Tag Team Review and Author Interview: Sterek fanfic: I Know Where Babies Come From Derek by DiscontentedWinter

Sterek

Stiles finds a baby on the porch.

It looks exactly like him.

Well, this is awkward.


So several of us unicorns have fallen deep, deep into the rabbit hole of Sterek fan fiction. For the uninitiated this is free, online fiction,pairing Stiles and Derek from the TV show Teen Wolf. Fics can be set up in a million different ways - futuristic, past, canon (set in the universe the series is set), non-canon, werewolves, m-preg, human....there are so many different combinations. The one thing they have in common is that they feature Sterek (Stiles & Derek). Other pairings in this universe are Steter (Stiles/Peter), Jissac (Jackson/Isaac), Stanny (Stiles/Danny)...and probably many more, but Sterek is the main one.

I have read very little fan-fiction before and it was something I could take or leave but so many people were getting into Sterek that I dipped my toe into the water and before I knew it I was full on swimming in that pool. There are some amazing fan-fics out there, AO3 is a fantastic source of stories. 

There are several fan-fic authors I look out for now, but my absolute favourite is DiscontentedWinter AKA Lisa Henry. DW has the knack of writing dark or humorous or cute or smuff, but every single fiction has been amazing. Her recently completed I Know Where Babies Come From Derek completely blew me out of the water...I read it as it was being written and was literally waiting baited breath for each installment. 

Jenni Lea was reading it too and between us we decided that there was no way we could let this story go un-reviewed. This blog is here to share our love of the written word, especially those that we fall in love with, and I fell head over heels for the Sterek in this fiction. Anyway, here is what Jenni Lea and I thought and our interrogation of questions for Lisa.

Jenni Lea
Where do I even begin with this fic? I Know Where Babies Come From, Derek just may be one of my all time favorite Sterek fics - ever. It has everything I could ask for. It had fluff; it had angst; it had snark and sarcasm. Plus! No disappearing babies! <-- major selling point justsoyouknow.

DiscontentedWinter creates the perfect Stiles. She captures the true essence of who he is, that tough, sarcastic, balls-to-the-wall, fearless human amongst supernaturals. All of her other characters were perfectly portrayed as well. And to write a perfect story in only 15 days? That's some serious talent right there!

I have loved every single one of DW's fics (though I still haven't scrounged up the courage to read her Steter fic yet) and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Bravo!

Lorix
It is fair to say that all of DW/Lisa's Teen Wolf fan fics are amazing. I am super envious of this writer's talent, whatever style she aims for she carries off immaculately - from the heartbreaking Promise You'll Look After Him to the super-cute Bite Marks and Bendy Straws. I can't say I have a favourite among these fictions but there was something about the amazing feat of writing I Know Where Babies Come From Derek in fifteen days that made me want to review this here at BMBR.

At the beginning Stiles opens the door to find a baby version of himself on the step...or at least, that's what he thinks. As the fic goes on we find out it isn't baby Stiles but...well, I'll let you discover that. What this fic does so well is embrace the characters we love from the show and capture the best of them.

We see flaily Stiles, serious Stiles, falling in love Stiles, upset Stiles and each incarnation is so perfectly written...he is the most amazing character. Even the actor Dylan O'Brien saw the potential as he decided to try out for the best friend instead of the star of the show. Great characters make great fiction and Lisa takes this amazing creation and writes him in the most wonderful ways.

Derek too, the yin to Stiles yang. So opposite in many ways and yet the perfect complementary character. No wonder there is so much fiction written about these two. I don't even want to think about the issue of whether they should be canon or not - I don' think they need to be, the fiction written about them gives us them in so many ways. Here we see Derek as I like him the best. Gruff, unsure yet so protective. The hurt of his past is never far away from the surface of Derek and fics like this almost let him have some redemption from that. *Happy sigh*.

