She's a relative newcomer to Whovian fandom, but she's certainly taken it by storm. Our featured author of the week is wendymr, a name that most already know as one of the most prolific authors in new Who-dom. With a whopping total of 56 stories, WMR has explored the possibilities of Jack's return to the Tenth Doctor, what if? scenarios for timeline changes, romance both OT3 and Doctor/Rose, and intricate plots that interweave all of them. So what is it that makes her want to write? What is it that encourages her to put the metaphorical pen to the paper? Let's find out...
Tell us ten facts about yourself.
Ten? eep! I was always terrible at those ‘tell us something interesting about yourself’ games! Well, okay, will try.
1. I’ve been writing fanfic now since 1988, but until December last year exclusively in another fandom. (And they’re all now yelling at me and calling me a traitor because I don’t write for them any more...)
2. I’m a bit of a nomad, geographically. ;) Born in Ireland, moved to the UK after university for a job, then sixteen years later emigrated to Canada; that was almost two years ago.
3. In terms of classic v new Whodom, I think I may be a bit hard to classify. I grew up watching Jon Pertwee and then Tom Baker as the Doctor; it was regular Saturday evening viewing for my brother and myself. When Peter Davison took over, for some reason we drifted away - he just didn’t seem to work for us after Tom Baker. No disrespect to Davison or those who like Five; we never really warmed to him. While I watched the Eight movie, it was Nine and Christopher Eccleston who brought me back to Doctor Who. So I have a classic background, but don’t remember the old episodes especially well and wouldn’t say I fell in love with DW until 2005.
4. I have a cat. ;) Yeah, all right, this ten facts thing is getting difficult already!
5. I am proudly engaged in converting the Lois and Clark fandom to Doctor Who, one FoLC (Friend of Lois and Clark) at a time. I think I’m up to about a dozen now...
6. Further to point 5, I am twisting the arm of L&C fanfic writers to write Doctor Who, and am currently up to three and counting. ;) Go check out Kaethel and JulieS on Teaspoon and tvnerdgirl on LJ! Oh, and Dave and Nicole? You’re next...
7. And - see points 5 and 6 above - I am now evading pitchforks from members of that other fandom. Should I be worried that some of them know where I live?
8. umm... I sing, loudly, when I’m alone in the car or alone at home listening to music at the PC. And have been known to play the same song OVER and OVER, singing very loudly each time...
9. I can’t add. Seriously, I’m mildly numerically dyslexic, so apt to tell people that seven plus nine is fifteen. ;) Oh, and I frequently tell my husband to turn left, while at the same time I’m pointing right. It is part of the same dyslexia, I swear!
10. I eat angst for breakfast. ;)
What seduced you to the show in the first place?
Well, if we’re talking about when I fell in love with it - no doubt about it: the Nine/Rose dynamic and chemistry. There were so many things to love about Nine’s season: hey, a Doctor who doesn’t sound like he’s a BBC continuity announcer! A companion who’s working-class and doesn’t talk with a plum in her mouth! (Remember, I only really watched in the 1970s). A companion who gives as good as she gets when the Doctor gets aloof and dictatorial. And who can take care of herself, too. (And, yes, I’m sure I’d love Ace too, on the basis of all that).
But it was more. It was the total and utter love between the Doctor and Rose during those episodes, and that we see continuing between her and Ten. Not necessarily romantic love, though we can see that there, too, and of course the scriptwriters and actors all tell us that it’s there as well. ;) She would die for him. He did die for her. That’s a very special kind of love, and it sucked me in and made me love them in return. And then, of course, add a sexy, omnisexual guy from the future, who’ll flirt with anything and whom the Doctor’s willing to flirt with in return, into the mix and what more does a girl need? ;)
Episodes such as Dalek, Father’s Day and Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways... there’s more than enough angst and love in those episodes to satisfy anyone, and since that’s the kind of story I love most of all it’s not surprising that I adored Doctor Who when it returned to our screens in 2005. After all, my favourite Lois and Clark episode is That Old Gang of Mine, in which Clark is shot and Lois believes he’s been killed... ;)
What made you start writing Doctor Who fanfic?
The Doctor made me do it! Seriously, I never once imagined I’d be writing fic for any other series, but after I’d seen all of Nine’s episodes stories just started unfolding themselves in my head. Long exchanges of dialogue, whole scenes, passages of introspection and character analysis. The only way I could get them out of my head was to write them down.
Foolishly, I thought that once I’d written one or two vignettes that would be it. I could put this new, temporary obsession back in its closet and return to my original fandom and writing - especially as I still had some stories on the go over there. Well... it hasn’t gone away yet... sigh.
Do you think writing for Doctor Who has added anything to your writing style or made you try things you wouldn't otherwise have?
I write much more present-tense now than I used to. My stories in my other fandom are very traditional, in a sense: past-tense narrative, alternating points of view and a straightforward narrative, telling a story from beginning to end. For some reason, when I came to Doctor Who first I began with character studies, mostly set post- or mid-episode - there is so much scope for that in Doctor Who. And, bit by bit, I began to shift to using present tense and, frequently, single POV for an entire fic - though, to be fair, that was in short stories. Some people who are familiar with my L&C work have been surprised to see how much use I make of present tense now - and haven’t always liked it. ;)
I’ve also played around a couple of times with less-than-happy endings, and in one case a darker ending than I ever would have written before. The L&C fandom tends to like its fluffy and happy endings, and I’m no different there; I do like stories to end well. But Doctor Who does tend to invite more uncomfortable outcomes, because we know that companions come and go and so do Doctors, even. We know that the Doctor and Rose (my pairing *grin* ) won’t be together for ever. She’ll die, he might die again, she’ll leave him, whatever. So it’s easier to speculate on that kind of thing happening.
