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 fic mythology?
I stay pretty much with the series and use the short story medium to go into depths TV can't reach. I have introduced characters that are mine to add to the action or to help in describing events. I try to always have a reason for introducing another character either as contrast or to move the story along. I also explored Xena's mother in "A Mother's Plea" and tried to develop her character more than the series has to date.

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?
TV is visual so action and appearance are easily shown. What TV can't do is explore the thoughts, emotions and ethics behind the actions. The series gives hints that a short story can develop and use. The flip side is that there is no way a short story can describe a Xena fight as well as it is seen in the series. A short story can also explore areas that are problems for prime time TV. I am more involved with the thoughts and emotions of the characters that TV has trouble showing. Xena really appeals to me because of her "dark" side and the constant battle she fights internally as well as externally. Her internal fights are wonderful short story material and I think this appeals to fans.

Q: Do you read fan fic written by others. If so, do you have any favorite authors? Have you been influenced by any?
I really love the fan fiction that is being written and read a lot of it. I just can't get enough of two women who can fight for what is right and have a personal relationship as well. Very seldom has written or media fiction allowed this. I've been bored and tired of the women shown in books or in the media that scream at the first sign of trouble and need a man to get them out of a jam. I have been influenced by this and try to keep this theme in my stories. I have many favorite authors but Wishes, Tim Wellman, Maggie and Rebekah are writers who I really admire and try never to miss anything they produce.

Q: Of the stories you have written which is your personal favorite and why?
I don't really have a favorite. Each filled a need at the time. The Contest was my first attempt at writing fiction and I see a lot of things that I wish I knew how to do better. A Mother's plea was written to give strength and character to Xena's mother and I feel good about that. The Dilemma was a way for me to explore my feelings about human life and if there ever is a reason to take a life.

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?
Writing for me is pure enjoyment and relaxation from the grind of a technical job. I get my ideas from sort of what if games. Like what if Xena had to face a whole group of men who wanted to kill her for a bounty? Or what if Gabrielle had to face a Xena on drugs. What has happened so far, usually while jogging, is that I get an idea and it rolls around in my head for a couple of weeks. I then sit down at the PC and type it out (usually late at night) in a couple of session. Then weeks of re-write and edit follow. Finally, I have done all I am willing to do on the story and post it. This stage is probably way too soon for good writing but I am not a very patient person so when the re-writing stops being fun, I say enough and send it.

I guess one last comment is that the characters of Xena and Gabrielle are very appealing to me and writing with them in mind has been terrific. I think the fans of the show have been very supportive of us "want to be" bards and I certainly appreciate their support and encouragement.

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