Featured Author: an Interview with Stephanie (Socallucyfan)!

by Kymber

Greetings, friends, and happy timezones! I’m really excited because Stephanie (Socallucyfan) did an interview with me and I have the privilege of presenting our collaboration with you today!

Many of you already read Stephanie’s story, but in case you don’t, you can find it here: Once Upon a Legacy. At first, her story was based on the Sims 3 Cinderella Challenge, however, she so fell in love with her characters that she decided to continue on with their stories after the challenge ended. Before long, Once Upon a Legacy had morphed into a Fairytale Legacy where each generation centers around a different fairytale. And who doesn’t love a fairytale?

On the side, Stephanie also writes an “I’m Surrounded by Idiots” (ISBI) Challenge story that I find particularly hilarious. ISBI’s are funny anyway but this writer puts her special touch on it as she documents these sims crazy antics. Her ISBI is called, One Moore Legacy, and you don’t want to miss this one!

I hope that if you don’t read her stories already, you will check them out today. 🙂

Let’s move on to the interview!

How long have you been playing The Sims and what got you into it? I have been playing since day 1 game 1. I went over to a friend’s house who was playing, and that day as soon as I got home a begged my parents to buy me the game. I have been hooked ever since.

Why did you begin blogging your sims story? I started sharing my TS3 stories/legacy on the official site but then moved my legacy to the Sims Writer’s Block. It was an independent site created by writers who were annoyed by the restrictions that the storyboards set which limited pictures, text, and content. Unfortunately, the site didn’t last very long. When the site closed Once Upon a Legacy laid dormant as a PowerPoint presentation on my computer. In my nagging need for organization, I wanted to have a place where I could look at my story in a neat and orderly layout, and not lose any of my PowerPoint story that was becoming a really overwhelming long document. That was when I decided to start posting my legacy once again, first on Tumblr then WordPress.

How do you come up with your story ideas? Long before the heir is even born, I decide on the fairytale for the designated generation. I use that as a sort of outline for where I want that story to go. From that outline, I write the different chapters. I will transfer the Word document into a PowerPoint presentation which helps figure out where I can insert the pictures. For the first generation, I stuck pretty closely to the Cinderella Challenge format and then documented all that went on. Generation 2 was a little more liberal with the Sleeping Beauty story. And generation 3 is even more so. I already have an idea of what fairy tale will be featured in Generation 4 (and I have for a while now), but that is about as far as I have gotten. It helps if I focus my creative juices on one generation at a time.

Do your sims actions help create new ideas or make the story go in a different direction then you had intended? Cindy’s story was very much gameplay driven, but after that, I turned my writing style to be more story driven. But I do like to include Special Chapters, like the Stella’s Fall Festival, that show off my sims being sims and off of the silly antics that they like to get in to.

Which character is your favorite and why? I am having so much fun writing for my current generation heir; Lincoln. Not only is he completely different than both my previous heirs, but he is the total opposite of me. Lincoln is overly confident to the point of obnoxious cockiness. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone and everyone know about it. I, on the other hand, am a giant ball of insecurity. So, it is fun, and yet challenging, to get into the mind of a complete narcissist.

What chapter has been the most difficult to write so far, and why? The latter half of Stella’s story was a never-ending cycle of rewrites, edits, and serious writer’s block because I never really created a clear outline of where to take the story after her curse was broken. I am really proud of what I came up with, so in the end, the headache was worth it.

Is there anything you wish was different about your story? OMG, where do I start? Pretty much everything about Generation 1 makes me want to press the re-do button. The picture quality is crap, and I have recently noticed that a few of the chapters were posted out of order (still not sure how that happened or how to fix it). Moreover, I really wish I would have spent more time on character development and getting to know everyone better. There are some very interesting characters that never got their proper time to shine.

