Writer's Showcase
created by
Annie Lansbury

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Lois & Clark The New Adventure of Superman Writer's Showcase. At the bottom of this web site you will findlinks to past featured writers. Just click on the any writer's name you might have missed or want to read again and you will be taken to their interview.

Now, in keeping with Annie's famous words, without further ado I am proud and honored to present this week's Writer in the Writer's Showcase ...

Annette, Labrat, Kaethel, Avia

Featured Writer of the Week

Personal Information

Author name
Kaethel...but my real name is Helene, and that's what most people call me on irc <g>...oh, I'm also known as 'Ten Ton Truck' (thanks, Wendy!) and 'Torture Fiend' (thanks LabRat!), because I gained some sort of reputation for both, in beta-reading and writing. Wonder why... ;)

E-mail addresses

Western France. To be more accurate, I live in Chatellerault, a 35 000 inhabitants town, about 35 kilometers (20 miles) to the North of Poitiers, 300 kilometers (190 miles) to the South of Paris, and 140 kilometers (90 miles) to the East of the Atlantic Coast.

List, AOL, or web affiliations
Lots of them, although I'm a major lurker on most of those. Let's see...the fanfic list, lcnfanfic, afolcslife, deancainfans, the NAOS list, the UK list, and the German list. I'm a registered member on Anne's and Zoomway's Message Boards, and I'm a regular on irc. I'm also one of the FoLCs who help Anne gather the interviews for the Writers' Showcase.

Lois and Clark or Superman Status

How long have you been watching L&C?
Um - maths is my nightmare, but let's see - 5 or 6 years, depending on how you count. It's kind of a vague limit because my interest in the show was progressive. I saw my first episode when I was 16, if I remember well. I'd just watched and enjoyed Richard Donner's Superman for the first time, and M6 (French network) was broadcasting this TV show about the same character, so I thought I'd give it a try. The very first L&C episode I saw was Contact, and let's just say it didn't convince me very much. It was hard for me to be fascinated by the story when I had no idea what was going on (and to add insult to injury, Clark was being a pain at the end of the episode! <g>).

The network was broadcasting two episodes in a row each Tuesday night, so I still kept coming back every other week. And then, one night, came Through a Glass Darkly and Big Girls Don't Fly. By the end of the second episode, I was in tears. I just couldn't bear the idea that Clark would leave for New Krypton, give up on everything that meant something to him, with no warranty that he'd ever come back. The added thing was that the show, as far as I was concerned, stopped there. I wasn't aware that a fourth season was being shot, so I was a bit mad at the writers for stopping with such a cliffhanger. I even remember asking for L&C books at a bookshop during the summer.

Then, somehow, my interest faded, until I couldn't even remember that I'd ever watched the show (no, don't scream <g>). That period didn't last too long, because one afternoon, the next year, one of my classmates told me that M6 was starting an every day rerun of Superman, and asked me if I would watch it. I shamefully admit it took her to remind me of the story for me to remember what that was all about <g>. And that night, I did watch the first part of the Pilot. I went on watching faithfully, until I left for a week's holiday in the Alps, and decided to set the VCR to record the episodes I would miss. No need to say that when I came back, the *very* first thing I did was to watch them.

And I kept the tape (I even still have it, even though I've since taped the entire series in the right order) to regularly rewatch those episodes. Then I started to tape every night, just in case there would be a moment I would want to rewatch (yeah, right <g>). Then I decided to keep my favourite episodes. It started with the Lex Luthor wedding arc, which was really what made me totally, completely, hopelessly addicted to Lois & Clark (I always kept a fascination for this part of the show - I jokingly say that it is to me what TOGOM is to Wendy ;)), and progressively, I ended up keeping every episode. And spent most of my philosophy classes (I ought to be ashamed of that - philosophy grew on me afterwards but I admit I wasn't fascinated by it, then <g>) exchanging comments and trivia with others - though I really was the most obsessed one <g>.

The next step for me was to find myself in this tiny shop in Paris, something like three and a half years ago. I randomly asked the guy in charge if, by any chance, there were tapes of L&C available, because I really wanted to see the original version. I can't even describe my excitement when the guy said that of course there were, and he could order them for me! Seeing my first episode in English (I think it was I'm Looking Through You) was a really new experience for me. Until then, I'd never heard the actors' real voices (except for Teri's, thanks to her movie Heaven's Prisoner), and I admit I was really taken aback by Dean's voice. It was so different from the one I was used to!

