1. Why did you start writing?
Fiur: Already as a child, I liked creating stories; on my own or together with others. To write those stories down seemed the logical consequence. :)
Vlamme: To share my overactive imagination and bring to paper all these fantasy worlds I have in my head.
2. If you had to do it all over again would you still write?
Fiur: In any case. My imagination wouldn't allow anything else. My head would burst if I couldn't let the stories out.
Vlamme: Of course. It is a lot of fun.
3. Once you’ve written a story do you ever sit down and read it for enjoyment?
Fiur: Not really, because then I get the urge to change things or start looking for mistakes.
Vlamme: Maybe one day I can do that. For now though, I have too much to do and only read them again for spellchecking.
4. How did you start writing Xena fan fiction?
Fiur: Very easy answer: The first season of Xena came to our TV in 1996. Vlamme and I had nothing better to do at school than to think up our own stories about the Warrior Princess. We scribbled them on little sheets of paper and exchanged them during class :). This grew into a whole series of Xena adventures... but none of those have been released for online reading.
Vlamme: Actually... out of plain boredom. The first season of Xena had just begun showing here in Germany. Fiur and I were sitting in class one day while our teacher rambled on about something dealing with literature. Bored out of our skulls, we started creating little stories about Xena. Eventually, I stumbled over Xena fan fiction on the internet and a genre called Uber... which opened a door and the Muse started whispering like crazy. :-)
5. Is your muse a constant companion, or does it abandon you for long periods of time?
Fiur: My muse comes and goes as she feels like. My imagination though is always there.
Vlamme: Yes, she is always there... sometimes I wish she would stick to one story, but she refuses to listen.
6. How do you feel about sequels?
Fiur: I never really thought about that. If they support the story before, then I think they are right. If they don't do, maybe one should write something completely new.
Vlamme: Some stories need to have them, others don't.
7. Is writing a quiet thing for you, where there can't be any noise or conversation going on?
Fiur: To be able to concentrate on writing I need silence. From time to time I listen to instrumental music, which fits the story theme, to get into the right mood.
Vlamme: When I write I need silence or I can't concentrate. When I try to work out a scene then I lean back and listen to music.
8. Do you prefer to write/read romance, angst, horror etc, etc?
Fiur: This is difficult to answer. I don't really prefer anything, but for example, with our Chronicles of Darkness series, I try to duck out of writing romantic scenes (we call them "Lovey-Dovey" scenes) and leave those up to Vlamme. I like the dark scenes better. Action, suffering and drama are more fun to write, even if that might sound stupid.
As for reading, I prefer well-written fantasy or history novels.
Vlamme: I like to read fantasy, fairytales, mystery, thriller and medieval stuff. As for writing, well... Fiur and I will try our hand probably at every genre.
9. What usually sparks a story idea for you?
Fiur: An idea can be born from every little thing.
Vlamme: Music and images.
10. Where do your ideas come from?
Fiur: The ideas come from everywhere. Most of them come when I'm lost in thought and sometimes when listening to music.
Vlamme: They pop up in my head when I see a picture or hear music, mostly instrumental but sometimes also the songs with lyrics. Music is my big fountain of inspiration.
11. What advice can you give to future writers?
Fiur: I don't want to give any advice, except one: write how and about what you like!
Vlamme: Don't write what you think others might like, write whatever you feel like writing. You can never please everybody, so go with what you think is cool.
12. What has the show Xena meant to you?
Vlamme: Xena was my favorite show when it was on. It was my sanctuary when we moved and I had a very hard time at the new school. Then, I was sick a lot because of that. Because of Xena, I improved my English.(I know it's not perfect yet, darned commas especially, but I'm still working on it :-) ) Without the show, I would have never been writing Uber fan fiction and would have never found some of my coolest friends. So, thank you, Xena!!!
13. How do you feel about the way it ended?
Fiur: Ooohhh, difficult subject. Between the two of us it causes discussions again and again (the same goes for some season or episode) I can definitely say that I would have let it ended in a different way...
