Plastron: What is/are the handle(s)/username(s) that you go by?
Hummerhouse: Hummerhouse is my only username, except on Twitter where I’m hummerhousetmnt.
P: On which websites did you or do you post your work? Are there any active links new readers could follow to find your work?
HH: I post on a few different websites, but the ones where I’m most consistent are Archive of Our Own, DeviantArt, InkBunny, and ffnet. I post everything on AO3 because there is no censorship on that site. https://archiveofourown.org/users/hummerhouse Other sites limit the ratings/content of the material that is allowed.
P: What was your introduction to TMNT?
HH: The Mirage comics in the mid-80’s. I adore comic books and have a huge collection.
P: When did you begin participating in the fandom?
HH: As far as becoming very active, that was probably around 2006. I lurked or left anon comments on things I liked before then, probably around 2001. I didn’t try my hand at posting anything until around 2010. This was back in the LiveJournal and StealthyStories heydays.
P: Do you have a personal favorite or “definitive” version of TMNT?
HH: For me it would have to be the 2003 cartoon version. I love that within the limitations set for a kids’ cartoon, it still tried to address darker, grittier themes, just as they did in the original comics. Some TMNT stuff really isn’t for little kids.
P: How has your view of the franchise changed over the years?
HH: I’m always impressed with how each new version refreshes and reinvents the Turtles and their world. It’s basically the same premise, though looked at from a different angle. There is something for everyone!
P: Do you have any advice for any beginners who want to write fiction/draw?
HH: Practice, practice, practice. The dictionary and thesaurus are your friends. There is always something to learn, so push your boundaries. Write the story/draw the art that is in your head, and then worry about tweaking it to correct mistakes after you’ve addressed the basic idea. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
P: How do you stay motivated, or cope with writers’/artists’ block?
HH: I’ve never experienced writers’ block. My head is always filled with new ideas, it’s just finding the time to write that proves a challenge. I have had times where I’ve lacked the motivation to actually post something. That’s mostly due to fandom things and not due to any abatement in my desire to tell a story.
P: Your work stands out to me for the sheer VOLUME of work you’ve done over the years. And also because your characterizations feel so in-character and spot on, but you add your own intriguing plots and put them in situations that gives readers another view into how they might behave in those situations (i.e. “Containment Clause” where Donatello’s intellect is pitted against Bishop’s, with a sexual spin on it and exploring Raph and Don’s relationship as lovers). I think many readers would also agree with me when I say that there is such a versatility in the types of stories you write. Some are shorter drabble series while others are slow-burn epics like in “A Different Path."
(Plastron's note: as with many of the writers and artists I've interviewed, these works have been so ubiquitous and so powerful that they've swayed and influenced my own headcanons!)
P: Would you mind talking a little about how you approached those aspects of your writing?
HH: Wow, let’s see. I usually start with a concept. Those can come from anywhere; a snippet of overheard conversation, something I witnessed, a few words from a song, an image – almost anything can send my imagination off into the realm of ‘what if’. “Viand” happened because I was gardening one day and dug up an earthworm.
With my stories, I like to include layers – complexities or subtle underlying plots woven into the tale. What is happening during a story isn’t always about just one thing. “Containment Clause” explored not only Bishop’s feelings with regards to Donatello, but also Raphael’s protectiveness and something that happened in the past between him and Donatello.
No good quality character is one-dimensional. The Turtles and all those in the TMNT universe are good quality characters. That means that there are layers to their personality, aspects that could come to the forefront given a certain set of circumstances. That’s what I like to explore.
I do a LOT of research. I have often wondered if some day law enforcement is going to knock on my door and ask why I wanted to know about building a bomb. I’m trying to think how that conversation would go – “I’m sorry officer, I was writing fanfiction and ....”
Before I start writing a story, I watch a few episodes of whichever series I’m writing for, just to get their ‘voices’ in my head. Hearing them in my mind helps me to keep them as much in-character as possible. Once the concept is there, the ‘voices’ are there, and the plot is pretty much decided, the characters take off on their own. I just write whatever I ‘see’ them doing.
