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Rebel is a versatile writer, as well known for her dramatic themes and AU s as she is for her humor. From catastrophic events to ridiculous surveys, one never knows what to expect from her next! You can find her story links here (archivist's note: author email found at author's page.)
I. Who are you?
Why did you originally choose to use a pen name, and how did you decide on the one you use? Do you have more than one pen name?
I used Rebel because it was a name I was familiar with. Rebel was a Diplomacy gaming zine that Iíd published for years. I was in the process of folding it (closing it down) as I was getting burned out on playing (took a long hiatus as a matter of fact). So, for sentimental reasons, I chose Rebel as a screen nickname. And, to be honest, it was a safety net. If my first story bombed, I could always leave and come back under my own name *g*. I thought (briefly) about using a different pen name when I joined the Hercules fandom but then realized that could get confusing, and I donít need to be any more confused than I already am.
Would you tell us where you live?
Sure. A little town called Bear, Delaware (US). If you look on a map, Iím halfway between Maryland and New Jersey and approximately 10 or so miles from Wilmington. Philadelphia and Baltimore are a little over an hour away and Washington DC is an easy couple of hoursí drive. Iíve lived here for a little over 2 years. Before that I lived for many many years in Wild Wonderful West Virginia!
Would you tell us a little about your life?
Not much to tell. Actually kind of boring. Finished high school and got a job. Some thirty years later, I indulged in primal scream therapy and realized I had to make a change. So I went back to school and got an Associatesí Degree in Business Management then a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. About that time, my younger sister got a fantastic job in Delaware (more than twice what she was making in WV). I figured Ďwhy not?í and made the move as well. Right now Iím working temp jobs and looking for permanent employmentÖand started working on my Masters Degree in Project Management. Sure wish I knew what I want to be when I grow up.
What work, volunteer or paid, do you do? Do you have any pro-fic writing experience or aspirations?
Right now Iím working a temp job as an Administrative Assistant at Christiana Care Hospital in the medical records department. Other than being stuck in the basement all day, itís not a bad job. I donít have any pro-fic writing experience. I wanted to be a writer in my younger days. But for me, writing is fun. Iím not sure Iíd want to do it as a *gasp* job.
II. When and how did you become a TS fan?
When did you first see or hear about The Sentinel?
Living in West Virginia, we didnít get UPN. So I wasnít exposed to The Sentinel until it began running on Sci-Fi. I think it was Sentinel Thursday (or maybe Tuesday) where they showed 3 back-to-back episodes in prime time that grabbed my attention. I thought it was an interesting concept and started watching.
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?
Iíd written fan fiction in both the Lonesome Dove and Hercules fandoms and one story that appeared in a Darkover fanzine. So after watching The Sentinel, I did some Googling and found some Sentinel fan fiction. At this point, I was comfortable writing and posting online so I started writing.
What do you think the readership finds most interesting in gen TS fiction?
I think everyone finds something different but (IMHO) it appears a common denominator is the relationship between Jim and Blair and how it evolves. At first, itís a relationship of need. Jim needs help with his senses, and Blair needs help for his dissertation. Then they become more and move involved in each otherís worlds. Next thing you know, Jimís learning to meditate and Blairís knee deep in a stream fly fishing.
What do you appreciate most when you read TS fiction?
What I appreciate the most in TS fiction is what I appreciate the most in any fiction. A well-told story with interesting characters.
Who are your favorite gen TS authors and why?
I have a lot of favorite authors but the ones who immediately come to mind are Arianna, Jess Riley, and Katie Seuer. All of them arenít just writers. They are story-tellers who can suck you in big time *g*.
III. About being a writer ...?
Why do you write?
I started writing when I was about 10 because Iíd read everything I wanted to read (or found interesting) in the juvenile section of the public library. The librarian upstairs thought I should be checking books out of the juvenile section so I started writing my own stories. Later in life, I wrote because I was bored, had too much time on my hands, or just wanted to tell myself a story.
What was the first story you wrote, and how did it feel to first place it into the public eye?
The first story I EVER wrote that was seen by others appeared in a Darkover fanzine. It was a horrible, smarmy two-page Mary Sue that hopefully has disappeared into a huge black hole somewhere. My first online fanfic appeared in the Lonesome Dove fandom. The series had been canceled after the second season, and there was something of a cliffhanger as to whether one of the characters (Call) would become sheriff. There was quite a bit of conversation about it on the list Iíd joined, and I posted what I thought would have/should have happened. I was encouraged to write the story and did. Itís called "The Lord Will Provide" and became the beginning story of a multi-story arc. When Iíd finished the story, I was ready to post and sat at the computer with my finger hovering over the button. All these doubts came rushing in. Was the story really any good? Could I stay in the fandom if it wasnít any good? Did I really want to know that my story wasnít any good? So I had to talk myself into posting it. Fortunately, the story was well received; and I continued writing.
Do you write in other fandoms besides TS?
Right now, Iím only writing in the Sentinel fandom. Itís enough to keep me busy *g*.
What do you think/hope readers most appreciate in your stories?
You know, I never thought about it. I guess what I get complimented the most about is the dialogue. Iíve had people tell me more than once that they could Ďhearí my words coming out of Jim or Blairís mouths. I think that comes from how I write.
How do you decide whether to write in a first person POV or third person as a narrator?
