Silverspoon aka Officer Buffy’s Stake
February has been the month of kick-ass vampire slaying action here at FFA and to mark the passing of such a monumental month, the Powers That Be (see what I did there?!) have decided to proverbially grill two of the hottest current Buffy fic authors, and us. You have our sincerest apologies for the latter!
For twenty-eight days exactly we will have enjoyed a back flipping, butt busting Buffy bonanza of pictures, videos, fan art and fics. Now is your opportunity to delve into the admittedly eccentric, definitely unique, and occasionally plain weird psyches of some of our very own group members whose hearts belong to the almighty god that is Whedon.
First, a brief but necessary explanation of some terms you may encounter in the following interviews;
Bangel - a term that describes the union of Buffy and Angel. The fic will generally involve a romantic link between the two or may simply reference a time when they were ‘involved’.
Spuffy - the name given to those fics that explore the relationship between the Slayer and everyone’s favourite blonde male vampire.
Bangelus - probably a given now but a fic that links Buffy and a de-souled Angel, whose less fuzzy counterpart was known as Angelus.
Spawn - a non-canon pairing referring to Spike and Buffy’s little ‘sister’ Dawn. Oh-so-wrong in the eyes of some fans and oh-so-right to others.
Now, sit back, enjoy the banter, and marvel at the ficmasters of the fandom that is Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Interview with the Vampire (Slaying Authors!)
Author Number One
Frosty600 is the author of fifteen fics- an impressive thirteen of which belong to the Buffyverse. The nineteen year-old ficster hails from Australia, and her work is available to peruse (Here)
Frosty600 was interviewed by Silverspoon.
1) Your first challenge... I mean, question... is to tell us about yourself. However, after telling us your penname you then have to give 5 obscure facts about yourself!
My penname is frosty600, and uh, 5 obscure facts about me. Well let’s see. Tigers are my favourite animal. I have a thing for dream-catchers, I love the colour blue, I can’t stand chilli (even a small amount makes me feel as if my tongue is gonna burn off, lol). And I hate turtleneck shirts/ tops/ jumpers of any kind.
2) You are given the opportunity to star in one episode of BTVS. Which character would you play, which episode would you choose, and why?
Um ok this one is a hard one, there’s so many episodes that I love. But I have to go with Bad Eggs and playing Buffy Summers, because well, let’s face it who wouldn’t wanna play doctor to Angel and get some seriously hot Angel kissage through ones bedroom window.
3) What type of Buffy fics do you enjoy writing the most? Do you favour particular characters or themes? And is there anything that you refuse to write?
Well, I tend to enjoy writing romance/angst fics I guess, because adding the angst makes it more lifelike and real and layered like real relationships then just having a completely smooth sailing romance with only the happy joy of love, instead of adding the pain of the hurt that love can also bring. Because let’s face it, no one’s perfect not even in TV shows and I like my characters to be as in character as possible.
Um I probably do favour particular themes even though I don’t mean to, although I wouldn’t really be able to put a name to it, but I’m sure if you read my fics you’ll see a common theme in there even though they’re all different. And I definitely favour Buffy and Angel/us even though I attempt to put in the other characters in the show more now when I’m writing and try and tell what’s going on with them as well, but when I’m writing a story it’s definitely about Buffy and Angel/us mostly because I love them together and they’re the only Buffy pairing I write about lol.
I don’t think I’d refuse to write anything. I’m nothing more than a slave to the whims of my muse, what she wants me to write I write. She doesn’t really give me a choice, she’s a nag lol. The only thing I can think of that I wouldn’t be able to write is a story based on a different pairing. I’m just to in love with Buffy/Angel/us that all my fics are based on them even if they start off with someone else at first it’ll always be those two in the end for me.
4) Which of your own fictions are you most proud of and why?
Well, there’s two really and I can’t choose between them.
