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A Conversation with Page Turner

Introduction:

Page Turner is a blogger. She started to blog in the
August of 2021, the same month as me. (But unlike me, she has better sense of internet, as I chose blogger at first, and she started with WordPress from the beginning.)

At first, she shared her stories from childhood and high school days. But after her horror stories in the Halloween season got popular, getting narrated by various youtubers, she began to write more horror stories.

Apart from that, I consider her my blogging bestie. And considering she agreed for this interview, I can say confidently that she also considers me her own bestie. (If you’re reading this Page, feel free to blast me for my wrong assumptions.)

You can read her blog here.

Without further adieu, here’s the interview:

Me: Let’s start with an easy question. Tell us about yourself a little?

Page: Let’s see. I’m thirty-three and a proud millennial! I started off writing a bit of comedy with mental health stuff that quickly became comedy centric because I struggled with depression anxiety and too many other issues to count. If I have a “special” thing I care about its raising mental health awareness and helping animals. Honestly the two are connected more than people might think by the sound of that.

Right now, I’ve lived with my partner for the last 12 years and we currently have thirteen cats at our house. Someone keeps abandoning them here and we have no “non-kill” shelters in the area. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

My favorite thing in the world is easily stories. Whether that comes in the form of a movie or book or game – doesn’t matter – just give me a story. As someone who struggled with social interactions it really helped me understand how to communicate with others and just kinda handle life in general.

Me: I can personally identify using stories to understand the societal interaction, as a blind, something which I don’t understand, and still struggle often. Did you used to write before you opened your blog?

Page: Not technically. I honestly don’t know how to classify my “writing” lol. so basically, the history is —- I was obsessed with it for as long as I can remember. Some kids wanna play police or astronaut and I made my mom bring a typewriter home from work so I could write about my cats. now because I was socially inept of the world’s ways —- I thought that because I wasn’t instantly hailed as a prodigy, I had no hope and life moved on. At 12-13 I wrote a short book but it’s horrible. I’m not being humble it’s exactly as horrible as you expect when hearing “I wrote a book at 12” LOL.

When I wasn’t published and famous, I took it to mean “I have zero hope or talent for writing.” I have books filled of bad poetry because I couldn’t physically stop writing but found it too depressing to keep failing at full stories. A couple poems are mixed in on my blog so people can see “yes. Those are bad” lol but those are more the product of a depressed angry teen unable to control flooding hormones.

My life just kinda continued in that secret dream of writing style while I lived every second inside my head of fantasies until I started that blog in august. I can’t really understand what struck me suddenly but one day Idk. I woke up and did. Not. CARE what people thought or if they read. Just wanted my stuff somewhere for ME

I did “Dubbed Emotions” because I like dubbed anime and emotions are a foreign language to me — but most importantly because I never in a million years dreamed the name would matter anyway. Because no one was gonna read it hahaha. Since that time, I feel like I’ve really found a “Groove” for my writing style.

I did mental health and my life at first because they say “write what you know” and there’s nothing I know better than Crazy. But then for Halloween I really desperately wanted to do a scary story and felt like I had enough “cred” for my readers to forgive one indulgence. When Dark Somnium contacted me to narrate First Settlement, Well. He dragged me from the depths of nowhere and people started hearing my name and reading my stuff and I’ve never been happier than I have been writing horror stories. I’ve recently had several more narrations release with more coming in the next two weeks and I couldn’t be more excited to see all these stories brought to life. Especially by such great people!

Me: Reminds me of that one fanfic which I never wrote, and never published, honest!

So, you started to blog this year in August, (Interestingly, it was the same time when I launched my blog at blogger, and then switched to WordPress.) But tell me, you already mentioned this to some extent, what made you share things which were clearly very embarrassing over the internet, since I believe we all know how harsh people can be on the internet? (Also, you’ve got some really big balls to have done that.)

