Whoohoo! We have new Scoobies of the Month Interviews! I hope y'all enjoy them.
Commenter of the Month for May 2023, Magnus374
How did you come to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Probably around 1997 or 1998 when they started to show it in Sweden. A blond girl with short skirts and high heeled boots, of course I liked it🙂 Soon I was drawn in by the characters and the humour and I liked Spike from the start. After the first 3 seasons, the show changed channel and I couldn't see it anymore. So where around 2008 I came across fanfiction which made me think about the show again. I stopped reading bought all the seasons and watched it.
When and why did you decide to read fanfiction for the show?
I was unemployed around 2007 and 2008 and came across Spike fanfiction, which made me watch all the seasons, then I returned to reading and found some Spuffy sites and a couple of those was still active, Spuffy Realm and the Elysian Fields and the rest is history.
Why do you love Spike and Buffy?
I like both as characters but the way they complement and balance each other and make each other better. Spike brings life to Buffy and she grounds him and connects him to humans. There's also the fact that Slayers and vampires are both hybrids. Vampires are more demons and slayers are more humans, together they are balanced (without the soul). Simply put, they are right together.
What words of advice would you give other fans who comment or are considering maybe commenting on fanfiction?
Don't be afraid to start, you don't have to say much. When I started I often said things like "nice" and "this is good,” just to show that I have read it and liked it, then it became longer especially when the author responded. If I don't like something I mention it but I always tries to say more good things. You should always be careful about this though, I have gone too far a couple of times, always apologise if that's the case. It's the writer’s story, not your story.
How do you find the time and energy to read so many stories and comment so consistently and always content related?
I admit that I have asked myself that question🙂 I suppose that I've got used to it over the years. When I started commenting on the sites I was on, there were perhaps 2 or 3 new chapters each day, so I even had time to read old stories. In the beginning I also avoided all human stories. As more and more people posted stories, I sort of followed by reading more. I have the problem that I tend to enjoy everything I read and that makes it much harder to not read. I must admit that my commenting also was a kind of competition thing. On Elysian fields I found toplists on who had posted the most comments and I realised, I can become number one, which I did🙂 Anyway, the truth is that I have started to reach my limit. At some point I probably will have to choose which stories not to read and that will be difficult for me.
From the admin team:
What’s your favorite type/genre of fic to read?
This is actually a very tough question for me since I tend to enjoy every story I read. It's not really a genre thing, what I really like is stories gets my mind going. I can read something in a story and get an idea in my mind and just run with it. It's also fun to guess what will happen in a story. So I can't really give a straight answer to that.
How do you think being a male in a female-dominated space gives you a unique perspective on fandom?
I actually don't think so much about that, but I do notice that at times I can understand the male characters even when I'm not supposed to🙂 and at times I can have trouble following the logic of some female characters. So there clearly is a difference in how we think. One thing I often do in a story is trying to figure out a reason for some actions other than it being about men wanting to control women. For example the creation of the first Slayer. I don't think they chose a young woman just to be able to control her, I believe it had to be a young woman. I don't know if I have a unique perspective but at some times, I do see things differently.
Do you ever find it difficult to comment? If so, how do you push through that?
I can have trouble sometimes for different reasons. I comment on basically every chapter I read and sometimes I have trouble coming up with something new to say. With English not being my first language, I tend to reuse phrases a lot and I don't want my comments to sound too much the same. Then I try to turn around the words a bit or add some words.
More problematic is when something I really don't like is happening in a chapter. At times I simply avoid saying anything about that part of the chapter. Often I do mention it but points out that I like how it is written or saying that it's my problem that I don't like it, and sometimes I try to explain how I think. Most of the time I also brings up things I do like in the chapter to balance it out.
There's also a classic solution to having trouble commenting, keep it short and just say something.
It's an honour to have been chosen thank you all.
Author of the Month for May 2023, Julikobold
How did you come to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
I watched the first season on and off, when it was originally airing but I didn't get really hooked to it. That might have been part bad dubbing and part the airing time in my country (Saturday afternoon) but also that I really was over the broody vampire thing (too much Louis from Interview with the Vampire). I catched School Hard by chance and was intrigued by Spike and Dru, so I watched the rest Season 2 for the two of them. I really got into it with season 4 and Spike's return. I prefer the later seasons as they are darker and for me more interesting.
When and why did you decide to write fanfiction for the show?
I wrote a little one-shot about a year ago and thought was a fluke. Then the March SAD drabble event happened and it really got me started. So SAD is fully responsible for my deep dive into writing fanfic. And I'm happy about it.
Why do you love Spike and Buffy?
They are both flawed and real. I prefer layered characters over perfect heroes. Their relationship is messy but rooted in a unique friendship and respect. And Sarah and James brought so much emotion into these roles, I just love watching them - and to read about them.
Which three fanfics that you’ve written are your favorite? Why are they your favorite?
The drabbles are very dear to my heart. They got me into writing and I still like to do it regularly. I try to write one per day, but I don't feel bad, if it doesn't always work out. They are fun.
