Old School X Interview: aka “Jake”

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Old School X Interview: aka “Jake”
Interviewer: Lilydale
Interviewee: aka “Jake”
Date(s): September 1, 2020
Medium: online, Tumblr
Fandom(s): The X-Files
External Links: at lilydalexf; archive link
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Old School X Interview: aka “Jake” was conducted by Lilydale as part of the series Old School X Interview Series.

Some Topics Discussed

  • fanwriters sometimes did a better job of expanding on canon than the official writers
  • changing views on public perception of fanwriting

From the Interview

What do you think of when you think about your X-Files fandom experience? What did you take away from it?

Like any online community, there were upsides and downsides. But what impressed me most were the lasting friendships that spilled into real life. Overall, the folks I encountered in the fandom were kind, helpful, talented, and inspiring. I’m still in contact with many of them and even meet up regularly with a couple of people who I consider my closest friends now, though we live far apart. Readers could be especially encouraging, poking authors with virtual sticks to get them to write more and faster. An amazing group called the Mastoholics formed to spur me on while I was posting The Mastodon Diaries as a work in progress. Several of them traveled to my house for a mini-con after the story was finished. Other folks called betas provided invaluable editing advice to authors. I was lucky to have several very good ones, but especially appreciated mimic117 and xdksfan. They went beyond proofreading; they pointed out confusing passages, missing plot points, and anything that seemed OOC (out of character). This polishing was a vital step before posting. To think they did it for nothing but the love of fanfic. It was a considerable time commitment.


What did you take away from your experience with X-Files fic or with the fandom in general?

Overall, it was an uplifting experience. My writing improved tremendously thanks to honest feedback and several key collaborations, particularly with co-authors Brandon D. Ray and the Secret Squirrels. I’d never written anything longer than an office memo when I started my first fic. I had nowhere to go but up. These gifted and generous authors helped me grow as a writer. Collaborating with them made the experience of writing even more creative, exciting, and special.


What got you involved with X-Files fanfic?

I stumbled upon Ephemeral where I read a fic called Acadia by RivkaT, which was set in Acadia National Park in Maine. If I recall correctly, it was a casefile with an emphasis on Mulder and Scully’s relationship. It felt like an episode of the show. I was thrilled to find a seemingly endless supply of XF stories that allowed me to extend my enjoyment of the TV series. It wasn’t long before I considered writing a story myself, a case file, although as mentioned above, I had no previous writing experience, just the desire to write down and share my ideas about Mulder and Scully.


What is your favorite of your own fics, X-Files and/or otherwise?

I think my best writing may be in my long, post-col story Abaddon’s Reign. The story I most enjoyed writing was The Case of the Exuberant G-Man. It was a fun story that seemed to write itself.


Do your friends and family know about your fic and, if so, what have been their reactions?

The majority, no. Years ago, I told my sister I was writing XF fanfic and she looked at me like I’d grown two heads. We didn’t speak of it again. More recently, my sister-in-law discovered my work. She’s a big XF fan and still reads fanfic, so her reaction was very accepting. Back in the early days, fanfic wasn’t considered serious writing and had a pretty bad reputation, which honestly didn’t jibe with the truly fine quality of some of the writing in the fandom. Sure, it wasn’t all good but there were some real gems.