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?
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 slightly.

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 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 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.

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