I can't not mention the Sheriff, Stiles' dad (known as John generally in fic though as yet unnamed in the show). He is, in many, many ways the silent star of the show and fics. I adore the Sheriff and any fic that has him portrayed as the protective, snarky, can't-deal-with-feelings-but-loves-his-son-more-than-life dad wins me over. He is the unsung hero of Teen Wolf, just a secondary character but the show would lose a lo9t without him. besides, this is the man that brought up Stiles and Stiles is the star of the show. Right?

This fic will cover pretty much every emotion possible in the space of one story. Tears - happy and sad. That clenching feeling when you realise they're in love. Stiles and Derek being dads...it really is a brilliant piece of work that left me grinning from ear-to-ear and all kinda gooey inside.




Of course, we couldn't fangirl all over this fic without inviting DicontentedWinter to answer some questions. I seriously do not know how she has time to fit everything in but being completely amazing she agreed. Here's what she had to say.

As a well known and loved established MM author, what made you decide to try the Sterek waters?
I’d been reading Sterek for a while – long before I ever watched an episode of Teen Wolf. I can’t even remember the first one I read. I think it was possibly Cornerstone by Vendelin. Anyway, my Goodreads feed was full of Sterek fics and I just ending up clicking on a few… and you know what happens next. Total hopeless addiction. I just fell in love with the characters, in all their permutations.

Then, around the beginning of December, there was a lot of controversy about whether or not fanfics should be listed and reviewed on Goodreads, and whether or not Goodreads reviewers were part of the fandom. A lot of people were understandably upset by this, including me, and it seemed like the best thing I could do to cheer people up was to write a Sterek fic for them. I posted Balloon Animals Are Awesome on December 17, 2014. Since then I’ve written over 130 000 words of Sterek or Steter. It’s been crazy, but also a lot of fun.

Your Sterek/Steter fan fics range from the very angsty to the very fluffy - do you have a particular style you like?
This is something I love so much about fan fiction. If I’m in the mood to write fluff, I can take those characters and write fluff. And then, the next day, I can take the same characters and write something really dark and heartbreaking. I don’t even have that freedom with my own characters, but in fan fiction you get to hit the “restart” button on the universe with each new story. I will always love writing angst, but it’s been so much fun to write the little bits of fluff like Bite Marks and Bendy Straws, or Eyebrows and the Scientific Method. They’re short and fun and ridiculous, and people on Goodreads reward me with gifs. It’s win/win!

This is purely for me...are you planning on writing more to your Steter fic Don't Fail Me Now? This story went against all my instincts of what I would love from Stiles...but I couldn't read it fast enough. I need more, it ended...well it ended where it did and I just need to know all the things that happen later.
I am, but this is a really dark story and I want to be really careful about how I handle it. It’s definitely one I’ll need to think about rather than just launching into it… which is how I usually write. I wrote it because I wanted to write something with Stockholm Syndrome, with no happy resolution. And the end game was always Steter (Stiles and Peter). So I’ll need to come up with a plot that has enough conflict in it to sustain the story, but it won’t be Stiles getting rescued and going back to his old self – the entirety of Don’t Fail Me Now rested on the idea that Stiles could never be the same after being possessed by the nogistune, and Peter was the only one who could save him, in his incredibly twisted way. I agree completely and I cannot wait to read what you come up with. This is an amazing piece of fic.

Do you have a fave fic you've written?
My favourite is Promise You’ll Look After Him. I wrote this one basically as an indulgent birthday present to myself. It’s hurt/comfort, which is one of my favourite things, and it’s written entirely in Second Person from the Sheriff’s POV, and really, everyone hates to read Second Person! But I think it worked surprisingly well, and most people seem to have really liked it. Most importantly it gave me the chance to write Sheriff Stilinski, and I love the Sheriff beyond words. He’s such a great character. I completely understand why this is your favourite. It is so moving. *Considers starting a Sheriff Stilinksi appreciation club* I ADORE the Sheriff - those Stilinski men, yep, I'm all over them. I wonder if anyone would feel like writing more Sheriff fic? *Side eyes Lisa...*

IKWBCFD was written in a ridiculously short amount of time, what a challenge to set yourself - can you tell us more about the idea for this fic and the logistics of writing so much in such a short time?
Fifteen chapters in fifteen days! I’ve decided the alternate title to this is “Suck it, Nanowrimo!”

