TrekGirl Interview with Jungle Kitty

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Interviews by Fans
Title: TrekGirl Interview with Jungle Kitty
Interviewer: Annie M.
Interviewee: Jungle Kitty
Date(s): November 2000
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Star Trek
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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Jungle Kitty was interviewed for the website TrekGirl.

"Author of Golden Boy, The Uneasy Dancers, Rude Person and Beyond and others far too numerous to mention."

Interview Series

Excerpts

Just TOS for me. A friend said I was a Star Trek snob. I told him I preferred the term "purist." <g>

I'm not really sure why. It just captured my imagination in a way that nothing else ever did. Although I've only been active in the fandom for a couple of years, I've loved TOS--OK, I'll be honest--I've loved Kirk for 30+ years.

I'm always interested to hear other people's reasons for loving Trek. So many of them have reasons like its optimism about the future or the role models it provided. And I'm always a little shy to admit that my interest was purely sexual at the start. I guess I'm just an old-fashioned girl. ;-
Well, I can think of a couple of reasons [to write Trek fanfiction], the first being that TPTB didn't do a lot of things I would have liked, so it's up to me to create that.

The second reason is: I was sitting around being bummed out that there won't ever be anymore TOS movies or eps, nope, it's over. So I went websurfing. I'd known there were Trek stories on the web for some time, but I never went looking for them before. I think a part of me knew that there would be no turning back. <g> I was also afraid that the stories might be so awful (like my adolescent Bonanza epic) that I'd be embarrassed that I even read them. And, yeah, I found some of that. No, I won't name names. <g> But mostly it was a stunning surprise, especially Killa's "Surrender" and Tjonesy's "20 Questions." I wanted to try my hand at it. So, to render a long story slightly shorter, I think I write Trek stories because I know of no other way of keeping it alive.

If it keeps on developing, it's not over.
I primarily write K/Brandt, a relationship that has no basis in canon. Well, except for the way I see Kirk. I like to think that has a basis in canon. Suzanne Brandt is an original character. I created her out of a basic frustration with The Girlfriend of the Week Syndrome and a dislike of many of those women. Initially, I wanted to see how he would respond to a woman who was both a friend and a competitor, someone who was like him in many ways. I thought there was going to be at most three stories about her. Then as the series started developing, I began exploring what might happen to Kirk in a serious, non-platonic relationship, one that wasn't over at the end of the ep and lasted more than a few days. Of course, now I'm exploring Brandt (as well as Kirk & Brandt together) as much as, if not more than Kirk. For me, she's becoming more her own person and less a means of discovering him. I know many people see Kirk as a perpetually horny, skirt-chasing, love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy. I think they might have him confused with Mitchell. <g> I think his longing for a different sort of life in "The Paradise Syndrome" and the happiness he found for a short time with Miramanee is an often overlooked part of his character. So I'm kind of dangling that in front of him, but making him work at it. I'm evil. <g>
Slash really doesn't have much appeal to me as a writer anymore, unless it's humorous. I just can't get serious about it.... I can only answer for myself. When I started out in fanfic, I was looking for sexy stories about Kirk. What I found was K/S. I wrote K/S because I wanted to write about Kirk in a sexual way and had already heard the term "Mary Sue" and didn't want to confront all the negative connotations of that right off the bat. I've joked that my K/S stories should have been coded K/s because I think it's pretty obvious where my interest was. K/S was a way of exploring Kirk. Now I explore him in a different way, one that to me seems to resonate more with the Kirk I see onscreen. But I was never a slasher, as in 'a person with an interest in slash per se.'
I hope I won't offend any non-TOS Trek fen. I think TNG, once it got going, had scripts that were far superior to those of TOS. But the stories just don't stay with me the way the TOS scenarios do, even though some of them were just plain cheesy. In many cases, I couldn't tell you the story of an ep without referring to a videotape. But I feel very familiar and comfortable with the TOS people. In TNG, the regular characters seem to lack color. There are some fine actors in there and I see them doing everything they can to bring life to it. But to me, the intriguing characters are the guest stars. Q, Vash, Dr. Leah Brahms. I haven't seen enough DS9 or Voyager to really have an opinion on their overall content, but again, when I have watched it, I just haven't been drawn in by the characters.

Maybe these later Trek shows are truer to a definition I once heard of "hard science fiction." The protagonist is the idea. The characters come in second, and sometimes not even a close second. It seems to me that this may be the case in the later Trek incarnations. The idea or the problem is more interesting than the people confronting it. TOS has very little relation to science or science fiction, in my opinion. Maybe I'm comfortable with that because just about every bit of science past second grade confounded me. I have read quite a bit of science fiction, but the ones that I've enjoyed most have at least had a balance between idea and characters, or it seemed like the writer understood the value of telling the story through the characters, instead of subordinating them to their theory.

Or I could be completely off and it could just be that I was first exposed to TOS when I was 17 or so and it was imprinted on me. Maybe I'm just out of step with "this younger generation.