How did you begin writing in general?
I always did, for as long as I can remember. It's a means of articulation for me.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
It was a Mary-Sue desire to write myself into that world, rather than just to read myself into it. I wanted to be active, not passive.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
Playing with characters, trying to get inside them so that you manage to surprise people with their behaviour whilst staying within character. It's cathartic, as well, yet without the weight my pro work acquires to me. That's partially because my fanfic is short story material so themes are pared down and condensed.
Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?
He's a sexgod. Oh, really? Firstly, he's got the attitude which allows you to throw in twists and shocks. I guess that is covered by the whole notion of the ambiguity of him: the monster in the man and the man in the monster. Second, he's the only one of them capable of perceiving what is really going on with the people around him, so he can comment on others. Third, he's an English character within the Buffy universe which means I don't have to translate from English to American!
What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?
Willow, because every good online geek girls loves Willow a little. Wes and Giles, for the chance to write Englishmen abroad.
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
Whichever is my most recent (so currently 'Kali Dances'). I always have a love/loathe relationship with my current writing: once the work is out there, I tend to think it's an improvement on my previous work and therefore it becomes my favourite.
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
'Kali Dances', which is also my current favourite, because it's been written during a time of huge personal chaos and, I hope, reflects the calm I've now found (its working title was 'Pure Shores' as I felt like I'd finally found myself washed up and cleansed).
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
Strengths? I'd like to think I avoid too many cliches and try new turns of phrase which are not laughably bad. Weaknesses? A tendancy towards allowing characters to be more passive than they ought to be.
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?
Yes, in terms of both prose and meaning. I spent many years paring my prose down to the bone to avoid a tendancy to waffle on endlessly with descriptions. I've started, in the last year, to begin to reintroduce more lyrical writing (in the sense of toying with language and meaning, not in terms of writing songfic!). I'm surprising myself which is hopefulyl a good thing.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
Feedback. I crave it and hate myself for wanting that quick ego-fix.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
Learn the basics of grammar and punctuation. Language is a means of communicating the ideas in your head to other people's heads and misuse of grammar and punctuation is a hinderance to that idea-exchange. Yes, fanfic is not paid, it's just for fun etc etc but you want people to read you, so take your use of the language seriously.
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
Kalima's stuff which is saucy. Herself for the huge bittersweet series. My absolute favourite story is Small Fry by mad poetess and james walkswithwind purely for the image of baby Spike.
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)
Yes, professionally under another name and fanfic under a variety of them. I tend to think of my fic in other fandoms as written using a different style and voice though, so I don't join all the dots between my pen-names.