Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Short Q&A With Maggielassie


1. Why did you start writing?
To be able to express myself about the way I wanted characters to be like and create new things that happened to them, as well as explore their erotic side (as I did in my Seasonal Passion series).

2. If you had to do it all over again would you still write?
Yes, it’s a fun experience.

3. Once you’ve written a story do you ever read it again?
I think at least once, yes.

4. How did you start writing Xena fan fiction?
I totally loved detecting the Xena/Gabrielle subtext on XWP. Thus writing and reading X/G femslash is a way for me to deepen the subtext, and explore the beauty of this warrior/bard relationship in further depth. I totally hated FIN and some elements of the (Season 3) rift, and I tried (as a writer) to heal some wounds through writing follow-up to those XWP stories.

5. Is your muse a constant companion, or does it abandon you for long periods of time?
It is often one, thankfully.

6. How do you feel about sequels?
Sequels are just like any other kinds of stories. So long as they’re well-made, I can find them interesting too.

7. Is writing a quiet thing for you, where there can't be any noise or conversation going on?
It can be, but when I’m focused I can simply ignore some level of noise if that’s not too annoying.

8. Do you prefer to write/read romance, angst, horror etc, etc?
I prefer writing/reading lesbian romance or femslash.

9. What usually sparks a story idea for you?
Elements I want in it that would make a good story.

10. Do you write a story straight through, or do you write in pieces, then put it all together.
I write a story from beginning to end.

11. What advice can you give to future writers?
Please try to make portrayals of lesbian relationships that are loving, respectful and decent with regards to the characters involved.

12. What has the show Xena meant to you?
I love films and shows that feature strong women and/or lesbians, and XWP was awesome to me. I fell in love with the Xena/Gabrielle characters. They were easy to relate to, and they shared such an important, emotionally fulfilling relationship together.

13. How do you feel about the way it ended?
I hated FIN, and I usually ignore it most of the time.

14. How real are your characters to you?
Very real, very recognisable as far as I’m concerned.

15. Do your characters speak to you?
When I imagine being one of them to be with the other, yes.

16. Are you in control of your story, or do the characters run the show?
A bit of both. I like making them do what I want them to though, but I try to stick to the original characterisation too.

17. How would you feel about another writer giving one of your characters a cameo in their story?
That would be nice, and funny.

18. Has online writing changed your life in any way?
Not really, as you don’t get much feedback these days in the Xenaverse (except from close friends). It’s good to see the stories up there though. I have a website: And I’m currently working on writing my first uber fanfic.

19. Have you ever been stalked on the internet by an overzealous fan?

20. Which one of your online stories is your favorite?
That’s difficult to answer. I like them all in their own way. What Matters Most is not necessarily my favourite one, but it was certainly strongly heartfelt in attempting to repair the damage of the rift.

21. Do you write your stories straight through or do have a lot of rewrites?
I go back and touch up scenes sometimes, yes, before it all gets released.

22. Is there ever a point in your writing where you get stuck each and every time? How do you get out of it?
Yes, not having enough information about a particular thing, but Google searches are a good remedy to that.

23. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and why?
When it’s finished and you know it’s gonna be out there soon –as writing on your own can be a very isolating experience.

24. When you're working on a story are you obsessed with it until it's done?
A bit.

25. Who are your favorite top five writers? Online or published.
I’ll stick to online writers for this answer. I’ve mostly read Xena/Gabrielle Classic alternative stories rather than Uber, so my favourite Classic alt (not Uber) writers are Rebecca Hall (a.k.a. Storm; she wrote Heaven Down Here, my favourite first time story ever), My Osage, Patricia L. Givens, Jenbob (author of A Fine Line, one of the best fanfic stories I’ve ever read) and BL Miller.

26. The song says "Who rules the world? Girls". If that were true would the world be a better place?
Oh yes, definitely, because the world is a pile of horrible mess when guys rule it. ;)

27. Where do your ideas come from?
I have various sources of inspiration during my writing. What I’ve learned from lesbian experience of course, but what I’ve learned from feminism also.

28. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Developing characters, living the daydream, imagining you’re in the characters’ skin and knowing what to do or say, how to act.

29. Do you read books for pleasure while you are writing?
I do read books sometimes, including lesbian books.

30. Do you have a favorite Greek God?

31. Have you created a character that you would like to meet? 
Yes, Alkaia and Bremusa from Sapphic Night Fever.

32. Do you have a pet peeve?
Yes, strongly unequal & oppressive gendered roles and norms within lesbian relationships, how best to break free from them and to what degree it is possible when writing within the context of a patriarchal society. I mean, there’s bound to be some degree of dom/sub dynamics when writing Xena and Gabrielle, but I personally don’t believe it necessarily ‘have to’ be strong and could be reversed easily at times.

33. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
Finding a decent job with my social science degree, I guess. I don’t know what yet though.

34. What is your favorite word?

35. What is your least favorite word?

36. What turns you on?
Xena and Gabrielle, and other lesbian couples from some of my lesbian movies in independent cinema.

37. What turns you off?
Strong imbalance of power within a lesbian relationship, e.g. mistress/slave sorts of dynamics. I prefer more sexual egalitarianism between two women in love.

38. What sound or noise do you love?
A cat purring.

39. What sound or noise do you hate?
Pneumatic drills.

40. What is your favorite curse word?
‘Fuck’ for anger or surprise emphases, but I would never use this sort of f word to describe lesbian sexuality and therefore it’s a complete turn-off for me when I read it in other people’s works to describe two women sleeping together (‘making love’ is  a much better term).

41. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I don’t know.

42. What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
Dead end jobs.

43. If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
I’m a proud atheist, so I’d rather believe in Mother Nature instead.

Here is maggielassie's Favorite story. It's the 3rd story in the Seasonal Passion series:
What Matters Most
Post-rift. After Gabrielle chose to keep her memories, a particularly painful one soon comes to haunt her again unexpectedly, in her sleep. After Xena wakes the bard up from a nightmare twice in the same night, the Warrior Princess realises that she might have to deal with the fact that her younger lover is probably subconsciously traumatised by a particular past event.


  1. Thank you so much, Lori. :) I really enjoyed participating in your questionnaire.

    By the way, on Question 36 I meant to say couples from 'my favourite lesbian movies in independent cinema' not "my lesbian movies" --as I don't own them or have ever made them. ;)

    What Matters Most is not really my favourite story that I wrote by the way. I only picked this one 'cause I had to pick one -and this one is important I believe because it attempts to deal with such important issues from the show…

  2. PS I'd like to clarify for Question 32 I meant to say that the sub/dom dynamics don’t believe it necessarily ‘has to’ be strong and I meant that it can be reversed between the two characters also. In other words, I do not see Xena and Gabrielle's relationship as necessarily rigid or linear; I believe it could be fluid and flexible also. Do you follow me here, Lori? :)

    1. Yes, I follow you. We saw that in the TV show on occasion. Xena was just as comfortable wielding a sword in the role of protector, as she was in a flowing gown, playing the roll of Empress of Rome. Just as Gabrielle could go from being a helpless and naïve farm girl, to a gladiator and come to Xena 's defense when the chips are down. Ides of March comes to mind, when Xena was in the dirt with a broken back, and Gabrielle picked up her sword and started dispensing of soldiers left and right. That is the fluidity that I see. Neither one of them seems to be all one thing or the other.

  3. The dom/sub dynamics can be reversed I meant.

  4. Thank you, Lori. I totally agree with you here, especially regarding Ides of March. Another good example is of course the bacchae bite in GJWHF, a stark evidence that Xena would let Gabrielle go on top too, and enjoy it as well. ;)

  5. This was an wonderful question time Maggie, I agree with what you said about the mistress/slave sorts of dynamics which appear in Conquerer fanfiction, true theres lot of great conquerer stories out there like LJ Maas's series and many others but I would love to see more where Gabrielle is a rebel or warrior and not a slave and her and Xena are on equal footing.

  6. Thanks Silvermoonlight. :)

    Interesting that you mention Conqueror fan fiction (though I actually do not support most Conq stories for aforementioned reasons). One Conqueror series that I really, really liked was the one by Planet-solin, as this is the very same kind of rare Conq story that you would like to see more often --in which Gabrielle is much more on a balanced level-playing field with Xena, where they are both on equal footing.

    I'd definitely love to write a Conq story someday in which Gabrielle would be much more of a resistant rebel or a warrior --rather than her being all over-the-top submissive to the point of not having a real mind of her own. This kind of Conqueror story would be very interesting indeed even if you also write an Evil Xena in it --as a possible confrontation would be very interesting and Xena's road to redemption could be much fairer (without her having done horrible things to Gabrielle even if she threatened to or not). Just my two dinars.

  7. That wa a great question time, Maggie. I do love your work, i'm a fan:)
    Also, it was fun to write a poem for your last story....


  8. Thank you Brigitte. Yes, that was a great poem. :)