Tell us something about yourself: Where are you from? Age/Gender? Hobbies? Anything you'd like to share.
I'm a SFW of an indeterminate age. ;) I spent the last decade+ getting a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D., and now I find myself darn near unemployable. Ain't that a pisser? I currently teach history courses as an adjunct professor at a state university that shall remain nameless (just in case a student of mine wanders over here). I'd bail on the whole academic scene without a backward glance except that I adore teaching -- history, quite simply, is a bunch of really, really good stories, and I just love telling them.
Other things of note: I adore music. Don't think I could live without it, really. Big into everything from Renaissance church music to hip hop and pretty much everything in between. I'm an Anglophile (my main area of study is 16th-century England), a hockey fanatic (I'm from Detroit, where hockey is, like, a religion), and a mystery novel junkie (historical mysteries to classics like Christie, James, and Grimes). When I was little, my sister used to hide my Nancy Drews to get me to play with her. To this day reading is still one of my very favorite things.
How did you begin writing in general?
I always wanted to be a writer, from the time I was a kid. I was very big into historical fiction and used to sit around dreaming up plotlines for sweeping historical dramas, Civil War epics, etc. I first played around with writing seriously in college, but as soon as I decided on the grad school route, that ate up all my time and creative energies. I didn't really start writing non-academic stuff again until the middle of my Ph.D. program. Long story short: I started revisiting my lost youth by attending an inordinate number of 'NSYNC concerts, and since I never thought pictures did an adequate job on commemorating the *experience* of a show, I started writing ridiculously detailed concert reports of each show I went to. Reading them now is absolutely hysterical, but man, do they take me right back inside each one of those venues -- hell, sometimes I feel my butt actually back in the seat! Anyhoo, the infamous 'concert tales' got me all juiced up about putting words together to paint pictures again.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
AYW. I was in the middle of drafting my dissertation at the time, and that episode hit me so hard that I was literally incapacitated. The next day, I tried to sit in front of the computer to get back to work on a diss chapter, and my first fic, "There Is No Fear," came out instead. It's a flaming piece of crap, story-wise, but there are still some lines in there that I absolutely adore. The funny thing is, I don't remember even coming up with the piece -- one minute I was crying at the keyboard, the next, the whole story kind of dropped into my head. I tend to write in great bursts of energy, channeling what can only be some great fic god.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
Exploring plot holes, silences, absences, that sort of thing. I generally like to work with canon rather than against it. I get my ideas from watching old eps. and listening to crushingly depressing music. ;)
Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?
There isn't enough space in the world to answer that question adequately, even if I could articulate it properly. But put simply, Spike fascinates me because he *tries*, tries to be something more than anyone thinks he can be. He inspires the hell out of me.
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
Hmm, probably "8 Little Words," my during-"Chosen" piece. I hit on the dramatic twist of the ficlet the very night of the finale and then pounded the thing out the next morning in no time flat. I really liked it at first; then I posted it in a rush and suddenly felt really uneasy about it, like maybe it was too trite or simple. I remember posting it and then going out with a friend shopping -- by the time I came home, I had about 20 responses to it, and I was utterly gobsmacked. To this day, I like the piece itself, but I think the reason it's my favorite is because so many people care about it. It blows my mind that people have translated it into other languages!
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
Ugh, my long series "Rewards." This thing is the bane of my existence. In a good way. ;) I've had it in mind since "Chosen," but with the diss and then teaching, it's been a nightmare to write. I can't seem to write a chapter until it plays in my head like a movie (and then I just write what I see), which means that it is taking *forever*. I've been at it for so long that I've already got the next two books mapped out -- one can only hope that my enthusiasm for the follow-ups will help get my booty in gear on the current project.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
I love dialogue -- I'm all about the dialogue, and I think I write some fairly snappy stuff. But I have a tendency to rush my plots because I'm so anxious to get to the good stuff. Thank God for my betas, who do such great things to my writing. I'm learning from them all the time.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
Finding time to write. I wish I could get about a month of solid writing time, but I don't see that coming any time soon.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
Get yourself some brilliant betas -- you won't believe the difference. And don't forget to keep reading. It's amazing to me how the simple turn of a phrase in someone else's work can spark an idea that turns into a whole story.
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
Oh, heck, yeah, I read other fanfic. I've been reading at this site for I don't even know how long. To see what I'm reading and loving, just go to the links and recommendations page at my site:
(There's probably a more direct address that would take you directly there, but honestly, I'm a website idiot -- I don't even have the computer skills to maintain my own fic site. How sad is that? Thank God for good friends who don't mind the grunt work!)
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)
Actually, I've been toying with the idea of writing a series of mystery novels with a graduate student protagonist, exploring the eccentricities and backstabbing of the world of academia. I'll keep you posted if I get the project off the ground!
Oh, and if you're into yummy boy pop and want to check out some sugary goodness, go here for my stellar 'NSYNC concert tales:
I recommend Episode 7 from the 1999 chronicles. You'll see why. ;) But beware of the psychotic use of exclamation points. LOL