Vlamme: That is a question I should not be asked, because I could rant and rave an awful long time about how I soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo didn't like it! A great show like Xena didn't deserve such a stupid ending! Not to mention that horrible season 5 *grumble*
14. How real are your characters to you?
Fiur: They are more fiction than reality, but still they are very close to me. I love them all and will always carry them in my heart.
Vlamme: Some of them have at least a few characterizations of people we know, others jumped purely from overactive imagination.
15. Do your characters speak to you?
Fiur: Only in their story.
Vlamme: No, because I make sure they are pretty busy talking to each other. :-)
16. Are you in control of your story, or do the characters run the show?
Fiur: That's a nice question. Of course, the characters are our creation. During the course of a story they develop, sometimes different than we first thought. They keep surprising us.
Vlamme: Neither. The only one in control, constantly running out of control and running the show is my overactive imagination, called Muse.
17. How would you feel about another writer giving one of your characters a cameo in their story?
Fiur: I don't know. I guess it depends on who, how and what.
Vlamme: Why not, as long as they don't change the character and if they tell us about it, sure.
18. Has online writing changed your life in any way?
Fiur: Of course. It's a great possibility to share our stories with others. Getting positive feedback makes us very proud. :)
Vlamme: Absolutely. I met great people, who are now very dear to me. They helped me through the hard time and made this shy little girl that I was into a stronger person. I will be forever grateful for that.
19. Have you ever been stalked on the internet by an overzealous fan?
Vlamme: Not that I know of.
20. Which one of your online stories is your favorite?
Fiur: From all our online stories it's definitely the Chronicles of Darkness Series.
(see Vlamme's answer for details)
Vlamme: Fiur and I like vampires, but we have never really liked any of the books and movies dealing with them. So we decided to create our own vampire tale, the way we would like it... Thus, "Chronicles of Darkness" was born.
21. Do you have to do a lot of rewrites?
Fiur: No, not that often.
Vlamme: From time to time. "Lovey-Dovey scenes" are sometimes very hard to write and need changes... though Fiur would disagree and say I write them well... *rolling eyes* Monologues are also sometimes difficult, especially when they are quite long. Dialogues work better for me.
22. Is there ever a point in your writing where you get stuck each and every time? How do you get out of it?
Fiur: If that happens, I give the scene to Vlamme! :)
Vlamme: Sometimes I get stuck but then I talk it out with Fiur and everything is fine. That is a good thing about not writing alone. Also, we write on several different stories at a time, so if I'm stuck at one, I can jump on to the next. If I really do want to work it out on my own, I let it rest for a couple of days, play some Playstation or listen to music and close my eyes and eventually find the perfect solution.
23. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and why?
Fiur: The preparations for the story: when we develop the characters together, give them names and so on. We talk about it and do a sort of "brainstorming". Just collect ideas and develop the plot, which is the easiest thing of the writing process. Although, the successful finishing of a story is a very satisfying feeling.
Vlamme: The beginning, where we create an overview of the plot, set up the characters and gather the music that fits to the story theme, a soundtrack so to speak, to build the fountain of inspiration. And I absolutely love it once the writing is done and translations are finished; because that means I can share something cool with my friends, who don't speak German.
24. When you're working on a story are you obsessed with it until it's done?
Fiur: No, otherwise I would be unable to work on several stories at the same time and have a life besides. :)
Vlamme: No. For that we are working on far too many stories at the same time.
25. Who are your favorite top five writers? Online or published.
Fiur: I don't have a favorite author. As long as it is fantasy...
#1 Wolfgang & Heike Hohlbein
#2 Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
#3 Rick Riordan
26. The song says "Who rules the world? Girls." If that were true would the world be a better place?
Fiur: I can't answer that. Maybe?
Vlamme: Definitely! Now, how can we make the world realize it?
