Sunnydale After Dark

You guys! How is it already May!? We are so excited to share the Scoobies of the Month Interviews with you but we can't even believe it's already MAY! Anyone looking forward to summer?

By the way, you guys are already killing Pen & Paint! Way to go! 

And here we go! 

First up, our Author of the Month: Gabby

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

I was lucky enough to be a Scooby of the Month in June of last year so I don't want to bore you all with the details again, haha! To make a long story short: I started watching the show when I was about 12 or 13. Reruns would be on in the mornings so I'd catch an episode or two before school. I re-watched it a few times in high school and college with a particular focus on the Spuffy Era, then promptly forgot that the show even existed until I picked it up again in 2021, which was also when I got into fanfic because I just needed more Buffy and Spike content. I still do!     

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

Here's where I start to feel like an imposter because I'm so new to the writing game. I only have two stories posted on the site, so it's not like I have a ton of examples to draw from for this answer! But I've got a few ideas floating around in my brain that I hope to get to eventually. 

Mostly–like I assume is the case for a lot of authors–those ideas were inspired by concepts that I personally like to see in Spike/Buffy fanfic. What better way to make sure there are stories covering plots, genres, dynamics, etc. that you like to read than to just write them yourself?! 

But I recently came up with a premise based on a Taylor Swift song, so music has been a source of ficspiration, too. To be honest, thinking of ideas is hard for me. I'm envious of people for whom this comes so easily! So if I end up writing something then that just means the story really excited me and got my creative juices flowing.     

Who is your favorite character to write and why?

Hmm… Well, even though she's the hardest for me to write, I'd have to say Buffy! And that's because she's so challenging for me. It takes me an embarrassingly long time to write her dialogue and POV, thinking of exactly the right words and phrases to use. Spike's voice is so clear in my head and his lines just flow from my fingertips to the keyboard. Buffy is more difficult, and I'm not really sure why!

But it's just so satisfying when I sit back and read something I've written and think, "Ah ha! Nailed it!" Those moments are few and far between, but the rush I get when they happen makes her my favorite character to write.   

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

Definitely the story I wrote for this year's Short & Spuffy! I'm enamored with the S7 Spike and Buffy relationship and how they become mutually supportive friends with just a hint of something more in that season. I love a slow burn that builds a solid foundation for the grand romance that follows, and it was a lot of fun to try to develop Spuffy gradually and organically 100 words at a time. 

It was also the hardest fic to write. I felt so creatively dry about halfway through and started hating everything I wrote. Nothing new for experienced writers, I'm sure, but this newbie was like, "What's happening?! Why is this so difficult?!" Luckily some friends talked me off a ledge and I pushed through, and I'm glad I did. I ended up loving that story and I'm really proud of pulling off a cohesive narrative while at the mercy of the wheel (whom I love).     

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

Lemme preface this by saying: I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer warts and all. It's one of my favorite shows of all time. However, I would've liked to see more diversity (in race, ability, gender identity, etc.) for sure. To get on my soapbox for a second, representation in fiction matters. It also just isn't realistic that we only see one Latino student (I think) across all 7 seasons when Sunnydale is only a couple hours away from Los Angeles. So definitely more of that!  

And I feel pretty strongly that there needed to be a more serious discussion between Spike and Buffy about what happened in Seeing Red. It was a very big deal! And even if she has an apparently easy time separating the Spike who did that from the newly souled version, I still think it's healthy for them to explicitly hash that out (along with all the other toxicity, maybe) so they can move past it once and for all. 

All that said, I love the show so much, and am happy it exists even with those shortcomings. I also love the SAD community. Y'all are the best. Thanks for making me a Scooby of the Month, and mega congrats to all choseny, too!

Gabby, you're amazing and we are so grateful to have you here with us! Thank you!


Next up we have our Commenter of the Month: all choseny

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

I shared a bit about my "Come to Buffy" moment when I was awarded Writer of the Month (Thank you all again for nominating me!). So, I'll keep my short story even shorter. I was a fan of the movie before it ever became a television show. I recall BtVS was a mid season replacement (for a show I don't remember), and at first I wasn't into it. I think the WB aired it again the Saturday after the premier, and because it was a lazy Saturday afternoon, I watched it and was immediately hooked. 

I came to fanfic through Roleplaying on Myspace many moons ago. When Myspace imploded, I went on LJ and discovered the wonderful world of fanfiction. If you're curious about Myspace RP, a few months ago I was feeling nostalgic, and I tried to recreate my old RP page as best as my memory would allow me. I was in my 20s when I rp'd. I'll be 42 on May 30th.  You do the math LOL. (Being nominated was a wonderful Bday present, btw). Anyway, if you're curious, go here:

 I am not actively roleplaying. I was bored and some guy made a myspace dupe. 

What motivates you to leave comments?

Just like writers get that shot of happy when they receive a comment (and a like), I feel that same excitement when leaving a comment. I also think it's nice to let the writer know that someone is reading and enjoying their work. My philosophy when leaving comments is to always be kind. Kindness is free, and it goes a long way. You never know what kind of day the author might have had, and seeing that comment from you might make a difference. So, I also like to leave a little kindness for someone who is taking the time to entertain all of us for free. 

Do you also write or are you strictly a reader?

Yep, I write, too. :) 

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

Goodness, that was so long ago. 2007-ish. I want to say that I might have lurked a little at first when I joined LJ. I recall quickly getting over that and leaving comments for writers. 

