Monday, September 23, 2013

A Short Q&A With Jane Fletcher


1. Why did you start writing?
My partner refused to listen to me outline yet another plot. She told me if I wrote it down she'd read it, and sent me off to our new PC with its word processor.

2. If you had to do it all over again would you still write?
Yes - no question. I'm not somebody who has to write, but it's been a blast.

3. Once you’ve written a story do you ever sit down and read it for enjoyment?
I used to. My first book, I read mainly with a sense of ecstatic disbelief.  Now when I read it is usually just to ensure that a new book in the series won't run into continuity errors.

4. How did you start writing Xena fan fiction?
I'd have to confess to writing very little fan fic. Generally, I'm not a short story writer, and if I'm heading for a novel I want to do my own world building. There are a couple of Xena short stories out there by me, but nothing major.

5. Is your muse a constant companion, or does it abandon you for long periods of time?
My muse ran off to join a travelling fair. She still occasionally sends me postcards.

6. How do you feel about sequels?
They launch sneak attacks on me whenever I'm not expecting them.

7. Is writing a quiet thing for you, where there can't be any noise or conversation going on?
Yes. I don't even like background music.

8. Do you prefer to write/read romance, angst, horror etc, etc? 
I don't really have a genre preference, but with both reading and writing, I'm a plot junkie. I need something happening, and I need it to make sense.

9. What usually sparks a story idea for you?
A random idea blindsides me.

10. Where do your ideas come from?
I have not the first clue.

11. What advice can you give to future writers?

12. What has the show Xena meant to you?
It's the only program that I have ever become an obsessive fan over. The only other program that come close is Dr. Who.

13. How do you feel about the way it ended?
I actually appreciated it. I've been a mythology junkie since I was 8 years old. I can relate to the pain other fans expressed, but I'd worked my way though it 35 years before with Le Morte d'Arthur. Xena's death was a direct take from Irish mythology - the death of Cú Chulainn and I was (yet again) blown away to see a woman take over the role of a true mythological hero - which I'm afraid requires dying on her feet, in battle. Anything else is a cop out.

14. How real are your characters to you?
More real than characters on TV. Less real than people I meet in the flesh.

15. Do your characters speak to you?
Not when I'm sober.

16. Are you in control of your story, or do the characters run the show?
I'm totally in control. If a character isn't working with my story, I replace them with another one who does. Although, since I plot out in advance I have my characters set before I put pen to paper. They do shift in the planning stage though - like with Ellen in Shadow of the Knife when I realized my original character for the role was too mature.

17. Have you created a character that you would like to meet?
Oh yes. I've written my share of sexy, intelligent fun people. My only concern is how they might feel about me.

18. How would you feel about another writer giving one of your characters a cameo in their story?
On one level I'd have to be flattered. Other levels would depend on how well their vision agreed with my own and whether it left me having to resolve legal copyright issues, which are a pain in the bum.

19. Has online writing changed your life in any way?
It's been responsible by various direct and indirect route of me meeting a load of great people.

20. Have you ever been stalked on the internet by an overzealous fan?
No, though I've had emails from one or two strange ones.

21. Which one of your online stories is your favorite?
Probably "The Queen of Magpies"

22. Do you have to do a lot of rewrites?
I do a lot of editing. Huge chunks of rewriting are rare.

23. Is there ever a point in your writing where you get stuck each and every time? How do you get out of it?
I don't start writing until I get the plot sorted in my head. Getting the plot to line up can hit various snags, but I just need to wait. With luck, eventually, the plot will resolve itself. If not, I just need to keep on waiting and write one of the plots that is sorted.

24. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and why?
The last edit. The hard work is done, and the sense of achievement takes over.

25. When you're working on a story are you obsessed with it until it's done?
It tends to take over, if only by a sense of guilt that I should be writing rather than doing anything else.

26. Who are your favorite top five writers? Online or published.
Samuel R Delany
Jane Austin
Terry Pratchett
Agatha Christie
Rosemary Sutcliff

27. The song says "Who rules the world? Girls." If that were true would the world be a better place?
I very much doubt it.

28. Do you write a story straight through, or do you write in pieces, then put it all together.
I assemble it in my head jumping back and forth, but once I start writing, I begin at the beginning and work my way through to the end.

29. Do you read books for pleasure while you are writing?
Yes. Although at first it was hard, because the author's voice from the other book would drown out mine. Authors with very strong voices can still be a problem.

30. Do you have a favorite Greek God?

31. Do you have a pet peeve?
Bad use of maths and statistics

32. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
Getting older

33. What is your favorite word?

34. What is your least favorite word?
Delayed - it never occurs in a sentence I want to hear

35. What turns you on?
My partner

36. What turns you off?
Stupidity and aggression

37. What sound or noise do you love?
Seagulls and running water

38. What sound or noise do you hate?
Fingernails on blackboards

39. What is your favorite curse word?

40. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Anything that gives a big enough payout when you get sacked that I could afford to retire on the proceeds of failure.

41. What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
Sewage plant worker

42. If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Do you want a beer?

Here is Jane's favorite story:
The Queen Of Magpies - 15 pages
A vengeful King, an inane Princess, several sullen guards and a priceless statue - just another day's work for the most famous thief in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment