X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site Interview with Rachel Howard

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Interviews by Fans
Title: X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site Interview with Rachel Howard
Interviewer:
Interviewee: Rachel Howard
Date(s): March 1999
Medium: online
Fandom(s): The X-files
External Links: X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site Interview with Rachel Howard, Archived version
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X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site Interview with Rachel Howard took place in 1999.

It was for the website X-Files Fanfic Addiction Site.

Other Interviews in the Series

Excerpts

XFFFA- What was the first X-file Episode you watched?

RH- Fire, which is a pretty good episode, but it wasn't enough to get me hooked.

XFFFA- Which episode got you hooked on watching the show on a regular basis?

RH- I saw Memento Mori right about the time that I saw a rerun of Erlenmayer Flask, and I haven't missed a first-run episode since. If you think about it, that's the perfect combination of episodes to get someone completely sucked into the show - MM tells you a great deal about the characters, and EF is a fabulous conspiracy episode, lush, dark, scary and full of everything that makes the X-Files a great show.

XFFFA- When did you first discover X-files newsgroups or websites?

RH- The summer of 1997. It's the old story I was bored at work and started surfing the web.

XFFFA- Which sites were your favorites?

RH- I loved the reviews, especially 'dith's and Autumn Tysko's. It was gratifying to find out some other fans had thought about the show as carefully as I did, and that they had some of the same reactions. I also think many of the reviewers out there are spectacularly good and they easily put the average professional television critic to shame.

XFFFA- How did you discover X-files fanfiction?

RH- I can't remember how I got there, but I stumbled onto Gossamer and started reading stories more or less at random. I remember thinking that most of it was awful and I didn't read any more. But I had downloaded Judith Tabron's "Lightning" (it is at gossamer)onto my hard drive and one day I read it. That was all it took; I went back to Gossamer and started trolling for more good stories and found plenty.

Incidentally, I still think Lightning is a great story.

XFFFA- Did you read anyone else's fanfiction that inspired you to write yourself? If so, do you remember the title and author?

RH- "Oklahoma" convinced me to give writing a try. It's a phenomenally good story, but I missed Scully. I loved the way Livengoo and Amperage wrote their original characters, and I had an idea for a story where Mulder finds someone he can talk to, other than Scully. And that was what produced my debut story, even though it wasn't an epic action story like Oklahoma.

XFFFA- What was your first written fanfiction, and how was it received? Did feedback inspire you to keep writing?

RH- My debut story, "Gypsy", was received very well at the time, although lately I've been criticized for some aspects of that story. I was overwhelmed by the feedback that I got, not so much because I needed to hear that the story was good (although that was certainly nice) but because it proved someone other than me had actually READ it.

I had sent feedback myself to other authors before I posted Gypsy, but I'd never gotten a reply, and I hadn't ever de-lurked on a newsgroup to talk to other fic readers. So the email I got about Gypsy was the first correspondence I'd ever had with fanfic readers, and I enjoyed talking to other people who were reading fic. Also, I LOVED getting recommendations from other readers, which is why I always try to rec lesser-known stories that people might have missed.

XFFFA- Which of your fanfic stories is your personal favorite?

RH- That's kind of like trying to pick a favorite child. I guess it depends on my mood. Right now I'm not thinking about much of anything other than "Above Rubies", so I guess that's my favorite right now. I have a soft spot for "Swept Away" because it's my 'sleeper' - I hardly ever get feedback about that one and I think that of all the stories I've written, it's the one that would make the best episode. If you asked me next week, I'd probably trot out two different titles. Call it author schizophrenia.

XFFFA- How would you like to see the series end?

RH- I don't want all the answers. I think that 'solving' the conspiracy once and for all would kill some of the mystique, but with 1013's obvious desire to build a movie series, I don't think we have to worry about that.

I'm still on the fence about whether or not I want to see Mulder and Scully get together at the end of the series (or the last movie they can get Duchovny and Anderson to sign up for, as is likely to be the case.) I think it would be fascinating to see what Chris Carter and Rob Bowman and the others could come up with, but I'm afraid that the realities of making that story into a PG-13 flick, sanitized for the masses, would kill its appeal.

References