larakailyn is perhaps best known for starting time_and_chips itself, and probably scarring a few fanboy minds in the process. But inbetween wielding the banhammer and boggling at the comm's growth, she's had time to write the Doctor and Rose crashing the Eurovision Song Contest, having a rather interesting hypnotising experience and generally do things you wouldn't quite see at the BBC. And you can thank larakailyn's parents for that - find out why...
Tell us ten facts about yourself.
1. I was born in Orlando, Florida in 1975. Yes, that means I'm one of the older fans nowadays, which is rather scary as when I first got into fandom, I was one of the young ones!
2. My father was in the US Air Force, so I moved around with my family until I was 13 years old.
3. I lived in Spain for 1 year and Germany for 2 years when I was a child in the '80s.
4. I've known my best friend Mary for almost 13 years now - we met our freshman year at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
5. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Magazine Journalism from UMC.
6. I also received my secondary teaching certification in English.
7. I met my husband, who is British, online through the Babylon 5 John/Delenn shipper fandom. Seriously.
8. I just moved back to the US after living in the UK for almost 5 and a half years.
9. I've been writing fanfic since I was 13 - although I didn't know it as such back then. I actually wanted to have my stories published as tie-in novels!
10. I would like to have an original novel published, and I have actually finished the draft of one. I just need to finish revising it, then get over my fear of it being rejected and try submitting it.
What seduced you to the show in the first place?
Would it sound sick if I said my parents? The thing is that I was raised on Science Fiction television since I was a child. I've been told that I had a model of the Enterprise that my dad made hanging over my crib when I was a baby, and I've known about both Trek and Doctor Who ever since I can remember because of my parents. The Fourth Doctor was the first Doctor I knew, and Sarah Jane the first companion. I started really watching the show and reading the books when I was ten. The cancellation of the show in the late '80s made me sad even though I was able to keep watching the old episodes on PBS and UK telly when I moved, so I was absolutely thrilled when they announced the new series. I knew I was going to watch from the moment I heard about it!
In terms of the new show itself, I was just caught up in the stories and how Christopher Eccleston played the Doctor. The character arc with him being the last of his people because of the Time War was just amazing, and I loved the way he played it. I also liked the relationship between him and Rose - I almost couldn't believe that she was being played so well by Billie "Honey to the B" Piper. He needed her, most definitely, after having lost everything, but I enjoyed the banter between them and the way they worked together.
What made you start writing Doctor Who fanfic?
I never intended to - which is pretty much the norm for pretty much every fandom I've ended up writing fanfic in, actually. And as has been the norm for pretty much the other fandoms I've been in, I got into it through a specific ship, in this case Doctor/Rose. I wrote my "In Your Room" last year in April as a birthday present for my friend leyenn. That pretty much was my introduction to the fandom ficwise and deposited me right in the middle of the Doctor/Rose ship part of fandom, which so far is where all of my fics have focused even though I like several other relationships the Doctor has had.
Do you think writing for Doctor Who has added anything to your writing style or made you try things you wouldn't otherwise have?
Writing for him has made me definitely think about how to go about approaching a relationship that I know is going to have to end at some point simply because of who the Doctor is. With most of the other ships I've written for because for the most part they have similar life spans and biologies (even the ships with aliens involved), you don't have to take that into account quite as much. You can write the relationship for those others as something that they see as lasting a lifetime or forever or whatever from their point of view. But with the Doctor, he's already literally lived several lifetimes, and no matter what happens with him and a human/humanoid companion, whether it's Rose or Sarah Jane or a companion yet to come, he's going to have to go on after they're gone, and it makes the whole set up very different from the get-go from that in other fandoms, at least for me. I know this can't be a forever-after sort of ship, and I don't mind that. Also, this is the first time where I've ever written stories where the two people in the ship don't ever say they love each other. With the Doctor and Rose, I just don't see that as something they'd do.
BBC volunteers to make an episode out of just one of yours fics. Which would you like it to be?
