10. hobbesInterview Date: August 01, 1998
 The bard's following Xena Fan Fiction can be found at: http://lynka.simplenet.com/fanfict.htm
The following works were found at : http://lynka.simplenet.com/romindex.htm
- Binding The Soul
- The Cause
- Chiseled Words
- False Justice
- A Gift of the Heart
- The Island
- Loose Ends
- The Next Day
- Old Habits
- Out on a Limb
- The Scamp
- Season of Change
- A Shadow's Image
- Stop, Backup, Rewrite
- That the Night Come
- The Wall
- What If...?
- The Interim
- In the Darkness
- That the Night Come
 I agree with Lunacy's description of your stories as
...heartwarming...hobbes has always excelled at depicting the deep friendship between these two women and she continues to do so, producing stories that never fail to tug those heart strings(see Lunacy's review of "In the Interim"). What has been your inspiration for writing fan fiction?
 First of all, it would be better if I explained the appeal XWP holds for me. When I first began watching the series in the first season, it had been the action that caught my eye. Within a few episodes, it was the pure chemistry between Xena and Gabrielle that held me enthralled. Here were two women with nothing in common but found something in each other that filled the empty places inside. I lived for those tiny moments at the end of each episode that focused on them rather than what was happening during that show. The 'sensitive chats' they had. I felt cheated at their shortness and something inside snapped.
 If the show's writers wouldn't indulge my needs, I'd do it myself. That's why I began 'The Island'. It was to write a mushy little story and to get it out of my system. I had never written anything in my life before that and was surprised when people actually liked what I had written. I didn't realize at the time that other people felt the same way concerning X & G's relationship -- that their relationship touched all of us in some way.
 Has your motivation changed over time? You have shared this about your first story, "The Island":
Author's notes: This story was my very first fanfiction. I corrected the typos. but changed little else. (Boy, do I see the flaws in it now!) I had written it on a lark about the time I joined the XNF, but never had the courage to post it. (Actually, the first part was the whole original story, and then continued in 20 parts.) One day, when we were going through rerun blues, I posted it, never expecting anyone to really read it. Convinced my literary urge was well and truly over with, (Yes, Lunacy, I know you are still laughing at me for that remark [BG]) I didn't plan on another story, but Kristo and others refused to let me stop there. So, you can blame them for my continuos bombardment of fanfiction. So my thanks and love to all those who encouraged me to continue.hobbes:
 In all honesty? I write to find a sense of self-worth. Writing is the only way I have found to leave my self-imposed walls and reach out to people. I went from a person with little self esteem to a more confident person because of feedback from readers. My feelings and ideals were no longer locked away, hiding in the darkness. No one can write a story without leaving themselves wide open and naked for the world to see. Much of Xena is a reflection of myself and in the act of writing, I let people see me as I am--both the good and the bad.
 "Stop, Backup, REWRITE" ends with such loving sentiment, yet you tell us that your muse has left you and this will be your last fan fiction story. Are you sticking to this position?
 When I announced I was retiring, I had gone through major upheavals in my life (Moving twice, dealing with a new state and job hunting) and the Muse had left me for over six months. I was convinced she wouldn't return. 'hobbes' has since written two stories after my retirement. I no longer attempt to force her into it. I only write when the urge overtakes me and I don't write daily any longer.
 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?
 As I said in the first response, I had never written anything before writing Xena FF. I never had the urge to before then. I wasn't an aspiring writer in my youth. Only a few people in my life have even read my Xena FF. My fanfiction has gradually changed as I experimented. I was a little afraid to change my style in the beginning. I was afraid that readers wouldn't accept my messing with the original style, so I created another persona for writing. With the use of the new pseudonym, I was able to explore different techniques in relative safety without disappointing people. I've covered all three of the categories in existence now. General, Romantic Friendships, and mild Alternative stories.
 Do you - or have you ever - like(d) reading Romantic fiction prior to Xena fan fiction?
 Whew! Just look at my overflowing bookcases -- they are filled with romance novels! I am a shameless Romantic, not that people outside the Internet know of it.
