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Annie is well known for her epilogues and missing scenes as well as for crossover fics and collaborative efforts. A review of her stories (see her CL page here) is a good lesson in diversity within fan fiction efforts. (archivist's note: author email found at author's page.)
I. Who are you?
Do you use a pen name? If so, why, and how did you decide on the one you use? Do you have more than one pen name?
Annie. Itís my real name. Sometimes I get credited as AnnieB or Annie Booker. Iíve never hidden my fanfiction writing from anyone so I never felt the need to use a different pen name.
Would you tell us where you live?
I live in a little beachside town called Aldinga Beach in South Australia. I live in a rural part of the area and have a kangaroo that comes to visit most days. I call him Roodney. I share my little house with my black cat, Blair, who got her name because when I got her she had really bright blue eyes.
Would you tell us a little about your life?
Iím divorced, have two adult children and am expecting my fifth grandchild in September. I also have two step-grandsons. I read a lot, write as much as I can, love living in Australia but have always wanted to visit the USA. Maybe one dayÖ
What work, volunteer or paid, do you do? Do you have any pro-fic writing experience or aspirations?
I donít work anymore, due to a work injury. I was a pediatric RN for many years, then worked in child care centers where my injury happened. I do some voluntary work with the local Lionís Club, and take care of two of my grandchildren when their mom is at work. Iíve always wanted to write a biography of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, my favourite writer. I find her work uplifting and inspirational, and her words poetic and powerful. Apart from that, Iím happy writing fanfiction.
II. When and how did you become a TS fan?
When did you first see or hear about The Sentinel?
My twin sister, Lyn, used to bring tapes of the show whenever she came to visit me. It took a few episodes before I saw what she liked about it though. I think it was seeing bare-chested Jim in The Rig that finally tipped me over the edge.
Why did you decide to write fan fiction about these characters? Had you read other authors and stories that introduced you to the series and/or fan fiction?
Lyn had given me some of her stories as well as some by other authors like Donna Gentry, Delilah, and DawnC to read. I loved them. Then she pretty much dared me to write one myself. I took the dare and joined Sentinelangst and posted Sick Leave. Lyn immediately set up a page for me on Brothers In Arms and told me to fill it up. Iíve done my best to comply with her order ever since.
What do you think the readership finds most interesting in gen TS fiction?
The dichotomy of two such different people as Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg finding common ground and building an enduring friendship upon it.
What do you appreciate most when you read TS fiction? Who are your favorite gen TS authors and why?
I appreciate the sheer diversity and talent thatís to be found in this fandom. I have way too many favorites to list them all but among my top five are Lyn, Donna Gentry, Red Soprano, LKY, and DawnC. I like hurt/comfort and a touch of smarm in my stories, and these writers are masters at it. I like writers who can keep me engrossed in a story, whether it be long or short, and make me feel that Iím reading about three-dimensional characters.
III. About being a writer ...?
Why do you write?
I canít not write. Itís the first thing I think about in the morning and Iíve been known to dream stories and to write them in my head when Iím driving. Iíve always loved words since I first learnt to read when I was four.
What was the first story you wrote, and how did it feel to first place it into the public eye? Do you write in other fandoms besides TS?
Aside from Mannix fanfiction when I was around 10, the first story I wrote was a little over the top h/c fic called Sick Leave. Pressing the send key was probably the most nerve-wracking thing Iíd ever done in my life. I write in Stargate Ė both SG1 and Atlantis, NCIS, and Diagnosis: Murder. Iíve written in Starsky & Hutch, The Professionals, and Emergency, though not for a while. And last year I wrote a SG1 crossover that brought in CSI: Las Vegas, House, and The Sentinel. TS has always been my first love, though I enjoy dipping my toes into my other fandoms.
What do you think/hope readers most appreciate in your stories?
I hope they see that I love these characters as much as they do. I hope they see Jim and Blair in my stories and feel Iíve done them justice in my portrayal of them.
How do you decide whether to write in a first person POV or third person as a narrator?
I love writing in first person. It feels very immediate to me and it makes it easy to convey a wide variety of emotions and reasons for why a character does certain things. I like third person as well, because it provides an opportunity to show the PoV of more than one character. The choice pretty much makes itself for me. Iíve been known to start a story in third person and have it feel flat, so Iíll do an experimental change to first and if that lifts it, Iíll go back and redo the whole story in first person.
Have you ever had a writing coach?
Do you work with a beta? Why or why not? What is your process for determining when your story is ready for posting?
