The Neopian Times Series Spotlight — The Music Box
Hello Neopians, and welcome to the first-ever Neopian Times Series Spotlight! My name is The Reporter-yes, that's actually the moniker my parents gave me. I was aptly named; ever since I've been old enough to talk I've felt an inherent and irrepressible need to report things, to stand in the heights and shout to the world about everything important to me.
Well my friends, after all these years I've finally found something worthwhile to report about! Every so often (or as often as possible!) I will be conducting interviews with the authors of various Neopian Times series in the midst of their run.
My intention? To bring publicity to these remarkable feats of Neopian literature, as well as to help readers connect with series they'll love. My line of reasoning? It takes weeks of dedicated reading to follow a series to its completion, but you can read a short article in just a few minutes.
I hope that, upon reading these interviews and allowing our Neopian authors to tell you in their own words what their series is all about (figuratively speaking, of course! There will be no spoilers in this Spotlight!) perhaps you, the Reader, will discover a series you may not otherwise have noticed, one you may just want to follow from beginning to triumphant end!
And so, without further ado, allow me to introduce our first Neopian Times series in the Spotlight... The Music Box by eracina.
Thank you so much for joining us, eracina! First of all, can you tell us a bit about your story?
Well, it's about Elon Hughlis, the captain and star player of the Maraquan Yooyuball team. He's not exactly the easiest to get along with, yet despite that one of his former teammates, Filo Desenz, gave Elon the music box (which the story is named after) right before he left the team. While Elon doesn't really like to admit it, the music box becomes very, very important to him. Which is why when it breaks twelve years later Elon suddenly has a lot of emotions on his hands that he has no idea how to deal with.
What inspired you to write The Music Box?
I got back into Neopets earlier this year in March and writing a story for the NT was always one of my goals. I always loved the AC and my favourite team has always been MQ, so I knew it had to be about them somehow. Elon and Filo's relationship was always described as a rocky one; imagining why it was like that eventually gave me the idea for one of the events in part one and I wrote it down in a notebook. I ended up liking the idea so much, I took it to the computer and here we are~
How many parts is The Music Box?
The Music Box is six parts in total.
And how long would you say it took you to write it?
A month roughly. The first draft for part one was written in April and the final part was cleaned up in early May.
Without giving us any spoilers, was there any part of the writing process that you particularly enjoyed?
Honestly just writing the entire thing was a brand new experience for me. I usually write one-shots so dividing a story up in several parts wasn't something I was used to. It's also the first story I've submitted to the NT, so I learned how to do that as well. Learning how to do things is always neat.
Was there anything you found particularly challenging?
While I love writing characters and character interactions, some are easier than others. Tonie was a particular kind of hard because I had to try to balance his traits so he came off as neither too cold/jerkish nor too open. He's a character that's supposed to be hard for Elon to understand, so keeping an air of mystery was important as well. While I can't say for certain I 100% succeeded in writing Tonie, he was the one I ended up spending quite a bit of time on, haha.
Would you say The Music Box could be classified as a specific genre? If so, which genre?
Not really? It kind of depends on if we're talking actual literature genre or "fanfic genre" for a lack of a better way of putting it. I can't really think of any of the former fitting, but with the latter, it could go under stuff like "light angst", "hurt/comfort" and "friendship".
Do you have a favourite character in your story? Or is there a character in The Music Box that you especially identify with?
I really enjoy Elon. He lends himself really easily to writing stuff like "Oh no, I don't manage emotions" and that's not only enjoyable for me to write, it's also something I relate to on a personal level.
If you were to describe your story using only a handful of adjectives, what would those adjectives be?
Oh, that's a tough one! Quiet and Hopeful, maybe?
Without giving us any spoilers, what would you like readers to come away with upon finishing your story?
If Elon could be seen as something more than "that one bad guy tm" that would make me happy beyond belief. I find it a bit odd (if not a bit frustrating) that angle has been leaned into so hard since, like, the 6th cup if I remember correctly? I get it in a way, but still. At the end of the day, however, all I really want is people to enjoy what they've read. As long as people enjoy what I wrote, everything else would be like a bonus~
And there we have it, folks! An in-depth look at The Music Box, a wonderful NT series currently in the middle of its run. A huge thanks to eracina for agreeing to this interview! At the time of writing, The Music Box has three chapters yet to be released. If you haven't already, perhaps you'd like to give this worthy series a read! It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy it as much as I have!
Would you like your series featured in the Neopian Times Series Spotlight? Are you currently reading a series you would like to see featured? Send me a Neomail at the account the__reporter!