Tell us something about yourself: Where are you from?
Iím a Brit from a rural part of southern England. This is vaguely relevant because it comes through more and more in my writing Ė I have started to dislike setting everything in London and am moving my stories out into the country more and more. I think setting is terribly important for a story and prefer to write settings I like.
How did you begin writing in general?
Slowly. Iíve always told myself stories, then one day I realised Iíd just finished one in my head and I really ought to go write it down. I went home and started a completely different one which grew into a novel. Iíve been writing on and off ever since.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
I read some and saw what amazingly good stuff people could produce. It was the first time Iíd read anything by amateurs and I suppose up till that point, like most people, Iíd been a literary snob Ė who assumed that the only standard by which to judge writers was whether or not theyíd been published. There was also the appeal of writing some of the things that you donít get in published fiction, although Iíve always been coy about that and started that side very slowly. Finally there was the less respectable feeling that I could do a hell of a lot better than any of the historical Buffy fics I had read Ė the standard of which was truly atrocious. Anyway, my eyes had been opened and within a few days a scenario arrived in my head so I tried my first one.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
Remarkably little, most of the time. When itís going well, and especially towards the later stages when Iím polishing a nearly complete story I quite enjoy writing. The rest of the time itís a nightmare Ė one of the most excruciatingly painful hobbies imaginable. God knows why I keep at it.
Why have you chosen to write about Spike?
Iím not sure I have. I loved the character from School Hard and I wanted to write something historical. Historical meant fanged four since I was always most interested in the vampires, so I suppose it was natural to start with Spike, but I donít remember giving it much thought.
What do you find interesting about his character?
With the character as I write him I most like the sense of continuous struggle against the standards Angelus sets him Ė which has scant basis in canon, but who cares.
What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?
At the moment, Darla Ė she is very sketchily drawn in canon so there are endless possibilities. The more I write her the more I want to write her. But actually I have a tendency to love all my characters, even the quite minor ones. They come alive for me and I become intrigued.
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
Hard one to answer. If I donít like a piece I donít go public with it, so I tend to like everything Iíve posted.
In many ways I am proudest of Sweet William because it was tough as hell to tie all the disparate strands of canon, character and my own ideas together. I am endlessly sad that it has now been Jossed six ways to Sunday.
I am also proud of Prelude and Fugue, it makes me sad that it got so little response. It does some things that were very difficult to do and I think it does them rather well.
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
I suppose the hardest are the ones that are so tough Iíve never finished them. Otherwise, some fics just leap out of me, others are drawn like teeth. Sweet William was easy to write in parts, took endless rewrites in other places Ė the critical scene in Willís bedroom was written and rewritten over several months. Thank You was also a pig to write Ė it had to mirror Schoolboy in structure and feel whilst being original in its own right, which took a long time to get right.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
I think Iím quite good at plots and weaving in strands of canon. I think I can also create good original characters and am reasonable at evoking moods. I think my main weakness as a fanfic writer is my pigheaded refusal to accept certain strands of canon as well as the fact I completely lost interest in accurate characterisation a couple of years ago Ė I now try to be consistent with myself not the show. My main weakness as a writer generally is my hopeless inability to use language in an attractive fashion. I guess Iíve got a bit of William the frustrated poet in me. I also canít spell.
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?
If I didnít feel I was improving I really would chuck in the towel. Iíd say Iíve come on in most areas of technique. Half the problem of course is that you have to first learn what the flaws are, then learn to spot them in your own writing, and only then can you begin to correct them. Itís a good thing too in some ways since Iíd never have persisted in the beginning if Iíd known just how bad I was.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
Those days when I have a brilliant idea, settle down to get it onto paper with the cat comfortably purring on my knee, a glass of wine at my side, the birds singing through the window, and I discover my penís run out of ink.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
Never pay too much attention to anything another writer tells you. Donít get hung up on feedback Ė itís a false god. Always wait at least an extra day before posting, preferably an extra week, you are bound to think of something you want to change. Keep your ink bottle where you can refill without disturbing the cat.
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
A little. I mostly only read people Iíve read for ages because I know theyíre good and Iíll get what I want, or for my worst kinks, because I just donít have the time for anything else. My favourite author is Coquette Ė I say this in the faint hope sheíll start writing again.
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)