I’m a creature of moods. What I write, the genre and length, really depends on the mood I’m in. That’s one of the reasons I’m always juggling more than one fic at a time.
P: What character or characters do you enjoy writing the most?
HH: Any of the Turtles, I love them all, but I do tend to look at things from Donatello’s view more often. I really enjoy writing Splinter. He is such a pivotal character in the Turtles’ lives. I also love writing a strong female like April, Karai, and Angel Bridge. My favorite all time villain to write for is Agent John Bishop.
P: What character or characters do you identify with the most? Does that influence how you write them?
HH: I am Leonardo 2k3. Our personalities are similar, our roles in our family are similar. I had the same type of responsibility at an early age. Writing him often means taking a look at my own response to a given situation.
P: Are there any of YOUR fics you'd like to shine a spotlight on? Maybe some that you'd welcome more comments on?
HH: Writing Action/Adventure is one of my favorite things, so any of my stories that include those elements stand out for me. If I were to spotlight any, it would be some of those, like the “Capture Series”, “Fighting Desire”, “Viand”, “Breaking Boredom”, and “Versatility”.
Some of them are not really noticed because they have General ratings.
P: If you were in full creative control, what's your idea of the ULTIMATE, perfect TMNT movie (and/or TV series)?
HH: I have never made any secret of the fact that I’d love to see an adult swim version of TMNT. Something that drew heavily from the original comics and addressed mature concepts the way they did.
P: Okay, let’s have a little fun. What do you find most sexy about the turtles?
HH: That deep sense of Honor is one of the sexiest things about the Turtle guys to me. Their intellect, passion, creativity, sense of justice, devotion – these are all extremely attractive traits. Physically – muscles. Love the muscles and the athleticism.
P: Which turtle do you think would be the best leader, if not Leo?
HH: Michelangelo, hands down. He has incredible potential, not just in his physical abilities, which are astonishing, but in his ability to think both strategically and tactically. When he focuses, he is unbeatable.
P: Favorite Ships?
HH: The list would probably be shorter if I said which ones I don’t like. XD OT4 (all four turtles) is my all-time favorite, followed by any Turtle pairing. I’m also a big fan of Leatherhead & Donatello (2k3, 2k12), Bishop & Donatello (2k3), Usagi & Leonardo (2k3), Leonardo & April (2k3), Michelangelo & Angel (2k3), Donatello/April/Casey (2k12), Leonardo & Lotus Blossom (1987), and of course my OC’s with their chosen partner(s).
P: Favorite Kinks or Themes in fics/art?
HH: Again, ask what I don’t like! Haha! Bondage has to be one of my favorites. BDSM and all its variations and activities are things I enjoy exploring.
P: Wrapping up; What would you like to say to the fandom in general?
HH: First off, I’d like to say THANK YOU! The fandom is a beautiful and lively place, full of supportive and talented people. There were people who encouraged me when I started posting; people who offered advice and assistance, and I try always to pay that forward.
I’d also like to remind people that the true members of the fandom do not judge, they don’t bully or put anyone down. That’s how you tell the difference. A fandom is made up of good people who enjoy each other’s content and supports it even when that content may not be to their particular taste.
Negativity comes from people who aren’t there for the fandom, people with no interest in building community or creating anything of lasting beauty. Valuable time and attention should not be given to anyone whose only goal is to belittle others. Yes, they are loud. No, they are not the majority of us who go about minding our own business.
Keep growing this fandom! Enjoy the things you enjoy about it. Interact with people who make you happy. Fandom is above all else a community, which is defined as ‘a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.’ That’s what the TMNT fandom is – our community.
I’m initially reaching out to those whose work I was familiar with as a reader/viewer before I started participating/posting my own. In the near future, I’ll interview some contemporaries, too!
The opinions stated by the interviewees are solely their own, and YOU WILL RESPECT THEM, even if you do not share the same opinions/preferences, etc. If you harass the interviewee, expect to be reported. Please note that many if not all of the people I choose to interview are, like me, pro-ship and pro-tcest. If you don’t like that, please do not read it.