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Taleya began watching The Sentinel when its first season played in Australia. She began her foray into Sentinel fan fiction with a missing scene for Blind Man's Bluff called Golden Thoughts - Blair. So far, she has written over 30 stories for The Sentinel and has many more planned. As her readers know, Taleya enjoys writing all kinds of stories, from the ultra-intense drama of Nom de Guerre to many light-hearted short stories. Taleya's Cascade Library story listing currently includes 37 stories. Taleya's stories are located at her webpage, Final Refuge.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Taleya!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Umm...21-year-old computer programmer, fairly boring RL ;-)
What else do you enjoy doing besides writing TS fan fiction?
Writing OTHER fiction <g> reading, music, walking, gym...usual guff, pretty much. There's a nice definitive answer!
How did you become a Sentinel fan?
Actually <hanging head> thru Frasier. I fell in love with GM as "Weird Bruce" on first sight, then when they started showing promos for TS down here, I was walking thru and said "Hey! Weird Bruce!" So I sat and watched....and watched...and watched...and well, by Cypher I was pretty much gone :-)
What is your favorite episode and why?
Cypher, Siege, Dead Drop or Vow of Silence. Cypher - pretty much obvious, that was a *brilliant* episode. Siege - well, normal guy trying to keep sane in a hostage situation ;-) Dead Drop...just because, and Vow of Silence because they both look so damn *good* in that ep!
How did you start writing Sentinel fan fiction?
Lazing around, muse bopped up and smashed me over the head with Golden thoughts - Blair. I was kinda on edge when posting, but then I thought "What the hell. If they don't like it, why should I give a s**t?" and hit the send button.
If you could see any of your stories made into a real episode, which one would you choose?
Oik! I dunno. hmm...Maybe Darkness, 'cos I'd like to see a freaky Vampyre Jim. Or maybe Nom de Guerre. But I reckon Flip Side of the Coin would probably be one of the best for an ep :-)
Which story are you most proud of?
ohman...my favourites...I may get smacked, but they're mostly slash! Silent seduction series - The Debt and Night Train were *fun*, I always enjoy re-reading Flip Side of the Coin, but the absolute BEST ones I have ever written, in my opnion, are the original slash Nom de Guerre and the Two Worlds trilogy (which I co-wrote with Texas Ranger, is slash and is going to be 'zined).
Which character do you most enjoy writing?
Blair. Complex and just plain *fun.*
Which character is the easiest for you to write?
Prolly Blair. I can relate most to him. Although I like to play with Taggert occasionally too.
Who is your least favorite?
That despicable CASSIE BEAST. Trite, old hat, but oh so true...
What genre(s) do you enjoy writing the most?
Whatever! I like paddling in all pools. I tend to do fluff mostly though. Steady diet of fluff. Bad for the teeth, but good for the soul :-)
Who are your beta readers and what do you appreciate most about them?
EEEP. Honest confession? Betas? Who're that? Seriously, what I tend to classify as 'beta's' during my acknowledgements, 98% of the time, they're friends who's heads I've bounced stuff off. Always good to do that ;-) Suggestions welcomed, as they will probably be ignored when my muse gets territorial about someone taking over the story and screams off in a different direction!
Fallout was originally posted as a serial story. What inspired this piece, and did you know how it was going to end when you started it?
Actually, I very rarely start stories at the start. This and Nom de Guerre were the exceptions! Usually I jump in with both feet and see where I go! I generally start in the middle, then populate the file with /-/-/-/-/ to indicate where I've jumped from scene to scene to idea/whatever. As people who've read my works in progress will attest, it's a damn weird way to write. But it works!
I actually had the glimmering of the end scene in my head - Jim walking upstairs to where everything was smashed, tying it in to the start where Blair was smashing things. I always *knew* what was going on, but the problem was stuffing those little idea clouds into the computer.
Tell us about the Babe in Arms series. Was it difficult to write Blair caring for a baby?
Nope! Been there, done that..it was actually started on another whim I had. Never knew it would blow this far!
What made you choose the character you did as the father of the baby?
Well, I though..Blair, everyone will think. Jim, ditto. Simon, ergh, etc. Rafe doesn't get enough fun, to my mind. No one had really gotten up and written him as a *real* character, dug into it, his hopes/fears, what he was, how he'd react. Then Lois went and did it, and a whole slew of GREAT stories on the sentinelangst list! <eep>
Your recent drama series Nom de Guerre is an emotionally intense AU set during World War II. Was it emotionally difficult for you to write this story?
In some parts, yes. The idea started after reading part of Frank Yerby's The Voyage Unplanned. I was checking some historical references on the net, and I came away in *tears* when I found out how much of it was true. Vercors, Vassiuex, the whole lot. I knew he had taken from history to write the book, but never realsied that *every single word* was true.
I've always held a soft spot for the French Maquis. I tend to get @#$% at the general "We surrender" jokes. They didn't. And I wanted to work that in. The sad part is - *every* *single* event in NDG is true. All of it. I can give you the URLs to the French Historical sites if you don't believe me.
How did you decide what roles to give each of the Sentinel characters? Was it difficult to change the story into a gen piece, and do you think it affected the essential parts of plot?
The part I wrote to replace [the slash sections] was just as good, I think. Maybe a little better - but in a different way.
