1. How about a brief introduction?
I am Christina, or Xina. I have a son who is in college and live in a log cabin in the woods.
2. What got you into fan fiction (and/or adopting muses)?
It all started on a website that I am part owner of, panhistoria.com. I got sucked into an online interactive “novel”, Ile de Torture, which was a takeoff of the pirate film, “Cutthroat Island. Somehow the POTC characters got put in there, too. Even then I was writing OC’s rather than canon characters. Really, the first canon character I took up was Ardeth Bay from the “Mummy”, fandom after a friend left online. It gave me the chance to practice my phoneticized Egyptian Arabic. 😉 I still do some POTC stuff, on occasion, mainly with Barbossa or Jack Sparrow.
3. What kind of fan fiction do you write?
I really don’t do much at all, however, right now, I am doing a little of the Dumas fiction. I do really love The Three Musketeers. There is a bit of crossover going on with the Highlander folks since my muse is an Immortal in her own way, being Fae and all and most of her friends are Immortals (mostly OC’s) as well. I have done some story lines CSI fanfic with grissom_tm and I really had a very good time with that.
4. Do you write for the same pairings/characters?
I still write OC’s. I have been writing Fanny for going on nearly ten years now over on Pan Historia. I still write her there. When a friend told me about LJ it was a chance to play in a bigger place. Right now, I mainly have paired Fanny with Captain Rochefort, all_forme. It works out well because we both work with other muns and muses from the Musketeer fandom as well.
5. What is your most popular fic and why do you think people like it so?
For whatever reason Fanny has been very popular. I tend to think it is because she is a comment whore, and is a muse that is genuinely interested in others for the sake of curiosity, or she has an affinity for the other muse for whatever reason. I am sometimes puzzled by the awards that I have won for both Fanny and for nomanselizabeth, Elizabeth I. I know Elizabeth being an historical person, she has really got a following that has lasted over half a millennium, so I sometimes think when I put together fictitious pieces that deal with real events in her reign, it sort of draws people in. I don’t know that I am a spectacular writer as much as one who just writes to please herself. Fanny has a very distinctive voice that is her own, and I think that shows. Elizabeth, of course, being who she is, also has a very distinctive voice. I try very hard to remain true to her persona historically, and I think the muse has done that thus far. Even if she does think that Snake Plissken is probably the neatest thing since chain mail!
6. Forget other people, what is the fanfic you’ve written that you’re most proud of and why?
I think I am proudest of Fanny, actually. She really digs deep and has this arrogance that blows me away sometimes. *g*
7. Do you find writing easy? Hard? What aspects do you struggle with?
I love to write and when left in peace, I think I do really well. I have struggled it seems, more of late with people not wanting to be quiet and let me write. I find I really have to shut IM’s down if I want to get things done. I do have one ID on AIM that is secret that only my closest friends and family have. I have to do that for the reason is that if I don’t, there are times when I will be constantly bombarded by chatty IM’s. I am all for being social, but sometimes people don’t take subtle hints, so a clue by four is needed. When it gets to the point that you have literally fifteen separate people who find it necessary to message you all at the same time, and it crashes your computer, that does not make Xina (or her muses) very happy at all. But when that happens you just reboot and keep IM’s off.
That aside the other thing I struggle with quite a bit is redundancy and flow. I go through my posts or my RP reps to eliminate using the same word repeatedly, but I find I still do it. Thank the Gods for the editing feature, otherwise I’d go nuts. 😉
8. Write a few sentences of your favorite pairing or character.
I really enjoyed the pairing of Athos and Fanny in the beginning when she first started interacting with the Three Musketeers fandom. They had a very intense, and loving friendship that was developing into something else. I bless jessierarr for that and introducing me to Rochefort’s amazing mun. We are all going on three years of writing, association and friendship that I would not trade for the world.
9. Are there any fan fiction trends/cliches you hate?
That all OC’s are Sue’s or Stu’s – and if you do a pairing with a canon character, naturally your character is a Sue. Fanny has interacted with many, many canon characters, and she has probably as close if not closer relationships, pairings, etc with other OC’s. I have seen canon characters that were complete Sue’s or Stu’s that I wanted to drop kick across a parking lot. I think what I hate more than anything are the groups that will exclude OC’s because no matter what you do, it can’t be as good as a canon character, or it can’t have as distinctive a voice. That’s fine. I will just wait till Fanny has her own books and screenplay and sue the asses off of anyone else who attempts to write her, just like Ann Rice does with her characters. I figure it’s a good get even to those who think that the price of admission should be someone else’s previously published or previously produced characters. Everyone, including our muses want to succeed in life. They want and need the same things we want and need – and really, when you get down to it, there is a little Sue or Stu in all of us.
