NTMI: Good evening, everyone! I'm here this evening with battlesunn, whose stories have managed to hit more than one funny bone out there in Neopia. Welcome, battlesunn!
Battlesunn: Hi there, Scriptfox. It's great to be here.
NTMI: Our first question is how did you find Neopets?
Battlesunn: I found it when I was over at my cousin's, he was playing it and told me to give it a shot.
NTMI: So what gave you the name of Battlesunn? Or the idea for it I should say.
Battlesunn: Well, battlesunn isn't actually my first account. My first was called Zimzimsonny, that account is dead.
Battlesunn: On my user lookup it says that my name is sunny, that isn't true. It's actually my dog's name. I wanted a name with that in it, and I liked battling from my old account, so... battlesunn was born.
NTMI: Why did you change from the old account?
Battlesunn: I lost interest... Went on to other things. I saw my brother playing it again, so I decided to try it again. It was better, anyway. They had added things. I couldn't remember my password to Zimzimsonny, though.
Battlesunn: You can see that I'm rather obsessed with my dog.
NTMI: Well surely the affection is returned!
NTMI: So what do you enjoy most about Neopets?
Battlesunn: I'd have to say... The NT. I just think that it's really cool how they have a newspaper that you can write to, it really boosts self esteem.
NTMI: You're not the first to find that out, and surely not the last either! What does an "average day" in Neopia consist of for you?
Battlesunn: Let's see, I log on, Zap poor Mordegan at the ray, do the shrine, tombola, fruit machine... etc. Then I answer all my mails and check to see if my pets are hungry.
Battlesunn: Then I usually log off for awhile, and come back later in the afternoon.
NTMI: What happens then?
Battlesunn: That's when I try making money off the restocks and stuff and do a bit of writing.
Battlesunn: The battledome is also a key element in my day.
NTMI: Speaking of writing, what got you started writing for the Times?
Battlesunn: Well, in zimzimsonny, I really, really loved reading the NT. There are some great stories in there.
Battlesunn: I had never considered actually writing to it, I was too afraid of rejection.
Battlesunn: Then I finally wrote something, and it was rejected. I wrote something else, and it got in. That was the horrible " "Scaredey acara" short story.
NTMI: Horrible, eh.... in other words, you've improved since then?
Battlesunn: I think that "The hidden tower coupon" was quite a jump, though my favorite piece of work would probably have to be "Sloth's vacation."
Battlesunn: I had fun writing that one. I also loved writing "Vote for Sloth"
Battlesunn: I've been thinking about doing some more work with that character.
NTMI: He's easy to parody! LOL... besides Sloth, what's your favorite things to write?
Battlesunn: I love writing comedies. I think that without some sort of humor, a story will die.
Battlesunn: I'm also writing a series again, I got lots of feedback from my first one.
NTMI: The Plushie Factory.... are you going to continue with the same characters?
Battlesunn: Possibly, I had an ok time with that one. I might do a sequel.
NTMI: Well as I recall, she got out, but you still have to wonder about her friends!
Battlesunn: That's true... I was thinking about that. Oh yeah, I'm also writing a "Bedtime stories II" I'm not kidding, it has been my lifetime annoyance.
NTMI: Bedtime Stories are?
Battlesunn: My first story was called "Bedtime stories I: Scaredey acara" --I had originally planned to do a large series, but I neglected it.
NTMI: Ohhh, well we'll definitely keep the covers warm for ya.... so what sources of inspiration do you have to come up with story ideas?
Battlesunn: Well, I know that it sounds odd but my biggest inspiration would have to be the caption competition pictures.
Battlesunn: The idea for "Sloth's vacation" sprung from caption competition 137.
Battlesunn: Another biggie is that period of time when you're sitting in a movie theatre, eating popcorn, waiting for the movie to start...
Battlesunn: But the idea for "Vote for sloth" Came from that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns runs for governor.
Battlesunn: It's pretty easy to place Mr. Burns and Sloth in the same boat.
NTMI: ... and with THAT observation we move on to the next question... how long does it take to write a story?
Battlesunn: It depends... It took two months for "The plushie factory" to be completed, and I still feel like it's not complete!
NTMI: What's the fast side?
Battlesunn: If I'm really inspired, it might only take about two or three hours to write a short story, including the editing process.
Battlesunn: Depends if my mom interrupts me to check my brother's camp website.
NTMI: Oh, keeping tabs on him remotely?
Battlesunn: He's gone to a three week camp, they post pictures of the kids sometimes on the website. My mom is obsessed with making sure that her little boy's ok.
