Sunnydale After Dark
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First things first, many thanks to Claire for our wonderful new Scoobies of the Month banner! We love it! Thank you so much!!

February! How is it already February? Did January go by in a blink for anyone else? Because it sure did for us! 

We are so proud to bring you our February SOTM interviews! First up we have our Author: Passion4Spike!!

Tell us how you got into Buffy the show and Buffy fanfic.

I came to be a BtVS fan via DVDs after the series ended in a kind of backward way and became a SPUFFY shipper unexpectedly. I enjoyed David Boreanaz in ‘Bones’ and Christian Kane in ‘Leverage’. I found them both on Angel—SCORE! I watched the entire Angel series before I ever watched BtVS, because, let’s face it, that name is just DUMB, am I right? But, I wanted more DB, so I sucked it up and dove in. And, OMG, it was nothing like I expected. I loved it from the first episode, and of course, was BANGEL all the way until…

Spike.

Spike turned everything on its head; he was CLEARLY the better man, SPUFFY is clearly the OTP. I sailed off on that ship wholeheartedly.

After I finished the series, I tried to read the comics, but I apparently have some sort of 'comic dyslexia' because they were confusing to me and, the parts that I did manage to suss out, I didn't like, so I stopped.

That left me in a black void of wanting more! I’d never read fanfic before; never even HEARD of it before Willow mentioned fanfic on the show one time. One Google search later and my world changed again. SPUFFY FANFIC was a thing! I read everything I could find, starting with Nautibitz’s site, and eventually finding other Spuffy sites and writers. I was hooked!

I don’t know what sparked me to start writing myself other than I wanted LONGER stories, I wanted them starting as early as possible and going for as long as possible. I wanted to give Spike everything he ever wanted… and, of course, put him and Buffy through the angst-wringer so they’d really appreciate the good times.


Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Sometimes it’s a life event, sometimes a posted challenge, but most of the time it’s just something that comes to me in a dream or just pops into my head. Sometimes it’s ONE LINE or one scene, and I write a WHOLE STORY just to get to that ONE VISION. Most of the time the characters dictate the story. The one I’m currently posting began as a 1-3 chapter introduction to A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STORY that I had in mind, and turned into a 500k word epic adventure.


Who is your favorite character to write and why?

Do you mean besides Buffy and Spike? I love writing them because I want them to be HAPPY… but I also love to make myself cry, so I have to put them through hell before making them happy. I love testing their mettle, which we know is beyond the pale, and testing their love, which is beyond reproach. They are the ones who I hear most often in my head (more Spike than Buffy), and who inspire me most.

Apart from them, I’d have to say Drusilla. You can just let your imagination run wild with her and string words together that don’t normally go together and have it feel perfectly natural. She can be so many different things: bat-shit crazy, completely lucid, dangerous, funny, weak, strong, and of course, a great way to drop in foreshadowing.

Which story of yours are you most proud of and which was the hardest to write?

Wow, that’s like trying to pick a favorite child. Probably everyone says that? I love different ones for different reasons… my top 3:

The Unexpected Series was my first; it got me started and it took me to places I never thought I could go. I still love that AU and hope to one day go back and ‘fix’ the first story and the plot problems it has. I feel like I got much better at writing and plots over the course of that series, which, I also hope to finish one day. I have the ending in my mind, I just got distracted.

Spirit Indestructible began as a way to write a threesome and keep it technically SPUFFY, but it turned into SO MUCH MORE. I cried SO MUCH writing it and everyone who reads it says the same. There is a HEA, so the tears turn happy, but there was a surprise character that just took over that story and I love it.

The Mortal Allies Series began as a challenge banner that had a puppy in it and it just kept going after that initial one-shot. Another opportunity to get Spuffy together so much sooner, but also SUCH A SLOW BURN. But I’m really happy with it so far and will come back to it and get more doggie adventures.

Probably the hardest of all stories for me to write are one-shots. Condensing a story into 15k words and getting in a HFN is sooo hard for me. All of my one-shots started off with at least 3 chapters and I had to rip them to the bare bones, slash my heart to shreds, and die a little with every cut, to get it down to a one-shot.


As a writer, what would you have changed on the show and why?

There are so many things about the show that make us all crazy. Inconsistencies, characters that we hate, characters we love doing things we hate, characters NOT doing things they should clearly do… So what would I change?

NOTHING.

There is a reason this fandom is still so alive and active, why we are, after 20+ years, still FIXING things, expanding things, explaining things. Canon was frustrating and annoying and drove us MAD, but all that is the perfect storm to create the ongoing love for SPUFFY fanfic and for these flawed characters. All the things we pick apart in canon just open up so many different sandboxes for us to play in.

Woot! Thank you, Passion4Spike! So much!

__________---<---@_______

Next up we have our Commenter: MaggieLaFey!!

Tell us how you got into Buffy the show and Buffy fanfic.

I know I've told this story already, but here we go again  I remember knowing very very vaguely about BtVS, but I never liked vampires in general and used to be a bit of a misogynistic little ass, so the idea of a blond girl killing vampires did absolutely nothing for me. Then I discovered Firefly, also by Whedon, and fell in LOVE with it. So I had to give this weird vampire-whatever show a try, after that masterpiece... and the rest is history!

As for fanfics, I've been reading them since I discovered they existed, so I don't actually remember at all my beginnings as a BtVS/Spuffy reader, because it came completely naturally to me to read fics once I finished the show!

What motivates you to leave comments?