The other thing I really dislike is the necessity of people to slash canon characters no matter what. I resent the idea that two men or two women cannot be friends without having the need to go ride the hobby horse together. If it happens organically, that is one thing. Forcing it, I have a problem with. There are some characters that probably slashing I consider a bad idea – but that is because it would be a bad idea in keeping with that character’s personality and canon. Yet, I see those cultural and societal considerations sort of thrown to the four winds and there are no repercussions as there certainly would have been during the time period. Deep friendships among those of the same sex were not necessarily sexual – and yet I find there are those who seem to find it sort of a necessity in our times to try and make them so, regardless.
10. Are you guilty of any of the trends you hate?
I think I am definitely guilty of some of the very things that annoy me in others.
11. What was the first fandom you wrote for? Do you still write for it?
Cutthroat Island, and no. I don’t write that anymore.
12. Name your OTPs and explain what it is about them you love to write.
The Comte Sebastien de Rochefort from the Musketeer fandom and Faelyn (Fanny). The reason being is that they really fell for each other over a long period of time. It was at first a very antagonistic relationship that turned to a deep friendship then it had alot of twisty turny things go wrong in it, like a real relationship might. They both know loss and pain and treachery and they are not shy about expressing that. There were years of separation, and yet they finally ended up deciding that each of them was the one that they wanted. It also helps that their marital relationship is very open. They can do that because each makes no bones about the fact that they are married, they are not going to get a divorce, and things like fidelity, while nice for some, is not something either one of them believes in necessarily. They are, in spite of their infidelities, still very loyal to each other. And yes, there is definitely a difference. 😉
13. What would you call your writing style?
I call it doing what comes to mind. Doing what the muse wants me to do. Or as Fanny, says, “taking dictation”. I show up at the page, I let it flow, I don’t stop letting it flow until it doesn’t. I think I can blame Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way series for that. Three pages every day, minimum, flow of consciousness, and from there it keeps you in touch with your inner artist / writer. Ive been doing it for years. I’m not going to stop.
14. Do you read other people’s fan fiction? If so, what do you find yourself reading the most?
I read the Highlander, CSI and Three Musketeers fandoms the most. I do read a few others, but not too many. I have favourite writers in various fandoms and I friend those and make it a point to read their entries. If someone is exceptional or puts out an exceptional bit of writing, no matter what it is, I will try to find the time to say something, or pass along a compliment etc.
15. Name one thing you’d love to write but have been too afraid or too shy to do.
M/M Slash. I don’t know that I could do it. I can write sex, no problem, M/F or F/F – but not M/M. I admire those who can do it well, but I don’t know that I could be one of them.
16. Do you feel uncomfortable taking criticism? Or worse, do you have the dreaded bloated ego? I like criticism. It helps me become a better writer. As far as my ego. I know I write fairly well, but I dont think that anyone should fall down and worship me. I just happen to keep at it, read alot and am very lucky that I associate with other very fine writers who help me grow as a writer by their wonderful examples – and the fact that they make my muse look wonderful! 😉
17. When you write, is there anything that helps?
I do like some music, from time to time. Other times, music just serves to drive me nuts and I prefer the silence. I do think that a hot bath is wonderful to get me relaxed enough to think. I have a handheld voice activated recorder that I use, because sometimes when you are driving, whipping out paper and pen is just NOT conducive to safety, but you don’t want to lose the idea. I then transcribe it later. Now, if I could get a recorder that integrated with my iPod, I think that would be like the ultimate!
18. What inspires you?
History, folklore, mythology, good films, even news stories. One of my screenplays was actually the result of a story on NPR on honour killing in the Middle East. I also will get inspired by a small snippet of dialogue I hear in a crowd or something like that, or a conversation with another mun and we sort of run with that. Rochefort! mun and Hsu! mun and I do that all the time, it seems.
19. Lastly, how would you sum up your fan fiction experiences and you as a writer?
So far it’s been good. It isnt the sum and total of how I write, however. The RP that has occurred as a result has been mostly good, but with a few rocky places. I regard those as the means by which to help me grow as a writer and RP’er, realize what I did wrong and can hopefully do better. It definitely taught me that communication and honesty are key in any of the above when working with others. However, sometimes, you have to learn to walk away if neither party is getting anywhere.
20. Tag some friends, because they’ll hate you for it.
If I can get anyone to respond to this, that would be great.