TPTH had a virtual sit-down with fan author Embarrassedbutkinky to get nosy and find out everything we could. Read on to read her answers to our questions!
TPTH: Hey EBK, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions. You have a fair number of DBZ fanfics under your belt, but I think you really propelled yourself into the public eye with “Pillow Talk,” with over 80 chapters and counting! How much of it did you have written before you started posting?
EBK: I wrote three chapters before I started posting. I had not planned for it to be as long as it is, or at least I thought I would run out of steam before I made it to Super. I had not had a fic that many people had responded to before, and I got a little obsessed with working on it pretty quickly.
TPTH: Wow. So you’ve been able to keep up a posting schedule of one/day for quite some time, with later chapters coming out with bigger intervals. Do you kinda force yourself to sit down to write or has the inspiration been flowing freely?
EBK: It definitely depended on the day and the chapter. For a while I would wake up and my first thought was ‘what could I add to Pillow Talk today?’ That lasted for about a month and a half, then I let myself slow down a little when the inspiration slowed down, because I didn’t want to force anything, and I wanted to study canon to keep it as compliant as possible. Now I write when I get an idea.
TPTH: I love that organic way of writing. It feels good when it’s flowing from your fingertips to the keyboard! How long have you been writing fan fiction/been in the DBZ fandom?
EBK: I started writing fanfiction about age 12, but I didn’t post anything until college (thank God they were awful). That was mostly Doctor Who fics, and I got a little attention from it, usually a few comments a chapter and I was ecstatic with that. As for Dragon Ball, I actually am pretty new to the fandom. I only started Dragon Ball in August, and then I started Dragon Ball Z immediately afterwards. When Pillow Talk began, I was only up to the Android Saga, but I had read so much fanfiction by that point that I knew just about everything that was going to happen. It was a bit of a rush after that to keep watching the show ahead of the fic. But Dragon Ball has been the most inspiring show for fanfiction I’ve ever seen, and I’ve written more fics for it than any other fandom. I started with a Truten fic in December, and there was a Vegebul side plot. I had never considered writing them before, but I found their scenes to be the most fun and got addicted to writing their banter.
TPTH: What an excellent foundation to your fandom presence! I’m sure your fans are glad you decided to start publishing your stories, too. So far your fics have been mostly canon timeline or canon-divergent with a few AUs thrown in there. What sorts of genres/alternate universes might you be interested in exploring in the future?
EBK: I am actually starting something that’s probably too ambitious right now. I would love to write a Vegebul-centric Choose Your Own Adventure type of fic, but by design the entire work would have to be done before I could post any of it. The way I see it that fic could range from perfectly canon compliant to wildly AU, all depending on which branches people choose. I definitely need to wrap up a few of my active fics before I can really get into it, I’ve only just started planning and it already has a binder, LOL.
TPTH: That sounds like quite the undertaking. I believe in you! Now I have a bit of an out-of-left-field question. If you could swap roles with any historical figure (or even somebody alive today), who would you choose to cause the most chaos in your respective lives?
EBK: I think my best option would be Gordon Ramsay. I famously can’t cook, and my husband hates veggies and new dishes, so he could cook a world-class five course meal and my family would be like… nah, we’re good, we’ve tried your food before. No matter how sophisticated the dish was, it would be underappreciated here, and I think he’d go insane. Meanwhile I’d be expected to cook for national audiences regularly and I’d probably just make, like, Pizza Bagels and dinosaur chicken nuggets. We probably swear about the same amount though, to be honest.
People read fanfiction for different reasons, but at the end of the day it’s because we are looking for something that canon didn’t give us.
TPTH: I’d pay to see a reality tv show of that. So you don’t do much cooking, but you must have some hobbies. What sorts of things do you like to do for fun?
EBK: I definitely write a lot, whether it’s fanfiction or original works. I have always been a reader, and I tend to get very absorbed in a fandom for a period of time before disappearing. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened with Dragon Ball yet, I think it’s because the fanfiction community is so active in it. I also play a lot of video games, I’m really into the VR aspect and have played a lot of the really cool titles that have come out in the last few years.
TPTH: Making way for the future! That’s awesome. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat, by the way. Do you have any parting words of advice for authors looking to make a splash with their own personal brand of fannishness?
EBK: Fanfiction is supposed to be fun. You can go all in and write an elaborate, 50k word story with worldbuilding and a complex backstory filled with character development and foreshadowing, or you can write a silly fluffy one-shot that was never meant to go anywhere. People read fanfiction for different reasons, but at the end of the day it’s because we are looking for something that canon didn’t give us. There’s so many plots and ideas and tropes available that fanfiction will never get old, so have fun! Someone will appreciate it.
Thanks so much for these insights, EBK! We really appreciate you taking time out of your busy update schedule to have this chat with us. We hope that you continue writing new Vegebul for a good, long time to come!