Do you have advice for any other writers who may just be starting out? This piece of advice was given to me by the super amazingly talented, Mastress Alita:
make sure you write for you! When you are starting out you tend to focus on the number of followers you have, and how many likes and comments they leave. I know that it is easier said than done, and I don’t always follow my own advice. Yet, keeping the focus on the writing will keep you from getting discouraged and help keep you motivated. Your number of followers will increase. And so will the “likes”. Never forget why you started writing in the first place. The rest will come.

What are the challenges of bringing your characters to life? One of my biggest challenges, aside from my massive insecurities, is that I try to find the right balance of foreshadowing without giving away the whole plot twist. In my mind things make sense, but that doesn’t mean that it always makes sense in my head.

Would you like to share an excerpt from your story or a summary of your story? Or both?

Here is an excerpt:

“As predicted I, Lincoln James Charming, am as popular as ever! Which means that I am as powerful as ever. The kids at school are as gullible as ever, and I can manipulate them however I want.  I have easily mastered the drums and the piano.  I have now moved onto mastering the guitar.  It is the perfect next step in my Evolution of Awesomeness!! 
One thing that hasn’t changed, and that will never change, is how much I love spending time with Grandpa Ryan. Don’t get me wrong, I love my entire family. There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for any of them.  But Grandpa just gets me like no one else does.  He taught me about life and told me stories about spinning wheels and evil stepmothers.  
My favorite thing to do with Gramps is every football game day we have a tradition that started when I was still in diapers. We wear our Twinbrook Gnomes gear and root for our favorite team on the TV in his home. It is not the biggest TV on the lot, but in that house, it is just the two of us. Just me, Grandpa Ryan, and Grandma Cindy’s homemade spinach dip. Wow, my life is perfect. Nothing bad is ever going to happen to me ever!!”
Does writing energize or exhaust you? That is a really good question, and the answer is both. I love having this creative outlet that has helped me deal with so many personal times in my life. On the other hand, writer’s block (which struck a lot during Gen 2) can be the most stressfully exhausting thing in the world.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? think that readers want to read something that is original. If I were to just rehash fairytales over and over again, it would get boring pretty fast for me to write and that would show in my work. No one wants to read something where it is obvious that the writer has given up.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly? That is another good question; I had to think about it for a second. I would think no, you need to feel emotions in order to be a successful writer. You have to be able to get into the mindset of each character and feel what they are feeling. How can you do that if you don’t feel emotions strongly?

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? All throughout history you can see examples of the power of language. On the positive side, you have people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. using their thought provoking and powerful speeches to change the world for the better for all. On the other hand, look what Hitler did with his power.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/animal? I am definitely a cheetah. When it comes to writing I have two speeds; lightning fast like when a cheetah is sprinting or slow and relaxed when a cheetah has exhausted all of its energy. When inspiration hits I can knock out several chapters in one sitting. But when writer’s block hits I may as well take a nap under the safari sun.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex? I want to be authentic without being cliché. A lot of times I ask my husband for advice on this matter.

How do you select the names of your characters? I probably spend more time picking the names for my characters than any sane person should. Sometimes I want the sim’s name to be a reflection of their character like Ryan means “prince”, which makes him literally Cindy’s Prince Charming. Or Stella meaning night, which goes along with Sleeping Beauty. I spend hours on baby naming websites researching different meanings. Other times I want a name that sounds good, like Cindy Rella for Cinderella or Faye Reed, as the Fairy Godmother. April, May, and June are three names that sound together. Then there are a few times when I have named sims after people in real life. Stella’s best friend Sarah is named after my BFF. Generation 3’s Autumn’s bully is named after my mean girl bully from high school; Aaron (although mine was spelled “Erin”).

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer? My job LOL. Which is actually kind of funny, since I just started a new job not too long ago. Seriously though, if I could spend as much time simming as I do at work, then I would be a happy girl. Unfortunately, there are just not enough hours in the day (I do have to sleep at least a few hours after all).

Do you believe in writer’s block? Yes, the threat is REAL!!

Which writers inspire you? There are so many SimLit writers that inspire me to create the best story on the best blog possible. There are just too many to name
(interviewer included).