There are only a handful of stories that Iíve written in a first person POV. Again, I think that comes from how I write. I donít necessarily make a conscious decision about first person or third person viewpoints. I just start writing the story.
Have you ever had a writing coach?
Not per se. Iíve had a wonderful beta in Arianna.
Do you work with a beta? Why or why not?
Iíve been VERY fortunate that Ariannaís been a beta for a couple of my stories. And those stories were far better for that help. Iíve asked for her help when some stories start fighting me. For me, stories either flow easily or war is declared *g*. The easy stories are written in a couple of hours. When Iím working on a story, however, that just wonít be written or I look at it and know that itís off the mark, then I go to Arianna for a fresh set of eyes.
What is your process for determining when your story is ready for posting?
I figure the story is ready to be posted when I know (or Arianna tells me *g*) that the story has been told.
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 write stories like I read them. What am I in the mood for? Because when I write a story, Iím basically telling myself a story. So if I need to be cheered up, I write something humorous. If Iím in a bit of a funk but donít want to expend a whole lot of energy (in other words, an open ending), I write something serious like "Itís Hard To Convince The Heart." If Iím feeling ambitious, I start something I know will be a longer story.
If you were to write a completely new AU for these characters, what would it demand of them?
Well, Iíve been playing around with a fantasy-historical type of AU that hasnít gotten off the ground yet because I donít know what I want from them *g*. All I can tell you is that Naomi is the leader of her tribe and Bracket comes calling with an army behind him. Oh, and thereís a glacier involved. For some reason, these thoughts came to mind during my vacation last year in Glacier Bay, Alaska.
Which among your own works is your favorite and why?
To be honest, my favorite story is whichever one Iím currently working on. But in Lonesome Dove, my favorite is "Betrayal," but I canít tell you why. It was the mood of the episode, I guess. In Hercules, my favorite is "Heroís Choice." Now THAT was a monster of a story. The purpose of the story was to ask (and answer) the question of what happens when a hero just canít be a hero any more? In the Sentinel fandom, I guess the Home Trilogy stories and "Street Angel" for drama and "In Defense" and "Who Am I?" for humor. Both "In Defense" and "Who Am I?" were easily written stories. They were fun and just flowed. "Street Angel" is an AU so I got to play a little bit with the characters. The Home Trilogy stories were an experiment to see just how hard it is to Ďgo home againí. I especially liked the last one Ďcause I kept changing the point of view from character to character. And I wrote an original piece of fiction called Stones of Maxen that has a place in my heart *g*.
Which of your stories are you less positive about, why? Have you had the urge to revise any of your stories? Which ones?
I canít say that Iím less positive about any of my stories. Some I like better than others for different reasons. I guess the ones Iím less positive about are the ones that havenít been posted. But once a storyís been written and posted, I donít have the urge to go back and Ďfixí it. Itís out there warts and all.
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?
Well, Iíd never written a western until I got into the Lonesome Dove fandom so that was a stretch. Itís not so much that I think any type of story or plot line is beyond me (well, except for horror because I donít like it). I just wish I could write as well as the authors I admire. I tend to over-complicate plot lines at times and assume the readers can Ďseeí what Iím writing so descriptions donít get included. I used to think that having more time to write would improve my writing skills, but I just donít work that way. The more free time I have, the more I get distracted.
Do you create OCs and how to do you use them? Do you find creating an OC challenging?
OCs are necessary since there arenít enough canon characters for a lot of stories. OCs should serve a purpose either for the plot or character development. When I create an OC, itís for a reason so the character has to fit the opening (so to speak). If I like that OC, Iíll use him/her again. Geoffrey Marshall (IA) and Beth Blackmore (Homicide) are OCs that Iíve used more than once.
You have a number of popular series; when do you decide to write a series of stories rather than a single long story?
Probably any of my series stories could be combined to make one long story. And they might be better if Iíd done that. Take the Time Trilogy for example. All three stories could easily be rolled into one. But I wrote the first one as a stand-alone. Then, after posting it, I started wondering what happened next. So the series was created. After all, itís one thing to go home again. Itís an entirely different thing to make it work after youíve arrived home. The same thing happened with the Fear Stories and Pictures Trilogy. But the Full Circle and Game series were different. They were designed to be a multi-story arc. The Full Circle developed slowly, and it was easier for me to write them as individual stories. The Game series is still in process. Iíd intended it to develop more slowly, but itís coming together much faster than Iíd anticipated (plotwise) even though itís slow in appearing.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Good luck *g*. Seriously, write for fun. Tell a story. Yes, itís important to be grammatically correct. And good formatting helps your readers so much. But tell a story and have fun with it. When writing stops being fun, you need to find something else to do.
How do you feel about feedback and concrit from your readers?
Itís a part of posting fan fiction. I think every writer wants to hear that their story was liked, well-received, enjoyed, and so on. Thatís just human nature. But you need to remember that youíll get feedback thatís just the opposite. After I posted "The Pig," I had someone tell me that she just couldnít see Jim getting into a public argument in a toy store. That reflected her interpretation of Jimís character. It didnít mean I was a horrible writer or that the story was a complete waste of time. A fan fic writer has to remember that your stories are your interpretation of the characters. Everybody has their own interpretation. I just worry that Iíve left a plot hole big enough to hold a Nascar race!
Fans of your stories aren't calling in road crews to fix any 'plot holes'; we're all just looking forward to the next tale. Thanks, Rebel!
Last updated 5/10/09 igr