1. Why did you start writing fic?
It was just before DeadAlive aired, actually, and I remember just hating how much pain both we as viewers were being put through and Scully was being put through. I mean, her screaming, "This is not happening!!!"... It about tore my heart out. I remember hoping but not trusting in them giving us a satisfying return in DeadAlive, and I so badly needed them to be happy, that I just decided to write a post-DeadAlive fic before the ep even aired. I wrote "Touch." I just felt that it was a story that needed very much to be written. I knew others would be having their say, of course, but I really needed to write down how *I* saw it. I wasn't actively reading fic at the time...hadn't for several months...so I was anticipating just writing my story and leaving well enough alone. I had no IDEA I would get the feedback that I did! I just couldn't stop after that. I got another idea for a post-all things/office smut story and I went with it. :)
2. What all kinds of genre and pairings are you interested in reading?
I'm still a complete sucker for good MSR. I rarely read married fic, but I will if it's done well. Recently, MScK and M/K have really intrigued me. I'll read anything that doesn't discount the MSR or Scully, that respects the Mulder/Scully relationship and its uniqueness, its power and exclusivity, and that respects Scully as a woman and doesn't two-dimensionalize her.
3. What kind of summary, keywords, pairing, etc. really gets your heart pounding before you even read the first line of the story?
Oh dear. One Bed Fic! Draws me like a fly to honey. LOL! I'm a sucker for it. Also a good drunken MSR fling will get me excited. "Midnight Mark-Up" by Louise Maren comes to mind. If it looks like a good K/Sc where they have a lot of tension and angst and heat, I'll bite. ;) Angry smut is usually good. I like Mulder and Scully out in public having their UST with witnesses. That's a turn on. Call me a snob, but if the summary's not well written with good grammar and spelling, I won't read the story. LOL! I've actually been known to read stories that would not otherwise appeal to me, like DSR, just because the summary was well-written and showed promise of mature, stylish, fresh writing.
4. What is your secret strategy for writing good sex scenes?
My secret strategy? LOL!! I guess it's that I let them speak to me. The characters. Since I mostly write MSR, I'm speaking of Mulder and Scully. I try just to be the conduit and to let them do what they please. I need to be able to visualize what they're doing as though I'm watching an episode. A dirty, unairable episode, but an episode none-the-less. ;) It's hard because the terminology is limited. Sometimes I find myself needing a verb and just going down the checklist: "Which one haven't I used lately? Thrust, pound, buck, ram...?" That's frustrating. You don't want to lose the momentum of the scene by stopping to stress over vocabulary, but it invariably happens anyway. I guess I try to blend my voice and some original language with the die-hard, tried and true vocabulary of smut. The difficulty for me is that if I try to create a sex scene that is nothing like anybody's ever seen, it may be written well, but it probably isn't going to be hot. If I go for heat, I may fall into formulaic writing. It's a tug of war. I admire writers who can achieve both. Mish's "No Quarter Given" series is like that. She uses hardly any conventional terms, but it's one of the steamiest scenes (the first one in the first of the three stories, not that the rest isn't amazing as well) that I've ever read.
So I'm not answering your question, am I? I just try to keep the characters intact. They're two incredibly attractive (and attracted!) people. They generally know what to do and tell me how they want it. ;)
5. What causes you the most difficulty while you're writing a story?
Well, plot is my Achilles heel. I generally just steer clear of it if I can. But I would love to be able to *do* plot. It's something I should really work toward. I would love to attempt a case file one day.
I guess I find that when I want to write, I have about 20 minutes before I have to leave for work. Or I set aside time to write and nothing comes out. I have this problem that you may know something about, Satina, where I freak out in the middle of writing a story and insist that it sucks? ;) I'll have an idea and think it's good and then just lose all confidence. If I can get past it and just put words up on the screen for a while, I can write myself out of it and then just rewrite whatever isn't up to par later. But that's hard, being unsure of your work to that extent.
6. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about writing their very first fic?
