Sisters – Never Do
T (Tasha) – Mal uhb shi ool duh ra do
For LB, there are many songs because of the high emotions embedded. The list is still growing since many readers are contributing to it well. I have not labeled which song belongs to what characters/scenes yet since
Kelis – Brave
Shontelle – Impossible
Mblaq Feat. C-luv – If you come into my heart
Jo Sung Mo – More and More
Rihanna – Love the way you live (solo version)
Nancy Sinatra – Bang Bang
fancracked: We’ve touched on a lot of topics in this interview, but I’m wondering if there’s something (or a few things) that are on your mind that you’d like to share with us (:
Sol: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to have this space as an open-ended shout box. I think one thing about myself that I would like to highlight is that I am an unusually private writer. In fact, it has been 8 years since I have decided to post/share my stories online, and I have chosen very little to disclose about myself personally. I feel as an online writer, all of my stories represent my mental interworking and provides a platform for self divulgence, so whatever I can keep private and have unaffected when readers read my stories – I strive for that. In addition, I am usually very laxed about posting on Soomp! but tend to be fiercely protective of the distribution of my work without my knowledge or consent. I’ve likened it to giving someone a piece of my heart and then having that person give it to others with my knowing. It is just not a great feeling to know that your work may be misused. So I want to clear up any misconceptions readers may have of me (whether it is because I am so relationally distant or why I am so protective of my works). I do not post and share my stories to gain popularity and recognition; that would ultimately destroy the personal goal of writing for me. There may come a day when I choose to become a public author and publish a story of mine, but I want all my readers at Soomp! to know that I will never ever forget the experiences I have gained in all my years on Soomp! Soomp! readers have contributed a lot to that, and although I may have gone through some negative, positive, and neutral experiences I appreciate them nonetheless.
fancracked: As the general closure question, would you like to send out any message(s) to anyone? ^^
Sol: First and foremost, I would like to send a warm and appreciative thank you to you Phim for asking me to do this interview: for your patience, and especially your understanding the prolonged time to get this interview together (including your considerate suggestion about posting it in April). Your blog is a wonderful platform to shine various spotlights on readers and writers, so I can only imagine and wish bigger and better things for your future endeavors. Also, for being such a wonderful fanfic moderator!
Next, I would like to just provide a general shoutout/message to those readers of mine who continue to unconditionally extend their support for me and my stories. I wish I could use beautifully crafted words and amazing analogies to describe exactly how grateful, appreciative, and humbled I am by them. However, I realize when it comes to showing one’s thankfulness – less is always more. So to those readers, and I am sure they know who they are, I want to let them know that Solangel would not be Solangel and CBU, BP, TJOBH, TAS, and LB would never attain and reach so many emotions without them!
In addition, with the flux of new stories and authors on Soomp! I find it flattering that some of my fellow writers regard me as an inspiration and even emulate my writings. However, I want to encourage each and every talented writer to find their own style and niche. What makes the Soomp! fanfic section so extraordinary is it accepts the madness that goes inside each and every author’s mind without question. It is also the breeding ground for discovering yourself as a writer. Trust me, I experienced this first hand. So I wish to extend and express this extent of camaraderie to those who write and read in the Soomp! fanfic section =)
— Part I can be read here.
— Part II can be read here.