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

It's not very important. After Short and Spuffy, I realized that comments can pile up pretty quickly, so hats off to the writers who reply to every comment you receive. I salute you! But while it's not super important, it's appreciated when they do reply. :) 

Thank you, all choseny! You are magical and we appreciate you! 

Well, that's it, folks! We hope your seasonal allergies aren't killing you! Ahhh, springtime. :)

All the best,
Chelle, Dusty, GetItDone, and GriefCounseling

--Chelle on 05/06/24 04:05 am 7 Comments


Congrats again Gabby and all choseny!

Gabby, I find Spike’s voice so easy to write too!  I think it’s the accent for me, I can hear it so clearly in my head.  I also find Buffy the hardest to write.  I actually just had this conversation with someone and said, I think she’s harder because I identify with her so much and it’s easier for me to let my own voice slip in.  Sometimes it overtakes the scene and then it’s not Buffy anymore.  Who knows, but we do enjoy a challenge!

All choseny, kudos to you for commenting so early on back in the day!  I also remember you talking about your RP days and I still think that is such a cool way to come into a fandom.  Love it!!

-- honeygirl51885 on 05/06/24 04:57 am

However, I would've liked to see more diversity (in race, ability, gender identity, etc.) for sure. To get on my soapbox for a second, representation in fiction matters. It also just isn't realistic that we only see one Latino student (I think) across all 7 seasons when Sunnydale is only a couple hours away from Los Angeles. So definitely more of that!  

Gabby, I'm so glad you pointed that out! As an Afro-Latina, I also wish there were more POC on the show. My heart completely broke when Kendra died, and I don't think there was another Black character until season seven with Wood and Lissa (played by Ashanti). I was also gutted when Eddie died. 

Music inspires me a lot, too! I like to listen to music sometimes when I write. 

Thank you for sharing your story and congrats on making Scooby of the Month! 

-- all choseny on 05/06/24 03:11 pm

Ahhh congrats Gabby and all choseny!

Gabby you're absolutely not an imposter, if you'd written ONE hundred-word drabble for the event and literally nothing else, you'd still be a writer, and you'd still have insight into the process! I do love that you have those "nailed it!" moments sometimes though because there's actually no better feeling!

All choseny your Buffy rp page is SO funny! I love that she wants to meet Thor, because we know she could totally lift that hammer and wow everyone, except Spike who already knew she could do that.

-- violettathepiratequeen on 05/07/24 12:41 pm

Gabby, I think you've told me before about worrying about your Buffy voice and I find it so surprising because 1. You're great at it! And 2. I know you relate to Buffy a lot! As do I! But this made me think of Jane Espensons comments about how writing Buffy is the hardest for her, that it gets easier the further away from the core scooby group she gets because characters like Anya and Spike have such distinct voices. 

All Choseny, you leave SUCH delightful comments. I love that you get a rush of good feelings just giving them to others. We should all strive for that!

-- Dusty on 05/08/24 11:33 pm

It's always nice to get a little insight into SAD authors and commenters! I love reading these interviews because it sets things in people's timelines. I'm pretty certain that this will remain my favorite show for what remains of my life. 

As a very late-comer to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's fascinating to me that so many of the authors and readers have been involved in fanfiction for so, so many years, sometimes with years-long breaks but ultimately back. 

Like Gabby, I love the show, "warts and all." I think Joss Whedon was a genius and surrounded himself with genius writers, crew, and actors. He also had the clarity to change course based on the many talents of the show. We know that Spike was supposed to die at the end of Season 2, and Whedon didn't hesitate to make him part and parcel of the whole show (thank you James, and most probably his instant fandom). The lack of diversity didn't strike me though, because I'd grown up in an era where TV shows were either "all white" or "all black"... sometimes films too. I'm not sure what the political correctness of the late nineties was like but it may have still been a time when diversity was introduced into shows only symbolically. Anyway, Gabby, keep on truckin', you have magic at your fingertips. 

All Choseny, I am mystified that someone who writes so much and so well also finds the time to submit comments to others' works, and it's so wonderful that you do! I'm strictly a reader and a commenter, but it happens that I really enjoy reading others' comments, and you are so present. It's great.



-- marinaeulalia on 05/09/24 01:08 pm

I know I'm super late (as usualll) but congrats to you both, ladies!!

Gabby, I really appreciate the shot out to diversity on the show—I know it's what it is because of the time it was created, but man would it have been better to have a more diverse cast. 😅 And I second Violetta on the point of your imposter syndrome; I get it, you know I do, but it doesn't make sense! Believe us

All Choseny, I really get what you mean about the jolt of happiness that leaving a kind comment can give you! I feel the same, not always maybe but often enough that I know it can be so good

-- MaggieLaFey on 05/11/24 06:27 am

Gabby, I often wondered about the lack of Hispanic characters given that the show took place in So. California. Even allowing for how many towns in CA back in the day, were very, very white and intentionally so, you would think there would have been more representation. Among the vampires and their victims, if no where else.   However, putting current ideas about diversity and representation onto things written that many years ago, is just an exercise in frustration, IMHO. I'm sure they felt at the time, that they were being very forward-thinking and courageous to have as much as they had.

However, as soon as you put pen to paper (so to speak), and especially once you've shared it with others, you are a writer! Case closed.


All Choseny, what a lovely thought, that leaving a kind comment gives you happiness. I have great respect for good commentators, since I suck at it.  "Good job!" is often the best I can do. LOL

-- Slaymesoftly on 05/14/24 01:16 pm