Q: XWP fan fic has created a mythology all
of its own - separate from the TV show. Do you find in your own writing
that you try to stay true to the series or have you also added to the fan
Both... sort of. I first started with "A Crown of Laurel" and I did my
best to keep the story 'by the book', so to speak. The sequel to that
story, "Passage Into Darkness" is a far different story. The whole
trilogy takes place between "Gabrielle's Hope" and "The Debt", but I
found my muse playing with Callisto, Ares, Xena and Gabrielle in ways
that later episodes make it contradictory. Some of that I can do damage
control on later on in the story, and I've got ideas how to do that, but
I still do my best to keep the story on track. I do find it's VERY hard
to keep the information from later episodes away from my story though.
"Tapestry of Life" on the other hand seems to be a blend of both from
the beginning. The trilogy was basically made up of 3 episodes, The
Return of Callisto, The Deliverer, and Bitter Suite, which in my mind
where some of the most defining episodes in the series. I took the
episodes and expanded on them, twisting it with angst, but in the end
it's always true to the episodes. The Fates in the third story "Fate's
Choice" were almost completely my own creation. I hadn't seen "Remember
Nothing" so I had to bring the Fates to life in my own way.
Finally, no one that has written Uber (except for Janice/Mel stories)
has written "true to the series", so I guess that since I've now started
my own Uber story I'm messing with the "truth" again. But... even in
this story I've kept to the show in regards to one or two things that
have cropped up.
Personally, I don't believe in changing was has happened in the show in
regards to ff. Add to it, tell us what's going on behind the scenes,
give us the reasons 'why', but don't change. In a way I think it's a
cop-out. Although, I've read some fantastic stories that have changed
certain key moments in episodes PERMENTALY, I don't agree with it. Find
a way to work with it is my motto.
Q: Many readers feel that the fan fic often
surpasses the TV series in its appeal. What are your thoughts on this?
Do you find yourself attracted to themes which are not normally explored
on the TV show?
Personally, I love the third season and find the show very satisfying.
But, if I didn't find that I wanted more, or that there was something
beyond just that 40 minutes of television that I was missing, then I
never would have started reading ff or writing it for that matter.
Of course there are themes that aren't explored on the show that I enjoy
reading. Uber for one (I used to not like Uber but I've changed my mind)
and altfic in general. Although for the most part I don't get too
indepth with the subtext in my stories (I'm a chicken..or rather a
turkey!), I do enjoy reading alot of the other ff writer's
contributions. Yes, we see subtext between the tv Xena and Gabrielle,
but it's subtext. They play with us..teasing, enticing. Personally, I
love it and I don't want them to 'come out' as it were. I think that's
the ff niche and I'm completely satisified with hearing Gabrielle
talking about "knowing herself" and getting a huge kick out of it. I do
think they could go a bit further with the subtext (like in "The
Quest"), but I'd rather see the alt stay in ff. Hmmm...have I gotten off
the subject? *G*
Q: Do you read fan fic written by others. If
so, do you have any favorite authors? Have you been influenced by any?
Do I read FF? Does Argo disappear at the drop of a hat? (*G* after I
wrote "A Warrior's Friend" I had someone suggest I write a story
explaining where she disappears too. I think I'll let that stay a
mystery for now.) I read like a feind, although lately I've found that I
only read certain authors to save my time. There's just a huge flood of
material coming out there right now and my tastes seem to be changing
Overall, my favorite authors are Katrina aka Bearblue, BLMiller,
Bardwynna, S.Bowers, L.N.James, Missy Good and Ella Quince. In general
though, there's many more authors out there who wrote one or two stories
that I just love.
As for whom I'm influenced by, that's the easiest question to answer. No
one. Perhaps subconsciously, but I rather doubt it. I'm more influenced
by the show itself.
Q: Of the stories you have written which is your personal favorite and why?
My favorite used to be "One Last Warlord" until quite recently. When I came up with the storyline, it was vague and extremely rough, but when I
started typing it out...it flowed. It gives me a chill just thinking
about it. It's not a great story, but I just tingle inside thinking
about that story. To me it's very powerful in its own way.
Right now though, my favorite story is the Uber I'm working on "...And
Beyond". Except for a couple of chapters (which have taken longer to
write because I've fought with my muse), this story gives me the same
feeling. I think it's because both stories deal with an "eternal love".
It's a very powerful concept and even the most cynical of us fantasize
about a love like that.
Some of my favorite stories (and I'm not talking about my own) are the
ones that deal with death and if you read Uber stories you are reading
about the death of Xena and Gabrielle and how these two women find each
other again. *sniff* I guess I'm just a romantic at heart. Don't let
that get out though, I have a reputation to keep up.
Q: How is the writing process for you? What
is your "philosophy" of writing? Where do you get your ideas
from? Do you pen a story in one sitting or have to work over several weeks?
I really don't have a philosophy of writing... I think. A story either
gets written or doesn't. I've only had one instance where I've started a
story and given up on it completely.
Most of my ideas actually come to me when I'm in bed. I've never been
able to fall asleep immediately and sometimes I lie awake in bed for two
hours before my mind stops being restless and I drift off. During that
time, especially when I finally start to get tired and start nodding
off, is when most of my ideas come to me. Between the conscious and
unconscious. Waking and dreaming. Real and fantasy. That's when most of
my ideas are born. In a way, and this is going to sound odd, it's almost
a physical sensation of being slapped in the middle of the forehead. I
guess my muse has to be a little bit more forthright in getting her
point across to me.
As for how long it takes me to write a story...it all depends. All of my
short stories have taken two or three days (at the most) to write, the
only exception to this being "Fates' Choice" which took me a month. It
wasn't that it was a difficult story, but it was based on "The Bitter
Suite" and questions I had about that episode. I had a lot to work out
in that story and numerous threads to weave, so to speak.
In my longer works, "A Crown of Laurel" and "Passage Into Darkness", the
story is divided into Parts (approx. 20-25 pages long) and I post that
part almost immediately afterwards. It takes at least a week to write
each part. "...And Beyond" works basically on this same principle but
I've divided each part in sections, chapters, this time. So, in other
words... I have no rule of thumb I go by. I write the way that makes me
feel the most comfortable.
Structure, grammar, Point of View... all of this technical stuff is
important, but I'm not overly concerned with it. That's why I have
editors now (and I don't think I could write without them anymore). I'm
far more concerned about the words themselves, how to convey Xena's and
Gabrielle's thoughts and emotions to the readers in such a way that you
can FEEL it. I'm entirely jealous of some of these ff writers that can
so easily put their thoughts into words, because I find it so difficult.
I look at my writing and find it so contrived, but what do you expect?
We are our own worst audience and critics.