Monday, October 14, 2013

A Short Q&A With CJ Wells

           CJ WELLS

1. Why did you start writing?
I have been writing since I was a teen. I enjoy writing. I believe that I have a natural talent for it, although that belief may be mine alone.

2. If you had to do it all over again would you still write?

3. Once you’ve written a story do you ever sit down and read it for enjoyment?
Oh, yes.  I’ve read my stories over and over. If nothing else, it helps keep the continuity in place for future chapters. And yes, I do read them because I enjoy them.

4. How did you start writing Xena fan fiction?
I started writing Xena fanfic because I was disheartened by what was transpiring during the fifth season.

5. Is your muse a constant companion, or does it abandon you for long periods of time?
It never really abandons me, because if I had the time, I could write volumes about many of the sub characters of my stories. In particular, I find the “past lives” of my two uber characters in January Thaw to be almost as fascinating as the ubers.

6. How do you feel about sequels?
Well, since I’ve written several, I love them.

7. Is writing a quiet thing for you, where there can't be any noise or conversation going on?
I can’t write with commotion. Since I have two young boys who love to pick fights with each other, writing at home is virtually impossible.

8. Do you prefer to write/read romance, angst, horror etc, etc?
I’m not a big romance fan, unless it’s in the context of an epic narrative.

9. What usually sparks a story idea for you?

10. Where do your ideas come from?
I glean ideas from the show, from historical events, and from my own experiences.

11. What advice can you give to future writers?
If you love it, do it.

12. What has the show Xena meant to you?
It still ranks as my favorite show, even though I didn’t start watching it until the third season was airing first-time episodes.  Granted, there are far better television shows out there, in terms of style, narrative and continuity. XWP was majorly flawed with all three, and I never got into the Jackie Chanesque fighting or the fantasy genre aspect of the show. But the core story of Xena and Gabrielle; despite the fact that they never did an on-screen consummation of their relationship, still ranks as the greatest lesbian relationship in television.

13. How do you feel about the way it ended?
I was pissed off at first. I even wrote an article in Whoosh for it back in 2001 entitled, “A Clue in Need” ( -- under my real name).  But, as time passed, I got over it. I still think that the ending was stupid, but I can watch it without cringing... much.

14. How real are your characters to you?
My characters are very real to me, especially the character of Bahri, who is essentially my alter-ego.

15. Do your characters speak to you?
Uh, no.

16. Are you in control of your story, or do the characters run the show?
I’m in control.

17. How would you feel about another writer giving one of your characters a cameo in their story?
In one sense, I’d be flattered. But what if that writer portrayed the character in a manner that is inconsistent with how I view the character? At the end of the day, I probably wouldn’t like it, even if the other writer didn’t do anything wrong by the character.  I’m a control freak, I guess.

18. Has online writing changed your life in any way?
Oh, sure. It’s one of the best simple pleasures of my life.

19. Have you ever been stalked on the internet by an overzealous fan?
Thank God, no.

20. Which one of your online stories is your favorite?
I don’t play favorites with my stories or my sons. Start from the beginning with “The Embrace” and go from there.

21. Do you have to do a lot of rewrites?
No, because the story is pretty much complete in my head before I start typing. I do a lot of edits, however. I’m a Virgo.

22. Is there ever a point in your writing where you get stuck each and every time? How do you get out of it?
The time that I’ve taken to write January Thaw (ten years now – crazy!) isn’t because of writer’s block. Real life; work, family, home, etc., have been all-consuming.

23. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy the most and why?
When the thoughts flow from my head to my fingers as I type is when I feel that euphoria.

24. When you're working on a story are you obsessed with it until it's done?
Yes, I’m a Virgo.

25. Who are your favorite top five writers? Online or published.
There were writers in the Xenaverse that I consider my favorites. Some of them were given kudos in my early writing days.
Catherine Wilson
Angharad Governal
Katrina Blau
Sharon Bowers
B.L. Miller

26. The song says "Who rules the world? Girls." If that were true would the world be a better place?
They say that men fight wars, but women wage them. If women ruled the world, there’d be far less poverty (since women are more frugal and better money managers), and far less human rights violations (since women don’t rape and pillage on average), but I don’t know if it would be better. Men are simple. Two dudes will fist fight, get over it, and then have a beer together.  Women are complex. We have emotional drag-outs and hold grudges… for decades. Also, female sociopaths are scarier because they crave power and will kill men, women or children, even their own. Think Countess Erzsebet Bathory de Ecsed, Aileen Wuornos or Casey Anthony. On a global stage, female complexity would be different, but could be just as toxic as male simplicity.

27. Do you write a story straight through, or do you write in pieces, then put it all together.
When I write a chapter, I’m writing until it’s done. And then I spell check, edit, walk away, edit, walk away again and edit again.

28. Do you read books for pleasure while you are writing?

29. Do you have a favorite Greek God?
No. I don’t incorporate the gods, centaurs, bacchae or any of those fantasy elements of XWP in my stories for simple reason that I don’t like them. But, if the question is; who was my favorite god on the show, I’d have to say Aphrodite, the SoCal ‘80s tubular god of love.

30. Do you have a pet peeve?
Dirt and clutter. I’m a Virgo.

31. What do you see yourself doing in the future?
Growing old and playing with grandbabies.

32. What is your favorite word?
Green and peace, but not Greenpeace.

33. What is your least favorite word?
The N word, but only when a white person utters it.

34. What turns you on?
I write lesbian fanfic. Lesbians!

35. What turns you off?
The N word, but only when a white person utters it.

36. What sound or noise do you love?
Water flowing, leaves rustling and children laughing.

37. What sound or noise do you hate?
Screaming children.

38. What is your favorite curse word?
Fucking douche-bag. It was James Gandolfini’s favorite curse word as well. I loved that dude, rest his soul. He was a Virgo too.

39. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

40. What profession would you absolutely not like to participate in?
I totally respect nurses because I could never do what they do.

41. If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“We have Pizzeria Uno’s, Ben & Jerry’s and caffeine-free diet Pepsi up here.”

Here is CJ Wells' Conqueror series:
The Embrace Series by CJ Wells - 420 pages
The Conqueror is in love with her slave, but she hates it. How long will it take for her to give in to the feelings, and stop being brutal, and start being loving?

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