Several things, actually. There's the fact that I know first-hand how even a teeny tiny comment of a few words can make the author smile, if not make them really happy. There's also the fact that I like gushing, like, I really like gushing haha so sometimes I just love saying what I love about stuff! And also, and this is, I'll admit, quite selfish of me, sometimes I really just want to read/see more of a WIP/an author's work  and what better way to get more of my precious drug than pay it with compliments and gushing? It seems to work, and if it doesn't, I'll have given an author a smile, hopefully. Win win ;)

Do you also write or are you strictly a reader?

Against all my expectations from a few years ago, I also write, yes. Currently much less than I used to because I'm, shall we say, hiding from my real life much less than I used to haha. But I hope I'll still manage to find some writing time here and there for a long while!

Were you a lurker before you started leaving comments or did you comment right away?

My memory sucks and I don't honestly remember haha. I think for sure there must've been some lurking at the beginning. Probably. Yes? Maybe I didn't feel comfortable leaving comments before I felt I had a bit more of a grasp of the community behind this fandom. But I honestly wish I did remember!

How important is it to receive a reply from the writer when you leave a comment?

What an interesting question, to me. It used to be very, very important to me; not necessarily to receive a thought-out, or even personal response, but to just know, even simply through ANs in the chapter, that my (and all commenters') words were appreciated. What I've realised in the meantime is that really, the thing I don't like is the feeling of being ignored/talking to a wall. That has more to do with me and my personal hangups than with fanfic writers themselves, though; and now I generally care less about not receiving responses, because it doesn't make me feel ignored as easily, and thus I dislike it less.

All of that said, I think we can't ignore the fact that engagement begets engagement. Yes, sometimes I am SO engaged with a story/artwork, it doesn't matter whether the author responds or not, I'll keep gushing. Other times though, especially with WIPs, if the author starts having conversations with me, engages with me, even just through catch-all ANs, I'll naturally feel more engaged, more willing to spend time and energy to find and write words to express that engagement. I hope that makes sense!

Thank you so so much, MaggieLaFey! We appreciate it! 

There you have it, guys! We hope you enjoyed the interviews this month as much as we did! 

Happy creating, y'all! 
Chelle, Dusty, GetItDone, and GriefCounseling



--Chelle on 02/04/24 06:04 pm 13 Comments

Comments

Thanks so much to everyone for the honor of being a Scoobie of the Month. It really is such a warm-fuzzy feeling to be a part of such a wonderful community/fandom, one I hope will continue for many, many, many years to come! 

-- Passion4Spike on 02/05/24 10:40 pm

GORGEOUS new banner! Claire did a stellar job on it.

@Passion4Spike, I love how you came to the show! Such a fun story. I was such a Bangel at first too so I really relate to this. Glad you’re a part of this fandom.

@Maggie, I always appreciate your thoughts on my stories, especially the gushing

-- Tessa on 02/06/24 01:41 am

Wonderful interviews and such a beautiful new banner!

@Passion4Spike - I felt the same way about the comics.  I really tried, because I wanted more (and I still own a bunch of them, kept telling myself I’d try again) but they just didn’t do it for me.

@Maggie - Comments can be such a great way to connect authors and readers together.  That’s how we first started chatting! 😊

-- honeygirl51885 on 02/06/24 05:52 am

I love the story of how you came to Buffy, Passion4Spike! So funny!

And Maggie, you leave such gushy comments. I love that you love gushing You're AMAZING at it!

Thanks so much to both of you for being here!

-- Dusty on 02/06/24 01:08 pm

Thank you all so so much for the nomination, peeps!! And for all the kind words. I love this placeeee.

-- MaggieLaFey on 02/06/24 01:30 pm

AND CLAIRE, THANK YOU FOR THE GORGEOUS ART!!

-- MaggieLaFey on 02/06/24 01:30 pm

Thank you both for being so awesome in this community and for the interviews! I've adored both of you forever and I don't see that ever changing. Ever! 

-- Chelle on 02/06/24 02:13 pm

Great interviews! I enjoyed reading both! 

-- all choseny on 02/06/24 05:05 pm

I love that you both started your journey to Spuffy with other shows!

These were pure joy to read! Congrats Scoobies! 

-- bee_davie on 02/06/24 10:41 pm

I love these interviews so much! Thank you for sharing with us! <3

And that banner... THAT BANNER!!

-- Grief Counseling on 02/08/24 12:02 pm

It's always so interesting to read these interviews, opening windows into all the fascinating and diverse aspects of the energies that make up, and drive the SAD community and make it so rich! 

They show that there is a welcome place for everyone in their singularity... as long as they're Spuffy :)

-- marinaeulalia on 02/11/24 02:44 am

Claire, this banner is 🤩🤩🤩 love it so much. And it’s so distinctively your style 🖤🖤

love these interviews so much, it’s great hearing everyone’s Spuffy origin stories! 

-- Alyot on 02/12/24 05:51 am

Passion4Spike, I love your answer to the canon question! Thanks for mentioning Spirit Indestructible. The threesome bit sounds interesting and the rest sounds really good too :-) So I'll have to put it on my "to read" list. 

MaggieLaFey, you make people so happy with your gushing, please never stop! Also, you reminded me I have some story updates of yours to catch up with, so I can do some gushing of my own! (Although I have to admit that unlike you, I'm not a good gusher at all, even when I really like something.)

Claire, wonderful banner! I love the neon effect.

-- Double Dutchess on 02/13/24 06:17 pm