 In your opinion, is XWP a romantic show?
 Definitely! Romance, by my own definition, is the act of making ONE person aware they are the most important in your life. It's not flowers and candy -- but the willingness to show the other person how much they mean to you. Xena and Gabrielle have both fallen over themselves in self-sacrifice to protect the other from harm. Regardless of each fan's viewpoints (are they/aren't they) no one can deny the love, devotion, and need they have for one another. X & G may go through major ups and downs, but they always return to the love there and work things out.
 Several of your works are listed at a site specifically titled "Romantic Friendships Fiction Page". The page is defined this way:
With gratitude to Sherrie Johnson's (trueblue) article with Whoosh!, a new definition in friendship has come about. Romantic Friendship. This new term is a loosely defined as a friendship so close that it resembles a romantic liaison. The friends are both affectionate and attentive to one another and much rather spend time with each other than others. But this is not a sexual relationship. With Xena Fanfiction, we have both general and alternative stories. However, with this new category, we now have something in between. We hope you enjoy this new style. Did you have a part in the origination of the idea of defining a category "between general and alternative stories" or did Lynka, the webmistress, simply invite you to house your stories there because they fit the genre of Romantic Friendship?
 The Romantic Friendship category was created by chemmy (chem 1) and I after we began talking about Sherrie's article for Whoosh!. It had touched something within both of us. Neither simple friendship or alternative fit our viewpoints for the show's main characters. The idea that two friends could be as intimate as lovers without ever wanting to cross that line made so much more sense to us. Romantic friends can be comfortable with displaying affections, snuggling on cold nights, bathing together, etc. They share their thoughts and feelings without fear and have a bond akin to the definition of 'soulmates'.
 Once we talked it out, we approached Linda and Kathy (LynKa) about creating this new category and they accepted the idea. Unfortunately, people still have trouble grasping the idea of a RF [Romantic Friendship] story. Because of the word 'romantic' they assume that it means this is some sort of pre-warm up for becoming lovers, which isn't the case in this new category. There isn't any subtext in RF -- just deeply felt love and devotion.
 To date, which of your stories have received the most reader response?
 It's hard to say. Most likely 'The Season of Change' I had pulled away from my usual 'slap it out fast' approach to writing and sat down to write out a novelette. I didn't take my writing totally serious until then, my only ambition being to write as much as I could on a daily basis and chat with friends. With SoC, I wanted to write more seriously. Actually, I had decided to write it after someone had emailed me and said all my stories were 'sweet', which had left a bad taste in my mouth and hurt me a great deal. I had felt like a child that had a parent say 'That's nice dear, now go out and play.'
 So I began SoC and did research for a story for the first time since I covered attempted rape and the damage it caused. I wanted to be taken seriously as a writer at that point.
 There is some controversy about what uber-Xena fiction is. What is your current definition of a completely uber story and does "The Cause" fit this definition?
 Uber, by my definition, is a story that takes the characters from the series and gives them a new identity in another place and time. Usually, they are descendants or the reincarnation of the original characters. 'The Cause' falls under the last one although until I finish 'Journey of the Heart', no one will see it fully. (I need more time! Two jobs is the pits!)
 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?
 Oh yes! A good writer will open up doors to their own souls in order to pull others (readers) in. We dance naked before strangers, hoping that we somehow touch an answering cord within them. We seduce them into our vision and invite them to get lost in it.
 But nothing is worse than performing one's heart out only to open one's eyes and see an empty auditorium when the music stops. The lack of reader's feedback can kill a Muse. It needs to know someone is out there listening and watching. When I read a story that moves me, I do my best to email that author although I never did it before I began writing myself. It wasn't until I got that first shy letter in my email infolder that I realized I needed to respond myself to fellow writers.
 One letter moved me profoundly when a woman said she was taking a line from one of my alternative stories to live by when I had written, "I have to have confidence in myself or be paralyzed by my own fears." When I received that letter, I felt pole-axed. Something I said had brought something to someone when they needed it and that was the most incredible feeling in the world.
Table of Contents
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