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special? The current heir is the very charming Lincoln James Charming. He is a super talented virtuoso and he knows it. What’s more, he doesn’t have any problems telling you all about how amazingly, mind-blowingly, awesome he is. Lincoln’s one redeeming quality is that he is fiercely protective of his family, especially his younger twin sister Autumn. Other than that, he can’t be bothered with caring about what other people think or how they feel. Right now he feels like the King of the World. But how long can his reign of selfishness last before he gets knocked down to reality?

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? This whole crazy thing started with my need to keep things organized. Even though I wasn’t posting the story anywhere, I was still playing the Cinderella Challenge and taking tons of pictures of everything. It all became too much to keep track of, and so I figured why not post everything online where it will be there forever.
Do you have a special time to write? I don’t have a set time to write, it is usually whenever and where ever I get a free moment. Or when inspiration hits me. Recently, inspiration has come to me while on my morning runs. Which is great for my story, not so great for my time.
What is the hardest thing about writing? Writer’s block is the hardest thing, probably because I take it so personally. I start feeling like a failure, and that maybe I am not as good of a writer as I think I am.
What is the easiest thing about writing? When I am in the zone, and I can knock out a chapter or two in one sitting. The words flow out of my brain faster than I can type.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I love reading, but I really don’t have any particular favorite. I like all types of literature, from sci-fi to fantasy to cheesy romance. Right now I am really into reading biographies. Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction.

Do you proofread/edit all your own writings or do you get someone to do that for you? I proofread over and over and then once more before I post a chapter. Even then I miss things. So, having someone else edit my story might be helpful. I have reached out to a few other SimLit writers asking for advice with certain chapters or aspects of my story. And everyone has been so helpful and supportive.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Who wouldn’t want to be J.K. Rowling?!?! Not only would I be one of the most successful and well-respected authors of the 21st century. But the Harry Potter Series brought the love of books to a whole new generation that was obsessed with the latest and greatest technology. Pandemonium broke out while people waited in line for the next book in the series the same way they waited for a store to open on Black Friday.

Any writing rituals? My only ritual is that I have no rhyme or reason to anything. I write where ever or whenever the mood strikes me.

What’s more important: characters or plot? Is there a way to have one without the other? Would one be more successful if the other was lacking? Like peanut butter and chocolate; okay together but a million times better together.

Wow! This was such an amazing detailed interview! Thank you so much, Stephanie!

Did you all enjoy this interview as much as I did? I hope you will check out Stephanie’s stories because they are such fun reads!

Author’s Note: If you are a blog author (it does not have to be The Sims related) and would like to be featured in an interview, please send me an email using my contact form! I would love to interview you, too!

Thank you for reading,


NotJustaBook September 5, 2018 - 10:19 am

This was a great, very detailed interview 🙂 I really liked hearing more about Stephanie’s process, because there’s a lot of stuff here I didn’t realise. I love reading both of her stories! Her and I seem to agree on many things 🙂

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 12:25 pm

Thank you so much, Louise! 🙂 Stephanie was so amazing to interview. I’m so glad you enjoyed this and her stories, too.

socallucyfan September 5, 2018 - 9:27 pm

Awe, you all are making me blush. 🙂
We agree on so many things because great minds think alike!!