1) Artful Manipulations
Because it’s my first completed work with a B/Aus pairing where I’m totally satisfied with the way I’ve written Angelus. And I also believe that it’s a believable plot, that this story could have actually happened in the season 2 timeline instead of what Joss Whedon decided to go with.
2) My Dark Release rewrites
This is a rewrite of the Buffy seasons from season 3 onwards. It is a work in progress as I’m only up to season 4 which adds Angelus into the plotline from Beauty and the Beasts. This is my baby and I put a lot of time and effort into making sure there’s a believable plot and that everything makes sense.
5) BTVS is to crossover with another popular TV show. As a writer, which show would you select and what may your episode contain?
Oh, um well, uh. There’s so many shows that could be crossed over with Buffy, but I would probably say BONES. And have Seeley Booth be the redeemed Angel with no memory of his past as the en-souled vampire. I know it’s been done before in a few fics and all, but it is such a wonderful thing, to have Angel finally reach his redemption and find peace, and of course somehow someway run across Buffy on one of his cases… probably in a graveyard lol.
6) Are there any of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer characters that you feel you identify with and, if so, what are the parallels?
I’d have to say the early Willow Rosenberg. You know the one we first meet in season one. She hasn’t had an easy school life and mine wasn’t all that easy. I can’t say that there were any Cordelia like people at my primary or high school, but there were challenges that I had to overcome that were similar.
7) In your time as a Buffy fanfic author, have there been any storylines that you wished to write but did not for whatever reason?
Oh plenty. Lol, sometimes my muse would come up with story that was just too farfetched and out there that I’d think there’s no way anyone would read this or it’s just too damn stupid so I’d turf the idea. I suppose that’s a good thing though, because with a muse like mine I need some kind of restraint on her or she’d never stop giving me ideas and I’d never get anything finished, I’m having a hard enough time now!
8) Tell us about the fiction that you would class as your most successful fiction to date. How did you come to write it, how many reviews has it earned, and what exactly do you think the readers favour about it?
That would have to be my Dark Release Buffy season rewrites that I mentioned earlier. Season 3 earned 200+ reviews and as new readers find it, it gains a little more. Season 4 isn’t finished yet, but its in the 100’s already with only 5 chapters. I think people like the rewrites because I put a lot of effort into each chapter with the detail and making the added plot of Buffy/Angelus believable, plus lots of people hated the fact that Angel left and so they love reading season rewrites where Angel stays, or in my case Angelus. Which has never been attempted before as far as my knowledge which could be something else the readers enjoy about this particular fanfiction.
9) In light of the new Buffy movie that is to be released at some point in 2011, you are asked by the studio to recast the Scooby gang. Which currently famous actors/actresses/performers would you cast in the roles, and why?
Uh well, in all honesty I wouldn’t be able to do this. I can’t see anyone playing Buffy but Sarah Michelle (Gellar) Prinze, and the same goes for the rest of the main cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The actors cast in those roles were just so spot on that I don’t believe that anyone else could fill the TV series cast shoes. So unfortunately I’d have to decline the offer lol.
10) Do you have any teasers for future BTVS fictions that you are planning that you are willing to share with us?!
Actually yes I do. Normally I don’t give out teasers, but I think I’ll make a special exception. This is a small snippet from a new fic that my muse landed me with. It’s for a completely AU season 1 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My muse loves giving me epic plotlines instead of nice simple stories lol. Anyway this is from the first chapter which I hope should be finished soon and up and posted. It is of course another B/Aus fic; my muse seems addicted to those… it’s a bad boy thing lol. Anyway I hope you enjoy the snippet.
The minion only gazed down at her for a second hunger reflected in his amber gaze, before he began lowering himself down his mouth opening wide in anticipation of sinking his fangs into her neck. Buffy raised one of her arms between them, pressing her forearm against the vampires neck in a bid to keep him away from her throat for as long as possible as she tried to think of a way out of this. She could feel his throat working against her arm as he pressed against it trying to get close enough to her neck to sink in his fangs. Buffy looked around the hole they were in and her eyes landed on the shovel that was closest to them its wooden handle catching her attention the most, though the sharp metal spade end would also be handy.