Oh, and another thing it’s definitely added to my writing is the OT3. ;) Never, ever done anything like that before!
BBC volunteers to make an episode out of just one of your fics. Which would you like it to be?
I think, in terms of the requirements of a filmed episode, ie including an action/mystery plot as opposed to character interaction as the primary mover of the story, it’d have to be one of the What Is Lost series. Not sure which of the stories I’d most like to see done; I’d love the atmospheric effect of an episode set during the Easter Rising in Dublin, so Past Life would definitely be very interesting for me to see. On the other hand, Jack and Rose dressed as slaves and the Doctor hating every minute of it... Cast a Cold Eye could be fun too. ;)
Tell us a bit about the process of writing a fanfic for you.
You would have to ask a difficult one!
There isn’t really a standard process. It all depends on the story, its length, its content, you name it. There’ve been times when I’ve being doing something utterly mundane - ironing, shovelling snow, driving somewhere - and a conversation will unscroll inside my head. Yeah, I really do have voices in my head! I don’t consciously control it; it just happens. It’s there. So of course I have to get to a keyboard as soon as possible and write it out. On those occasions, I barely even feel as if I’ve had any role in the creative process other than provide the fingers to type the words. ;)
Then sometimes I’ll get an idea in my head: a ‘what if’. For example, a few weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that there might be a consequence of Rose telling Jackie in POTW that the Doctor took her back to see her dad. And Last Dance came from that.
Most of the time, I write linearly: start at the beginning, keep going until the end. Then read through, run it past BRs, read through again and that’s it. I never outline. That’s probably what would make me a very poor professional writer ;) If I know too much about what’s going to happen in the story, I get bored and don’t want to write it. So, even with very long and heavily-plotted stories, I rarely have more than a few notes dumped at the end of the file, of details I need to make sure I don’t forget or issues I need to resolve by the end. I tend to carry the ‘where is this going?’ part of the story in my head. Very, very occasionally, if the scene’s playing out too insistently in my head, I will write a scene belonging to later in the story, but I try to avoid doing that if possible because I know from bitter experience that often by the time I get there the story’s gone in a somewhat different direction and it no longer fits as well as it should have. Sigh.
Short answer, if you want to ignore all that waffle above... I put fingers to keyboard and words just seem to appear from somewhere. One of these days, I’m sure they’ll stop appearing, and I can envisage all of fandom heaving a sigh of relief...
What do you think you as a writer add to a fic that makes it distinctly yours?
I really have no idea! Honestly, I don’t. Well, okay, I’m known for angst. That’s nothing new, and it’s been so amusing to have the same kind of comments thrown at me in Whodom as I’ve been getting in the L&C fandom for years. And maybe, when posting in instalments, managing to come up with... interesting... cliffhangers. *grin* But other than that? No idea at all. I’ll turn that one around: if anyone’s actually reading this, what do you think makes a fic distinctly mine? Is there anything?
What's your most embarrassing moment in Doctor Who fandom?
I think I’ll go with dark_aegis here and say I think I’ve not been around long enough to have one. I hope!
Which character comes easiest for you to write and why do you think that is?
Nine. I don’t know why it is, but he’s just inside my head. I hear him talking to me. When I write his dialogue, I hear him saying the words, I can see his facial expressions and his gestures. And when he isn’t saying anything I see him, too. I find Rose relatively easy, as well, but there’s just something about Nine that makes him flow from my keyboard.
Though, of course, it’s for the reader to decide whether my Nine actually works... ;)
And which character drives you to get out the alcohol and bash your head against the keyboard when trying to write?
Ten. Absolutely, definitely Ten.
Part of it’s because he’s still so new and we’re still seeing his character being defined in front of our eyes. Part of it is that I don’t hear his voice in my head yet. If I’ve just watched an episode, it’s easier; I wrote a recent Ten/Rose fic having re-watched New Earth and Ten’s voice recited the lines I was writing in my head - whether that’s any kind of a reliable guide or not, I have no idea! But I felt a bit happier about him then than at any other time when I’ve been trying to write him. I’m just hoping it’ll get easier the more I see of him.
What's the best Doctor Who fic you haven't yet written?
Hmm. cryptile’s Past Due? Another one I absolutely adore, and re-read a lot, is themonkeycabal’s Steal Me Away. saganami_dreams’s Sojourn series, especially the climax, Full Circle, just blew me away.
Where's a good place to find your writing for the unaware?
The easiest is A Teaspoon and an Open Mind, the Doctor Who fanfic archive at http://www.whofic.com/index.php - my page is here: http://www.whofic.com/viewuser.php?uid=6
This space is yours. What would you like to say?
I’ve been really overwhelmed and delighted at the welcome I’ve received into this fandom. Right from posting my first fic on Teaspoon back in December last year, I’ve had such warm and kind feedback and reviews. I got taken under the wing of some very kind longer-established Who fans, who are now my much-valued beta readers and who are always willing to help out with Classic series details when I need more than I remember myself. I was invited along to time_and_chips and better_with_3 and encouraged to post my fic there, and the welcome there has been even nicer. You’re all such wonderful people and you all say such kind things about my writing - I really love it here.
Finally, we'll know to take away your keyboard the day you write...?
Hmm. Rose pregnant with the Doctor’s babies. Rose as the Doctor’s mother/sister/daughter/Loom-born Time Lord enemy/whatever. Doctor/Mickey or Jack/Mickey smut. Tampon fic.