Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards and One Reviewer: Lyssa

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Twenty-Seven Grilled Bards and One Reviewer: Lyssa
Interviewee: Lyssa
Date(s): July 12, 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: Lyssa is a 1998 Xena: Warrior Princess fan interview at Whoosh!.


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

Some Excerpts

What has been my inspiration for writing fan fiction? Hmm... Why Xena of course. I think the show pushes against our male dominated society's preconceived notions about what a woman is and is capable of doing in this world. I think women who are in powerful positions; who are beautiful and smart can intimidate men easily. It's still a taboo for women to seek out and climb the corporate ladder, to break through the glass ceiling as it were, to claim the reins and run the business, the country.

Xena is the first show to break through these blatantly sexist roles men force on women. Xena also shows women that there is something to say about our own self worth that we can achieve our goals. Xena does not necessarily take on a man's role. She is simply a high achiever with the intelligence and confidence to tackle any battles she chooses to take on. The operative word here is "chooses". But underlying her strong capable image there is also a caring friend, who sometimes thinks she is unworthy of a certain bards friendship. That makes her one of us.

It's all locked up in that somewhat overly independent Xena, who still exemplifies all her feminine qualities in her ability to care and love Gabrielle. It is this quality of intimate and abiding friendship/love that draws me to writing about it. I am consumed by the idea of how a strong independent woman, a warrior/warlord in her world, can be so totally devoted to her companion. I study the warrior aspect of Xena that dark quality that gives her a raw edge in the show. I am drawn to explore that dark edge endlessly in my stories. I don't know if I will ever solve the enigma that is Xena.
I never gave much thought about my stories being a reflection of lesbians in modern times. I am more consumed with the idea of two women so totally in love that the rest of the world does not matter to them. In their world there is no judgment or ridicule. They live their life completely unaffected by the thoughts of others. I think they are so natural with their partnership that the people around them just accept them without question.
Well to me a completely uber story would a life after life story for Xena and Gabrielle. I think that a good story would ultimately have to be based on the new personas meeting again, remembering who they are and they would fall in love again as deeply as ever. For me a true uber story would always reaffirm the bonds of love that bind the two souls forever as one. The text would weave a tale of those reborn souls living out some form of their former lives, in such a way as to give a reader the instant recognition or deja vu about who the characters are. If it is done well the reader would fall in love with them all over again. Would I ever write such a story. No. I really doubt it. I am totally devoted to the warrior/bard/era story line. I don't need or want to go beyond that space.