Jowita September 5, 2018 - 2:36 pm

Yay! I see you made use of the e-mail I handed to you – I don’t feel the least bad about giving it out, when you asked now, lol.
This was such a detailed, long interview and I loved getting to know Stephanie more – I told her I wouldn’t spill her name like I did yours, but I see now that’s no longer a trouble. She’s so sweet and always compliments too much! And I was happy to have helped her with the poses she needed for the story! 🙂
I don’t get how she can work with Power Point, I do everything in Word and I just name my pictures by numbers in order of appearance, sometimes I write short descriptions along the way or I write codes for poses, one of Frank’s bonuses had Frank’s pose codes in yellow and Waylon’s in blue, so I knew exactly how to take the pictures.
“I, on the other hand, am a giant ball of insecurity. So, it is fun, and yet challenging, to get into the mind of a complete narcissist.” There, y’all! If you ever wondered how writing Sam felt like!
“I want to be authentic without being cliché.” Also me when it came to Sam. There were times when I felt I just pictured him a bit unrealistically evil, but I think you could still see a person in him somewhere deep down. Unlike classic antiheroes, he was insecure and he wasn’t 100% evil.
I love the answer to the last question! I also think that both characters and plot are equally important.
So hm, when do we have the retake on the interview scheduled, Kym? Just kidding! You know what I would LOVE to see? You responding to your own questions. Yes, please!
Aand I just want to say that I think Stephanie is very creative and we are similar in both our insecurities and the fact that we plan the generation around a certain culmination point, like my endings and her fairytale theme. I also really recommend reading her stuff to anyone – plus it was so genius how she came up with the fairytale for Lincoln. Loved the reveal!

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 4:26 pm

Thank you, Jowita! 🙂 Yes! And thank you for the email addy. 🙂 Oh, no! Was I not supposed to say her name? I saw someone using it on their story site not long ago so I didn’t think it was a secret.

If you’re reading this, Stephanie, I’m so very sorry. :O

She is very sweet indeed! 🙂 I loved the answer to the last question, too.

Oh, yes, let’s do your interview! Contact me when you can do it. 😀 You want my answers? :O I never thought of doing that! lol That sounds like a plan forming! lol

You and Stephanie both are very creative and similar. 🙂 That Lincoln fairytale reveal was awesome!

Jowita September 5, 2018 - 4:39 pm

She told me I was free to use it, but I decided not to just to keep her privacy – after all, she didn’t ever tell us her name officially on here.
Ha, ha, I can do it no problem, but I don’t know if it’s that necessary! Yours, though. Have always wanted!
Thank you. ♥ It was super awesome!

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 5:38 pm

Ah! LOL Okay, I will get working on interviewing myself. <3 Thank you for the suggestion.

socallucyfan September 5, 2018 - 9:37 pm

It is not a problem at all. You can call me Stephanie. You can call me Socallucyfan. You can call me Your Royal Awesomeness (sorry Lincoln’s narcissism is rubbing off onto me). It doesn’t matter to me. It is actually really nice being called by my first name, though.
I have a nerdy type of love for PowerPoint. I have been making PowerPoint presentations ever since I was a kid. I was using it to create digital photo albums long before that ever became a thing. It has been easier for me to know exactly where I am going to put a picture. Plus, my story chapters are not that long, and PowerPoint helps me keep about a 6-10 pictures per post.
I am so thankful for such sweet comments. All this attention is making me blush.

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 10:06 pm

Whew! I’m so glad, Your Royal Awesomeness! <3 😀

socallucyfan September 5, 2018 - 11:49 pm

You are too funny. Talk like that, and my ego is going to get bigger than Lincoln.

Kymber September 7, 2018 - 10:54 am


Jowita September 6, 2018 - 2:09 am

I really love being called by my first name, too, it feels more real and as if I was more connected to you all! Good to know, Your Royal Awesomeness. You can call me by Queen of Cliffhangers!
I was making all kind of stuff as a kid, mainly, though, I loved writing poems based on some random Wikipedia articles or others just for fun. I made a Power Point presentation about my cat, though. I love pictures and I always need to have a chapter full of pictures, otherwise I’m displeased!
You deserve all the sweetness!

socallucyfan September 6, 2018 - 8:55 pm

Yes, you are the Queen of Cliffhangers!!