Thanks to some very nice German FoLCs, I managed to get the entire collection of episodes in English, and I'm now practically unable to see a dubbed episode, because it just sounds...not right. <g> Even when I catch a rerun on TV (and they rerun L&C every year, here), I have to grimace when I notice the lack of emotion in their voices, when compared to the real thing, or worse, the translation mistakes (the worst one being in Soulmates, where they translated 'teddy' with the French equivalent of 'teddy bear' - did wonder what a teddy bear was doing there on their wedding night, though <g>).

So that's how L&C progressively sneaked its way into my life <g>.

How long have you been a fan of Superman?
Ever since I've been a fan of Lois & Clark. I never read the comics (I'm not even sure they're available here, in France), and my first encounter with Superman was Christopher Reeve's interpretation, about a week before I saw my first L&C episode.

How long have you been writing?
Define 'writing' <g>. I wrote my very first piece of fiction when I was 7, so that would take me back 15 years (yowsa!). We regularly had writing assignments in class, and that was always my favourite activity, especially when they required an effort of imagination. I think I've always enjoyed telling a story.

Then, there were some attempts at 'novels' when I was a teen (by 'novels', understand 'awful Mary-Sue stories' <g>), even one that I completed when I was 16, the theme of which was strangely reminiscent of L&C, without the Superpowers. ;) But it was so awful, you can't even imagine.

I started writing 'seriously' (if you can call that serious, really <g>), I mean with the intention of sharing my work with others, when I joined FoLCdom and tried my hand at L&C fanfic.

How long have you been writing L&C fanfic?
*Writing* for about 2 and a half years. Making it public for less than a year. I started writing almost right after I got a computer and an internet connection. My first encounter with L&C fanfic did the trick, and reading stories like Chris Mulder's Meet Me in Kansas City, Demi's Heaven's Prisoners, and Debby Stark's Dawning Series made me want to try my hand at it, and explore my favourite characters' world.

My first attempt at fanfic wasn't very fruitful, I have to say. I started writing a long story, not knowing where I was going, and that was too much, too soon. This fanfic had a convoluted A plot that couldn't hold itself together, and even though there were some B plot scenes that I actually liked, it just couldn't work. I'm really grateful to Shawna for her thorough comments and suggestions when I showed her that piece of writing; she encouraged me and helped me to see what went wrong and why. :) This fanfic will probably never go beyond the depths of my hard drive, but I'm currently disembowelling it and reinjecting some of the scenes I liked (after some serious rework on them) into my current WIPs, when they fit. It's become some sort of hold folder, in a way.

Around that same time, I started other long fanfics, some of which are still in the works, others that will probably never see the light of day. And I already had the main idea for the premise of Near Wild Heaven on my mind, even though I didn't begin to *really* work on it then. During the summer of 1999, I also wrote a few vignettes, and that helped me to understand the characters better. After that, I started again on longer fanfics, trying to draw lessons from the mistakes I'd made on my earlier works.

Then, one night, a little over a year ago, I was on irc (yes, I got addicted to irc in between <g>) with Elena, Chiara, and Sarah. We were discussing fanfics, and they somehow convinced me to show them those vignettes I'd written, as well as the first 30 pages of Near Wild Heaven, which I'd been writing for a few months. I'm immensely grateful to them for the encouragement they provided. They were so sweet about what I showed them that I decided to post Naked Truth a couple of months later, after a bit of rework on it.

Of course, when it came down to actually *posting* it, I was completely terrified that it was rubbish, that no-one would like it, that people would say it was childish and plain bad, and just laugh their head off at it. I was a real nervous wreck, and if it hadn't been for the reassurance I got from LabRat, Nicole and Elena, a few days before I posted it, I may not have hit the 'send' button. There was a major difference between *saying* I would post it, and actually doing the thing <g>.

But I did, and I was completely overwhelmed by the nice comments and wonderful encouragement I got from the people on the message boards and list. You guys don't know how much your feedback has helped me to keep on writing, and continues to help me every time I receive an email about a story I wrote. :)

What types of Fanfic have you written?
Angsty fanfics. <g> Seriously, my shorter stories tend to be waffy, and my longer stories feature heavy loads of angsty introspection. That's what I enjoy reading the most, and that's what I love to write as well. I would have said that I'd exclusively written pre-revelation / pre-relationship / get-together stories, but my esteemed co-author (see below) has corrupted me <g>.

