††††††††††† Links to Rosemarieís works online:
††††††††††††††† Rosemarie Hauerís Calendars
††††††††††† Tunnel Tales
††††††††††† Marinaís site
††††††††††† Belle et Bete
††††††††††† Lesleyís site
Who are you?
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your interests in general.
Who am I? Thatís a good question. Iím a school teacher (first to fourth grade) and mother of an eleven-year-old girl. These two facts, not necessarily in that order of course, absorb the most of my attention and creative energy which is fine for the most part, because the results are very satisfying, but I do miss those times when I was able to allow myself to get immersed in B&B to such a degree.
Both your art and your writing are among the best beloved in the B&B fandom. What drew you to the Beauty and the Beast TV series, and why did you/do you feel the need to write and draw about B&B? Was it something you had done before being involved with Beauty and the Beast or something that developed out of it?
Of course I did draw a little before B&B, but itís hardly worth mentioning. What drew me to the B&B TV series was the character of Vincent in the first place. I didnít know that in the beginning, but I do know now. Itís not so much that I Ďfell in love with himí; itís more that I identified myself with him so intensely.
In those first days of watching B&B I dreamed about it several times. In one dream Vincent was a dying child whom I covered with my clothing. In another dream Vincent and I were children together, best friends who played in a forest. But in several other dreams I was Vincent. I experienced myself running up a hill, felt the cold air in my lungs as I was panting with exhaustion, and the muscles of my thighs hurt as I pushed myself to run even faster. Those dreams, which I still remember vividly after all these years, indicated to me how deeply I felt connected to Vincent.
Who most influenced and/or encouraged your talent? What training have you had for art as well as writing/literary techniques, and where, if it was formal training - or are you self-taught, working from instinct?
It was the character of Vincent who drove me to draw him. When I saw the first pieces of art they took my breath away, but it took quite a while before it occurred to me to take up the pencil myself. I remember my first shaky drawing of a cloaked Vincent with flowing hair who was walking through the tunnels. I remember thinking, ĎWouldnít it be wonderful to have an entire folder full of Vincent drawings?í I didnít know much about fandom back then, Iím not even sure if I had read my first fanzine by that time. Now I have several folders full of B&B drawings and once a year or so I take them down from the shelf and look through them, enjoying the wealth of feelings that I put into them and that come back to me at those moments.
I didnít have any special training, neither for art nor for writing, so I like to say that Vincent was my teacher.
What do you enjoy more, the writing or the drawing? Which do you find harder? More satisfying?
Writing is more intense, makes me feel more engrossed and involved, but it needs a form of concentration and focus that I canít maintain at this time of my life. Drawing is something you can interrupt and then continue at another time. Thatís why I still draw but donít write anymore. All of my five fanzines were written within three years while I was on maternity leave, but Iíve been doing calendars since 1993.
Does your writing influence your art or does your art influence your writing?
Both your art and your fic are on line, freely offered to the B&B fans. Letís talk first of your art, a profusion of that make the fans dream.
You often use pencil for your drawings. Tell us about this favorite media.
Pencil is the simplest media both in terms of getting naturalistic results and of being ready anytime. You can make corrections and interrupt and resume your work as you need it. Itís different with color media.
I started doing pen and inks, though. For a long time I drew portraits consisting of millions of tiny dots. I saw this with Beth Blightonís and Barb Gipsonís art and it fascinated me.
Other than pencil, you have used color media. Tell us what they are, how you like using them, and how you choose whether to use pencil or color media.
At first reading your question I found myself thinking that I hadnít used color media all that often, but now that I think of it I realize that† I have done quite a lot of them by now, mainly oils and pastel drawings, but a few crayon drawings and water colors, too.
How do you get such fine definition with a pencil - the hair on Vincentís face, etc. in such detail?
Frankly I donít know how to explain this. It just happens. Iím far from being professional, so I canít do it on command. Iíve found myself failing many times when I tried to do a certain picture when the feeling wasnít right.
How do you choose the subject of your art?† What inspires the composition of the drawing, the choice of making a face portrait or a full body picture, the positions of bodiesÖ What do you imagine first - the content of the work or the emotion you want it to convey? Tell us a bit about all this.
As I said above, Iím far from being professional. I just draw and the rest happens (or sometimes it doesnít happen). I do it all on instinct.