Hmmm...somehow, I don't think most of my fics would ever get considered since DW is a tea-time BBC show! If it wasn't, I'm sure most of the people I know would want me to say "Off Guard". As much as I love that particular fic, though, I think that I'd most want to see "Rose Sings and the Doctor Dances (or How All of Europe Almost Had Their Brains Melted)" done simply because I just want to see Rose and the Doctor running around backstage at the Eurovision Song Contest trying to find a deadly drum. I've tried to explain the Contest to my American friends so many times, and hearing about it just does not do it justice. "Time Lord Truths" would have been an interesting one too before the Doctor's regeneration took place in "The Parting of the Ways".
Tell us a bit about the process of writing a fanfic for you.
Like most of the people that have been featured on here, it tends to vary, depending on whether I'm writing a longer fic or a short on-shot/standalone. They all tend to start with a plot bunny showing up - sometimes just while I'm thinking, sometimes while I'm talking to a friend (or in a chat as happened the night of the Eurovision Song Contest in the the timeandchips chat), sometimes while watching something on television (*coughChrisEccelestoninatuxcough*).
With shorts/standalones, I then tend to just start writing, usually while talking out ideas or problems that crop up with one of my friends in IM. That tends to take me anywhere from a couple of days to a month. Just depends on what else is going on and whether the story comes easily or whether it's like wringing blood from a stone.
With longer/more complicated fics, I tend to outline where I plan the story to go and then work from there in much the same way. Those tend to take me months to a year, which is why I haven't actually done any longer fics in DW fandom yet because last year was a busy year for me and my husband, and I just didn't have the time to write a longer fic on my own.
With all my stories, I tend to rewrite and make revisions as I go. That's just the way I am. And when I finish a story or section, I'll revise it again before usually seeking out someone to beta read for me, just to make sure I didn't miss something silly spelling wise and to make sure the story actually makes sense because I know that just because it does to me, doesn't mean someone else will understand the same thing.
Once all that is done, I post it and cross my fingers!
What do you think you as a writer add to a fic that makes it distinctly yours?
Oh, man, I'm not sure about this one. Maybe the fact that I love exploring the consequences. That's always been my favorite part of shows. It was the reason I loved Babylon 5, and it's the reason I'm quite enjoying the new series of DW this year. A good portion of my stories deal with consequences that come with what happens between the characters in a story if I can help it.
What's your most embarassing moment in Doctor Who fandom?
Opening time_and_chips? Just kidding. I really love the comm - it's grown so big! I was really surprised by that, actually.
I don't think I can come up with an embarassing moment. Maybe the fact that I was part of the Fandom Wank thread that made Doctor Who responsible for killing Snarry? Not sure that's embarrassing so much as amusing.
Which character comes easiest for you to write and why do you think that is?
The Ninth Doctor most definitely. His voice was so easy to hear in my head when I wrote the stories. I'm not sure what it's going to be like to try to write the Tenth Doctor when I get around to doing it, but Ninth definitely was easiest. Rose was also fairly easy too, but I found that I sometimes had problems with what slang she might actually use.
And which character drives you to get out the alcohol and bash your head against the keyboard when trying to write?
So far Jack, simply because I haven't been able to get him down directly onto paper in a fic yet. The one fic he was in, I ended up having to tell through Rose's sole first-person point-of-view without any dialogue. I may try again at some point, but as much as I adore him and John Barrowman, I haven't been able to do it just yet.
What's the best Doctor Who fic you haven't yet written?
Probably the one that dealt with Eight during the Time War and actually involved all his previous incarnations helping him in some way, even though they didn't know what the end result was going to be.
That or the Babylon 5 crossover. I haven't decided.
Where's a good place to find your writing for the unaware?
All of my DW fic was originally posted to time_and_chips, but it's probably impossible to find at this point, given the traffic there and the fact that I haven't been very good about the upkeep of Memories (yeah, I know - slap my hand). So the best place would be Abandon Innocence for those looking for my DW fics. My other fandoms are at Darling Moon (mixed) and Blue Moon Rising (Wes/Fred, Angel).
This space is yours. What would you like to say?
I love some many of the people I've met through this fandom! You guys rock, and you've made it a great experience.
Finally, we'll know to take away your keyboard the day you write...?
The day I turn Rose into a time lord so she and the Doctor can be together forever (or at least the rest of their regenerations). Because I know that isn't going to happen, nor should it.