What's the favorite story you've ever written and why?
At the moment, and I hate to keep going on about it, is Sleeper. Not only one of the best concepts I've come up with, but when I was writing it, it seemed to just flow along naturally and the characters were almost speaking to me. And for the first time ever, I was consciously designing the structure of the fic as I wrote it - deliberately pacing the home/work parallels, the repetition of "But he can't get the words out", and deliberately breaking the rules at the end. I just feel I took a major step forward with it.
Before that, I'd have said Divide and Conquer" or I Really Don't Like Mondays.
What're the questions you're most frequently asked?
"When are you going to update Insert Fic Name here?" I'm sorry - I seem to get blocked on certain fics more than others. The one-shots I don't tend to let go until they're completely finished, but by their very nature, they're easier. I tend to flit from one idea to the next fairly easily, which makes it tough for me to come back to older ideas and actually finish them. It's a flaw that I fully intend to work on.
What're your thoughts on betas?
Couldn't do it without them - both to bounce concepts off, or to hold my hand and tell me that my writing doesn't suck after all. A good beta is worth their weight in gold, and I'm blessed with some of the best.
How important is canon?
The be-all and end-all. If you're going to change things, then why use the same characters? Just name your Original Characters something else, and go wild. If you're playing in someone else's universe, you owe them the respect to play properly with their toys. Honourable exception : AU universes that diverge from a certain point. But even then, I'd demand that you respect everything that has gone before, or stuff in the characters' pasts that is established after that point. Yes, I'm fussy. :)
What're your fanfic pet peeves?
Mis-spellings in the Title or Summary. If you can't even get that right, then why the hell should I even think about going deeper in?
What's your favorite (ie: 1) story you've ever read and why?
Living History by liz_marcs is amazing, and I pimp it out to everyone I know. The same goes for mynuet's slytherinsbride. Mainly though I follow authors, rather than one big story. Laney's Buffy/Stargate SG1 fics (particularly Search and Rescue) crossovers, on the other hand, should be required reading. And yes, I know that's not one :1 story. :)
What quote applies most to you and why?
The quote I most like to consider/use is one by the great Alan Moore : "As I see it, a successful story of any kind should be almost like hypnosis: You fascinate the reader with your first sentence, draw them in further with your second sentence and have them in a mild trance by the third. Then, being careful not to wake them, you carry them away up the back alleys of your narrative and when they are hopelessly lost within the story, having surrendered themselves to it, you do them terrible violence with a softball bat and then lead them whimpering to the exit on the last page. Believe me, they'll thank you for it."
Do you outline/brainstorm?
I'll discuss certain ideas with online friends. Sometimes they convince me that it's a stupid idea - others that I must write them immediately. But I very rarely write any notes to myself.
Computer or pen and paper?
Computer all the way. I'll turn the ideas over and over in the back of my head, but until I'm actually sitting down in front of the computer, nothing comes out.
What's your muse's name and favorite temptation to be creative?
Boring and Repetitive Job. Part of my job can be done totally on automatic, letting me churn over story ideas and concepts in my mind until sometimes they mesh in strange and interesting ways. The Master and The Mayor one-shot for buffyverse1000 came about this way. The only problem is the inability to write anything down, or get to a computer.