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Brenda Bailey is one of many fans who learned about TS through reading fan fiction. Catching up via canon transcripts and the rich lore of fanon, she did an admirable job of creating her own post-TSbyBS world for us to enjoy. Her CL author page can be found here. (archivist's note: author email found at author's page.)
First and foremost, thank you so much for writing stories for the TS fandom and for linking them to the Cascade Library, to make it easy for the fans to find them. And thank you for agreeing to share a little about yourself and your writing experiences with the TS community who visit the Cascade Library. We have a number of questions intended to help readers get acquainted with you and your work
I. Who are you?
Do you have more than one pen name? Tell us a bit about your life.
The name you see is the only one I use to write with, though, like Blair, I have acquired a number of nicknames during the years. I am a native born Texan, but have called several different places home. I have many interests, scuba diving, snow skiing, flying, horseback riding, yoga, geocaching, hiking and of course reading. I love being in the outdoors, but have to work in an office with no windows. I am the designated human for two horses, two dogs, and a cat.
II. When and how did you become a TS fan?
When did you first see or hear about The Sentinel? Who are your favorite gen TS authors and why?
Since I didn't have cable or any UPN channels in my area, I found the The Sentinel through fanfiction and Kristine Williams was the first author I read. I was a little disappointed to later find that the show was not exactly like her stories. I discovered fanfiction initially through fanzines around 1988. I was amazed at the variety and quality of writing that you could find. After going to a couple of fancons and actually getting to meet some writers I found you could never predict what a writer would be like in real life. Favorite authors involves quite a few names, Kristine Williams, D. L. WItherspoon, Robyn, Jess Riley, Jet, LKY, and Becky to name a few.
Why did you decide to write fan fiction about these characters?
I have always created stories in my mind about my favorite characters, so writing them down was a natural progression. I really try to have my stories follow logical possibilities and will argue with myself about whether or not the story would develop the way I'm going. My characters also have no problem arguing with me if they don't agree with the dialogue.
III. About being a writer ...?
How did you become involved in Faux Paws Productions or the Virtual Seasons 5 and 6 of TS? It is a wonderful way for fans to follow canon beyond the final episode.
Faux Paws Productions asked for volunteers and that's what I did. It was my very first story on the Internet and I learned a lot about writing from the very talented people involved in that project.
"Back to School" was the first story I had ever written for others to read and I was overwhelmed at the response it received. I was a true rookie at writing down stories from my head, no matter how many I had thought up before and had a deadline to meet, too. Once I got over the shock that someone actually enjoyed it, I was ready to do it again in "Road Racer." I hope readers appreciate the subtle humor I try to include in anything I write, I'm not one to dwell on negative emotions and would rather bring a smile, no matter how small, to a reader's face. How do you decide whether to write in a first person POV or third person as a narrator? Do you work with a beta or ever had a writing coach?
I have been accused of writing in first person, third person and a narrator all in one story! I have to watch what I'm doing because when I'm really into a story, I tend to shift based on what action I'm currently viewing in my head. I've never had a writing coach and would probably drive one mad with my switched up style. I prefer to have a beta read anything that is going to be posted because I know I have blind spots in trying to proof my own work. I know what I want to say and a beta helps to point out those leaps of logic I forgot to explain.
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?
Canon and case stories are the easiest for me to write because you already have an established universe and history between the characters to use for reference points. The one AU story I wrote was a sequel based on a wonderful story I had read and just wouldn't leave me alone. That was a story that wrote itself, I just had to keep up. I still think there are more stories to tell about the beginning of Jim and Blair's relationship, so I would explore that area before creating a new AU.
"Back to School” was a wonderful conglomeration of case/action with the attendant difficulties of Blair's enrollment in the Police Academy – yet never interrupting the partnership. You also show the guys' love affairs with cars and trucks through that story into the next year's script called “Road Racer”. How did you manage such continuity with all the other stories being written as part of the virtual seasons project?
I had submitted story outlines on both and then you just incorporated events from the stories in front of yours as needed to maintain the story line. The real credit goes to the editors who kept everything in line.
Is there a genre you would like to write as a way of stretching your wings as a fanfic author?
I would like to try an alternate history story. I've started the story with the characters from Tales of the South Seas and Jack the Ripper in Tahiti because the timelines meshed so well, but haven't managed to find time to get beyond the first three chapters.
Do you create OCs and how do you use them? Do you find creating an OC challenging?
I love creating OC's but I never want them to dominate the story if I'm writing in an established universe. You can always recognize a throwaway character when they don't get much of a description.
How do you feel about feedback and concrit from your readers?
Feedback lets you know that you have managed to share with someone, if even just for a short while, a very small part of yourself. I appreciate comments that go beyond "great story, really enjoyed it," when the reader tells me what it was they enjoyed, ie the dialogue, the plot, the setting ...
Your audience certainly appreciates this opportunity to 'catch up' with you and hopes those unfinished stories are posted here in the not too-distant future. Thanks, Brenda!
Last updated 3/28/09 igr