A big thank you to frosty600 for agreeing to take part in this interview.
Author Number Two
Silverspoon has penned seven fan fictions to date, several of which focus on BTVS. The British author is an avid Bangel shipper who likes nothing more than to take risks in her work that may end with her readers hunting her down with flaming pitchforks. Her fanfics can be found here (Here.)
Silverspoon was interviewed by Ashesatmidnight.
1) I'll start off with something easy, no need to be mean! What is your all-time favourite Buffy episode and why?
Argh, you say easy but to a die-hard Buffy fan that is possibly the most difficult question to answer. Maybe that was your intention though…
Anyway, I think that if pushed I may have to say a tie between season two’s Surprise and Innocence episodes. The whole idea of Angel losing his soul before this point had probably never occurred to me and when it happened I remember feeling as shell shocked as an audience member as Buffy herself. The whole idea of the real horror it portrayed too- we’ve all had a first relationship where we gave our all and it ended badly, so to see that play out on screen in such an extreme but intelligent way was amazing (and inconceivably sad).
2) Is there a reason behind your penname Silverspoon? Something funny, something deep... something dirty? Do tell!!
Sadly the story is not that riveting! There is an old Welsh verse, (and I am Welsh), that says ‘to be born Welsh is to be born privileged, not with a silver spoon in your mouth but with music in your blood and poetry in your soul’. I love that verse and it is true of me at least; I love to write and I could not live without music. So I just decided to pick something from it and fashion it into a penname for myself. The words ‘silver spoon’ just leapt out at me.
3) Over the course of seven seasons Buffy had it's fair share of Big Bads. There were the monsters of the week, and then the villains of the season. Who is the best villain on Buffy?
I would have to go back to my first answer to an extent and say that Angelus was the best season villain I think we ever saw. He was twisted, cruel, the epitome of evil, dangerously intelligent, and worst of all- in love with the woman he was trying to destroy. I cannot imagine a worse enemy to face than your soul mate- the person who knows you and all your fears inside out. There were moments when his actions actually made me shudder, and that to me is a sign of a good villain.
4) Your epic Hells Playground is a permanent fixture on my favourites. Could you tell us the story behind it?
Give me a sec to stop grinning like a loon *epic*.
Ok, I’m back! First of all, thank you for the compliment. Now to the actual answer. My reason for writing Hell’s Playground was simple; I loathed the way both Buffy and Angel ended, with so many loose ends that Whedon so obviously never intended to tie up for us unless you plan on reading the comic books, which I categorically do not. To me it was a total copout after the fans had remained loyal for so many years and numerous network changes. I got to thinking one day about what I would have liked to happen in the shows and decided to try my hand at a storyline that made some semblance of sense. Hopefully, I pulled that off.
5) What Buffy character do you find the hardest to write?
I have always found Xander the most difficult character to put dialogue to. I attribute this to the fact that he is actually quite an unpredictable kind of guy. He is capable of being thoughtful, deep, caring and unbelievably brave (on occasion even profound) whilst at the same time managing to be snarky, sour, cruel and clueless. With Xander it’s all about finding the right balance of all of that, and about guessing as best you can as to how the character would react to a particular situation. A lot of authors relegate Xander to being a piece of furniture but really the character is far better than that. He’s great fun to play with (oh God that sounds wrong) but difficult to know beyond a doubt that you have gotten him exactly right. His humour is unique too but I do secretly like trying to inject a little subtle humour into my writing.
6) I really want to know how you got into the Buffy fandom. Of all the T.V. shows and books you could have written about, why did you choose Buffy?
