PenStrokePony is this weeks Hall of Pony. He is an author of several much beloved fanfics: Better Living Through Science and Ponies, Changing Octaves, Creeping Darkness, For My Sister, A Drop of Moonshine, and probably most importantly Past Sins.
1.When/how did you discover MLP:FIM?
-I became aware of MLP:FIM in spring 2011. I was working on my senior final games project at my university, where I was finishing up my computer science bachelors. A few members of my team were talking about the show, and I couldn't deny I was curious. Then, like so many others, I told myself I'd at least watch one episode. That episode turned into the full first season, though I didn't really become a serious fan until I re-connect with an old online writing buddy of mine thanks to Equestria Daily. Once I had teamed up again with Batty Gloom, I was officially neck deep in the fandom.
2.Who is your favorite main cast character and why?
-I'm a big fan of Applejack for a few reasons. First, while I am a technically minded guy and a programmer, I grew up on a farm in a small rural community. Guess you could say I can relate to her and the rest of the apple family, though my family's farm focused on barely, hay, and corn. The second reason I find I like her is her get it done attitude and work ethic, both things I highly respect.
3.Who is your favorite background character( this is anypony other than the main 6. ie not Twilight, Fluttershy...)?
-My favorite background character has to be Zecora. Not only am I fond of her rhyming, but the mystery around her character appeals to me. Why does she live in the Everfree Forest? Why did she leave her distant homeland to come to Equestria? Why does she talk in rhymes? What is her sun patterned Cutie Mark supposed to represent? What is her real, true special talent? So much mystery, I can't wait until the show's writers decide its time for us to know about Ponyville's reclusive zebra.
4.Who would you follow Celestia or Luna?
-After seeing Nightmare Night, it really is hard to say whether I would follow Luna or Celestia. I'm not much of a night owl when I can avoid it, but at the same time I always did enjoy the clear view of the stars my rural home afforded. Honestly, I suppose I'm a person that would prefer to follow them both. Why must we choose when the two royal sisters seem more than content to rule side by side?
5.What would you tell someone who hasn't watched the show?
-It would depend on the person, I guess. While I have yet to find the courage to openly state my enjoyment of the show to random people on the street, I am willing to talk about the facts and lets people decide for themselves. That while the show was written to be something both children and parents could enjoy together, that among the bright colors and moral lessons there are some wonderful jokes that can make parents chuckle (example: Twilight standing on a soap box in Feeling Pinkie Keen). That the show, as a whole, is something that can be enjoyed beyond its target demographic, if your willing to give it a chance.
6.What are your influences?
-Well, the rest of the My Little Pony community for one. One of the biggest influences in my writing is also my internet friend, Batty Gloom. He provides much needed input on my ideas as well as my writing, and together we're working to try and improve our craft so that we can write a better story. Another big influence for me is my family. While they aren't quiet aware that I'm fond of a children's show, they've always supported my writing as a hobby and I am very appreciative of them for that. Beyond that, my influences are just whatever is around me at the time. Movies, TV, games, ponies... you know, the usual stuff.
7.If you had one quote (from anything) that has really had an impact on you/ just a saying you really liked, what would it be?
-"Creativity is a plant best left to grow wild" - Something I came up with in High School for my senior yearbook. It's kind of stuck with me.
8.What is the best pony site you know?(Hint Hint, remember your doing this thing for Obsession Is Magic, but I do encourage you to be truthful.)
-"Obsession is Magic" is definitely a website I like to frequent, but at the same time, I have to say my preferred site is Equestria Daily. Sorry.
(break - Okay, leaving the whole Equestria Daily comment aside, I would like to point out that he says he checks us out, so that's good enough for me.)
9.Just a little about yourself. This is open eneded so you tell us anything you want to tell.
-Don't really have much else to say except giving a shout out to my buddy Batty Gloom as well as all the pre-readers who help my writing be the best it can be. I wouldn't have been able to receive this honor without all that help, so my hats off to all of you.
Pen Stroke, an amazing author. The very first fanfic I read (other than Topless Robot's Fan Fiction Friday) was his Better Living Through Science and Ponies. I had just gotten done with Portal 2, so I decided I'd give it a shot. If it wasn't for this story I probably would have never gotten into fanfics. On that note, I believe Pen Stroke hates his readers. Why? Because he hasn't wrote a sequel to Better Living, that's why. I want a sequel so bad that it hurts.
Here's a fun fact, Galvin and I started a dramatic reading of Better Living before we finally gave up on it.
Anyway, we at Obsession Is Magic fully support you and we hope you continue writing your amazing stories.