The Darker Side of Sunnydale Interview with Rowan

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Interviews by Fans
Title: The Darker Side of Sunnydale Interview with Rowan
Interviewee: Rowan
Date(s): January 2001
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Angel and Buffy
External Links: full interview is here; reference link
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Rowan was interviewed for The Darker Side of Sunnydale, a Buffy site.
There are a lot of people who earn their living exactly as the Artist does and I'm fascinated whenever I see them at work. There's a certain intimacy to drawing - we tend to see photos, rightly or wrongly, as dispassationate, whereas a hand-drawn portrait is much more obviously a personal, subjective perspective. But there's also a distance between the artist and the subject - I think you would probably wonder and speculate about every one of your customers, and what their face reveals about their personality and history, while at the same time being aware that you'll never know the full story. Probably not even a part of it. That's how I wrote the Artist in the story, but he was actually a character that grew up out of the needs of the story, rather than the other way around. I've a great deal of affection for him but the exact way in which he came to be is a little nebulous. The story began as just some random wonderings about the implications of being a vampire and having no reflection. You'd be curious about it, surely, and eventually you might even forget what your own face looked like. Since I'm a Spike fan, I instinctively put him into this scenario, and the story just progressed from there.
I don't really see Spike as being the ultimate evil, or wanting to be the ultimate evil. I think one of the defining Spike quotes is "from now on we'll have a lot more fun and a lot less ritual around here." That's been his attitude all along - he's not interested in world destruction, he just wants to have a good time, a specific example of which would be his "Happy Meals on legs" speech to Buffy in Becoming II. The image he tries to build up is definitely that of the "Big Bad" but his actions speak louder than words. Spike is a character that, despite appearances, has many points of vulnerability. Fundamentally he's dependent on two factors - the need to feel wanted, and the need to feel powerful, usually through violence. Take those away and you get Season 4 Spike, i.e. suicidal.
I look for fiction that has something insightful to say about what makes the characters tick, or tells the story in a style that makes me sit up and listen. My pet fanfiction hate is character bashing, because inevitably the character being bashed comes off as being a complete bitch/bastard without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Conversely, Mary Sues, Willow Sues and Buffy Sues are no fun either. I mean, let's give Joss Whedon some credit - it's extremely rare to find a BTVS/A:TS character that lacks depth, even in the minor leagues.

Other Interviews in the Series