I think that Buffy chose me to be honest. It was the fandom out of all of them that I knew the best at the time (inside out even) and so the story just began to naturally form in my head. I have loved Buffy from the moment the very first episode ended on my TV screen, and I think I will always have a great sentimentality for the show. It’s just the right amount of romance, supernatural, and action, which is something that many shows are lacking in.
7) If you could spend one day with any of the characters in Buffy, and you could do whatever you wanted, who would you spend time with and what would you do? ( and oh... I just realised how dirty that sounded)
Hmmm, does this answer have to be clean? Because if so, nothing springs to mind!
Seriously, I would sign myself up for some Angel time which in itself is pretty self explanatory. And if that was not allowed (pouts at the idea) then I may decide to follow Giles around for an afternoon, drink tea, talk rock music, appreciate literature, and learn some useful Watcher tips from a sexy older man. In short, we would be very very British together.
8) "Oh, listen to Mary Poppins with that nancy-boy accent. You Englishmen are always so... Bloody hell. Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bullocks. Oh, god. I'm English."
Describe yourself in 25 words or less!
A very thoughtful, somewhat obsessive, kind of sarcastic, extremely loving woman whose a full time mummy by day and a massive fanfic whore by night.
9) How would you describe Buffy to someone who has no knowledge of this EPIC fandom?
I would say that Buffy is a show with many layers. Whilst on the surface it may appear to be about feminism, cool clothes, tongue in cheek humour and monsters of all kinds, it’s also a show that explores in great detail the difficulties of just growing up. Everyone can relate to something but every issue was handled with sensitivity and realism (despite the supernatural element). If you like clever dialogue, storylines that are not clichéd, and characters that have their share of flaws, then this is the show for you.
10) Be honest have you ever used a Buffy quote in every-day life? If you have can you tell us about it?
This is a good one. I have a couple of friends who are even bigger Buffy nuts than I am and occasionally we would find ourselves recounting word for word some conversation from the show. Of course this was intentional and purely for our own amusement as well as the confusion of everyone around us. I can’t think that I have ever used a quote without the person I was using it on knowing though. Now I kind of feel that I maybe should…
Thank you to Silverspoon for answering the above questions.
Author Number Three
Ashesatmidnight is an Australian author with ten fics to her name, who has been penning fanfics for just over a year now. Her Fanfiction.net profile can be viewed here (Here)
Ashesatmidnight was interviewed by Silverspoon.
1) "Into each generation, there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer..."
Bearing this in mind, describe yourself in exactly 26 words.
Oh god… did you have to start with such a hard one? Hehe well…
“In the year 1988, a beautiful baby girl was born. With two sisters at her side she battled through life, love and traffic. Without much success. ” Hehe… so dumb!
2) Now I have tortured you suitably, a more serious question. How did you first discover fanfiction, and what drove you to begin to write your own pieces?
Well…. I discovered fanfiction a long, long time ago. Back when I was starting high school so… 2001? Maybe!
I used to read LJ Smith fanfiction on a site called Twilight Tales. She wrote the books for The Vampire Diaries. I never used to write them though… I just used to read.
My first attempt as writing came in ‘06 when I was about 18. I used to write a little Harry Potter fanfiction, and I sucked. I wasn’t really planning on writing anything after that, but then of course that didn’t work! Haha… I started writing Buffy just from a desire to correct some of Joss’s wrongs, and because I had to have some outlet for all my idea’s!
Contrary to most of you it didn’t come from a love of writing or the English language! Writing is just the only way I can get all of these stories out of my head.
3) Is there a story or explanation behind the penname Ashes at midnight? And, did you ever consider any other pennames?
Well… I would have liked to say yes, that it means something deep and meaningful, but alas that’s not exactly true. It’s really quite transparent.
I knew I wanted to have something to do with vampires or Buffy but I didn’t want to use the standard stuff. You know the ‘Buffy4eva’ or ‘ilovebuffy’ and ye gods now I hope no one has those pennames!
