Tell us something about yourself: Where are you from? Age/Gender? Hobbies? Anything you'd like to share.
I'm a 36 year old woman, who does everything which is artistic, but manages to make money from almost none of it. I make my money as a professional Tarot Councillor -- and yes, I'm good at it, and yes, I'm for real. Mostly, now, I write, though in the past I have worked as a professional musician, actor, and illustrator at various times. I like cats. And snakes.
How did you begin writing in general?
I started writing in Jr High school, when my English teacher tricked me into writing a play for the school drama society to put on. (Trouble at home, child withdrawing, it was either creativity or drugs, and happily, she chose wisely!) That play was a thinly veiled rip-off of Star Wars, spliced in with some Lost In Space tropes. I'm pathetically glad I can find no evidence of it with which to torment myself now.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
Tolkien's world, in which I lived throughout most of my high school years. I was an utter nerdling, to the point that I could read and write tengwar, and had the Silmarillion all but memorized. I never wrote fanfic using the Ring War characters though, it was all original characters which somehow never made it into the books. A lost tribe of Numenori who left the Grey Isle before Feanor did, carrying with them a proto-Silmaril which Morgoth never found. They settled east of Mordor, and... well, you get the idea.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
The same things I enjoy about writing in general, though in fanfic, it's much easier to find an audience, and the feedback flows much more readily. FAR more encouraging than the endless rounds of rejection letters!
Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?
I find Spike fascinating because of the essential conflict that goes on in almost everything he does. He is not poised between his dark and light side, but torn between them, and I find his struggle to find where he actually fits an endless source of fascination. Plus, I love writing his dialogue. It's just so much fun!
What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?
I love writing Giles, for many of the same reasons as Spike. There are layers to him beyond the tweedy, buttoned-up librarian which we got to see from time to time in the series, but never quite to the depths I'd hoped. I always found him far more interesting than Buffy. Oz is fascinating to me, but I've not had the courage to go there yet. He has to be handled delicately, or he loses his 'feel'. Someday, probably...
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
BtVS? My favorite is Here We Come A Wassailing
, because it actually happened to someone I know. Well, not the getting teleported to Germany in pajamas bit, but the drinking with marines and tripping over police cruisers, and getting arrested and thrown out of Dusseldorf bit. Really.
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
One which I haven't finished yet. It's set just after Xander and Anya's aborted wedding, and while I SAW that episode, I did not tape it, and nobody I know has it, and to my knowledge, it hasn't been released on video yet. So I can't do my research properly for it. Dammit!
The other two were dead easy when it comes down to it.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
Strengths; characterization, plots, and command of the English language. Weaknesses: Easily distracted by shiny objects. But hey -- at least I don't inflict never-ending WIPs on people anymore!
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?
Absolutely. I have gotten more comfortable with shorter length work. I used to be categorically unable to produce a story in less than 5000 words. Fanfic has taught me to shorten my rein, and still get the important bits in.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
The nagging suspicion that I'm neglecting 'proper' writing to do this. Pointless, since my proper writing was deadstalled anyway, but still. I feel guilty sometimes for enjoying this as I do.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
ALWAYS use at least three betas, and make sure two of them aren't your best buddies! What one beta misses, another will catch, but you must look for betas who are more committed to the quality of your work than to keeping your feelings from getting hurt. After all, you want the beta to find the weak points, so you can fix them BEFORE everyone and their brother does!
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
I love Willshenillshe's Slashed Sonnet Series.
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)
Yes, and yes. I have two original stories published and available in anthologies on Amazon.com. Time of the Vampires
, and Dracula in London
are the two books, if anyone's really curious. I'm still working on that novel publication (hence my familiarity with rejection notices).
And yes, I also write quite a lot of Harry Potter fanfic, which readers can find here: http://home.earthlink.net/~cluegirl/