Cascade Library Interview with StarWatcher

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Cascade Library Interview with StarWatcher
Interviewer: Cascade Library
Interviewee: StarWatcher
Date(s): May 24, 2009
Medium: online
Fandom(s): The Sentinel
External Links: interview is here, Archived version
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In 2009, StarWatcher was interviewed for Cascade Library.

Some Excerpts

I write as StarWatcher, and use it by preference. If that name is already in use on a list or a site (there's another one out there who's not me), I use StarWatcher307 (for Jim's loft address). When I needed an internet ID, I was pretty clueless -- had been watching the Highlander forum (my first entry into net fandom) for about three days, and realized I needed a 'screen name'. I didn't intend to write, but 'everybody else' had a net-ID; I think I believed it was a 'rule' for interacting on the internet. (I was *very* new.) Anyway, I live outside city limits, so see a lot of stars if I go out after dark. I don't know much about them, but I do like to look up and contemplate the majesty of the universe. And, I was watching 'stars' such as Adrian Paul and Peter Wingfield on TV. Shortly thereafter, I was watching new stars -- Richard Burgi, Garett Maggart, and Bruce A Young. Somehow, 'StarWatcher' just seemed appropriate.
I was introduced to fanfic in the HL fandom. After an initial distrust when I first heard about fanfic -- how could non-professionals write anything good? -- I was blown away by the variety of stories and quality of writing. I've always preferred reading about characters I already 'know', so was delighted to find 'continuing adventures' of Duncan, Methos, et al. So, yes, I'd read many authors who introduced me to the concept of fanfiction, but it never occurred to me that I might try to write.

When I crossed into TS fandom, I read a lot of fanfic, but couldn't find the kind of discussion forum I knew from HL. But I *ached* to discuss these characters -- and the shows I was seeing -- with other people. All I could find were Yahoo mailing lists. I chose Sentinel Angst because I recognized Dawn C's name as an author I liked, though the expectation for dues made me flinch. I was so sure I couldn't write that I planned to unsub when my first dues were needed. But, lo and behold, an idea occurred to me. And then another, and then another. Now, working on fic #43, I'm still amazed when an idea hits me and I can develop it into a story.

(Oddly enough, my 'Best Friend Forever' had been urging me for years to write my own fanfic. I occasionally printed some good ones and shared them with her and, while she enjoyed the stories, she was absolutely sure I could write as well or better. I thought she might be just a wee bit prejudiced, and kept protesting that, no, I couldn't possibly write. She feels totally vindicated, now.)

Many fanfic authors tell us they've been writing fanfiction since childhood, before they knew what it was, or that other people did the same thing. That wasn't me; I'd never written (except for a few school exercises) before TS, and never felt an urge to do so. But now, as another fan once expressed it, 'Jim and Blair sing to me'. I have no interest in developing my own characters, or writing in other fandoms. As well as I 'know' other characters -- I currently read in three other fandoms, and dabble in several more -- they don't 'speak' to me; it's Jim and Blair all the way.
My first story was "Glorified Calisthenics", which was half muse-driven; I wrote it in just three extended writing sessions, and was completely surprised that it was coming together for me. I didn't know anyone well enough to ask them to beta, so I was nervous about posting. But I reassured myself that Sentinel Angst was a private list, so it wouldn't be so bad if the story wasn't up to par; 'not too many' people would see. (I conveniently ignored the actual number of list-members.) But the story was received so enthusiastically -- SentinelAngst is a very supportive list to new writers -- that a few weeks later I submitted it to Cascade Library. I read fanfic for other shows -- Stargate Atlantis, Due South, Stargate SG-1, Starskey and Hutch -- mostly by specific authors. I like these characters, and I've actually felt the urge to write a little 'team' SGA. But every time I contemplate actually writing, the muse remains stubbornly silent. Jim's and Blair's voices are the only ones I hear in my head; I guess they're stuck with me, and vice-versa.