I decided to use the word ashes. It’s a beautiful word (and I am still wrapping my head around the fact that a word can be beautiful) and it sounds cool. It also has so many different connotations, and all these life/death overtones.
The word midnight comes from me just liking midnight.
But putting them together ashes at midnight…well it’s a bit ironic isn’t it. A vampire isn’t going to turn to ash at midnight are they? No.
Bit of a pun on my part, not a particularly good one… but there you go.
4) Let's focus on Buffy! Can you describe your personal journey with the show? Who introduced you to BTVS? What exactly draws you to the show and the characters? And do you feel that the show has had any particular impact on you as a person, or your life?
Hahaha… well considering I have been meaning to write this in my profile I am so glad you asked me this question! But I warn you, the answer is long and tedious.
I was first introduced to Buffy at its pilot. Yep I watched it on T.V on its original run, and…wait for it… I was 8. A part of me wonders what on earth my mum was thinking letting me watch it! Lol, no wonder I turned out so strange.
I absolutely loved it, and watched the first three seasons on the T.V back in the day. But I don’t really remember all that much from it. The only scenes I remembered was the one where Buffy and Angel first kiss in Season 1’s ‘Angel’ and the overweight demon ‘in desperate need of a Stairmaster’ that we see in Season 3’s ‘Bad Girls’ everything else got lost in the deep, disturbing recesses of my brain. It’s funny what your brain remembers.
Anyway… I never watched season 4-7 on Buffy’s first run. My 10 yr old self was seriously pissed that Angel walked away. I never understood why they couldn’t ‘just work things out’ lol’s of course NOW I get it, but I still don’t understand it!
Fast forward to late 2008 and I was wandering aimlessly around the DVD store one night, in serious need for some sword and sandals epic, when I happened to stumble across the first disk of the first season of Buffy.
Oh a whim (yes, it was indeed a WHIM that re-started this obsession!) I got it out, went home and watched the first three episodes in quick succession.
The obsession was back with a vengeance! Oh boy!
The next day my mum went out and bought me the entire series, all seven seasons of Buffy as an early Christmas present. (Have I mentioned how much I love my mum!!) after I finished watching Buffy I went out and brought Angel: The Series, and the obsession continued!
I started reading Buffy and Angel fanfiction not long after I finished watching both series. This was early on in 2009, I posted my first Buffy fanfiction in August of ‘09.
I suppose what draws me to the show is the great characters, the strong female ass-kicking lead and the supernatural element. The vampires are one of my favourite aspects of the show. I have always liked the vampire mythology, and loved how Joss made his vampires demons with a second face. I loved the humour that is used in the show, and how Joss used the supernatural as metaphors for other aspects of life.
I just think it is a brilliant, well put together and acted show that is seriously underrated by the general public. It has some of the best quotes I have heard, some of the funniest characters, some of the evilest characters and the best female heroine in TV.
It truly did shape how I view life, and as Buffy would say “Seize the day, because tomorrow you might be dead”
5) For a fanfic virgin, that all important first fic is a milestone. Let's hear about yours! What was the very first fic you wrote, and reading back over it now, how do you feel about it?
My very first fic was a very, very bad Harry Potter fic. I knew it was bad when I wrote it and I cringe just thinking about it! Let alone reading it!
My first Buffy fic is another matter. I love it, and am quite proud of it. It really shows how much a couple of years and a bit of writing experience can give you when writing any type of fic.
6) You are allowed a day to swap bodies with one character in BTVS (presuming they are real of course). Which character would you choose, and what would you do with your stolen day?
Hahaha… OMG I wrote a fic about this! Buffy/Angel of course and well… I’m sure you can guess what happened! Hello sexy goodness!! Ummm….
Anyways, back on track…. this is a really tough one. I think if I could I would swap bodies with Buffy.
