When did you start writing fanfic? What motivated you to start writing?
I came across DVDs of QAF by accident at my local library in 2011. I'd never seen the show before (didn't even have cable back when the show was on). Once I started watching I *COULDN'T* stop. I binged the entire show - even had to drive clear across town to get season 4 & 5 from a distant library. I watched the whole thing in less than a week and, of course, still wanted more, more, more. Which is what led me to the internet and all the QAF fanfiction sites. So I spent pretty much the next 6 months doing nothing but reading QAF fanfic. LOL. Finally, when I'd read pretty much all I could get my hands/eyes on, I was lying in bed one night, fighting against my ever-present insomnia and waiting for a WIP I was reading to be updated, when it just came to be that I could write my own stories and then I wouldn't have to wait to read somebody else's work. The idea wouldn't go away and, since I couldn't sleep anyway, I pulled out a notebook and, by hand, wrote out the outline for my first story then and there. I finished that first story, The Loft, in May of 2012. After that, I just couldn't seem to stop writing.
Have you written for other fandoms? If so, which ones?
No, never written for any other fandoms. I've read stories in a few, but only Brian and Justin have inspired *ME* to write.
What do you do when you are not writing or reading fics?
When I'm not writing I work, spend time with my family, and help with the Administration on KinnetikDreams - my baby. Lately, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time protesting the political situation in the US, which is not what I'd like to be doing with my time, but I can't sit by and watch passively either - so I march, do crowd-sourced research for some journalists, and generally obsess over the mess we're in. Other than that though, I pretty much live QAF all the rest of my time. (Pathetic, right?)
What is your favorite QAF fanfic story?
Do I have to pick just one? I love so many of these stories . . . But, I guess my favorite of all time is probably Conzieu's In His Kiss. It's kind of my go-to story when I need inspiration for writing my own sex scenes. If you haven't read it, you're missing out - Conzieu has written the hottest kissing scenes in history.
What is your favorite story that you have written?
My favorite story of my own (so far) is one not many people really read, Psychosis, because it was so fun to write and it takes Brian, particularly, out of his usual macho box. My second favorite is The Big Dork because it's just crazy fun. LOL. But, basically, I love all my own stories - not bragging, just being honest. These are the stories I wanted to read myself and since nobody else had written them, I had to. So, yeah, I unashamedly read my own stories over and over and over.
Do you remember the first QAF fanfic that you read?
I don't remember which one I read first. As I said, I binged pretty much the whole fandom in about six months so it was fast and furious and one story started to blur into the next. All good, though.
Who is your favorite character to write about? Who is your least favorite character to write about?
I tend to write from Brian's perspective more often than not, because I really identify with him. His character is also so complex and multi-layered that it makes for great writing possibilities. I like to try and take him out of the ordinary role set up for him in the series while still doing my best to keep him in character. I like the challenge of him. Justin is my second place, but I find his voice harder because I don't share his innocence or optimism as much. My least favorite is Michael because I just don't get him at all. I think he was the least well-written character in the series. The writers never seemed to have a fix on Michael's character themselves and, as such, he's all over the place without any real consistency. As a result, I can't really write him myself.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
As I said, I love Conzieu. Some others are: Triciaqaf, Mandagrammy, GaleandRandy, and Julesmonster. There's also a couple of older authors that have dropped out of the fandom whose work is wonderful but hard to find: Mouse and Jerksbitch. I also adore some of our newer writers, and I love seeing them revel in the fandom: Starlight, Addict_Writer, and MissMerlot. This is not by any means an exhaustive list, though. I couldn't possibly keep track of all the GREAT writers in our fandom. These are just the ones that pop into my mind right at this minute.
What is your favorite genre to write?
I'm pretty much an AU writer; but, within that genre, I like to mix it up. I've tried my hand at Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Drama, even Crack!fic. I like to try to stretch myself so I don't want to always write the same kind of stories. The only thing I've never really been interested in writing (although I'll read it) is RPS.
Do reviews motivate you? If not, what is your prime motivation to write?
I do like my reviews - who doesn't - but they aren't my real motivation. I write for me, because the stories I'm telling are the ones I want to read myself. Sometimes it's almost like my stories write themselves. They haunt me if I don't write them. I'm constantly having to get up in the middle of the night and write down a new plot bunny that's come to me or I can't get back to sleep. I'll get ideas for a story while I'm in the shower getting ready for work or on a walk to the store. I just can't get away from them - I see new QAF stories everywhere. LOL. And I'm very self-critical, so the drive to finish a story is internal for me. I hate not finishing something I've started and it bugs me until I get it done. That being said, I really do enjoy the feedback from both readers and writers - but it's more that I like the comradeship of their company and input rather than a need to get approval for what I write. That's why I prefer to write online or co-write with others. I get motivated by the creativity of the others around me. If they're enjoying what I write, then I enjoy myself more.