My biggest secret is procrastination. Seriously. I used IKWBCFD to distract myself from the fact I should have actually been working on the sequel to Dark Space. I got a bit stuck on that for a while (the hazards of being a pantser and not a plotter) and took a little Sterek break to recharge the batteries. Luckily it seems to be working!

Logistically, it wasn’t that bad. There were a few times I worried I wouldn’t get the chapter done in a day, but I was on night shift for a lot of it (which meant down time at work in the wee hours when I could get some writing done) and days off for some of it as well. It actually wasn’t that difficult to hit 3500-4000 words per day as long as I kept the pace up. There was a lot of caffeine involved though, and a few days where I picked writing over sleeping, because Heidi Belleau and I had promised Riptide we’d have our Bliss sequel to them by the end of February. But it was worth it, if only as a reminder to myself not to do it again. I loved posting a chapter a day, but next time I’ll try and actually have the thing written before I start posting.

Where did the inspiration come from?
I decided I wanted to write a kidfic because they seemed like fun, and it was something I hadn’t tried before, either in fan fiction or my commercial stuff. Then, once it occurred to me that of course Stiles would call his werewolf daughter Claudia after his mother, but shorten it to Claude, and totally spell it c-l-a-w-e-d in his head, I had to write it.

Also, I think I need to credit Jenni Lea with this one. When I said I wanted to write a kidfic, she made me swear that the baby wouldn’t magically disappear at the end, which is apparently a thing that happens in a lot of fics. So I agreed that the baby would never disappear – the reasons for which turned out to be the now infamous Chapter 11, which made everyone cry.

And when that sad bit in the middle happened, did you blub as hard writing it as I did reading it?
I never cry when I’m writing something sad. I guess I’m too distracted by what I’m saying and how I want to say it. When you’re concentrating on the actual writing, it’s hard to get lost in the story. Personally, I need to switch between being a writer and being a reader before I get emotional. But I did tear up when I read this chapter a few days ago, and then felt a bit ridiculous because I only had myself to blame.

Do you have a favourite between Stiles (yes, he's mine, hands off) or Derek (seriously growing on me)??
Stiles, of course! He’s so versatile. He’s the sarcastic little human who more than holds his own in a town inhabited by supernatural creatures and hunters. He can be ridiculous, and clumsy, and say stupid things, but he’s also incredibly smart, and has a toughness of spirit that even the werewolf characters can’t always match. And he can go really dark too, which is fascinating. I mean, I love Derek as well—he’s a great character, all brooding and Byronic, and he’s played by one of the most ridiculously attractive men on the planet—but I just find Stiles a much more interesting character.

Oh and your covers, I have serious cover love...just thought I'd mention that!
Thanks! I decided when I designed the first cover that I wanted it to be something easy I could replicate with my other covers: a simple style, white background, and pictures that were in the public domain. Or, in the case of Eyebrows and the Scientific Method, that I scanned myself! I definitely wanted to make all my covers match, and the simpler the better, since I am terrible at photoshopping stuff. But I think they’ve all turned out pretty nicely!


Thank you so much Lisa for stopping by - but more than that, thank you for the wonderful fan fiction, I can honestly say I've adored every word!! For anyone who is unsure of trying fan fiction, I think this is the perfect place to start. You do not have to be a fan of the show by any means, plenty of people read these who aren't (I am!!). There is so much quality reading material absolutely free. I can't speak for the other fandoms, but I know most people who fall into the Sterek/Steter universe take months, if not longer, to emerge!

To find out more visit Goodreads or AO3

2 comments:

  1. Awww, thanks Lorraine! It's an amazing piece of fiction. :)

    ReplyDelete