With Buffy I could spend a day as a blonde (never done that before) and someone who is short (again never done that before) I could experiment with different hair do’s. And come on! I would absolutely love to be a Slayer for a day!! Kicking vampire butt, and of course smooches with Angel!!! Hehe… yep. Buffy for the day! Look out people a Slayer is on the loose!
7) Tell us about your favourite Buffy fic that you have written. Oh, and be a sweetie and tell us about it in rhyming verse... (no, I'm really not kidding)!
What? You’re kidding right? YOU ARE SO EVIL!!
It’s Always You
Is just a little bit blue
A spell and a lost memory
It’s got one hell of a funny!
With angst and woe
It really touches you so.
A bit of smut here and there
It’s really something I want to share.
So take a look and see for yourself
Is it even worth this rhyming verse?
8) If you could have changed one thing about Buffy The Vampire Slayer, however big or small, what would that be?
Um… hands down Angel leaving at the end of season three. Despite the awesomeness that was Angel: The series. I still wish he and Buffy could have stayed together and worked things out. Yeah… my 10 year old self is hard to shake, romantic brat!
9) What words of advice would you give an author who is thinking of branching out specifically into writing Buffy fanfiction? Is there anything in particular that you find readers like or dislike, and are there any clichéd story lines to stay away from?
I don’t think I am the best person to ask for advice because I tend to get really quite strange ideas for stories. I have noticed that a lot of the people in the fandom are very specifically pro Buffy/Angel or Buffy/Spike, and they are all very opinionated in just which vampire is ‘the right choice’ for Buffy. Hardly anyone is equally a B/A or a B/S fan!
The other characters and pairing are not as readily written or read as the above pairings.
For cliché’s I see a lot of All Human fics, where the characters of the Buffyverse are put into human situations without any of the supernatural aspects. For me personally I don’t understand the appeal of these fics, because for me the entire supernatural aspect is the best part about Buffy.
This isn’t exactly a bad cliché’ though, a lot of people read them and a lot of people write them. I am continually finding I have to scroll through the archive looking for fics that are not All Human.
Cliché’s to stay away from, which I have seen pop up a few times recently ( and really get my goat because I see them all the time) is the role reversal fics; the ‘insert awesome OC’ storylines where an OC magically comes into the Buffyverse and saves the day, although I love OC’s that play a minor role in the storyline; and the always present ‘Spike is Buffy’s first love’ fics. Don’t even get me started on them!
10) You are invited by the Kuzuis (who now hold the rights to BTVS) to be the main writer on the new Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie. Explain to us briefly what your story would be about, and whether or not you would choose to stick with the original BTVS characters.
First of all, this would not be a story about Buffy and the Scoobys. As much as I love Buffy and the rest of the gang I don’t believe it is right to reprise our blonde Slayer. Her story is being continued in the comics, and no actress will ever be able to play Buffy as well as SMG did.
So my story, funded by the Kuzuis (though they have no input into my idea) would focus on a young, newly awakened Slayer. She would not be American, sorry Australian pride is much too strong for me to shake!
She would live in Melbourne, a large city with a large vampire population and the movie would focus on her and her Watcher getting her through her first year as a Slayer. She will be visited by Faith (as a way to keep the old fan’s happy since Eliza isn’t too old to still play Faith!)
Of course there will be a big bad, possibly a hot love interest with a dark shady past who may or may not be evil. The right amount of pop-culture references and some hip trendy alternative songs.
Thank you to ashesatmidnight for taking the time to complete this interview.
Author Number Four
Constant Comment Tea is the American author of seven fictions, which span the Buffy, Angel and Harry Potter fandoms. A well travelled, educated, and spiritual person, Constant Comment Tea has been an active member of FFN for six years. Her work can be found (Here.)
Constant Comment Tea was interviewed by Ashesatmidnight.
1) Constant Comment Tea is quite an unusual penname, how did you come up with it?
