Interview with Stephen

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Interview with Stephen
Interviewer: Bethany
Interviewee: Stephen
Date(s): March 2014
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Hanson
External Links: March 2014 Author: Stephen – Spotlights, Archived version
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In 2014, Stephen was interviewed by Bethany for the spotlights section of her website

See others in the series at Interview Series.

Some Excerpts

Long story short, I found myself in a dark place in the spring/summer of 1997. For whatever reason, I latched onto Hanson because their music helped make the dark place a little brighter. I’ve always wanted to write and had written a fan fic – a crossover seaQuest DSV/Star Trek: The Next Generation story called ”I Have Seen the Future” (link)– the previous year, so I guess writing hanfic was inevitable. I wrote Volume One of The Manchester Trilogy, MMMmiracle (which was actually my fourth hanfic), over Thanksgiving week. Funnily enough, I never intended on sharing it with anyone, but ending up changing my mind. I got a free website on GeoCities, taught myself elementary HTML and published the story online. I then spent the entire month of December shamelessly promoting it to anyone who would listen. In other words, I cold-emailed folks and asked them to read my story. The response was unexpectedly favorable. I’ve been writing on and off (mostly off, unfortunately) for about twenty years.
I still don’t understand why my stories were so well-received (they’re not very good) – possibly because I was the only 26 y/o male writing hanfic, which made me a novelty – but that success made the site popular. While in the shower one morning, I had an idea. Growing up I was a big fan of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery (both by Rod Serling) re-runs that ran on late-night TV. I thought it would be cool if a bunch of hanfic authors got together and wrote Twilight Zone-type stories starring Ike, Tay, and Zac. That became The Taylight Zone Anthology Series. That spawned into other themed anthology series like Club Albertane, Club Albertane: After Dark, Ever Lonely, Christmas Time, and Yearbook. From the summer of 1998 to sometime in 2000, the site accumulated over 230 stories by 114 authors. I personally wrote 16 of those stories and co-wrote three more.
I generally start with an idea (or even just a title). I then do what I call “writing without a net.” That means I just start writing – without any idea how the story’s going to end – and see where it leads me. Sometimes I’ll start with one idea in mind and switch gears part of the way through. An example of that would be Sins of the Father. It was not originally intended as a sequel to MMMmiracle.
I’ll always have a soft spot for MMMmiracle as it’s one of my most personal stories. I’m also damn proud of Sins of the Father, not so much because I think it’s a great story (it really isn’t), but because of its sheer size and scope. It’s the longest, most complicated story I’ve ever written. I’m also rather fond of Moving Day (my very own ghost story) and the work I did with Amerika on The Vampire Anthology (writing as ts brody). For example, I don’t remember whose idea it was to have Zac keep the dead girl in a box (The One Thing Now), but writing with her was a heck of a lot of fun. She would write several paragraphs and then pass it off to me to continue. We would go back and forth until the story was complete.