Whoosh! Issue 25 - October 1998

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

19. PB

Interview August 11, 1998

[662] Xena Fan Fiction Works were found at Pink Rabbit Productions.

*Before you decide whether or not to go to this site, please pay careful attention to the bard's disclaimer: "...if you are offended by the notion of two women in love, lust, or just really serious like, such things are illegal where you live, or you're under the age of 18..." (do not go to this site).

  1. All Tied Up With Nowhere to...Go? [alt]
  2. Blood For Blood [alt]
  3. Demons in the Dark [alt]
  4. First Time [alt]
  5. Lessons Learned... Or teach Me Some More [alt]
  6. Royal Colors [alt]
  7. Those Whom the Gods [alt]
  8. When the Bough Breaks [alt]
  9. Xena's Present [alt]
  10. The Heart Knows [alt]
  11. Come Back to Me [alt]
  12. Throw The Dice [alt]
  13. Warlord [alt]
  14. Turnabout [alt]

"PG rated" stories by this author were found at Stories For All Ages.

  1. Aftermath
  2. Not So Guilty Pleasures
  3. Remember Everything
  4. Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge

Question #01:
[663] What has been your inspiration for writing fan fiction?

[664] Hmmm, basically, the reasoning is pretty simple. The show inspires a lot of thoughts and plots and ideas, and it's a way recreating the Xenaverse to fit personal preferences (i.e., follow through on their relationship). Unfortunately, the show is unlikely to ever go as far as I'd like, so it's also a way of taking the plot in an openly romantic direction, while retaining a lot of the action/adventure elements that originally appealed. As an added bonus, writing is just a lot of fun.

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

[666] Not really. What has changed is the desperate desire to write. The show's direction in the 3rd season hasn't inspired the same kind of desire to create that the earlier seasons did.

Question #03:
[667] 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?

[668] Some other fanfic, with generally positive responses. Also, some professional work, also with generally positive responses. Shrug. I just enjoy writing, and will do it as a way of entertaining myself, whether others want to read it or not.

Question #04:
[669] Do you - or have you ever - like(d) reading Romantic fiction prior to Xena fan fiction?

[670] Yep, enjoy romantic fiction, also swashbuckling movies from the 40's (anything with Errol Flynn and Maureen O'Hara--which I see as the precursor of my fondness for Xena far more than the typical romance novels), and a lot of hardcore sci fi (was never much into the majority of fantasy--Mercedes Lackey, et al).

Question #05:
[671] In your opinion, is XWP a romantic show? Why or why not? (i.e., It's action; adventure; drama; melodrama; fantasy...)

[672] Actually, I think it's strongest when it's a mix of all of those things. Just plain "romance" can get rather dull IMHO, likewise for action without any emotional context. In my opinion, the best stories use events and plot to illuminate or advance the state of a relationship.

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

[674] I suppose. I dunno. Ask the readers. I just write 'em, they're the ones who read 'em.

Question #07:
[675] Are any of your stories as much of a reflection of what it's like to be a lesbian in modern times as it is about pre-Mycenaean times?

[676] Er...no...not really.

Question #08:
[677] "Blood For Blood" is one of the first and best warlord/slave stories in the Xenaverse. When was it written and were you surprised by the response of readers?

[678] It was written long, long ago (somewhere toward the end of the first season). It was somewhat surprising that it was such an instant hit, but not intensely so. There was already a lot of discussion on the newsgroup and an obvious hunger for subtextual stuff. It hit at a period when there was something of a vacuum, so folks were just grabbing at anything, since there was so little. Btw, oddly enough, I don't really consider it in the warlord/slave genre, since that generally seems to indicate a dominant/submissive sort of relationship, which I don't really see in the story. Though Xena returns to her warlord self for a time, Gabrielle is anything but a slave, and in fact fights Xena at every turn to get her back.

Question #09:
[679] Several of your stories are humorous and "Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge" even pokes a little fun at subtext. Have your peers spurred you on to-the-point-of-writing-it-down or does the inspiration for comedy come from other sources?

[680] The comedy is just something that strikes now and then. Sometimes stories come from bouncing ideas and such, but it's more just a mode of silliness that strikes now and then, then suddenly everything I write gets turned on its side (or maybe its head [g]).

Question #10:
[681] Have you ever written a story requested by someone else?

[682] Nope. Tried once, but it didn't work. The stories have to come from inside, or they're no good.

Question #11:
[683] Which story was the most difficult to write and why?

[684] Royal Colors. It was set after the nastier events of season 3, but before they made any effort at resolution, and as a result, I find it kind of depressing, since Xena and Gabrielle are together physically, but not emotionally. It was written in two distinct blocks. I wrote half, put it away, because I didn't like it, then had a flash of need to finish it and wrote the last half in a couple of days. It's a problematic story, because it cycles back on itself, literally repeating the a paragraph, and I find that rather frustrating, because in general, I write to create problems and then resolve them. On the other hand, while I find the story somewhat depressing, I also find it rather poignant, so it's weakness also seems like a strength. Am I making any sense? No? Ah well, such is life.

Question #12:
[685] To date, which of your stories have received the most reader response?

[686] Blood For Blood. No contest.

Question #13:
[687] 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?

[688] Er, I guess this would probably qualify as some subtextual reason, but truthfully, I just do it for fun (scout's honor). If other's enjoy my efforts, that's really wonderful, but I tell the stories I want to read. For me, that's the only way to write. When I try to please others, or create some vision for them, it all just falls apart.

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