Spike3 is very special for me. It was inspired by a discussion what to do with three Spikes and once the idea was in my head, I just wrote it down. Keeping the three voices of basically the same character separate and distinctive enough was challenging and headache inducing. I'm really happy when readers comment, that the distinctive voices worked out.
It is too difficult to decide on a third. They are all my babies. They are not perfect, but I love them and can't play favorites.
What words of advice would you give other fans who write or want to write fanfiction?
The first advice is stolen from Teuntje: Write what you want to read. Don't brood too much about what readers might like, only what you want to write. Your audience will find you.
And, just do it. Start writing and don't be afraid. The community especially on an archive like SAD is very supportive.
English is your second language, how do you manage to write stories so well in another language? Is there a special method?
Thank you. That is always my biggest concern, if the language is believable. I have no real method. I read a lot and have been watching shows and movies in English for about two decades. And that resulted in a wild mix of AE, BE and some other dialects. I also need English for my job, as I work in an international environment. That is all.
Your stories often has an important character beside Buffy and Spike, is there a character you really want to use to give us a different perspective but haven't been able to work into a story?
I love writing the less used characters with distinctive voices. Right now I can't think of anyone specific I would want to use but I'm sure the characters let me know, if they have something to say. I never expected to write an Andrew POV. He just insisted and I complied.
If you had to choose a different partner for Buffy and Spike, who would that be, and why?
I'm Spuffy at heart, but I always identified with Spike the most. Therefore I just want him to have a partner who respects and loves him. Give me that - no matter if someone from canon or an OC, and I'm happy for him. A good writer can sell me almost anything.
For Buffy I read only Spuffy. I'm just not interested in any other ship for her. But I'm sure there are great stories out there who have that, I just don't seek them out.
--sandy_s, Dusty, Chelle, Getitdone on 05/12/23 09:56 pm 10 Comments
These are so great! I love learning how Magnus first got started as a commenting master and, julikobold, that is awesome that you try to at least write a drabble a day! Kudos to you both! ❤️
This was awesome! Loved to get to know you both a bit better. Magnus you’re the comment king and Juli it’s amazing to see what you’ve been writing the past few months.
Thank you both for sharing your answers!! I love the interviews so much. <3 Magnus, you have made my day a million times over with your continued support. Julikobold, I am always impressed with people that aren't native-English speakers managing to hear and write a character's voice. If I were to even attempt that in another language it would sound like a robot, hahaha!
Magnus, you have seriously set the bar high! We are blessed to have your steadfast support for all of our writers.
And Julikobold, your positive energy is a gift to the SAD community as well! I've so enjoyed getting to know you better!
Truly loved reading these! Especially Magnus's because I feel like you're such a strong column of this fandom, man, but we know so little of you so it's been fantastic to get a peek into your mind. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us once more! ❤️
And of course, I loved to read Juliko's answers (and questions), too! I really love it when someone starts writing thanks to fandom ❤️ it's what happened to me too and it's amazing.
Thank you guys!!
It was good to hear that people enjoyed it🙂
It was great to learn a little more about the king of comments (Magnus374) and how and why he got to that place. @Julikkobold, I love that you started with drabbles. They are one of my favorite things. The advice you got- "write what you want to read" will pretty much never let you down. I'm awestruck at your ability to write in another language!
2 non-American picks - how awesome! I love the richness of our fandom. :)
Magnus, so well-deserved! Whether a competition or not, haha, you are certainly a very generous and prolific commenter and that support means so much to writers. I enjoyed hearing more about your perspective as a male fan. And I love what you said about the Spuffy relationship - "Spike brings life to Buffy and she grounds him and connects him to humans" - this is so true and a really beautiful part of them bringing out the best in each other.
And Julikobold, it's definitely impressive to me how you can write, with such specific voices even, in a second language. And I love your response, too, about Spuffy. "Their relationship is messy but rooted in a unique friendship and respect." - Yes! I think their relationship has the potential to be strong and long-lasted because it really did start from a place of mutual respect, even as enemies, and then there was friendship and reliance. Then a bunch of messy stuff, but even that, the way they could work through coming together again after such mess just means that they will be even stronger after.
I started watching BTVS around '99 I was only 7 at the time and I wasn't supposed to watch it. I caught up with the first two seasons during rewatches, it was before Netflix, DVR, and even on-demand. My mom said it was too violent for me. I had an older cousin though, who used to babysit me on weekdays while my mom was at work and let me watch it whenever I wanted, he loved horror movies and tv shows, and he thought this was a good way to get me started on them too. It worked and started my life long love affair with scary movies and tv. Spike was my first ever crush and Spuffy was my f favorite couple and was mad that they never actually gave them a fair chance at a relationship. I was obsessed with the show from the get-go and watched it all the way up to the season finale.
I loved reading these. So nice to read a little bit more about the mysterious magnus whose steadfast support has lifted up so many writers! And julikobold, I just love that the drabble event inspired you so much! We're lucky to have you. Congrats to you both!