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Shedoc's work has long been a staple of the TS community. Happily, this teacher and health services professional has made an effort to fit us all into her busy life and tell us about her love of writing. Her page here, at the CL library offers great diversity in story content and styles. (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?
How did you select your pen name? Do you write for the fandom under more than one name?
I only write under Shedoc, though I write for multiple fandoms.
Would you tell us a bit about your life, perhaps where you live?
I'm an Aussie, living and working in England (and of course travelling as much as I can between school terms).
What work, volunteer or paid, do you do? Do you have any pro-fic writing experience or aspirations?
I am primarily a teacher, though I volunteer for the St. John's Ambulance Brigade and Red Cross, and the RSPCA.
II. When and how did you become a TS fan?
When did you first see or hear about The Sentinel?
Way back in the day when I was young and foolish! I was channel surfing late at night after Star Trek had finished (TOS not the Next Gen rubbish) and came across the boys by accident.
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?
I write to calm my mind down, mostly at night before bed, which may sound odd, but lets me work out any problems, frustrations and situations I'm grappling with myself. That doesn't mean the stories are based on my life!!
What do you think the readership finds most interesting in gen TS fiction?
I think the stories that add to the canon - where you fill out a character and their background without making them OC - are better received. Also stories where the boys show a strong bond of family/friendship with each other.
What do you appreciate most when you read TS fiction? Who are your favorite gen TS authors and why?
Something that is well written and pacy, something that is original, something that has a combination of angst/hurt/comfort but isn't a sob fest from start to finish...
Favourite authors? DC streets, Starfox, most the people at Wolfpup's Den... I can't name just one!
III. About being a writer ...?
Why do you write?
To clear my mind, mostly. Also sometimes I don't like the way a character has behaved/reacted, so I rewrite the bits that annoyed me. Basically, I have a lot of travel time etc on my hands and I write mentally, then need to 'download' it into another format to clear my mind... am rambling, will stop...
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?
The first fanfic I ever wrote was actually for the A-Team; it was longhand, in a series of exercise books, and I showed a fellow fan who said it was rubbish. I've never published in that fandom. The first TS story? I can't remember – in fact I don't even think it's in the public domain! I was terrified of publishing, but talked myself into it. Thankfully strangers were kinder than my friend. Other fandoms: Due South, Stargate SG1, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes... all under Shedoc
What do you think/hope readers most appreciate in your stories?
No idea - I've had comments about the lines I slip in for a bit of humour, so I guess that's it.
How do you decide whether to write in a first person POV or third person as a narrator?
Actually the characters tell me what they want. I may sound like a candidate for the nuthouse, but when I'm writing the characters have a very strong voice, and if one is stronger than another then its first person, and if they're equal then its third person... in fact, sometimes, I can't get them to do what I want, they're such a strong voice.
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?
Nope - I write in fits and starts, which is terribly frustrating for a beta – I used to let a friend look things over but she'd get so cranky about having to wait for the next bit that its gone by the wayside. When I've hit the end of a story I have a 'no reading it' rule for a minimum of three days - that lets me forget the last bits I've written so I can go back with fresh eyes to spot the mistakes and check the spelling and add the bits that need more explanation.
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?
Yes to all of the above, because I read and watch all those genres and therefore my mind can go in any direction.
If you were to write a completely new AU for these characters, what would it demand of them?
No idea - I'd like to go on with the 'confiscated' arc and make it a bit more spiritual etc.
Which among your own works is your favorite and why?
Fountains of Flowers is a favorite at the moment, but that will likely change.
Which of your stories are you less positive about, why? Have you had the urge to revise any of your stories? Which ones?
The early efforts could all be revised, but that would destroy the integrity of the story to some degree because my style has changed since I first started writing.
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?
Definitely to all of the above, but as to what/where/how I have little chance of ever doing it.
Do you create OCs and how do you use them? Do you find creating an OC challenging?
OCs are there to add information or give background to the boys - and I tend to discard them once they're done - because of this it's not too hard to make someone up - I don't have the same relationship I do with the canon characters.
You won a fan fiction (LMFA) award in 2007 for your story, "Observations and Haircuts". That story ended with this question: "After all, how do you teach people to be family?" Would this be an abiding theme in all your stories?
It's certainly one in life!!! I deal with a lot of families and that is a HUGE source of frustration to me - as an outsider I can see what they need to do, but it's not my 'place' to teach them that.
Kid!fic is a specific genre in fandom and your stories in the "Tommy" series are frequently recommended. How did that effort come about?
Tommy started as a what if... What if Jim was an uncle, would the sentinel genes be passed on? Then it moved to Blair as an uncle, then a dad, and the disruptions to their lives and reactions of sentinel to said son, and then guide genes, and then Tommy tugged on my metaphorical sleeve and said, “Write me now!!!!!”
How do you feel about feedback and concrit from your readers?
I don't mind concrit or feedback at all, but if I don't get it, that's okay, too. I don't like it when people write under the guise of concrit and basically try to force me to change from an Australian to an American in one sitting. I know the slang is wrong for America sometimes, but given that I'm only exposed to it on the telly (TV to you yanks) I do the best I can.
And we have certainly enjoyed those efforts. Thanks, Shedoc!
Last updated 3/24/09 igr