An Interview with Silke Benitsch aka Payton79

Payton79 is an amazing author. Puzzle of my Heart is the first story I read of hers. Of course, I then binged read all her stuff. All her awards are definitely earned.

Payton79 has written four completed stories (O/S included) and a current WIP, and every one of them is captivating.

Me: Hi, I was wondering if I could interview you as an Author of fanfiction for TwifandomNews?
Silke: Hi. That sounds really interesting. How does it work? I’ve never done an interview like that before.

Me: I would just ask you some questions about you and how you got into the fandom kind of thing, and about your writing too, of course. Lol. That is actually going to be the first question. How did you get into Twilight fandom?

Silke: Okay. Sounds good. I’ll answer that one for, you now. I don’t have time for more now, though, as we’re on our way to my hubby’s company’s Christmas party.

Okay, here goes: I’m usually one to run away from a mass phenomenon instead of joining them. So, I actually managed to not see or read Twilight until September 2012. That’s when my husband decided he wanted to watch the first movie. I sat beside him, reading a book instead of actually watching, but then my attention shifted. The next day, I watched it again, the original version instead of the dubbed German one, then the second, third, and fourth. Then I read the books – four times in a row. I found out about Midnight Sun and read that too. I was sad and pissed off that it ended when and how it did. Somewhere on the internet, I found the advice to look for a fanfiction continuation and did that, surprised that the quality was so damn good.  I moved on to an Eclipse EPOV and continued with a Breaking Dawn in Edward’s voice, which stopped after chapter 4. That’s when I started wondering if I could do that too – write, and in English, considering that’s not my native language, and I did. I guess the rest is history, as they say ?. Is that what you were looking for?

Me: Yes, it is. ? Just let me know when I can pick more of your brain later have fun ?
You can ask if you want, and I’ll reply as soon as I can. Our time difference doesn’t make this easy, I’m afraid.

Me: True lol I am space cadet today, what is your favorite genre and/or story in the fandom?
Silke: There are too many stories I love to name one favorite. I’m a general angst wuss and feel as though I can tolerate it less as time passes. In the beginning, I could mostly handle it, but now I avoid reading angst unless someone I know well recs the story to me and assures me it’s not too bad. Only in complete stories, if it’s not one of my favorite writers. I usually read romance/drama, but I love a good humor story, too.

Me: Have lots of fun, when you get the chance the next question is, what inspires you to write?
So, I’m back. The party was great especially the food ?.

What inspires me to write? There’s not one particular thing I draw inspiration from. It’s everything and nothing. Usually, either a general plot idea just comes to me or I think long and hard to come up with something. So far, I’ve been inspired twice by things I can definitely point out. First, it was watching “Married at First Sight”, which inspired Tie the Knot, and the second time, it was my new coworker joining our team and sharing her tragic personal history with us, which got me to come up with the plot for It Takes a Village. I mostly work out a general idea which way I’m planning to go, and then fill that basic structure with life as I go and as my characters sometimes push the story ?.

Me: Ah the characters in my head have many ideas of their own too lol. Food, yes, I go to parties for food, probably why I wear leggings all the time lol. Is it humbling the following you have as an author? I notice you have close to 780 members in your group and so many reviews for your stories.
Silke: Oh, I don’t have words for how humbled I feel. When I started out, I didn’t think I actually had it in me to write something anyone would be interested in. When I started looking for a beta, I contacted around ten people, and most of them didn’t even reply. I was scared that no one was willing to take me on, considering I’m German, and we’re not generally known to speak or write good English. So, when I started to gain a bigger amount of followers, I couldn’t believe it. I’m still rather insecure about my writing, mostly because I’m not a Native speaker, so every review, follower, and favorite alert means even more to me. I’m unbelievably grateful for all the support.

Me: I honestly never even knew that you weren’t a native English speaker. I have read all your stories and just love them more and more. I am especially on the edge of my seat for your newest story. ?. Do you make your own banners, or do you have someone do them?
: Thanks! That’s actually the greatest compliment you could pay me. I always joke that I was born trans-lingual, you know, someone being born with the wrong mother tongue ?. As for the banners, heaven forbid I did them myself. If I tried, I’d end up with a white background, a few letters, and flying heads as a best-case scenario, lol. I suck really badly at Photoshop. My first banner, for my story Puzzle of My Heart, was done by my friend, vampgirl79. She wasn’t available to make a banner for Two Blue Lines, so I asked around in a group here on Facebook and was happy to meet MarieCarro, who did a great job. My last two banners were made by HeartforTwillight, who’s a wonderful banner artist as well. That’s what I love about this community; we help each other however we can.

Me: We do have amazing group of people. I have just one last question. What advice would you give fellow writers?
Silke: If you have a story to tell, do it. I’d advise everyone to get a beta, because nothing’s worse than a great plot killed by too many spelling mistakes or grammar errors. I have to admit I stopped reading several stories with a promising plot due to a bad writing style. Pre-readers and betas are great sounding boards and help to make every story better. And last but not least, don’t let bad reviews or hurtful guest reviews push you down. Those people are pathetic and not even brave enough to sign in, so you can reply to them. People don’t have to be experts to point out what they don’t like about a story, but unless it’s constructive and done in a respectful way, you shouldn’t let it get to you, but that’s hard. I hope new stories will continue to be written and posted for many years to come, because I just love this fandom and the camaraderie here.

Me: Amazing advice, I recently had the weirdest review, guest of course, saying my banner is the reason they aren’t going to read my story. Just have to roll your eyes and keep going lol. Thank you so much for answering my questions. It has been fun picking your brain. Silke: This was fun for me, too. Thank you so much for asking me. Some of this stuff, I’ve never told anyone before, I think.

Gosh, she is just awesome. I had so much fun talking to her. If you want to read her stories, you can find them either on FF, Stars, Archive of Our Own, and Fiction Pad. You can also join her group on Facebook.

Reported By: Reporter Alpha Alyscia


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