When I first signed up for ff.net, I was going through a phase where tea was my favourite drink; it’s delicious, healing, and it comes in so many different flavours. I decided that choosing a certain kind of tea would be a nice penname because tea helped me through so many writing spells and I probably wouldn’t get tired of it after a while (like some of my embarrassing tween aliases which shall remain unnamed). As I recall, I considered “Lady Grey Tea,” but in the end went for Constant Comment because of the insinuation that I always comment on stories (when I can think of something substantial to say), and in the hope that people will “constantly comment” on my own works.
2) You are one of the few authors I know who doesn't like to post a story until she is completely finished. I admire that, I wouldn't have the patience!
Why did you decide that this was best for you? Is it something that just happened or did you make a conscious decision to not post until you were finished?
Writing to me is a very personal thing. Like a piece of art or a song, I express myself when I put words to paper. I therefore take comments on my work personally, and I care very much about what other people think about my stories (particularly strangers—I’m okay showing my not-so-great pieces to people I’m close with, as my beta Babblefest will attest to), so I won’t post something I’m not proud of. That necessarily means that I won’t post it until it’s done.
In order to write something I’m proud of, I put it through all the rigors of the writing process, which means cutting and rewriting countless times until I am sure that the plot is sound and compelling, that my characters are believable and forward-moving, and that I’ve hit all the emotional points I want/need to. I won’t know if I have achieved all of this until it’s done (or nearly done).
I know that it’s impossible to write stories that everyone will like, but I still feel like it’s my duty to the readers and other writers out there to try.
3) How were you first introduced to the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer?
Babblefest, my beta—and more importantly, one of my best friends since high school—made me watch Angel back in 2004-ish. I was a little sceptical about it when she told me it was a spin-off of Buffy (yes, I was one of those people who heard the title and went, “…Seriously??”), but it grabbed me. It was a new calibre of show that was exciting to see; clearly high-quality storytelling that I had never come across on TV before. After a few seasons of Angel, we decided to watch Buffy together to get the back story. It took much longer for me to warm up to Buffy (prejudice can be hard to get past—and the cheesy music and effects in the first two seasons didn’t help), but I eventually fell completely in love with BTVS, too.
4) What I found enjoyable about this show was the emotions I felt while watching it. But was there ever a time when you hated how an episode made you feel?
If an episode or a series evokes a strong emotion in me, even if it’s negative or depressing, a part of me will love it. Getting a strong emotional rise out of people is hard, and I have the utmost respect for anyone able to do that effectively, no matter how uncomfortable it feels (in fact, discomfort implies bravery on the writer’s part, which I also greatly respect).
However, when I first watched the shows, there were some plotlines and changes that didn’t sit well with me (Cordy and Conner in Angel season 4, for instance, and I still don’t really like Buffy season 4), so that was disappointing.
5) Can you tell us the story behind your Angel-centric story 'The Art of Human Interaction'? It is a brilliant piece of fanfiction that never fails to make smile. I would love to know how it first came about.
“The Art of Human Interaction” came from a dream. In my dream, it was the future, and Angel had started to find friends and let himself love people again, after all the pain and hurt he’d gone through in the show. Just as he’s starting to get comfortable with this new group of people, Cordy shows up and throws his whole world out of whack. When I woke up, I knew I had to turn this into a real story.
As I sat down to plan the story, it quickly became clear to me that I needed to write a prequel exploring who these new characters are and how/why Angel became friends with them. It was supposed to be short, but the characters took on their own life and ran away with it. Judith, William’s mother, popped her head in completely unexpectedly and demanded to know what I was doing with her 9-year-old son, so I gave her a few chapters to find out and react. She is now my favourite character. Calder also had a story he wanted to tell, so I gave him a few chapters. And then it took Angel several years to start to admit that he liked these new people, so it all ballooned into this 12-chapter piece.
