Ask the Author: setissma

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Ask the Author: setissma
Interviewee: setissma
Date(s): June 10, 2010
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Supernatural
External Links: interview and comments are here; reference link
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setissma was interviewed for Supernatural Roundtable.

Some Excerpts

I've been in fandom since I was a tiny little thing. Technically, I started out in Harry Potter, although I think my adventures with my barbies and their cruise ship-pet shop-marine biology laboratory boat made out of a Monopoly box lid probably indicated some relatively disturbing early creative impluses. I dabbled in HP for a number of years until the seventh book came out and the fandom started to dry up a little, and then I took a brief foray into SGA fandom. While I was poking around there, people on my friends list occasionally mentioned this little show named Supernatural. I asked for TV recommendations to tide me over while waiting to hear whether I'd gotten into my first choice college, and someone suggested it.

Hilariously, I watched about five minutes of the pilot and got so freaked out that I had to sleep with the lights on for a week. In those five minutes, I realized that the entire fandom seemed to be shipping... brothers? Not for me! I decided, emphatically.

About eight months later, in the summer between S2 and S3, astolat posted a story. Then I realized rageprufrock had a story. Then I realized Dean Winchester and I were soulmates. I read a little bit further and realized that the story had everything I wanted; it seemed like someone had decided to toss American Gods in a blender with these two crazy, codependent characters who were everything I'd been looking to write. I did a lot of research, wrote a couple stories, finally got it together to watch the show - although I still haven't seen Bloody Mary and fast forwarded through all of the ghost scenes - and never looked back. Somewhere along the line, I started dabbling in CW RPS too.

I realized a long time ago that I'm a somewhat different writer than most people in fandom. I hate forcing myself to write, so you'll almost never find me participating in a challenge. When things get busy, I can go a couple of months without writing anything. But when the urge hits, usually in the shower or while I'm trying to process complicated data structures, I can write a ridiculous amount in a short period of time. Most of my pieces have been written in a day or two, and while I'm writing, I tend to eat, breathe, and sleep that particular story. I also work in two very different styles: a generic one that I tend to use for comedy or ridiculous AUs, where I'm more concerned about what story I'm telling, and then a slightly more language-driven one for pieces where I'm concerned about how I'm telling the story.

I'm also, at least from anecdotal evidence, one of the few hard scientists in fandom; I'm currently working on a degree in biology and I spend huge chunks of time messing around in a bone lab. I'm really committed to trying to write science that's accessible for people with non-science backgrounds, so that theme will occasionally pop up in my work. I like using fiction to help people explore my passions - places and interests that other people might never have a chance to visit, but that I can show them around by placing familiar characters in an unfamiliar setting. As a scientist, I spend a lot of time exploring how the world works, and as a consequence, my fiction tends to try to explore how relationships work. I like to dissect emotion down to its most basic parts and put it back together again, and Winchesters always provide interesting components.

In conclusion: I love Sam and Dean and their crazy, messed up, codependent, ridiculous relationship...
I almost always just follow the flow of the story. For me, sex scenes are often more about emotion than heat (although I like to think I do an okay job with the porn!) and in general, they tend to come after a build up in the story. I write a lot of first time fic, so I think typically the sex is giving people a chance to convey something that they couldn't with words - something like, "I love you, I want to be with you, this feels right." That's something that most people (and certainly people like Sam and Dean, who are not big talkers anyway) prefer to say with actions. I try to make sure those emotions come across in the actions and in the writing, and tend to trust that people will get what I'm trying to do. But this is why I find PWP a little boring (to write, not to read!) - it's missing that brand new kind of emotional zing. It's also why I don't write an awful lot of established relationship. ;)