NTMI: Well let's not tell him that we're using his computer while he's gone, ok?
Battlesunn: *Cough* He owes me anyway. Besides, I'm older than him. I could easily get him to shut up.
NTMI: Ohhh, well in that case.... What sort of feedback do you normally get when a piece is published?
Battlesunn: Hmm... Well, the amount of neomail is severely outweighed by neofriend requests, guild invites and battle challenges.
Battlesunn: But I always get lots of nice mails anyways.
NTMI: Oh no, not *gasp* SPAM!
Battlesunn: You betcha. I've found that I get a lot more mails if my story is featured on the front page or if it has a snazzy picture.
NTMI: Certainly sounds logical! So what advice would you give to anyone else wanting to get into the Times?
Battlesunn: Well, obviously the biggest piece is to be original. I've seen too many stories with the same plot... "How so and so was rescued from the evil pound and was painted faerie"
Battlesunn: But another one is to only write when you want to.
Battlesunn: Never force yourself to write just to make a deadline.
Battlesunn: If you do, your work will diminish in quality and come out used and tired.
NTMI: Well if the editor rejects what you write, you never made the deadline anyway did you.
Battlesunn: Lol, that's an excellent point. Take your time, people!
NTMI: Besides boring plots, what other faults do you often see in stories written for the Times?
Battlesunn: Cliches. You know, "Unis, kyriis and pets painted faerie and evil bullies."
Battlesunn: Yup. There's enough in the real world, let's not make Neopia that way.
NTMI: I think it's a natural human tendency. People would probably go nuts if they couldn't use any stereotypes. Anyhow, what do you like best about being in the Times?
Battlesunn: The feedback, and that great feeling of pride and accomplishment when you see that golden quill in your trophy case.
NTMI: And the worst part?
Battlesunn: Ugh... The spamming. I don't mind friendly mails complimenting my work or giving constructive criticism, but when people mail me saying things like, "Yur stori waz cool be my neofrend" --that frys me.
NTMI: Sort of a case of "why do I even bother opening your mail, bozo" ?
Battlesunn: Bullseye. I've also have people asking for my pets. THEY ARE NOT UP FOR GRABS!!!
NTMI: Incredibly dumb. Speaking from personal experience, let me add that any author who has written a lot about their pet has more than just "a pet", it's part of them and it is NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!
Battlesunn: Let's hope that those people hear that. (um, read that) Like I'm going to write a story about my lupe and then abandon him.
Battlesunn: It's annoying, but not to the point where you want to stop writing.
NTMI: Bingo. But enough ranting (maybe hopefully). Next question: if you could change one thing about how the Times is organized, what would it be?
Battlesunn: Well, it's pretty good, but I'd have to say the story links on the front page. It's like placing them. I feel like some people only read what's on the front page, and ignore everything else. Otherwise, I think it rocks!
NTMI: In other words, try to find a different way of featuring stories so that more have a chance?
Battlesunn: Yeah... That's a better way of saying it.
NTMI: Great! And now that we've got the Times figured out, have you gotten anything else published on the Neopets site?
Battlesunn: Yup. I had two poems published, and I won the storytelling contest. (Links to all of those can be found on Shelleylou's page)
Battlesunn: I'm hoping to win the art competition sometime.
NTMI: Been submitting entries?
Battlesunn: Yeah... Only every time I do, the next art gallery thing is some weird special that I had no idea was coming up! Ah well... One of these days...
NTMI: Exactly! How about outside of Neopets? Anything else out there we need to know about?
Battlesunn: Well, I had a poem about Canada published in the local newspaper, and I won an art competition for the SPCA. (I drew a picture of a tiger that won first place for my age group.)
NTMI: Whoa, nice. Anything online?
Battlesunn: Unfortunately, no.
NTMI: Yeah, too bad. How about future goals, though? What do you hope to accomplish with your writing (and drawing)?
Battlesunn: I think that I'd like to be a writer. Of children's books, most likely. (Just like my hero, Gordan Korman) --I might also like to be a character designer for some animation company. Disney's villains are so lame nowadays.
NTMI: Hehe... well that's all I had to ask. Anything more you'd like to tell us?
Battlesunn: Sure. Lupes rule!!!! And so do golden retrievers, and so does NTAG.
Battlesunn: oops... Bad grammar on my part.
NTMI: Lol, so there you have it, folks, another ringing endorsement (well, multiple endorsements...) thanks for your time, Battlesunn!
Battlesunn: My pleasure.
Would you like to read all of Battlesunn's stories? Just click here to check her out in our database!