Do you ever end up with something entirely different from what you started, or maybe a spin-off or two?
Thatís impossible to answer because I donít have a result in mind when I start.
Do you create your B&B art from scratch, or find inspiration in photographs, video scans and such? Or both?
I use photographs and video scans, for without them it would be impossible for me to get naturalistic results.
Is there a subject in the B&B universe you especially love to draw, and something you especially find difficult to draw? The many portraits of Vincent are telling of a special love for him.
An artist among the Wintercandlemakers2 Committee says her husbandís build plays into her Vincent drawings and wonders if yours does, too. If it does, how does he react to the drawings?
Oh I used several photographs of both my husband and my daughter. They both enjoyed it. No complaints there. There is one portrait of Vincent and Amy (the baby-girl character in my novella TWO OF A KIND) which I drew from a photograph of Johanna and her daddy.
You illustrated several zines, working with many of the best writers. How did you enjoy doing it, and how did you proceed to create the art for those stories?†
Illustrating zines, well Ė doing drawings that got used in zines, to be correct, was the first thing I did after encountering fandom and fan-fiction. It brought me in contact with many lovely people whom I adored and admired. It was very, very precious for me. Lynette Combs was the one who told me that she thought I would be illustrating zines soon. I got her permission to translate one of her stories into German, which was a hard job and quite an achievement, but worth the effort. Sadly I donít remember the title of that story, but I do remember how deeply it touched me. I didnít have a computer back then, so I canít look it up.
Several of the zines you illustrated are about Third Season stories. Do you find a difference between creating art for the Classic stories and the Third Season universe?
My first reaction was
to simply deny that Third Season existed, but then I met Jo Anderson twice,
Tell us about the art you are working on at present, if any.
After having produced a lot of both high quality fic and stunning art in the past years, now you contribute to keep the dream alive with lovely BATB pieces every year but have stopped writing. We would like to know something about how you created that beautiful fic, though.
††††††††† I remember my first attempts at writing were writing down what I longed to see in the episodes. In German of course. And very, very furtively. I had never heard about such a thing as fan fiction. So my first access was writing after all. I had almost forgotten about that. I quickly dropped it after having read the first re≠al fan stories, such as Sue Glasgowís "Run to the Sea". I canít even begin to tell you how impressed I was. "There I Will Make Thee A Bed of Roses" by Carole Whitehead was the first adult story I ever read, and it was fairly innocent compared with many of those that were yet to come.
The first story I wrote, if I remember it correctly, was a German story for a German fanclub magazine. Later I translated it into English and it appeared in my anthology "Magic", entitled "A Happy New Year". Itís a holiday season story and translating it was one hell of a job. From that time on I simply wrote my stories in English right from the start.
You are Austrian. How does it happen that you wrote your fic in English, and how can you master this language so well?
I have been asked this question several times and I will give you the answer I always give: I learned it in the Tunnels. I have got a mother tongue and a Vincent tongue. J
Do you have one or several favorite situations, feelings, happy endings and/or developments in the charactersí lives?
†I have three favorite characters which I created for my stories: Amy, a little baby girl who looks like Vincent and who gets found by Catherine (ďTwo Of A KindĒ); Johannes, an old man who looks like Vincent and who is held captive by the villains of that story and is finally found and set free by Vincent and Catherine (ďThanks To The Human HeartĒ). And finally there is Joshua, a different kind of ĎDeviní (ďSunlightĒ). Iím in awe of the feeling of having created a character. Itís almost as awe-inspiring as looking at your child. Almost, but still...
Do you have endings in mind for works in progress when you start them or do you just let the stories go where they take you? Do you always know what you want to achieve at the end?
My ideas for a story are very rough. Basically itís the same as with the pictures. As I said, Iím far from being professional. I walk into a story and come out of it on the other end, very much like reading a book or watching a film.
Where do you start on a story... beginning, end or middle? Outline the story, start from an image, a word, an individual section... have an idea that tugs at your mind and practically writes itself... Or does it just depend on the story? What induces you to write a ďmomentĒ or a more plot-oriented story?
I always start at the beginning and write myself all the way through it. Of course I sometimes add or omit parts and pieces, but I never have a plot when I begin.
What have been your sources of inspiration? Do your stories ever include some of your own life experiences?
