Q: XWP fan fic has created a mythology all
of its own - separate from the TV show. Do you find in your own writing
that you try to stay true to the series or have you also added to the fan
What I write are parodies -- and that means anything goes. So I am as likely to make fun of the fanfic conventions as I am to send up the TV show, the Xenaverse, the actors, TPTB or anything else. It's all fair game in parody.
So have I added anything? I suppose the one thing I've added that people might recognize are the incredibly untalented Poteidaian Chorus. I introduced them in a series called "Coming Out" and then brought them back for the rift series in "Maternal Mistakes" and "Bitter Treat".
Q: Many readers feel that the fan fic often
surpasses the TV series in its appeal. What are your thoughts on this?
Do you find yourself attracted to themes which are not normally explored
on the TV show?
I think of fanfic and the series as two very different things -- sort of apples and oranges. So comparing them is rather pointless. I adore the TV Show, and when fanfic is well-written, it can be wonderful. There's no need to put down one to build up the other. They can both be equally great.
As for themes not ordinarily explored, well, you could say that. Again, with parody, you're going to see things no show would ever do (except maybe Saturday Night Live or MAD TV). And things that aren't explored are wonderful fodder for my twisted brain. So yeah, by all means. Lemme at it all.
Q: Do you read fan fic written by others. If
so, do you have any favorite authors? Have you been influenced by any?
Not all that much, really. And no, there haven't been any comedic influences in the fanfic I've read. I just write whatever I think is funny and hope that others agree.
Q: Of the stories you have written which is your personal favorite and why?
"Bitter Treat". Where all the other pieces took me about as long as it takes to type, BT took me four days to write. I became obsessed with the project, listening to the songs countless times and singing my own versions over and over again, to make sure they scanned properly. It was a massive undertaking (I literally wrote an entire episode of Xena, including the lyrics for seven songs, all in four days) but I had one heckuva good time doing it. Naturally, I decided to quite about six times during the writing of it, figuring that I really didn't need to do the entire ep. But I was kidding myself. Once started, there was no turning back.
Q: How is the writing process for you? What
is your "philosophy" of writing? Where do you get your ideas
from? Do you pen a story in one sitting or have to work over several weeks?
The writing process is simple: I get a wacky idea, sit down at the computer, and type until I have a finished sketch. There's not a lot of conscious thought. It's mostly just putting down whatever pops into my head.
My 'philosophy' is to entertain myself. If I think it's funny, it's in.
Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. I've done crossover sketches (with "Ellen" and "The Nanny"), episode spoofs (all six of the rift episodes, including The Debt and The Bitter Suite. Bitter Treat started with two words chiming in my head until I had to get them out: peas/boar), things that happen outside of the TV show ("Xena and the Rev" was based on that wacko minister who called the action figures "evil toys" and "The Incident" was my way to process Lucy's unfortunate hockey experience -- I wanted to show how much I commiserated with her) or it might just be me sitting down with no idea at all and seeing what happens ("Coming Out" was like that. I just felt like goofing around, and the result was the first sketch. Those that followed were simply my expanding on the original).
The time they take to write is, as I said above, usually very fast. Maybe an hour or less. With the exception of Bitter Treat, all the sketches were written in one sitting. It's almost like doing improvisation on paper. Just writing down whatever my twisted brain thinks up.