Is there anything about your writing you don't like or wish you could do better?
I'm *WAY* too verbose and wordy sometimes. I've even had reviews that criticize me for using too many adjectives. I admit it may be a valid critique. I truly envy the folks who write great drabbles - I just can't seem to make my writing that precise. It's definitely something I should probably work on though.
Any advice to other writers or newer writers out there?
For new authors or wanna-be authors I say, "Just try it!" We all have stories inside us. I'm sure there's some fantasy or story idea you have that hasn't been done, and you never know if you can write something until you try. I know it seems daunting at first, but from my experience more people are "writers" than you'd think. All it takes is just sitting down and putting the ideas on paper (or your computer). Don't worry, at first, about how the words are written. Ignore grammar and structure and everything else and just get the story idea out there. Then go back and fill in the rest.
If you want to try out writing in small doses to see if it's for you, try joining in on a group writing project (hint: we're going to do another of these this summer). Offer to help out another writer by being a beta. Ask a seasoned author or friend to write with you. Often just the experience of talking through your ideas with someone else helps to clarify them for yourself and will let you get them down. This is a great fandom and there's bunches of people that would likely help you if you need someone to cheer you on when you first start writing - just ask us and we'll find someone to help you.
For other seasoned authors, my only advice is to just carry on. You guys are amazing. Do what you do! The only challenge for you guys (and me, too) is keeping Real Life at bay so that it doesn't infringe on your creativity. And, like others have said before me, write every day, even if it's just a few sentences. Sometimes we just have to keep plowing on even if we feel stuck. My own trick when I get writer's block on a story is to jump forward and write some other scene that I can see more clearly in my mind, and then go back and connect to the scene you got stuck on later. Or, I check in with my peeps/friends and get some motivation from them. I love my KD/QAF friends so much and owe them all a lot of thanks for getting me through my own periods of drought.
What's your writing process? i.e. Do you outline an entire series before starting, or just start writing and see where it takes you?
When I first started writing I did *REALLY* detailed outlines for my stories. I think that's good for someone just starting out because it'll help you to focus. Nowadays, I don't do that. I do always have a general outline - you *HAVE* to know where a story is going to start and how it's going to end or you'll get too distracted in the writing process to keep it comprehensible. I also summarize each chapter in at least a general way before I start to write it. I use a visual calendar-type outline for many stories so I don't lose track of dates when stories get complex - sort of a timeline for what comes next.
I make *LOTS* of notes in the process of writing my stories, even if much of the stuff I'm noting never makes it into the final edit. If you ever look in on any of my online stories, you'll see that the bottom of my working copy is basically pages and pages of research, ideas, or bullet-points for items I need to cover over the course of the work. I'm big on research for stuff and I write it all down. Sometimes though, it looks like a mess and will only make sense to me. I don't think the way you do the work matters as much as the content, so however you organize your writing is good as long as it works for you, right?
Oh, and the other thing I do, which really helps, is that I make sure that I can write pretty much anywhere I go. That way, if I get ideas when I'm not at my computer, I can still always write them down. So, you'll see me writing ideas on my phone in bed, while sitting next to a walking trail, on my iPad at a cafe, or even while I'm at work. I even carry a notebook and pen just in case I have no electricity and need to write an idea down. My practice is to just write it all down, no matter what, and then later go back and figure out how it all fits together.
What new stories or projects do you have in the works?
SOOOOOOO much . . . As I said above, I write down all the plot bunnies that hop into my brain no matter when, so I have about 50 ideas for new stories going at any one time. Right now though, I have three stories in particular that will be coming up as soon as I finish the WIP I'm currently working on. One is a co-authored story with Lorie focused on Brian and Gus - very family-oriented, happy and non-angsty (to make up for the last few high-angst stories I've done). On top of that, I'm gearing up to host a big group-written story project for the summer - we'll write this one online and pretty much anyone who wants can join in, write, comment, read along while we write, or give us ideas. Look for this one to start around the first of June. Then, as soon as my co-authors get their RL obligations sorted, J.S.T has planned a sequel to Barefoot Blond. That should be enough to keep me busy until fall at least, right? LOL.