I would say, do the story that speaks to you. Keep it simple at first. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Maybe try writing in first person present tense to get yourself in the characters' heads and voices. Watch a few favorite episodes to get in that X-Files space. Then just do it. Write it and make sure you've got a good, knowledgeable, *encouraging* beta and put it out there and let the world read you! :)
7) With the XF running on its last year, how do you think that will affect you fanfic-wise? Do you think you'll still find the interest in it as much as you did when you first started?
I don't think it will make much difference, honestly. There are still plenty of old eps to feed off of, plus I feel that most of my stories are not dependent on the show as I know it anymore. I don't feel much of an urge to write fic that is dependent on the recent mythology, and they are dealing with the ship on the show in a way that, if different from how I would have done it. I can appreciate. I don't feel the desperate need to rewrite history in the way that I did when I first started writing fic. My own motivation has changed. I write to challenge myself, to see my fantasies realized, and of course for my readers! :)
8) Where are you from? How has your location affected your writing?
I was born and raised in Oklahoma City. :) I spent 25 years there and moved here to San Diego in summer of 1999. I used Oklahoma in "Beds Are Burning", but have not yet used my current residence. Perhaps I need to rectify that. I don't know that my location informs my writing much. If anything, it is only a disadvantage because often I'm trying to write about D.C. and I've never even been there. ;)
9) What music, if any, most inspires you to write? What do you like to listen to while writing?
Well, first, so much music inspires me that I fear I could be days in answering this question! LOL! I was a professional ballet dancer for just under 10 years, so music is, to put it mildly, a huge part of my life. I think I've taken that energy that used to be devoted to dance and transported it to fic and so music will often spur me to write. I think Depeche Mode, more than anything else, has inspired me to write. There's something so sensual about their stuff. And it's smart. I like that. Dave Matthews is another. I'll often come up with my fic ideas while driving. I'll have the stereo on my alternative station and Staind will come on or Nine Inch Nails and I know I either have to MOVE or I have to write. I have about a 20 minute commute to work, so it allows plenty of time to get inspired.
What do I listen to? Sometimes nothing. If I really have to just concentrate. Like I said, Depeche Mode is usually good for inspiration, so I'll put on "Ultra" or "Exciter" and see what happens. Sometimes Sarah MacLachlan, "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy". Or Loreena McKinnett. I had The Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" on repeat during the first part of the club scene in "A Stiff One." Then I switched to NIN's "Closer" and had that repeat through the second half. If the music's actually *in* the fic, I'll do that. :)
11) Where do you get your ideas or inspiration?
Sometimes from other fic. Or just from talking with Satina or David on the phone. The show, obviously. "Daemonicus" was so good to me...I couldn't *not* write "Crash". That was a case of the writer/director (Frank Spotnitz) inspiring me with his tight script and camera work and the overall feel of the ep. Above everything, the chemistry between Gillian and David makes me write. They're more than integral.
Another inspiration is my own life. I wouldn't be writing M/Sc/K now if I weren't in a threesome. Plus, my own dirty fantasies sometimes demand to be written. Sometimes I write about things I want to do or have done to me. Sometimes I write about things I've never done, but am curious about. Some of the things I've written I might not ever do, LOL! And some I've done. ;) I just enjoy exploring my own sexuality through the characters.
12) What else would you like people to know about your stories?
I guess I'd like people to know how much love goes into them. And how much care. I really try to make them perfect. If I find a typo in my story after it's posted, it really, really bothers me. I am very meticulous and having a clean story is very important to me. I dunno if this paints me as a total freak or a better writer or what, but my readers might find it interesting to know that I haven't even seen a penis in six and a half years. LOL!! You're definitely getting the lesbian's idea of heterosexual sex in my stories. Someday I really need to write fem/slash so that I can write what I know. ;)
13) Do you ever get writer's block, and how do you cope with it?