I also wrote a kind of mini-sequel exploring Angel and Judith’s relationship (not in a shippy way), called “The Art of Vampire Interaction,” and that’s posted as well. The original story based on my dream is in active progress, and I have a library of short stories and one-shots of interactions between all these characters—the better ones of which may be published at some point.
I am in complete wonder and gratitude for how much a simple dream has given me.
6) Could you tell us about how you first discovered fanfiction and what drove you to start writing in the first place?
I’ve always had a very active and vivid imagination. When I was little, writing was a creative outlet, and I was always writing stories about the people and places in my head. Because I liked to read, fan fiction was a natural step.
I think my first fan fiction was about Singing Bird, Kirsten’s friend from the American Girl series, when I was about nine. My first chapter story was for Harry Potter, right after GoF came out, and I abandoned it when OotP was released. Though the plot was lacking, I got terrific writing experience with it, and looking back I’m rather impressed with a lot of the non-plot-related elements I managed to pull off.
7) What is your favourite season of Buffy and why?
Season 3, by far. The Mayor was my favourite villain. He’s so quintessentially Joss, in how multi-faceted and human he is, but with a weird juxtaposed pure evil-ness that is both hilarious and scary. I loved the Mayor so much more than I ever expected to love a villain.
Also, season 3 has the most stand-alone episodes of any season that are fantastic. I can pop any disc in and go, “Oh, yeah, that episode is really good; we should watch that one.” The rest of the really good ones are kind of involved, and more spread out across the seasons.
8) What character do you think changed the most during the run of the show? ( You can include characters who moved to Angel if you want.)
A good case could be made for so many of them. If we’re including characters that moved over to Angel, then either Cordy or Wesley would definitely top the list, since they had a lot of time and space for the writers to make them grow.
But if we’re just sticking with Buffy, then I guess I would have to say Willow. The most innocent of all of them when the show started, by the end she was the farthest from it. Also, changing (or realizing) sexual orientation is huge, and the bravery she held around that in season 4 was definitely not something she had in season 1. Even by that point, I think she surpassed the rest of the characters in terms of changing, and that was only halfway through the series.
9) If you were stranded on a desert island which Buffyverse character would you most like to be stranded with and why?
Off the top of my head: Giles. I think he and I are a lot a like in our calm, collected way of viewing the world, and I would feel like we had a shot of getting off the island working together with him. Also, he’s super-sexy.
10) Could you tell us a little about the project you are currently working on? What is it about, what characters are in it and why you wanted to write this story?
I am working on a long chapter-fic called “The Heart of Human Interaction,” the third in my Interaction series. Now that Angel has figured out how to love people again, he, and the rest of the characters, get to remember all the pain and joy—the heart—that comes with it.
Because Cordy shows up unexpectedly (see question 5 above about the dream), she and Angel are working through a lot of turmoil about their relationship; what they mean to each other now, hundreds of years later, and how their opposing beliefs and priorities affect their friendship. It’s not at all helped by the stress of the situation where they have to find the missing boys (see below), and there’s a lot of strain between them, contrasted with an intense gratitude for finding each other after such a long time. Oh, and some revelatory information about Connor doesn’t help, either.
It’s a coming of age story for William—now 16 and starting to realize that his parents and Angel are flawed (his world crashes a bit). He and Calder are flung into the past and have some painful interactions with the Angel of that time, forcing them to make some realizations about how they view the adults in their lives.
And Judith is dealing with her deep-set loss issues, catalyzed by the fact that her beloved son suddenly goes missing. She has a few break-downs, too.
So there’s a lot of emotion in this piece, and it’s a lot more character-driven than action-driven, which is my favourite kind of piece to write. Originally, I wanted to write this story because I’m an A/C shipper, and I love any sexual tension between them. Now, I want to write it because I love my characters and I love their relationship with Angel. They bring out a side to him that no one in the show ever really has, and it’s a fascinating avenue to explore for him.
Thank you to Constant Comment Tea for agreeing to take part in this interview.
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