When you read a novel, do you automatically think the author has imagined themself as the hero or heroine? That they have created a scenario in which they can live out their wildest fantasies, even if it is just on paper? Or do you think that they have a vivid imagination, one in which they can create people and places and craft beautiful tales that entertain and inspire others?
These questions have been on my mind a lot lately. Not just in regard to books but also as they concern fanfic and to be more specific, RPF.
I think for many, as soon as they hear the words real people fiction or RPF, they automatically think that the author is trying to live out their personal fantasy life through stories. Especially if those stories are written from a first person perspective. But is that always the case? I wanted to get to the bottom of this question, so I contacted one of the authors over at RAcous, Naughty, Dirty, FilTHy Fangirl Tales to ask her about her stories and inspiration.
So, welcome to the blog Mistress Armitage, author of such tales as Late Night Wake Up Call, The Cure for Blackened Chicken, Headmaster Armitage and His Rulers of Pain and Pleasure, Clean My Pipes, Up, Up and Oh My and her latest, Moonlight and Shooting Stars.
Jas: Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Mistress A: I’m pleased to do it.
Jas: First, let me say I love the name of your blog. And the gif in your header is fitting.
Mistress A: Thank you. The gif seemed appropriate for what we were going to do and I love the sound bite of Richard saying those words from Comic Con. I listened to the clip on your blog repeatedly for a while, actually.
Jas: Really? That’s too funny.
Mistress A: What can I say? Great minds…
Jas: What was it that drew you to RPF in the first place?
Mistress A: I enjoy reading stories about characters. But there is something that is intriguing about the person behind the characters. Isn’t that why we watch the red carpet coverage or watch/read interviews? We’re curious. That doesn’t mean that I think the Richard Armitage in a real person fic is an accurate portrayal of who he actually is, but it does allow me to suspend reality and use my imagination to picture him in whatever scenario the author has written. There is something very appealing about that.
Jas: For your stories then, using the name Richard Armitage and not a character is important?
Mistress A: I am a fan of the many characters that Richard Armitage has crafted. That isn’t the end of my fascination though, the man himself is a mystery. I think that is a contributing factor as to why I enjoy writing stories about him and not necessarily his characters. Clearly I don’t know him, so I cannot get into his head. But I can write silly and sexy little stories about various incarnations he might take in some alternate universe. He is my muse at the moment. When I write the main character of the stories they naturally take on Richard Armitage’s physical characteristics, his voice, his mannerisms. Taking all of that into consideration, I don’t see the need to give the character a different name. In fact, in some ways I think it would be dishonest to give him a different name.
Jas: Where did the initial inspiration come from to actually start writing RPF?
Mistress A: It is kind of a long story. I’ve always loved reading fiction and when I first became a fan of Richard Armitage, I was introduced to fanfic for the first time. I loved it and literally could not read enough of it. I read everything I could get my hands on and still do. There was one fanfic author in the RA fandom who had a real person fic about Richard and another celebrity. That was my first introduction to the world of real fic. I’m also fairly active on Tumblr under another name. During the drought I started seeing a lot of other actors popping up, including Tom Hiddleston. It turned out that there were several Tom Hiddleston fans who were writing RPFs about him. That got me wondering why there were not more RPFs about Richard Armitage. One thing kind of led to another.
Jas: The first fic you published is a work in progress, correct?
Mistress A: Yes it is. A friend and I got to talking about writing a RPF and started throwing around outlandish ideas. It went through several incarnations before we even started writing. Then we settled on the story line we have going for Date Night.
Jas: Was there a rationale for using outlandish ideas?
Mistress A: We wanted the story to be fun. Something people could kick back and enjoy, while having a good laugh, cringe at the appropriate points or even get aroused during the steamy scenes. What we didn’t want to do was have people think we were trying to get into the head of Richard Armitage. His name, his body and his voice may be inspirations, but the man in our story is a figment of our imaginations.
Jas: So you don’t fantasize about having a three way with Richard Armitage?
Mistress A: Absolutely not.
Jas: Any hints about what we can expect from future storylines?
Mistress A: My partner in crime is working on the next chapter, so I’m as in the dark as you are.
Jas: Let me ask you about your other fics. I’m curious, are these your actual fantasies or are they just like any other work of fiction you would write?