Most recent story posted? Where?
Sweet Surrender was posted to the list and boards on Kerth night; it's a light, 100% pure WAFF vignette (although Wendy did manage to find some angst in it <bg>). It starts with a rewrite of the end of Wall of Sound, when Lois and Clark exit the convention centre where the Kerth ceremony was held (hence my timing for posting it ;)). But I decided to extend the episode a bit, and deal with Clark walking Lois home...and the consequences, of course <g>.

Favorite story you have written? Why?
Oh, it's got to be Near Wild Heaven - Half a World Away. This fanfic kept me really involved for over a year (I know, I know, I still have to write the second part <g>), and it was really a premise that I was keen on exploring. Besides, it was my first real, long, *angsty* <bg> story, so it'll always be special to me. But it's hard to be definitive about this, because I enjoy the new projects I'm involved in, so these could easily become favourites as well.

Current project/projects?
Loads! LabRat jokingly says my brains are gonna go into overdrive if I don't stop starting new stories <g>. Seriously, I began a lot of new fanfics over the past few months, but most of them got stuck after 3 pages, so they don't really count. So I'll just stick to a description of the current WIPs that are actually leading me somewhere <g>.

On top of the list, there's Man Trap, which LabRat and I are co-authoring. The plot is a secret, but what I can reveal is that it's a post-marriage story (told ya she'd corrupted me <bg>) where we put Lois through an emotional wringer. In other words, it's angsty (aren't we predictable? <g>).

Then there's a story currently entitled A Hundred Tears Away, which I started very recently, but is writing itself pretty quickly. It's a premise I'd been itching to explore for some time, and basically, the idea is to have Through a Glass Darkly and Big Girls Don't Fly happen before the revelation, just as Lois and Clark are getting involved in a serious relationship (just after Whine, Whine, Whine).

There's also (of course - I'd be disembowelled if I didn't say I'm working on it <g>) the second part of Near Wild Heaven, which will be subtitled Vertiges de l'Amour (I've been looking for a correct translation for that, but the double meaning of 'vertiges' here is hard to convey - and I ain't any good at translating!). I have some scenes where the bare bones are written, some others worked out in my head, and still some sticky plot problems to take care of.

I'm also working on a story called 'Past Ain't No Future', which is a beginning story dealing with Lois's pain and humiliation after the Luthor fiasco (can you say 'obsessed'? <g>).

And finally, Tracey and I are working out the details of a story we'll be co-authoring, and hopefully starting very soon - I'm getting excited about it. :) (yep, the plot is a secret <g>).

Personal picks of other Fanfics you have read?
I'm *bound* to forget a couple of favourites, so I apologise to any author I'd miss out, but let's see...

Anything by LabRat. She just has a way to create an atmosphere that is so real that the reader feels like he/she is thrust into the room with Lois and Clark. I have a particular fondness for Burnout (some of which I know by heart, because I've read it so many times), and more recently, her Are You Lonesome Tonight...?, which made me cry as much for the desperate dimension of the atmosphere as for the lyricism of the writing.

Anything by Wendy Richards. Her introspection is always a delight to read, and she just *knows* how to deal with angsty premises, injecting a few waffs just at the right moment to release some of the tension along the way. Her Without Consent sticks in my mind because it was a particularly difficult premise to tackle, and she did it very tastefully. Also, her For the Greater Good made me cry buckets. Okay, okay, so I love angst, I admit! <g>

Another favourite is Yvonne Connell's Fear of Discovery, particularly the third chapter, Coming Home. Yvonne has a gift for witty dialogue, and some of the scenes she wrote in FoD left me breathless from the tension and sensuality.

I also have a fondness for three fanfics that threw me into the L&C universe and that will always remain favourites Chris Mulder's Meet Me in Kansas City (that first kiss that Lois and Clark shared was so sweet :)); Demi's Heaven's Prisoners has also a very special place for me, not only because it was one of the first fics I read, but also because it's so sensual and angsty that I spent my day wallowing on it, wiping tears off my eyes as I read it; and Shawna's Disquiet Nights (Like Dreamers Do), because it was a risky premise and I love the way Shawna portrayed Lois, making me hate her in the beginning and love her all over again in the end. :)

I also *can't* not mention the Gorn's A Consumate Revelation (I regularly reread it and it always leaves me in awe at the sensuality of her writing and the sweetness of the lovemaking scene).