Page: yes August 21 —- and LOL — honestly what made me do it — Jenny Lawson – she’s a Texas blogger who writes about her own mental health stuff and her books literally dragged me out of some of the worst depressions I’ve had. —- I read SO many people say she saved their life and all this and I thought “man me too, I wonder if my stuff would help people?”

I won’t lie – I’m terrified of trolls and that’s why my stuff is on the small blog instead of Reddit communities – and I was still a litter nervous at first but writing under a pen name on top of reminding myself “they can’t touch me in RL” helped — but I think the main thing on the mean people front is just the fact I’ve handled so much terrible from so many people I just hit a point where that shit doesn’t bother me anymore. I’m old enough to understand if someone is dedicating THAT much time of their lives to internet bullying – it’s because they’re clearly hurting bad AF their self and if my stories might help one of those guys – totally worth it.

I also really hoped to eventually reach teens with those stories. I didn’t discover Jenny Lawson until my 20s and high school was a particularly rough ride for me — if I’d had the information, I’m trying to spread back then… Idk. I like to think I would have at least found comfort in not being alone. I had a super small school. There was no “loser clique” where the outcasts banded together. It was just me. So anyone else dealing with that really needs to know “yea, it actually will be ok.” they have 50 adults telling them it’s fine but no one taking the extra minute to explain WHY it’s fine — they have NO ability to comprehend how vastly different life will be after high school because they haven’t experienced it yet. They NEED to know lol.

Me: Speaking of which, what do you think about the challenges faced by a person who comes out of high school/college, and suddenly finds out that all their achievements just don’t mean nothing? You just find yourself in the middle of the ocean, pushed around this way or that way.

Page: Hmm idk that’s a tough one. I never had to face it myself. I dropped out of community college before the first semester was over and worked retail for several years. I never strived for money and success like most people- I focused on surviving in a world full of people.

But I think the main thing for those people to remember — I KNOW it sucks to hear “just never give up, work hard and you’ll succeed” — it’s so easy for successful people to say that when they aren’t in the thick of it anymore — but it’s NOT comforting to the people struggling. I always watched the rags to riches stories with a skeptical eye thinking “no, it’s not for everyone. There are those of us doomed to fail” but hell – while I don’t expect to ever be “famous” by any means – I feel like if I never go farther than where I am now – I can be happy just knowing I’ve made fantastic friends and that my stories have genuinely helped some people. I don’t care if I help one person or a million – sure. Be great to have a million LOL but even one is enough. One person that was on the edge but decided it’s ok to come back is all it really need to feel successful. That one person has friends and family who will be happier if they’re happier and that’s enough for me in the end.

Me: Well, if you see rags-to-rich stories with skeptical eye, you’re more likely to survive being scammed. Let’s move to another topic.

You said you’re a proud millennial. Our generation is considered to be good by technology by default. What do you think about it? Personally, I don’t feel that’s necessary. Just learn it enough to use for your purposes, you don’t have to be an expert.

Page: Ahh yes. I love the tech talks – I think the older generation thinks that way because they had to be introduced to the technology later in life. Tech is just another language honestly. If you’re raised with it from the childhood, it’s as natural as breathing – but later in life stuff takes a bit more effort. That being said I’m NOT a tech genius by any means. Sometimes I feel like it because so many people in my life need help setting up a new computer, connecting printers, or setting up their Wi-Fi / you know, those basic things — but when it comes to coding or that super tech stuff I’m lost as anyone hahah.

I think our turn will come too though. Eventually there’s going to be some kind of leap that makes us scratch our heads a bit and the younger ones will be smooth but that’s just life I suppose.

I know there’s some bad opinions of millennials out there too, but I feel that’s a normal gap you find between each generation. It’s very very hard for someone to change a belief they were born and raised with; those things are ingrained deep deep. So there’s always going to be certain “lifestyle” disagreements I suppose.

