For my first interview I decided to interview someone who likes to read comics that "don't take themselves too seriously" and that are "violent, dirty, dark, and funny." This person also has "just so bloody many" quirks, one of which is incredible forgetfulness in her time of need, an intellect fetish, an absurd love for clowns and propensity for constant nightmares ("jeez, recently I had one where I almost got MARRIED!"). You guessed it! I am interviewing....Joygirl!
Hello joy! what do you say to doing a FF interview?
Yay! That would be great, I've been waiting for an interview. ^_^
Ok, let's jump right into the interview.
What got you interested in comic vine and what attracted you to the Fan-fic section?
I went through a phase a few years ago where the only thing that occupied my mind was "what would happen if X and Y got in a fight?". After annoying family members and coming to my own conclusions for months I decided I needed help, and though it should have been the psychiatric kind I found CV instead. Loved the battle forums to death for a good long time until, finally, I reached the point where I had already seen every fight I cared about. After that I was wayward for a bit, browsing general forums, but then decided to write a fan-fic as practice -- I've been writing since I was 15 and am now a professional author (I've made about ten bucks!), so writing comes kinda naturally to me. I started with Gotham Hearts in quick easy installments, keeping the wheels greased in between serious short stories and novelettes. The community has kinda grown on me since then and fic'ing can be a lot of fun, I've found.
and you've grown on the community :P
Any who, you mentioned your story Gotham Hearts (which is collected HERE), which got you nominated for 4 categories in the Summer Fan-Fic Awards 2012 (good luck in that btw). For those who haven't read the story, the quirky tale stars Riddler and the Gotham City Sirens (among others). Just reading the first few lines of chapter 1, one can tell there is definite spotlight on one particular character: Harley Quinn, who is "#1 fave" according to your Characters I like! (will be continuously edited) list.
Why would you say she is your favorite character?
Every reason. At first I just thought she was cute and funny, but as I grew more attached to her I started to realize the depth of my adoration for her. I sympathize really deeply with her backstory, due to having endured a similar "mad love" of my own. After you get out of a self-destructive, obsessive relationship it becomes very touching to see someone else striving to escape theirs. I plan to keep writing her forever -- with Gotham Hearts done she is now an important part of the new Secret Six title I'm doing with Irishlad, and if that story ends and I'm still left writing fan-fic, I finally plan to give her own solo.
When you started writing Gotham Hearts, did you know the direction you were going to go or did it come to you when you started writing?
Just rolled with each chapter, honestly. Sometimes I had vague ideas for the future (namely the last few chapters) but each installment I generally tried to introduce a new twist, then blindly followed it while trying to make sure everything kept making sense. I used Riddler to keep things grounded... whenever things turned up a certain way, and even I didn't know that they would, I'd have him comment that he (obviously) knew all along, and explain it in retrospect while making the girls feel stupid. I hope it works, haha.
What are you writing now?
A lot! I've been on a brief hiatus but am just now in the process of forming my own fan-fic continuity, "DC Mayhem", and putting all my work under that banner along with the work Irishlad and Ravager4 have done alongside me. As you know, Gotham Hearts is over, but that wasn't the end of Harley's story... or Riddler's. Harley Quinn, along with multiple other characters, is starring in a Secret Six title, for one. I also have the first issue out (second is finished but not yet released) of "Terra/Misfit: World's Finest", which is a fun little project about two adorable, superpowered teenagers fighting as much crime as possible between shopping sprees. However, in order to free up Atlee for a title I needed to do something with Power Girl, so I put her on a bus to Mars to fight Bizarro with the JSA. Just recently, I've decided to create an ever-fluctuating team for the JSA and their missions. The beginning of that has not yet been completed... but it's safe to say I've been busy! And that's just the Fan-Fic!
You sure are a busy bee!
If you could write for any character (that is not Harley or the other characters you are currently writing) what would that character be? In other words what is a character that is at the back of your mind saying, "write me! write me! write me!"
There are a lot, and I plan to reach them all in due turn. I really wanna do Joker, like, as a main character, but I haven't figured out a storyline that's good enough for him yet. The upcoming JSA title will satisfy a lot of those cravings but I would still like to write Lobo, Creeper, and Solomon Grundy (born on a Monday). I think they would be a ton of fun. If I ever did a Marvel project it would have to be Eddie Brock Venom, hands down.
