Marlena is an office worker from New Jersey, and she loves going to NYC whenever she gets the chance. She saw the first Twilight movie in early 2009, then read the books; she discovered fanfiction later that year. She doesn’t write Twific, but she’s read a ton of it. Some of the fics she’s read she believes are amazing — even better than canon. And yes, she’s aware that at 30, Twilight is completely age-inappropriate for her.

She’s a stickler for correct grammar, and she’s been editing for Project Team Beta since October 2010. She really enjoys working for them. “Your/you’re”, “to/too/two”, and “their/there/they’re” confusion makes her crazy, and she finds the use of ‘mines’ to indicate possession especially loathsome.

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Marly’s EBS Beta Spotlight Interview

EBS: Hi, Marly! It’s great to chat with you, thank you for finding the time for us.

Marly: Anytime, thank you for this!

EBS: So tell us, how did you become beta?

Marly: I started after coming across stories that had a great premise, but were rife with spelling and grammar errors. Often the writing was just too hard to follow, so I became frustrated and abandoned the stories. I wanted to beta on FFn, but they require you to submit your own stories first. I don’t write fanfiction, so that didn’t work. Later, I was reading one author’s profile and he mentioned Project Team Beta, so I looked into it and signed on with them. Then I heard about EBS on Twitter. 🙂

EBS: Oh yeah? That’s how you found out about us? What appealed to you about EBS?

Marly: I like the ‘immediate gratification’ aspect of it. Before I joined EBS, I sent a question via Twitter and got an answer pretty quickly, which I thought was really cool.

EBS: And what is your proudest work as beta?

Marly: My work with PTB – being requested as a permanent beta by two different authors. Also, it’s a nice feeling when authors tweet me back to say how much they appreciate our help.

EBS: It is an incredible feeling, isn’t it? When authors like you so much, they want to keep you. Good for you! What is your favorite part of being beta or what do you love the most about being a beta?

Marly: For PTB, it’s been working closely with the author and second beta for my permanent assignment, and receiving emails from various other authors thanking me for the beta work. With EBS, I like being able to respond to authors in real time via Twitter and Gchat. Generally, I just like helping people improve their writing. It’s so important to be able to communicate well, and I like to think I’m helping authors to do that. By the same token, I feel that my own writing and editing have been strengthened during my time as a beta.

EBS: Absolutely! So, sounds like you don’t write yourself. Have you ever been compelled to do so? What would it be, what genre?

Marly: I’ve never written fanfiction, but I used to keep journals and write poems and stories when I was younger. However, as I got older it became apparent that creative writing wasn’t my forte. My strengths are on the technical side.

EBS: There is a need for all kinds of different writers, and appreciative readers too! Speaking of which. What are your favorite books? What about movies, music?

Marly: I have eclectic tastes. Some of my favorite books are The Green Mileand Pet Sematary, both by Stephen King; She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, both by Wally Lamb; The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy; the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris; the Twilight series; Jen Lancaster’s memoirs…I could go on for days. As far as movies, I enjoy comedies the most, followed by drama and action films. I used to like horror movies, but can’t stand them anymore–they depress me. Finally, I like many types of music: oldies from the 50s to the 90s, big band, swing, pop, rock, jazz, some rap, and R&B.

EBS: I’m with you on horror movies. I’d rather watch Rob walking down the parking lot. In slow motion… On repeat. Um. Where was I? Oh, yes! So, what makes you tick? In a good way.

Marly: Spending time with the people I care about, helping others when I can, traveling, reading, animals, laughter, good food, nostalgia, and the ocean are some of the things I love.

EBS: Do you live near the ocean?

Marly: I live about an hour north of the more popular beach areas (in the New Jersey vernacular, ‘down the shore’). I don’t have a chance to go very often, but when I do, I like to just gaze out at the ocean. I find it really soothing.

EBS: Sounds soothing by just your description. Do you have a favorite quote?

Marly: Hmm… I’ve always liked ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’

EBS: Yes! I love that one too! Now, tell us truthfully, anyone out there you swoon over? 🙂

Marly: Actor-wise? I think Robert Pattinson is a cutie, but I can’t bring myself to do the whole fan-girl thing…at 30 – *cough* nearly 31 – I’m way past my expiration date for that kind of scene, ya know? 😉 I do admire Christian Bale, though – he’s a hell of a performer and I was really glad to see him win that Oscar last month!

EBS: He was great in The Fighter indeed! Thank you for talking to us today. We absolutely love having you as part of EBS team, and appreciate your time and dedication.

Marly:It’s my pleasure! Thank you for making me part of the team! 🙂

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