How did you begin writing in general?
I'd occasionally start writing stories because I was out of books and needed something to read. Though it was something I'd always been good at, I never had dreams of being a writer growing up--I knew enough of them that I had no romantic illusions about the trade, and besides, I wanted to be an artist. My first or second year of university, space and time constraints started cutting into my art time, and I found myself (when I wasn't online, or head-down in the Russians, or out having far too much fun) writing as a creative outlet. I believe I had plans to write the Great American Lesbian Novel. I believe I was also very young.
What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?
The first time, or the second time? Because when I was 14, long before I knew what fanfic was, I would write exceedingly silly Batslash. As time goes on, this seems more and more like a big hurking sign.
However, it's the second time that got me into fandom proper. (Well, the fic aspects of fandom proper. I suppose technically I'd been in other aspects of fandom for a dog's age. It all sort of blurs and intertwines.) The second time, it was because I was feeling guilty about reading all these stories by people I was talking to on a regular basis about BtVS. I felt that, drat it, I should be producing something for them to read.
What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?
I like to play endless games of what-if in my head. I love the click when it all comes together. I love the rush when a string of words comes out of your fingertips, and you're not sure where they came from, but you love the way they flow.
Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?
I write about almost all the characters, so there's no one thing that draws me to write Spike, or Angel, or Wesley. I find Spike interesting for the same reasons I find the rest of them interesting: he's a mass of contradictions and messy emotions that provide good raw material for writing.
What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?
Again, all of them. The bulk of my writing in the Jossverse has probably been Buffy and Wesley--combined or separate--because I understand their headspaces, so it's easy to slid into them.
Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?
I can't choose! Absolution was probably the most... interesting writing experience. I got a lot of pleasure out of finishing it and shipping it off to beta. The Benefits series, because of how I wrote it (on notepads, hiding out in the washroom at work, each one in about thirty minutes), was fun--it's not perfect, but it turned out way better than it had any right to, given the speed at which they came into being.
Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?
Finished? Probably Absolution. Five months, a lot of research, and many sleepless nights. The unfinished ones are worse, or else they wouldn't be unfinished.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?
I over-research, and---
I over-research. I'll get caught up in dependencies and freeze up when writing. I can't just push through until it's done and then fix it in post. I mean, a 500 word Faith ficlet really doesn't need me to do three days of research into life inside the California women's prisons, yet I can't seem to stop myself.
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, sort of. Kind of. Maybe.
I think that, the more I write, the more likely it is that I'm heading into things plot first. So instead of short snapshots, I'm writing longer things that involve actual plot arcs and slightly less in the way of sex. Moving, if you will, more into storytelling than anything else.
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?
Keeping up my interest in what I'm working on, when I have precious little bandwidth. It's easy to burn out on something when it's 90% done, and hard to go back and do that final 10%.
What advice would you give to new fic writers?
Get a beta. A good one. One you can work with and bounce ideas off of and love and feed and call George.
Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?
Oh yeah. I love Fay Jay's Sick Rose series (Spike and Dru in Prague), adore Sheila Perez and Te's Amends the Next Time, find damn near everything Shrift puts out a gift I can't wait to unwrap... there are so many good writers in fandom. I can't list them all, and I'm not even going to bother to try.
Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)
Yes to the first. But it's under wraps until we finish it.
Yes to the second. I've written a wee nugget of Smallville, political slash, popslash, a drabble of Alias, and am right now head-over-heels in love with DC comics fandom. Eventually, everything makes its way to http://recalibration.adamao.org