Sunnydale After Dark

We're stoked to bring you the interviews with this month's Scoobies! So well deserved. 

First up, we have our Author of the Month: Girlytek

Girlytek politely declined our offer for an interview but she had this to say: Swonderful writes amazing comments and I’m super glad to see them here, and I’m honored to be SotM with them. <3

We agree, Girlytek, and you totally earned your spot as author this month! We're so happy to have you here posting your stories.


Next up, we have our Commenter of the Month and as the name implies, they're wonderful: Swonderful

Thank you so much for naming me Commenter of the Month!  I'm honored to be recognized for what I consider a small repayment for the many, many hours of joy I get from the works of so many talented and generous authors, artists, betas, editors, admins, and mods. 

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

I was channel-surfing and caught the very first minute of the very first episode when it first aired, and was instantly hooked.  I was soon online, reading everything I could about episode recaps and upcoming episodes, and from there, I found BTVS fanfiction.  It's such a pleasure to see the characters evolve, live on, and often improve. I particularly enjoy it when fanfiction rights the wrongs of the show but in realistic and logical ways.  

What motivates you to leave comments?

It's a combination of wanting to thank and encourage writers and becoming so invested in their stories that I feel compelled to react. I try to make it clear that when I'm annoyed or irritated by something a character does or says, I'm annoyed at the character, not the writer. It's much like Spike getting impatient with Pacey while watching Dawson's Creek. He was not upset by the writing, he was responding to the character as if he was a real person. When I get excited, or angry, it's not a criticism of the author, and it's almost always a compliment to their skill. I think that's true of many other reader comments, although sometimes authors seem to feel personally attacked, although that doesn't appear to be the commenter's intent.  BTVS characters are imperfect, as they should be. When readers are incensed, they don't always think to mention that they're upset at what Giles, Angel, Xander, or Buffy did, not at the writer who created that scenario.   

Having written for and edited national newspapers and magazines, I'm amazed at the caliber of writers here. The quality of their writing is better than some professional writers I worked with, who had to be heavily edited. These authors continue to write without financial compensation, which is remarkable, and very generous of them.  And for some writers here, English is a second or third language!  

I also appreciate the emotional maturity and psychological and political insights many authors bring to their stories, and, through their writing, to readers. BTVS, unfortunately, normalized a number of flawed perspectives, such as the TA/student personal relationship between Riley and Buffy, and I appreciate it when writers bring those issues to readers' attention so they can be better informed in their personal lives. 

  Do you also write or are you strictly a reader?

I was a non-fiction writer and editor for national news media (magazines and newspapers), as well as a university journalism instructor. For fanfiction, I am strictly a reader, although often I will privately message writers when I see errors. In rare cases, if it's a medical or similar error that could have RL repercussions, I will mention it in the comments. 

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

I was a lurker for decades before I started commenting. When I registered on sites, I didn't even use my real name; I combined the names of my friends Marilyn and James. Once I felt safe commenting, I  felt an obligation to support all the contributors who have created and sustain this community.   

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

Unless it's a WIP, I often skip the other reader comments, thereby missing any replies to my own, and until recently, I didn't even know I could have replies sent to me. A moderator, either here or at another site, told me how to opt in for that, although it may be automatic here. 

It's amazing that authors take the time to respond because they're doing the heavy lifting of writing, as well as their Real Life responsibilities.  I think it's kind of them, but nonessential and unexpected.  It's been a pleasure to have discussions with several authors, both in the comments and private messages. Most recently I discovered  VeroNyxK84 here and have been reading and commenting on her old stories.  To my surprise, when she responds, it's clear she's not only read my comment, she's gone back to re-read what she wrote a year or more ago. Dusty also does that, even when I'm rereading and commenting on The Time We Had for the second and third time.  I appreciate that, but it's well above and beyond an author's role.  You're already giving so much! There are many, many other authors who have similarly responded. I'm not going to name them because I don't want to inadvertently leave someone out. 

The often unsung heroes who deserve a plethora of positive comments are the admins, mods, and other support who keep the site going and manage all the glitches, and also each person who supports it financially.  Where else can we go for excitement, distraction, support, and comfort 24/7 without leaving our homes? 

For a variety of reasons, some readers comment rarely or not at all.  Sunnydale After Dark is giving more pleasure, insight, hope and satisfaction than is evident from the comments. I'm so glad the site exists to support, disseminate and preserve these wonderful works.   Thank you, everyone!


Thank you both so much for helping to make SAD such a wonderful, welcoming, and encouraging place to be. We wouldn't be here without every single one of you and we are so grateful every day that you choose to be here with us! 

Chelle, Dusty, GetItDone, and GriefCounseling

--Chelle on 03/03/24 06:33 pm 6 Comments


Girlytek, you are an absolute treasure to this place. Your quirky writing and intelligent wit always make me so very giddy to have you around.

Swonderful, I'm always honored by your comments! It was really nice to read a little about you and your long history with BtVS and fic!! Thanks so much for being a part of SAD!

to you both!

-- Dusty on 03/05/24 11:50 pm

Congrats to the both of you! Girlytek, I love your work—so glad to see it recognized! And Swonderful, really cool to read your interview! You truly seem like an insightful reader and commenter.

-- temporarytitle on 03/06/24 12:06 am

It's been a delight reading your insightful comments, Swonderful, and it was the perfect excuse to go back and re-read a story I wrote in such a rush that I had almost forgotten what happened there. 😂

March Drabble Madness (as I call it affectionately) has slowed me down on replies outside of the event stories, but I'll get to all of them eventually. It's just something I always do and love to do.

-- VeroNyxK84 on 03/06/24 01:21 am

Love reading about your experiences, swonderful! And your comments are always delightful!

-- Lady Emma on 03/06/24 11:32 am

It's always really heart-warming to read these interviews and discover the journeys that led into involvement with fanfiction... and Spuffy. It helps us readers feel closer to both authors and commenters and adds a big slice of humanity to this wonderful world!

It made me smile to find out that I have in common with Swonderful having been a professional editor :), in my case for academic papers, and a good reminder that in other worlds, including jounalism, "perfect" writing is not the rule :).

That you precious writers take even more time to both comment and reply to comments borders on pure magic, and allows us to feel even closer to the individual authors, but there's no way we can't understand that they may not have even more "extra" time to do so. 

If we had ways to show our appreciation even more, we would jump on them.

And the mods, admins, and our head monster tech, speaking as also a former website content manager, they are, I agree with Swonderful, exceptionally outstanding, creative... and kind! 

Gotta love SAD for everything about it!

-- marinaeulalia on 03/07/24 05:06 am

Congrats to both of you!  Swonderful, it's so fun to read that you happened upon Buffy by complete accident...or was it!

-- honeygirl51885 on 03/10/24 08:25 pm