Whoosh! Issue 25 - October 1998

Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards And One Reviewer: Rare, Medium And Supertoasty

6. C. N. Winters

Interview July 13, 1998

[213] The majority of C. N. Winter's Xena Fan Fiction Works were found at MaryD's Xena Information Page.

*If you decide to go to these websites, please pay careful attention to the disclaimers that introduce each story regarding violence and/or sexual content:

  1. Loss of Virginity [alt]
  2. The Magic of Egypt [alt]
  3. Moment of Truth [alt]
  4. Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace [alt]
  5. The Contest [alt]
  6. The Play [alt]
  7. The Queen, The Regent, The Warrior [alt]

    The Homecoming Series:

  8. Homecoming [alt]
  9. Coming Home [alt]
  10. Home Sweet Home [alt]
  11. No Place Like Home [alt]

  12. As It Should Be[alt]
  13. Thank The Gods For Henbane [alt]
Question #01:
[214] What has been your inspiration for writing fan fiction?

C. N. Winters:
[215] For me it's the characters - two opposites who blend perfectly. For years I was a huge 'Cagney and Lacey' fan. The dynamic between Christine and MaryBeth's relationship is very similar to Gabrielle and Xena but there's this special thing called 'subtext' that 'C&L' never had. I write fan fiction because they are wonderful characters and you can do so much with either of them.

Question #02:
[216] Has your motivation changed over time?

C. N. Winters:
[217] The reason I write is because it's fun. I love to put these characters in situations that test them yet remain believable. Season three didn't seem believable to me - Gabby wouldn't abandon her child or purposely turn Xena over to the enemy. Xena wouldn't try to kill Gabrielle because of someone elses' actions. I don't expect the Xenaverse to be 'rosy' but give me a plot line with the underlined theme of the show -- which in my opinion is love. I guess with my writing this past year, I wanted to keep the love in their relationship.

Question #03:
[218] Have you written other fiction? If so, was it before or after becoming a Xena fan? What genre are your other works? Generally, was/is the response from readers of these stories similar or different than the response to your Xena fan fiction?

C. N. Winters:
[219] I've written four novels - none published. I should start my search because its one of my New Years Resolutions. One publisher had a book that went through three editors but the head honcho said 'No Thanks' so that deal died. But I have hope someone will like my work and I'll be published.

Question #04:
[220] Do you - or have you ever - like(d) reading Romantic fiction prior to Xena fan fiction? Why or why not?

C. N. Winters:
[221] I read them years ago but it's been awhile since I've picked up a romance novel. Naida Press has some really good lesbian romance novels but as far as the dimestore Harlequin novels - nah, they don't do anything for me. Even in Xena fan fiction if a story is too 'sugary sweet' I lose my interest immediately.

Question #05:
[222] In your opinion, is XWP a romantic show?

C. N. Winters:
[223] Absolutely. Romance isn't candlelight and roses. Romance is doing things that show how you care and have meaning. One of the most romantic scenes from Xena was from A Solstice Carol when Xena gives Gabby the toy lamb. It wasn't much but it touched Gabby and Xena knew what it meant to Gabby and that's what romance truly is - so it doesn't matter - bi, gay or straight. Xena is certainly romantic.

Question #06:
[224] Do you believe that any of your stories fall under the genre of Romance?

C. N. Winters:
[225] All of them. They're alt and they aren't for the timid. [G]

Question #07:
[226] Are any of your stories as much of a reflection of what it's like to be lesbian in modern times as it is about pre-Mycenaean (uber-Xena time if applicable here) times?

C. N. Winters:
[227] I think family issues are very similar. I think Gabby's family (more than Xena's) has the illusions that Gabby will settle down with a nice boy and live happily ever after. I think Gabby's just happy with 'my version' of her relationship with Xena and her family must adapt. I think that holds true today.

Question #08:
[228] Your stories are erotic and often playful. "The Play" and "Thank the Gods for Henbane" are especially frolicsome. Were these stories inspired a desire to lighten up the heavy third season or simply your own sense of fun?