I wish everyone could find that topic as interesting as myself. I love learning about other cultures and religions just to ask questions and LEARN but often times if someone is seen as not believing the same thing as themselves – it can be misconstrued as mockery and that’s a damn shame because there is some fascinating cool stuff out there.

Me: I suppose the kids of today already are ahead of us in some aspects. Let’s talk about anime.

You mentioned you like anime. Do you watch the new anime which are currently coming out right now? Or do you just stick with the classics.

Page: Lol they def are ahead of us for sure.

While I WISH I had more free time for new stuff, since I began seriously writing I haven’t had time for more than my classics. It’s everything I can do to keep up with new One Piece haha. I grew up with Naruto, Bleach and Pokémon too, but Boruto has greatly upset me with recent episodes so I’m taking a break and honestly, I haven’t been serious about the Pokémon series since the 5th or 6th gen BUT they were my first anime love and I will ALWAYS collect the games and support them in general. I can’t count the number of times I lost myself in Pokémon fantasies while growing up.

Honorable mentions are of course soul eater – full metal – sword art online – trinity blood – if it came on adult swim back in the day – I watched it lol.

Trigun and Cowboy Bebop were among my firsts but the endings are so terrible I can’t even. Ohhhh, Samurai Champloo omg that’ll always be an up there on my list.

Me: Believe it or not, Pokémon is very popular among the blind community. I think it has to do with the fact that most of us can’t go out, and explore the world independently. So, it appeals to us in some deep emotional level.

Well, I’m on a different situation from you. I’m drowning in anime, mostly because I write reviews of them. (There will be lots of them this year!) But here’s another important question. What do you think about sub vs. dub debate? Including, but not limited to whether this question is fit to be asked on an interview or not.

Page: Lolll omg you crack me up, that is, in fact, a HUGE question, and my answer is mixed, but if one is talking serious anime, I suppose it’s a question which must be addressed – the elephant in the room I suppose hahaha. I’m gonna be completely honest going into this but I DO know sub is by far the popular answer

So. When I was in school – I thought anime was just regular cartoon blah no different. When I was 19 – I got to playing on YouTube and saw I could watch all of Naruto (first series) that way —/ well I was FLOORED — I never ever got to see it except random episodes on tv at random times – never in order or regular. Bro. I. Binged. The. Fuck. Out of it. BUT at a certain point —- episodes ran out. But I just so happen to catch the next one labeled “subbed” and to shorten this part up a good deal I eventually learned oh it’s way ahead in Japan —- so I finished the series and my mind was absolutely blown.

As I continued finding more stuff to enjoy my newfound knowledge of anime —- I did learn that I preferred dub at that time because I hated having to read along. I kept preferring dub because I can multi task on my phone and stuff —- then early last year I got a great Japanese app and I’m now up to intermediate lessons —- being able to understand the words and read the writings has made me switch preferences to sub overall. (Unless I’m busy with other stuff and can’t be glued to the screen. I’m not THAT good yet)

Me: I couldn’t enjoy sub even if I want to. Mostly because making a screen reader read the subtitles is a pain, and things like music, sound of fights and other thing, is lost in a haze of computer voice. As a result, I’ve been learning Japanese since 2018, and sadly, I’m still not good enough to watch anime.

Let’s talk about writing. What do you think about advice like, “Write daily!” Or “Don’t wait for the flow, because it is finicky thing”?

Page: Hmmm I think that’s each person is different thing. I don’t believe any piece of advice could ever work for everyone but I know what works for me is to always always write down an idea as soon as it comes – idc how clear or awesome it is – life is hectic YOU will forget!

I personally write every day. When I’m home alone it’s all I do but when my partner is home… he’s not an easy person to concentrate around… I would never say it’s needed to write daily for sure though. Like some people need a break — I know as much as I love it even, I can get stuck on a part and feel like there’s absolutely no way to make it work but if I stop 20 mins and come back it’s just painfully obvs. Some people probably need longer to unwind and daily probably gets excessive to some and feeling like you HAVE to do anything can be anxiety hell and add stress to something that should be enjoyable.