Switching subjects to a question I always wondered: where did you come up with the name Joygirl and who is the person you use as your av?
Joygirl is an original character of mine, co-written with someone online for a few years now. We're working on the thirteenth chapter, slowly but surely, which will be the end of the first arc, and it is currently about novel-length. I have wished to post bits of the story here but it is strongly rated R, and to censor it would honestly take too long to be worth it, haha (it contains excessive, pervasive language, excessive violence, strong gore, nudity, sexuality, and, to say the least, adult content!). I took the name Joygirl here to make sure that when the story hit big, and all the comic fans loved it, I would already have the name, hehehe. We need a Comic Vine After Dark section so that I can post the Joygirl stories in all of their full glory! As for my avatars, I never know who they are... just random clown girls that I tend to switch around every few weeks.
You write a number of genres (humor, adventure, etc.), so I have to ask: if you had to pick what genre would you say is your favorite to write and why?
Trick question! My favorite genre to write is a blend of horror and comedy. Not the kind of blend like "the zombies have tutus! Roflz!" But the kind where the mood whips back and forth hard enough that when it goes from funny to scary, the horror feels so much eerier, and when it goes from scary to funny, you're not sure whether to laugh or not because you've just been forced to imagine some really horrible things. A lot of people haven't explored that combination properly and I plan to toy with it until I perfect it. The Joygirl series of stories, along with my short story "The Horsemen", play along these lines, switching from disturbing imagery to satire, jokes, or all-out mania faster than you can realize what's happening. By the time you finish snickering from War teasing Famine they've butchered a cabal of pedophiles. That kinda thing. I've been told my mind is off-kilter.
Many writers leave messages in their work for readers to think about like, for example a question about an issue or something odd which makes you wonder what happens next. When people read your work what do you think your message is? What is the thought you want to present to them when they finish reading?
That honestly would depend on the story. For a story like Gotham Hearts, I had no message in mind besides trying to add new facets to beloved characters. For other stories, however, I have left messages. My story Ideal Weight comments fairly openly on the media's depracation of female self-image, and it's possible consequences. My story The Horsemen is a satire on prevalent atheism and how "uncool" religions have become in the past fifty years. So yeah, I do leave some presents for readers who want to look for subtext, though not always, and usually not with fan-fiction. Maybe one of these days I'll change that... hmmm... hmhmhm... mwahahahahahaha.
I have a few last questions before I can run away and hide (because I'm slightly frightened by that laugh).
Cap usually asks the people he interviews "Why should someone visit the Fan-Fic board?". I like this question because it gives the reader insight into the thought processes of the person who is being interviewed. I was wondering what your answer would be to that question and, building on that, why do you visit the Fan-Fic Board?
Well, there's a forum post about this somewhere and I do tend to agree with "it's frikkin' free!", so in a world of wildly overpriced comics and TPB's that are more expensive than buying the single issues? It seems pretty prudent to find some writers you enjoy and read what they do. And if those writers are talented, and the community lets everyone know that they are, they may find an actual job in the elusive comics industry, doing what they love and getting paid for their hard work. I see fan-fic as both a means of fun, expression, practice, and paying my dues to the comic community. I intend to become successful one of these days and if these very viners one day buy my comics, I want to know that they already got a taste of it. ^_^ If you find writers you like, and they offer their material to you free of cost, it only makes sense to support their egos, give them feedback, support their work, and most of all, enjoy the stories they put out there for everyone to see. I'm rambling now.
OK, one final question (and this one is the hardest of all...get ready): if you took over the world (assuming of course you have not already...) what would your first royal decree as overlord of the world be?
No more drama. Ever. That would be my first decree while I thought up a better second decree, and I'd sit back and see what happened in the world if drama was punishable by public (and pubic) flogging. I'd like to think the outcome would be impressive but whatever it was, it would keep me entertained until I did something really radical like make CENSORED mandatory (can I say that? Maybe should bleep it out :o).
Well, there you have it folks: the decrees of your future overlord (part of which will have to be censored). Stay tuned next week for "Fic'r Psych Evaluation: Joygirl Edition!"
Thank you for a wonderful interview!
Thank you for giving me the honor. ^_^ Do we really get to do psych evaluation? :D