When my daughter was several weeks old I found myself on a walk on a sunny winterís day Ė and suddenly there was the character of little Amy begging to come to life. So when my baby took her nap I sat down and wrote about that other baby and had Catherine find her and go through similar situations with her. Thatís just one example Ė but thatís not the case with all of my stories of course.† One curious thing was that I had Amy pronounce Vincentís name "Cent" when she started to speak. I wanted to do something different, because I knew that most children use the first syllable of a name when they start speaking. Well, take a guess how my daughter did it when she started to say the name of our big, furry family member several months later? Right, she called him Cent.
Have any of the characters you have created in a story been a reflection of yourself or someone you know?
Joshua is a reflection of Ron Perlman. And I was very pleased to find that people sensed that without having seen the art that went with the story.
How often do the characters take off on their own once youíve started writing?
If you introduced especially painful developments, were they a priority in order to make the story eventful, hook the reader...? How did you feel about making the characters suffer - it would make them or their determination stronger, eventually solve their problems...?
Suffering is never an end in itself in my stories. Itís always there to get the character to a progressed level. I like to think thatís not too far from the truth.
What research, if any, do you do for your stories?
Do you have your stories edited and proofread? Do you consider this important?
Oh yes!! Iíve had several very precious proofreaders and I will be eternally grateful to them. I gave them credit in my zines, so I wonít list them up here. I wouldnít want for any of them to slip my mind at the moment.
You, as well as the other guest authors we are interviewing, have allowed your work to be posted online for the enjoyment of all B&B fans. Why did you decide to do it, and how did you choose the sites?
My stories and pictures are on sites I like and where I have the feeling that I am among friends.
What do you like to hear from someone reading your story or looking at your art?† What was the most interesting response youíve had to your work? What do you consider the greatest compliment youíve received?
Simply that they were touched or moved. Thatís the greatest compliment.
Which of your B&B writings and art do you like best, and why? If you were forced to pick one passage, scene or line from one of your stories, and one of your pieces of art, as a favorite, what would they be?
All of my stories are my Ďchildrení, but I think that ďHeaven Breaking ThroughĒ contains the most of myself.
Does artistic talent run in your family?
Iím not sure. There is no one of my family left whom I could ask about it. But my daughter certainly inherited both the love for writing and drawing. She started making books from the moment she could hold a pencil and copy her first letters. It has been a constant source of joy and fascination to watch her progress.
Any advice you would give to beginners?
Make the best use of everything that gives you enthusiasm. Enthusiasm gives you the spirit, the strength and eventually the skills to make dreams come true.
Who are some other B&B authors who might inspire you or whose work you particularly enjoy? Is there another artistís or writerís work that you especially like Ė any particular story or art piece?
There are truly many, many of them, too many to pick a particular artist or writer at this moment. Itís easier with artists, though, because their work and their style is connected more closely to their names. Beth Blighton, Barb Gipson and Renate Haller are certainly the artists I learned the most from. (Renate, where would Vincentís hair be without you?!) Iím a great admirer of P.S. Nimís graphic novels, although I never tried my hand on that style. (Well, itís exactly the direction my daughter chose for herself.) Where color art is concerned itís Clare Sieffert who inspired me to dig up my oil paints and explore other color media like pastels, acrylic paints and water colors.
You continue to produce lovely BATB pieces every year. Can we assume your love of the show is still in your heart?
Tell us about your B&B calendars, sources for ordering, and if you are currently producing anything else.
All of my B&B calendars are still available. I have a new one out for 2005 and it can be ordered from me directly. Just feel free to contact me via e-mail anytime.
How did B&B affect your life?
In every way you can think of. If you have read what I have written so far, you know a lot about it already. It is wonderful to see those changes in other people as well, to see them grow more self confident, more caring
and more open. I hope people who know me have recognized changes like that in me as well.
Are you or have you been involved with any other fandoms in the same way?
Do you write and draw in any other fandoms besides B&B?
No, I donít.
Do you want to say anything else to the readers of this interview about yourself, B&B, the writing, the art, or the fandom?
This fandom is very special. It consists of very special people who share a very special dream of a better world, one in which someone like Vincent is loved and accepted and even admired. I am very grateful for everything that has come to me out of this series and this fandom. My heart is still there and I hope and pray that there will always this place of warmth and friendship where we can go to when we need it.
Winterfest Online, January 2005