Actually, I did just think of one universal advice — you CANNOT care what other people think. Can’t. It’ll drive you batshit crazy. You should go into writing – at least starting off because everyone needs a hot minute to find their groove — knowing it’s for YOU because it’s what YOU want. you HAVE to know it can’t be perfect and that’s ok. If you write 20 years – a first draft will always be shit. It’s normal and part of the process, not something to stress over.

Me: I completely agree about the noting down of an idea. I already have some 50 ideas long idea file.

When I think of writing daily, I think of automatically: “Yeah, breaks on Sundays, and maybe a long break once in a while.”

Do you have a specific process/routine which you go through when you write stories? (I imagine someone is suddenly paying attention at their screen after this question. These questions are often asked to writers.)

Page: Lolll hmm ok honestly the routine is a bit…. Quirky. So. My main thing is wake up – get cats settled, partner to work, smoke a nice morning bowl of inspiration, and I pace around like a crazy person with my fluffy bathrobe draped across my shoulders like a cap while writing on my tablet and smoking a Juul

If it’s cold and dark I prefer a Blanket to robe because a hooded effect can be added – but actual story — I know fancy people have real outlines and different stuff but I do things a bit different.

I don’t know any writing terms or formal education stuff I just have stories in my head. I start at the beginning and write through to the end. If I get stuck, I start over reading what I’ve got so far and then the next scene usually seems obvs — I like to look for mistakes and better wordings when I do that to.

And eventually I’ll have a first draft where I can seriously go back for edits and I like to think “ok how would Stephen king say this” and while no I’m not close to how he would say anything, the final result is my best effort at trying loll.

I like to have 2-3 drafts before the FINAL because stupid simple typos are probably one of my biggest flaws right now.

Me: Do you listen to something in the background when you’re working on a story?

Page: No, I prefer complete silence. I have ADD and if I have ANYTHING at all to distract me it’s game over.

Me: Do you plan to branch out beyond horror genre in the future?

Page: That would depend on how things go in real life. Right now, I’m focusing on trying to make enough money to write full time. If I ever find myself in a comfortable position to write more leisurely work, I would like to return to mental health/comedy – and I honestly do love translating classics to modern English but I’m so pressed for time.

To be honest I’ve had a fantasy series in my head for as long as I can remember and it’s always been a dream to get it onto paper, but that would be such a massive undertaking I couldn’t see myself doing it anywhere in the near future that would be a 5-10+ years away thing IF I could become successful enough to dedicate the unpaid time.

Right now, horror is what I’m getting a best response to, and it IS my favorite genre so that isn’t a complaint – I couldn’t be happier – but it’s absolutely where my focus needs to remain as I continue trying to get my work out there. Sometimes it’s an exciting feeling, sometimes it’s so terrifying I could suffocate, but I haven’t died yet and I’m having fun so for now I’m pushing forward.

me: Thanks for your valuable time. It was fun talking to you. Hopefully, I didn’t bore you. If I ever opened a podcast, I would like to invite you there once again for a chat.

Page: Lol I had fun thanks for doing it! I can’t wait to see the finished result!!! Def didn’t bore me at all! —

If you ever do a podcast I would recommend letting me write lines for someone to read because I have the WORST country hick accent you’ve ever heard on top of a voice that sounds like nails on a blender — but we can talk about that in the event you do the podcast hahaha

Aftermath:

This is the first ever interview I ever conducted. And I had fun while doing so! Apart from that, I felt like I was playing a less competitive version of chess, tossing Page a question, and watching for her responses.

She did used some emojis in her responses. While I did try to put them here as she put in her answers, some of them I have to exclude for various technical reasons.

Anyway, I do hope I get to do another interview soon. Follow me on twitter:

My twitter.

And follow this blog, because it’ll make me happy. And I’ll see you in the next one.

Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

7 thoughts on “A Conversation with Page Turner

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