27. Do you write a story straight through, or do you write in pieces, then put it all together.
Fiur: The stories are either pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle, or straight through like the short ones or "Hollywood Dreams".
Vlamme: It differs from story to story. The small ones are written straight through, as was "Hollywood Dreams". We wrote that with pencil on little sheets of paper and sent it in letters to each other. Boah, it still surprises me that in the 2 years it took, no letter ever got lost.
28. Do you read books for pleasure while you are writing?
Fiur: No, not really. I want to be true to myself and not subconsciously adopt the writing style of another writer.
Vlamme: Sometimes. At the moment I have no time for that, because I put all my precious little free time in my writings or video creations.
29. Have you created a character that you would like to meet?
Fiur: That is a very good question but I can't answer it. Otherwise the other characters might become jealous...
Vlamme: Yes, but she isn't in any story we have posted so far... ;-)
30. Do you have a favorite Greek God?
Fiur: No... even though I know quite a lot...
Vlamme: Well, on Xena my favorite Goddess was Aphrodite, because she was so funny. As for general Greek mythology, I would have to say Athena. I didn't like how she was portrayed on Xena. She could have been such a cool addition.
31. Do you have a pet peeve?
Fiur: People at the cinema, who talk with each other during the movie, play with their cell phones or do other nerve wrecking things. If they are not interested in watching the movie, they should leave!
Vlamme: When people make fun of the Saxony dialect.
32. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
Fiur: Permanent vacation would be nice.
Vlamme: Writing... translating... video creating... writing... translating... video creating... still so much to be done...
33. What is your favorite word?
Fiur: Don't have any.
Vlamme: "Cool"... first English word I ever learned.
34. What is your least favorite word?
Fiur: Don't have any.
Vlamme: "Patience"... because I don't have any. :-)
35. What turns you on?
Fiur: In which regard??? Generally spoken: love, friendship, intelligence, humor, spontaneity, creativity among other things...
Vlamme: Shhh. Not telling.
36. What turns you off?
Fiur: For example: arrogance, violence, stupidity, intolerance, boredom
Vlamme: When people smell like a tiger cage.
37. What sound or noise do you love?
Fiur: The sounds of nature, falling rain, laughter
Vlamme: Happy laughter
38. What sound or noise do you hate?
Fiur: Styrofoam, dentist equipment, fingernails on a blackboard and sirens (no, I don't mean the mythical creatures, who used their enchanting singing to cause the doom of men)
Vlamme: A mosquito humming above my ear when I want to go to sleep.
39. What is your favorite curse word?
Fiur: The evil f-word and "Scheiße" (German for "shit")
Vlamme: "Verdammt"... the German equivalent to "damn"
40. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Fiur: A writer, who can live from her art and signs her own books... *sigh*
Vlamme: I would love making a living with my writings... or make our stories into movies...
41. What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
Fiur: Teacher, I don't have any patience... Singer, I can't sing... and I'm sure there are more things I can't do or won't do.
Vlamme: I am too impatient to be a teacher and I am too sensitive to be a doctor or nurse.
42. If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Fiur: "Busted! Didn't expect that, did you? I know what you want to say, but it is not in my power to correct what those down there do in my name. Sorry. Now come on in and get comfortable."
I have to add that I'm an atheist to the bone.
Vlamme: If that would happen, God would probably do a happy dance and say, "See! Now you have proof, nonbeliever! I do exist!"
Here are Fiur and Vlamme's favorite stories:
In a time as Europe was cast in darkness, the paths of vampires and a hunter family crossed in Paris. Their bitter fight against the overpowering bloodsuckers prevented them from seeing the truth. In the deep forests of Transylvania lies a castle, hiding secrets, magic and an inhabitant from an ancient time...
This continues the saga of 'Shadows and Dust,' taking up a few years after the events that cost Kyrian so dearly. The arrival of a new light will rescue a soul that is trapped by sorrow. But the lurking danger of a dark secret could destroy everything, because a vampire is still a vampire...
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