C. N. Winters:
[229] I wanted to do comedy too because so does 'XWP'. Actually when I wrote the play the only ep I saw with Salmoneus was HERE COMES SHE COMES... MISS AMPHIPOLIS (35/211). Later I saw THE BLACK WOLF (11/111) and THE GREATER GOOD (21/221) and was shocked by some of the lines and scenarios that took place - they were just like my story! People probably thought I was just ripping off the series but I had never witnessed the episodes. Now that's characterization [BG]

Question #09:
[230] Lunacy describes "Moment of Truth" as "Clever, passionate and tenderly romantic". Do you think this is your most passionate yet tender story to date or is there an even more sensitive, impassioned one?

C. N. Winters:
[231] "As It Should Be" is both erotic and tender, in my opinion. I wrote it in 45 minutes and it's one of my favorites. It just came so easy to me that day and I didn't stop writing even when the phone rang.

Question #10:
[232] The "Homecoming" is filled with suspense, romance and action and is the first story in a series of four stories. Did reader response encourage you to write more after the first story was posted, or did you envision all four stories before you even put the first on the net? Have you completed the last story, "No Place Like Home"?

C. N. Winters:
[233] Lynka has part two now but they haven't posted it yet. I was going to end with Homecoming but so many people asked what happens now that I asked myself that same question. That's when I wrote Coming Home. The next Home Sweet Home was written because I thought Coming Home was just too 'sweet' and I wanted to shake things up. It's easy for Xena and Gabby to have problems as a result of someone else so I wanted to make them work in this relationship in HSH. And in the end, it works out. As for my latest lets just say the fates are dealing the girls a cruel hand. I'm not sure if this will be the last in the series or not. Guess I'll just have to check with the fans again [G]

Question #11:
[234] Of the thirteen stories on the net to date, which have received the most reader response?

C. N. Winters:
[235] Homecoming, The Play, The Queen, The Regent, The Warrior and Magic of Egypt

Question #12:
[236] There is some controversy about what uber-Xena fiction is. What is your current definition of a completely uber story and do you think you will ever write such a story?

C. N. Winters:
[237] I have written an uber story - Magic of Egypt. Janice and Mel find out about Gabby and Xena's life as lovers and become lovers themselves in the process. I tried my best to blend both tales together. I must have succeeded because many people pointed out how nicely it 'flowed'.

Question #13:
[238] The title of the article, Romancing The Fan: Romance and Xena Fan Fiction, at least in part suggests that we fan fiction authors, inspired by XWP, write for more than ourselves alone. We are drawn to Xena's power and her envelopment/acceptance/love for us (vicariously experienced) is empowering. We expand on the theme and share our idealized visions of love or emotional bonding with the hope of forming a type of relationship with readers. Life is all about relationships and we - like actors who would woo their audience - we seek not only artistic expression but acceptance as well. There is no monetary profit in this endeavor. Our profit is of a spiritual nature during the writing of it and whenever a reader communicates to us their thoughts and feelings about our expressed visions. If it's positive, our efforts to woo were successful and we are spiritually energized. If we get little response or too many negatives, we will give up or amend our courting in some way. Do you have any thoughts about this? Are you still awake?

C. N. Winters:
[239] Yeah I'm awake.

[240] I'd write fanfiction even if I never got a single letter. Don't get me wrong. I love the response and I reply to every letter I get even if it's a simple thanks. I know some authors say they won't if the letter isn't detailed but I think that's b*llsh*t and arrogant. If someone takes the time to say 'Hey. I liked your story', I can hit the reply button and say 'Thanks' it takes less than 30 seconds and it's the kind thing to do.

[241] But anyway, I love fan fic and I write for me and for the fans because everyone loves romance. No matter how you view Gabby and Xena's relationship it's about love whether it be bi, straight or gay. I think that's why all of us write it so much. If we ever find a Gabby or Xena in our own life we truly would be blessed. I'm fortunate because I feel I have many. (And a solid reader base doesn't hurt either [BG])

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Lunacy | Baermer | Bat Morda | B.L. Miller | Bongo Bear | C.N. Winters | Della Street | DJWP | Ella Quince | Hobbes | Jenbob | Joanna | Katrina | L Graham | L.N. James | Lyssa | Marie E. Costa | Missy Good | PB | Paul Seely | Puckster | Quest | sHaYcH | S.L. Bowers | Tim Wellman | J.C. Wilder | Wishes | WordWarior

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