Yes. I have on rare occasions posted an unbetaed story and kicked myself when it shows up on list and I find errors or plotholes in it. I learn a lot about writing from my beta. Once my story has come back from my beta and Iíve done the corrections, Iíll re-read it at least a couple of times. When I do, I try to read it as if itís not my story at all, to give myself a sense of whether a reader will enjoy it or not. If I get a sense of enjoying it myself, I post it.
What genres of TS fiction are you most comfortable writing, choosing from canon, AU, case and action, drama, humor, horror, slice of life, hurt/comfort? Why?
I love writing hurt/comfort. I think itís the nurse in me. I love case stories because Iím a true crime junkie. And I still have an abiding fondness for missing scenes because itís so nice to be able to show those little moments we didnít get to see on the show. I feel most comfortable writing a case story with some h/c thrown in.
If you were to write a completely new AU for these characters, what would it demand of them?
Iíd like to write about what theyíre doing now. I can visualize them still working together but in a slightly different line of work. Iíve always loved the idea of Jim and Blair working as private investigators. That probably goes back to my love of shows like Mannix, Magnum, and Vegas.
Which among your own works is your favorite and why?
My favourite to write is the Evolution Of Friendship series because I love writing and reading missing scenes. Itís a wonderful opportunity to revisit the show and see things that I might have missed before. I like the idea of Jim and Blair as parents, and loved writing The Jobie Series as well. That trilogy will be available on the web in another few months.
Which of your stories are you less positive about, why? Have you had the urge to revise any of your stories? Which ones?
Iíve never liked Sick Leave much. I feel I overdid the smarm in it because I was new to writing fanfiction. I hope Iíve learned from the wonderful writers in this fandom and improved. Iíd like to revise some of the earlier Evolution Of Friendship stories for the same reason, put into them what Iíve now learned about writing.
You've won awards for stories, which were collaborations with other writers. How does the process of writing change for you when you take on a partner for a particular story?
Not so much for me because most of my collaborations are with my twin, Lyn, and we tend to approach writing in a similar way, and I think we have a similar- or at least complementary- style. I do love to co-write with her as sheís great fun to brainstorm with and has terrific ideas for plots and story developments. We have frequent writing days, and when we do we often come up with a story weíd like to write together sometime.
I very much enjoyed writing An Everchanging Life, part one of which was written by Victoria May. It was wonderful to see a story Iíd loved for so long come to life again and be completed. I hope Victoria was happy with it as well.
You have also written some popular 'cross-over' stories with characters from other shows'. How do you see cross-over stories becoming more prevalent as time passes? Is this how some members of other fandoms are drawn to TS?
Theyíve always been quite popular in TS. Cindy Combís wonderful McGyver crossover comes to mind and there have been some terrific SG1 crossovers as well. Iíd like to think that there might be more crossovers with newer shows perhaps, because I do see it as a way that new fans are drawn to TS. I got quite a lot of feedback for Bearing Witness after I posted Standing Sentinel where readers said they knew nothing about TS but planned to find out about it and read in the fandom. I know of at least one reader of the series who went on to begin writing in TS.
Is there a genre you would like to write as a way of stretching your wings as a fanfic author? Is there a type of story or specific plot that you wish you could write, but feel is beyond you? Do you think more time and/or practice in writing would allow you to tackle your dream project?
Ever since I started writing Little Daniel stories (and Little Jack) in the SG1 fandom, Iíve wanted to write a downsized Blair story. I do have an idea for one, so maybe Iíll find the time to do it soon. LKY did a brilliant job with her story "Raiising The Shaman" and I wanted to make sure I could come up with a plot that was totally different from hers before writing mine.
Iíve always wanted to write an AU where Sentinels and Guides are known but itís been done so wonderfully by so many talented writers that Iím hesitant to try. More time would definitely help and definitely more practice.
Do you create OCs and how do you use them? Do you find creating an OC challenging?
I love using OCs. My favourite was David Samuels from The Jobie Series. Even I found him creepy when I wrote him. I use them as plot devices mostly, a way to create tension in a story or to flesh it out. Itís extremely challenging to make an OC three dimensional when he/she is simply a construct of your imagination.
How do you feel about feedback and concrit from your readers?
I love all feedback from detailed concrit to the simple ďI liked thisĒ. Every piece means someone took the time to read what I wrote and to write to me, and in todayís busy world, that means a lot to me. And I love the FB that says, ďYou have a huge, honking plothole in hereĒ because that gives me the opportunity to go fix what I broke.
We're certainly looking forward to all of those story ideas you have in development. Thanks Annie!
Last updated 5/18/09 igr