Kymber September 7, 2018 - 11:02 am

Right? LOL

lisabeesims September 5, 2018 - 2:50 pm

<3 <3 sweet insights into a sweet person!! TY Stephanie. BTW sleep is overrated 🙂 I do RL in the day and simming at night

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 4:27 pm

Thank you so much, Lisa 🙂 YAY to simming in the night! lol

socallucyfan September 5, 2018 - 9:43 pm

Awe, thank you so much for such sweet words (you know what they say; it takes one to know one).
Yes, you are right. Who needs sleep? All I need is my giant mug of coffee!!
I used to have a rotating schedule, so it was hard to plan things out (and my OCD was not happy about that). My new job is a set schedule, and I have found I have more time to do other things as well, but nothing as important as simming! LOL

socallucyfan September 5, 2018 - 9:52 pm

So, I have to say that I literally squealed with delight when Kymber asked me to do the interview. Being the ball of insecurity that I am I was worried that no one would care, and people would think I sounded stupid. But I should have known better. I should have known that this awesomely supportive community would have nothing but the nicest things to say. Thank you all so so so much!! <3 <3 <3
And I have to say a big THANK YOU to Kymber for asking me to do the interview. I really am honored to have been asked.

Kymber September 5, 2018 - 10:20 pm

Awww that is so sweet. But I want to thank YOU for agreeing to the interview and also for so carefully constructing such thoughtful and detailed answers. I squealed when you said yes! 😀

socallucyfan September 6, 2018 - 1:11 am

And Jowita has a good idea, you need to interview yourself. 🙂

Kymber September 7, 2018 - 10:56 am

Wow! The motion has been seconded! Looks like I better do this. 😀 Thank you so much for the suggestion.

audreyfld September 6, 2018 - 8:43 am

Great interview Stephanie. ❤️ I can totally relate to what you had to say about being able to spend as much time simming as working! I have a great job but would give it up in a heartbeat if I could spend all of that time working on my story and playing sims. Then I might have time to work on posing and maybe just playing a game for fun. 😁😁 But that would just take me down the rabbit hole of another story! 😂😂😂 I am glad your husband is supportive. Mine is finally on the bandwagon and occasionally I will ask him guy questions too! Again, awesome interview.

socallucyfan September 6, 2018 - 8:57 pm

Thank you so very much. 🙂
My husband recently got on the bandwagon. It had taken him a while.
I have about a million story idea, and side-story projects and I would love to get to. But I also enjoy eating, and having a room over my head. So, I will have to keep my job.

Chapter 3.10 A Beastly Turn of Events – Once Upon a Legacy September 7, 2018 - 3:05 am

[…] by the super talented, and just all-around good person, Kymber.  You can read the interview HERE.  I cannot say enough nice things about Kymber and her story, which inspires me on so many […]

Kymber September 7, 2018 - 11:04 am

Thank you so much for sharing! <3

sempreviva September 7, 2018 - 4:06 am

This interview was so great! Stephanie is such a sweet person and with such a great sense of humor – I love interacting with her and reading her story (Lincoln is just the best at being the worst, lol! To be honest, he’s one of my favorite characters to read)! <3 <3
I totally understand the sentiment of feeling like a total failure when writer’s block has hit hard, I’ve been there so many time myself..! The only thing to do is step back for a while I think and then everything will come into place 😉
I loved reading about her process! I do an outline as well, but that’s about it. I might have to use her Powerpoint method, sounds mighty helpful! 😀
And OMG, I thought noone else was using those baby name sites, haha! I am literally obsessed with giving my characters the perfect name, I could spend hours searching! XD
Overall, a great interview, it was a blast to read it! <3

Kymber September 7, 2018 - 11:08 am

Thank you so much! 🙂 I agree with everything you said – and said well, I might add. 😀 I totally use those baby name sites, too. LOL 😀 Thank you for reading and I’m so glad you enoyed the interview.

socallucyfan September 9, 2018 - 3:09 pm

Awe, thank you for the sweet words. Everyone here has been just too kind. Any more compliments and I may become more like Lincoln, going around talking about how awesome I think that I am.
I spend as much time researching names as I do writing the chapter (maybe even more so). Kymber has a resources and tools page that has a few of the better baby naming websites. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

Kymber September 10, 2018 - 9:43 am

LOL I love figuring names out. 😀 I’m glad the resource page is helpful.


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