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Saoirse is among a newer group of writers whose work quickly found a loyal audience within the TS community. Her web page at http://www.truthtrek.com/lky/wendy.html (see also CL author page) currently houses nine stories and banners for several awards. We were very pleased when this rather reticent author consented to share her own story with us. (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 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.
I. Who are you?
Do you use a pen name? If so, why, and how did you decide on the one you use? How do you pronounce it? Do you have more than one pen name?
I use a pen name so the folks I sell nonfic to won't find my fan fic and laugh at me! It's pronounced SEERsha. It's Irish for "freedom."
Would you tell us where you live?
I might. What's it worth to ya? Just kidding! I live in the Pacific Northwest, in semi-arid desert with cool stuff like columnar basalt and rattlesnakes.
Would you tell us a little about your life?
Not much to tell. I used to spend a lot of time with chimps and bighorn sheep. Now I spend a lot of time with muskrats and rattlesnakes.
What work, volunteer or paid, do you do? Do you have any pro-fic writingexperience or aspirations?
I work in IT, and do a little freelance writing on the side. Nonfiction, though. I'm not very good at fiction, so I only do it for fun.
II. Becoming a TS fan
When did you first see or hear about The Sentinel?
I honestly don't remember. It was running in syndication on the Sci FiChannel.
Why did you decide to write fan fiction about these characters? Had you readother authors and stories that introduced you to the series and/or fan fiction?
I was trying to improve my ability to write fiction. In order to be able tofocus on just one aspect without the hassle of creating a world, I borrowed one, and for the particular aspect I wanted to work on -- conflict between close friends -- Jim and Blair were perfect. I'd been reading SG1 fanfic but not much else in terms of fanfic at that time.
What do you think the readership finds most interesting in gen TS fiction?
I think it's human nature to feel isolated. Who doesn't wish they had someone they could always rely on to be there? And it's a relationship that's suspended in time. Real life is uncertain. People change. They move on. They age. But Blair and Jim, in gen fic, go on year after year, living together unchanged, like a couple of Peter Pan's lost boys. It's a great fantasy, isn't it?
Your award winning fic, "This is Christmas" is a case/action talewith a quote at the end from a book being given as a gift. Is this book, called"Illusions" real? Does this quote represent the basis of many of yourstories?
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respectand joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof." It's a real book. A favorite of mine. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, By Richard Bach. And yeah, ya caught me. I hadn't noticed until a reader pointed it out to me, but most of my Sentinel stories have an underlying theme of "chosen family.”
What do you appreciate most when you read TS fiction?
I appreciate it when the guys are written as guys, and as close to canon as possible. I wish I could remember the author of the hilarious story where the fanfic versions of the characters were all forced to work together and the canon characters gave up in disgust and walked away.
Who are your favorite gen TS authors and why?
I have too many favorites to just pick a couple, but I found TS fic by following Mackie's work over from SG-1, and it was hunting LKY down and holding her hostage in order to get her latest story that ultimately led me to posting my own, so I'll give both of them a mention.
III. About being a writer...?Why do you write?
I don't remember not writing. For all of my adult life I've been involved in writing, sometimes professionally and sometimes just for fun. I don't need a reason for writing. I'd need a pretty good one, though, to stop writing.
What was the first story you wrote, and how did it feel to first place it into the public eye?
The first TS one I wrote was "Controlled Glide”, but the first one I posted was a short one called "As Needed." At that time, I'd been writing professionally for years, but only nonfiction. I had never let anyone see my fiction, so it was a little scary when LKY talked me into letting her first read, and then post one!
Do you write in other fandoms besides TS?
I don't post anything in other fandoms, though I'm playing with the idea of a Supernatural/TS crossover. Blair and Sam would hit it off instantly -and can you imagine Jim and Dean in the same room for five minutes without killing each other?
What do you think/hope readers most appreciate in your stories?
What I work hardest at is keeping the guys as close to canon as I can makethem, and showcasing the bond between them without turning them into a couple oflittle girls. So, I guess I hope readers like my approach to that aspect.
How do you decide whether to write in a first person POV or third person as a narrator?
I don't have to decide. I hate first person.
Have you ever had a writing coach?
Nope, but I've been one. Does that count?
Do you work with a beta? Why or why not? What is your process for determiningwhen your story is ready for posting?
I never could get used to the term, "beta." What ever happened to"copy editor" and "proofreader?" Anything more than a 500-word column, I generally run past someone else before sending it out. Once you've looked at something enough times, you stop seeing the problems, so an extra set of eyes is important.
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 definitely prefer writing canon, because I'm not terribly creative. I avoid case stories for the same reason - they need plots. After 20+ summers on wilderness lookouts, wilderness/survival is easy for me. HC works for me too,because if I beat one of them up pretty good, the guys can't move very far or very fast, and again - no plot. Sensing a pattern here?
If you were to write a completely new AU for these characters, what would itdemand of them?
Vampire hunting!! Nah. Just kidding. I'd probably dump them in the wilderness. Make them bush pilots in Alaska, or a Wilderness Search and Rescue team or something.
Which among your own works is your favorite and why?
I think "Controlled Glide" is probably my best one. It was set in an environment that's very familiar to me, so I was able to detail the setting in a way that I usually can't. Also, I enjoyed exploring some of the misconceptions Jim and Blair have about each other, and the underlying tension those misconceptions bring to their relationship.
Which of your stories are you less positive about, why?
Ever see that SNL comedy thing about the Scottish Shop? "If it's no' Scottish, it's CRRRRAP!" Well... I wrote one called Birth Day,which only saw limited exposure. It was totally not Scottish.
Have you had the urge to revise any of your stories? Which ones?
I have the urge to revise every story I post. The instant I see one online, I reread it and go, "What was I THINKING??" I still think my latest one, "Where We Love," may have been posted too soon. It was an experiment and I'm not entirely convinced that it worked.
Your stories are a mix of action, humor and illustrations of deep feelings between the characters that have garnered a lot of attention in the fandom. You won an award as best gen author in 2006. Have you met your own goals in writingso far?
OK... there's, like, a REAL writer standing behind me, right? I'll never meet my writing goals. They're not really goal posts. They're mile markers. Catching up to one just puts me in a better position to see the next one.
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?
I wish I could write the kind of solidly plotted case stories many of the fanfic writers put out. There's some fantastic stuff out there!
Some of your stories have mystical themes. Are these based in the story line or part of a larger interest in your life?
Definitely storyline based. I'm a strong proponent of critical thinking and the scientific method. But I also enjoy sci fi and fantasy, and the series itself had a mystical component, so I bring it in now and again.
Do you create OCs and how do you use them? Do you find creating an OC challenging?
I avoid OCs when I can. I liked the ones I created for "Rattled," though.
How do you feel about feedback and concrit from your readers?
Love it. I'm a nonfiction writer, with very limited talent for fiction. A lot of the other writers are very good with fiction, so any advice they have to offer is gratefully accepted. Feel free at any time to tell me that what I'm writing is... not Scottish.
Despite the stolidly American flavor of all your stories, it is certainly safe to say they are all 'Scottish' to us. Thanks, Saoirse!
Last updated 3/24/09 igr