Mistress A: They are not my personal fantasies, although I can see where people might be confused. With the exception of, I think one story, I’ve written them all in first person. But no, I don’t lay in bed and think about Richard Armitage pretending to be a sexy plumber or a randy headmaster. The ideas just pop into my head and I type up a story.
Jas: How long does it take you to write one of these stories.
Mistress A: Each story is a little bit different and there are environmental issues. For instance, my family may be watching the television and I’ll get distracted, which makes the writing process longer. If I were to give a ballpark idea, an average, it probably takes a couple of hours from the time the idea pops into my head until completion.
Jas: Where do you get your inspiration?
Mistress A: Some of the stories are just random ideas. Others I’ve taken little tidbits from interviews here and there and created a sexy scenario out of them.
Jas: Can you give me an example of how an interview influenced a story?
Mistress A: I can never remember which interview certain things came from. However, there was one interview where Richard talked about doing a lot of DIY. I latched onto that idea for Clean My Pipes. He actually knew how to fix the drain in the house, but the characters turned a very mundane task into an opportunity for role play.
Jas: What about Up, Up and Oh My?
Mistress A: I don’t think I could say the fic was inspired by an interview, but the choice of movie certainly was and the opening montage of the film is so sweet that the story had to have an intimate feel. They were not going to go from watching the beginning scene of Up to rough, carnal, up against the wall shagging.
Jas: Do you worry that people will read these stories and believe that you spend all of your time fantasizing about Richard Armitage?
Mistress A: Part of me does worry about it. I’ll even admit that I do fantasize about him. But these stories are not my personal fantasies. I’m sure there are those out there who won’t believe me, but at the end of the day, I know the truth and my friends in the community know the truth and that is all that matters. Strangers can think what they want.
Jas: What are you hoping will come out of this? Or are you hoping anything will come out of it?
Mistress A: The purpose of writing these stories is to have fun. When the fun stops, I’ll quit writing them. But I wouldn’t be opposed to inspiring someone else to try their hand at writing. Whether it be real fics, fanfic, starting their own blog, whatever really.
Jas: You’ve published one anonymous story on the Tumblr. What made you decide to allow anonymous submissions?
Mistress A: It is one thing to read racy stories and even to admit to reading such stories. But to write them and then tell others that you have written them is something entirely different. Richard Armitage fans have a place to share anonymous confessions. I just thought I’d take it a step further and provide a place for fans to submit anonymous stories.
Jas: And what about the naysayers? I know there have been a few confessions on Tumblr about not liking RPFs or thinking they are disrespectful.
Mistress A: Those people are entitled to their opinions. I understand that there are people who aren’t into graphic stories or who disapprove of using Richard Armitage’s real name in a fic. That’s fine. I just don’t want them to try and stifle the expression of others. There is room for all of us. If we can just agree to disagree, we can all coexist peacefully.
Jas: Do you think RPF is just a fad in the fandom or do you think it is here to stay?
Mistress A: I don’t think it is a fad. Given that Richard’s next big project is The Hobbit, I imagine that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg as far as the real fics are concerned.
Jas: Can you expand on that?
Mistress A: There is a lot of real fic surrounding the Lord of the Rings movies and the actors involved. And a lot of it is slash, which we haven’t really seen yet in the Armitage fandom. I would imagine that those same fans will begin writing fics about not only the characters, but also the actors who star in The Hobbit. I’ve already seen one slash fic with Richard and Aidan Turner.
Jas: So you and other real fic writers are almost doing us a service by easing us into the genre.
Mistress A: I hadn’t really thought about it in those terms, but maybe. The things I write are pretty tame in comparison to what I suspect may be on the horizon. We may just be paving the way for future real fic authors.
Jas: Do you think RPF is the last bastion of denial about simply writing sexual fantasies about real people?
Mistress A: I think that the answer probably varies from writer to writer. As I mentioned earlier, I do fantasize about Richard, but I don’t want to share those fantasies with others. They are personal to me and at this point, I would prefer to keep them that way. I don’t think that has anything to do with denial. Just personal preference for what I put out there for consumption. Are there others out there who want to write and publish their fantasies? That isn’t really for me to say, but my gut reaction would be yes, there are. If writing RPF is something they need to do to work up to writing down their fantasies, then I think it can only be a good thing.
Jas: Do you have any more stories queued up for us?
Mistress A: Not at the moment, but if my current writing habits continue, I’ll have another story written soon.
Jas: Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions.
Mistress A: Thanks for asking me.