Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards and One Reviewer: Baemer

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards and One Reviewer: Baemer
Interviewee: Baemer
Date(s): July 13, 1998
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Xena: Warrior Princess
External Links: full interview is here; reference link
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Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards and One Reviewer: Baemer is a 1998 Xena: Warrior Princess fan interview at Whoosh!.


For others in this series, see Whoosh! Interview Series.

Some Excerpts

[What has been your inspiration for writing fan fiction?]: I guess the primary motivation is that I view the characters of Xena and Gabrielle as archetypes. They stand for so many ideals -- feminism in its most positive sense, friendships at their deepest and most profound (which can imply any amount of physicality, but their relationship is not based on physicality), the too-often-categorized-as-polar-opposites of strength and passion, politics and art, brawn and heart.

I strive to bring all of those aspects into my own life and I can more easily discern just what they are by seeing them separated into two individuals. But, unlike most characters we see on TV or in films, these two women each embrace all of those aspects; it's just that Xena tends to show one side more often than Gabrielle does.

When push comes to shove, though, they choose to use whatever capacity they believe will work best. Xena talks her way out. Gabrielle busts some heads to get out. Writing about them gives me ready-made fully three-dimensional archetypal characters I can use to flesh out overarching issues such as trust and the ineffable quality of love.
I'm one of the heterosexual women writing alt fiction. I can't draw on experience to write graphic sex scenes, just as I can't draw on experience to write about motivations for killing. It felt like I was taking a huge risk the first time I wrote a graphic scene and I like taking artistic risks. Since then, though, it has lost that quality for me, and as of late I've skipped the graphic scenes. If I don't have an artistic reason to write them, they become gratuitous, and I don't engage in that.
I don't have much of a memory for facts and figures and I don't remember much detail from when I was in school. When XWP became important to me, I started to re-read some Greek mythology and I discovered I did remember a lot of it. I liked it then and I'm fascinated by it now. That naturally led to reading more historical accounts which, in turn, spawned stories like The Peloponnesian War. The two, writing and researching, fed each other.