Parts? Well, Megan as an Australian nurse...I was reading somewhere about some nurses that stayed behind after the withdrawl when the Maginot line broke, and it struck me as something she would do. Blair as the resistance fighter was right at the core. Jim still has the same problems, poor guy. Simon is a natural leader, Joel always strikes me as this big black cat waiting in the bushes. And of course, Rafe hit me as the British officer, and Henri the musician :-)
I included Serena because she's another character I like. And I could see her there too,. The same applies for all the characters, I suppose. It was just so damn *easy* to see them there, fighting against what I think was the only *true* evil that ever threatenend this world. In some ways, I think that the second world war was the closest war *ever*came to being justified. It was people taking a stand. Drawing a line. Saying it had to stop SOMEWHERE. Otherwise the killing would have just gone on and on. At least this way, they died on their feet.
What inspired the piece Crossroad? How does this story illustrate your view of Simon's role in Jim and Blair's friendship?
LOL! That was a piece of @#$%! Another bit tossed out by a wacked out student needing sleep. I was attempting to play with the shamanistic side and failed *miserably*. Simon is almost as much a part of Jim and Blair as Jim and Blair. A lot of readers tend to overlook that. Including me <eep>
What inspired the hilarious short story, Temporary Insanity?
Me. Corin. A sinkful of bubbles. My housemate :-)
You've written a number of delightful stories in a similar genre, like Blair vs. the Bandaid. How does writing short non-drama pieces compare to your longer, more serious works?
Depends. you have to be in a *mood* to write them. Can spring any time. Blair versus the bandaid actually sprung out of a discussion I was having with Angelyn Harrison over hairboys and adhesive substances, others occur in the bathtub...walking to work...boring classes...dunno. Just something in the brain goes "poik!"
The longer stuff creeps up on ya. Little scattered disparate pieces that meld together and knock ya flying. Then you stare at the computer for three days trying to *finish* it!
Flip Side of the Coin is the story of a young female sentinel who seems mentally unstable. Do you find it easy to write original characters, and what role do they have for you in your writing?
Generally, I hate 'em. But that story sprang from an idea while I was actually sprawled on the floor, trying to fish the neighbours cat out from under the couch. I had this *flash* of Blair on the floor, reaching out and coaxing something...someone..a girl...*BANG* Muse time!
Alliana was actually incredibly easy to write. poing poing poing, everything fell into place. That's one of my favourite stories.
How do you deal with writer's block?
Start another fic. Go for a smoke. Toss just plain *weird* ideas around with friends that end up getting written into fic anyway!
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
Getting off my lazy @#$% and filling in all those /-/-/-/-/ And apparently, I'm a real perfectionist on my own work. I want it to *gel* and I'm waving it around complaining with some poor baby looking at it and going "It's fine! it's fine!" trying to figure what the h*ll I'm ranting about.
What is the most satisfying part of writing for you?
THE END :-)
Or a really great scene that just *curls* you up and next thing you know, you're collapsing back into the chair, your hands are cramping, the clock says three hours later, you feel drained...but you've got one H*LL of a scene there!
What are your feelings on story feedback?
Do you have any advice for new TS fan fiction writers?
Go for it! Ignore the whiners, enjoy yourself! If the story doesn't feel *right* - don't push it. Relaaax. The world ain't gonna die in the time it takes you to make it perfect for *you.*
What was the first piece of fan fiction you ever read?
ohman...TS? Can't remember. General fandom? Blake's Seven transliteration of an episode. Orbit.
What was the first piece of fan fiction you ever wrote?
A totally embarrasing doctor who story. Hey, I was *10*!!! It resides in the deep, gloomy depths of my sock drawer, where human eyes may never gaze upon it.
What was the first piece of Sentinel fan fiction you ever read?
Can't remember. One thing I *do* know - It *wasn't* one of Kris Williams! LOL! Guess I must be the only author in the fandom who didn't start there....
Are there particular kinds of Sentinel fanfic stories that you especially enjoy reading?
Any and all. The mind twisters. Something I can sink my teeth into.
What is it about The Sentinel that inspires you to write?
Honestly? I have no idea! The muse just runs along, dragging me behind it...
What do you believe are The Sentinel's greatest strengths, and greatest weaknesses, as a series?
Strengths? Where they dare to push the edge a little. Where there are no plot holes, where it's a *good* episode, not just 40 minutes drifting by.
Weaknesses? BOTW. Bombs. Explosions. Paper thin plots involving all three to keep the moronic UPN execs and their demographic happy.
Do you find yourself identifying more with Jim or Blair?
Blair. Kooky, drowned under a mountain of things, always poking around...Blair.
If you were given the opportunity to write an episode of The Sentinel, what story would you like to tell?
Naah. Not up to scratch for that. I do have *one* fic that I quite like, it's in progress and really gets stuck into the whole of season three/four, but it would NEVER make an ep.
What three specific things would you like to see on The Sentinel that we haven't seen yet?
More on Blair and his shamanistic side. Actually, a real introspective. A lot of authors have picked up on his tapdancing around the *real* him...I'd like to see the canon.
How about general changes?
LESS BOTW!! <holding up placard and chanting> "Throw out the BIMBOS! THROW OUT THE BIMBOS!!"
What one story do you think people will always remember you for?
Hmm. Prolly Nom De Guerre, because everything went banana's over that, including Senfic (but I've been kicked off that list now, so eh) or Babe in Arms. People seem to like it. Dunno why.
Can you tell us what stories you have in the works right now?
Heaps. Blair in a wheelchair, the post-TS by BS one, Blair the Spawn of the Antichrist, a couple AU's, lotta slash, lotta gen..the rest of the Elf trilogy, a GEN version of the pregnant Blair story posted last year... Lots of stuff! I tend to feel naked without this foot high pile of unfinished fic threatening to fall on my head....
Last updated 10/25/99 clc