Oh hell yes! I call Satina and cry. LOL!!! I've gotten stumped with many of the stories I've written, "Beds Are Burning" and "The Deflowering of Sister Scully" being ones that really stand out for me. Oh and "Wednesday"! I almost had Satina finish that one for me! I usually just have to mope for a while, get really pissed, really sad, and tell David I hate it.... Then I write myself out of it. I write until it's not total crap coming off my fingers anymore. Then I listen to Satina say, "I told you so," and sigh my relief and post it. ;) Truthfully, I get stumped when I can't hear their voices. If I can't hear them, I'm probably trying to get them to do something they don't want to do. In DoSS, I was trying to end it with Scully being unsure and Mulder comforting her. It just wasn't happening. Scully kept trying to be in control, to take over, to be okay. I just kept telling her to shut up and kept rewriting. Finally, I let her have her say, and lo and behold, she was right. Damn her and her brilliant mind!
14) Why did you originally get involved with the X-files? How did the show catch your attention enough to keep you watching?
Mmm, well I'd just gone through a bad break up. I'd just moved out and gotten my own apartment and every day I'd come home from work, I'd just sit and read by myself or surf the TV in misery. One day, I was flipping past FX and there was this man in a wheel chair wheeling down the hall toward these horrible screams. I was immediately riveted. He got to the room and this doctor had just severed this dead man's hand! I was all, "Cool!" And then the dead guy BLINKED! And I was all, "This is wicked!" so I kept watching. I started watching the reruns on FX and the real ones on FOX. It was the start of season 5; I was a late bloomer. Pretty soon, I was hooked. I was taping them all and watching every night and rewatching my tapes.
Then they aired the marathon on Thanksgiving Day. I taped all 12 eps. I'd never seen the Duane Barry trilogy, so I remember watching them all back to back. By the end of DB, I was bawling my freakin' head off! I cried all the way through "Ascension" to the end of "One Breath" without stopping. I was a shipper then. That's when I become irrevocably invested in the show. I loved the stories and the suspense and the great writing, but I was also just hooked by Mulder and Scully. They became very 3 dimensional and real, as did the myth arc, with those eps.
15) Have you found that your relationship (you, Shan, Satina) has altered you writing in any way? Has it helped it to become more detailed and thorough?
Hmmm, I think my writing has improved since I started. I'm quite sure Satina has something to do with that. I think I was never really short of details. Maybe now I'm just writing about the right ones. ;) I certainly want to impress all of my readers, but if I've written something that really impresses Satina or David, I feel like I've accomplished something great. It's a high to send them the part I've just written, wondering if it's hot or angsty or funny or whatever, and then to get their positive responses. It just fuels me. Having their support helps my writing gigantically.
16) How much of a factor does characterization play in your stories? Do you find yourself drifting away from the original characters developed by Chris Carter and developing them into something more your own?
Characterization is everything. That said, I think the characters can be kind of flexible. If you know them really well, I think it's kind of fun to play with them...to have them experiment with bdsm, to have them have sex in a public place, to make them fight, to see what they do when a third party is thrown into their romance.... You'll never see these things on the show, but somehow they work, they're believable if you stay in their voices. I think there is a definite line, though, and a good writer will know where that is. For instance, I wouldn't buy a story where Scully was a ditzy bimbo, except if that was the X-File such as in "Three of a Kind." I've written Scully happy...smiling and laughing...but I think it can be dangerous territory. She -- (Mulder, too.) -- is such a subtle character. If you write either one of them as very outwardly emotional in any context, you've gotta have good reason for it.
The most out of character I've gotten is probably "Deflowering..." and it was extremely hard to finish for that reason. I felt like I was writing for two completely different characters and that got frustrating. But I'm ultimately happy with how they turned out. I love them just like I love my regular Scully and Mulder. I want their happiness.
I go back and reread some of my older stuff and sometimes cringe because I think there are places where I crossed the line; there are things I would do differently now, but I don't think I ever really screwed them up beyond recognition. I really hope, even when they go get drunk together or play Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll or what have you, that my readers can still *see* them and *hear* them.
Thanks, Satina and Jamie, for the great questions! And Jamie, thanks for coming up with the idea to do these interviews and for giving your energy to making them happen. This was a blast! Can't wait to do more! :)