Tell us something about yourself: Where are you from? Age/Gender? Hobbies? Anything you'd like to share.
I was born in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, grew up in Denver, but have lived in Portland and Seattle off and on for 25 years. Female, like most fic writersHow did that happen? I'm a mother, a writer, playwright, theater costumer and all-round sewing person.
How did you begin writing in general?
I wanted to write the story that went with the picture I'd drawn. I was seven or eight I think.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
When the Original Star Trek was cancelled. But I only did it in secret, because I aspired to be a literary artiste and no one could ever know my secret shame/guilty pleasure.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
It's really good exercise for a writer. It's pure writing for the pure joy of it. Usually.
Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?
The moment he goes from boastful swaggering prick to solictious, concerned lover in School Hard I went Wow, there are layers and layers here and we may never get to see how many. He's the vampire son I never had. He's the trickster and the fool. He went staggering (sometimes swaggering) down the double yellow line on the good vs evil highway. He's pretty. Peter Pan had sharp little teeth too, you know.
What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?
I love them all. But I have a soft spot for Tara. A young woman who seemed so insecure and timid, and yet was strong enough to leave Willow when that final line of trust was crossed - well that's a woman with a tremendous strength, a healthy survival instinct, moral conviction, and hidden depths. I also love Dawn, and unlike many, found her to be a pretty true depiction of a teenaged girl. It ain't easy being a teenager.
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
Nicolette Says Jump. Because the dirty Scrabble game cracks my shit up, and because I proved that fat chicks can not only be sexy, but also evil in the most delightful ways.
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
Daemons Luminati. Because the challenge was to make Spike worthy of Buffy's love when I personally didn't think he was. I love the guy, but that unworthiness and the striving towards it, is part of what I love. Some people might argue that she wasn't worthy of his love, but I don't think Spike would agree. His famous words: "I know I'm a monster, but you treat me like a man." To him, that alone made her worthy of laying down his life. (Or unlife if you want to get technical).
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
My strengths are dialogue and the inner monologue type thing. I think. My biggest weakness is this constant battle being waged between the goddess of impossible perfection and the demon of "fuck it, it's good enough." It's never perfect and it's never good enough. So, you know, fuck it. Also, I still use too many metaphors and similes. If it takes the reader out of the story - even if they're saying, oh isn't that a lovely metaphor - get shun of it! If it doesn't serve to illuminate the character or the action or the plot, lose the simile. I rely on the repetetive, rhythmic use of the word "and" too much.
Do you feel that your work has improved as time has passed? If so, in what areas do you think you have improved the most?
In BtVS fanfic, familiarity with the characters and their backstory improved my writing a lot. In original fiction I'm a thousand times better than I was when I tried my hand at a novel the first time. Being in critique groups, taking workshops helped me tremendously. People who know your style and what you're attempting with a particular work can guide you towards making it the best it can be. Fanfic feedback is not the same thing at all, though it is very nice and makes me happy.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
Expectation. And the desire for feedback can be crippling in a way. But I think (hope) I'm over that now.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
If they are new fic writers who are serious about the craft, using fic as a way to learn the craft, or to exercise their writer's chops, or to experiment with form and style and voice and POV and all that, then I say READ. Read everything and anything (not just fanfic) so that you at least have a feeling for how language and grammar work (even if you don't know the technical terms). Also see my weaknesses above. Use spellcheck for the love of God.
If you are a fanfic writer who just wants to write hot porn, then please, have at least one sexual experience under your belt before you venture there. We can all tell if you haven't.
Also, don't be afraid to take your fanfiction and rewrite it as original fiction. You get a lot of great ideas from fanfiction.
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
I do. Many of my favorite writers are archived on AAS. My favorite story of all time I think though is Self-Same Lore by Cynthia Liskow. It's fantastic. I can't praise this highly enough.
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)
I write original fiction and I wish to god you could find it somewhere other than on my hardrive. I wrote a pretty good novel that has almost been purchased for publication three times. I've also co-authored a Doctor Who novel called Grimm Reality. I wrote a few Doctor Who fics. One called Mercy, is in the charity anthology "Walking in Eternity" edited by Julian Eales. You can find the novel on Amazon. If you want to.