A more recent pick is Kathy Brown's and Demi's When Friends Become Lovers, which features plenty of very emotional scenes. Powerful!

And last, but certainly not least, all of Tracey's fanfics. Her waffy vignettes are among the sweetest in the fandom, and A Love Well Worth the Wait was just awesome. The premise was original, the way Lois and Clark were missing each other made my heart ache, and when they finally met each other again, it was a 'hand-clapped-on-the-mouth-other-hand-reaching-for-kleenex' moment. And then she did it again with the first kiss! Awww...just thinking about it makes me shaky all over again! I'm completely blown away by the quality of her writing, and Tracey, I want to see more from you, you hear?!? ;)

And finally (yes, I already said finally, but can't help it, I keep thinking about other favourites <g>), I also particularly love Chris Carr's Learning Curves (one of the best episode rewrites of 'Strange Visitor' to this day) and Love, Loyalty and Luthor Learning Curves II (which is a very innovative and brilliant trip into Nigel's head), Jenni Debbage's Universal Union series (the Kryptonian society she created is fascinating), Chiara Prato's A Missed Wedding (the scene in the attic is so deliciously waffy!), ML Thompson's Cause and Effect (the premise is excellent, and I melted when I read the scene featuring Clark and Jenny lying on the couch together), Missy Gallant's Strangers series (highly original, and extremely well written - that 'he was in love!' walk always leaves a huge smile on my face), Shayne Terry's Fugue (for its fascinating insights into Alt-Clark's psyche), Jeff Brodgen's Lost & Found (the first part in Smallville particularly moved me), and...and...and you'd better shut me up now before I mention *all* my favourite fanfics. <g>

General Interview Questions

What attracted you to writing Fanfic and what about it do you enjoy?
Well, the main incentive for me is to be able to explore the deepest motives of the characters I love when they're confronted by some situations. I want to know what makes them tick, what makes them react, what they love and what they hate, what scares them, and why, and so on. I'm fascinated by their psyche, and how this man and this woman progressively evolved from colleagues to friends to lovers.

I also very much enjoy starting fanfics from real episode scenes, to which I inject some introspection to interpret the characters' reactions, and then lead the whole thing to a different direction from the one chosen by the show's producers. And since L&C is an endless love story, I also love imagining other ways for them to meet, under other circumstances. I think that very often, the choices you make have a whole series of consequences on your life, and I like applying that theory to the fanfic I write.

Basically, fanfic gives me something more than the TV show, and it's the possibility to enter the characters' mind and know what they're thinking.

Another dimension of fanfic writing that I enjoy is the brainstorming / beta-reading process. Discussing a premise you're working on is always an excellent way to get unstuck from a difficult scene, or to give you further ideas to elaborate your story. And then, there's co-authoring, which is absolutely delightful as well. :)

Finally, the other reason why I write fanfic is that I'm totally in love with the English language. I adore learning and using new words, finding new contexts for them, assembling them to create a rhythm that will emphasise an emotion I want to convey (I'm particularly fond of singled out sentences, and fragments), or describe the image that I see in my mind's eye. And that's why I'm eternally grateful to my beta-readers for helping me to correct my mistakes (and believe me, sometimes we have a good laugh when I add *the* preposition to a verb that makes it a slang word that doesn't fit *at all* in the context <g>). They're wonderfully patient with me, they don't even growl when they have to correct the same mistake a hundred times because I just won't remember that you say 'whirled' and not 'twirled' for a person (or is that the other way around? <bg>). But don't ask me to write a fanfic in French, it's impossible for me. Mom growls that it's a shame I can't even write a story in my own language <g>, but I tried, I really did; the words just don't flow.

What about the L&C and the characters do you like the most?
I'm gonna be original (ahem <g>) the strength of their love. What enthralled me the most about the show, and about fanfic, is how they managed to overcome their insecurities, and despite all of the obstacles raised between them, they ended up together. I also appreciate the fact that they're not simple characters, based on cliches, and they're not perfect (far from it). I'm captivated by Lois's childhood and past experiences, and how it made her the person she is, full of paradoxes but so interesting strong and fragile, tough and vulnerable. I love how Clark managed to work his way through her defenses, how he didn't let the superpowers eat away at his life, how the real person was *Clark* and not Superman.

There were other aspects of the show that I particularly loved, like the social dimension of the union between an Earthling and an Alien. The show touched at the heart of the problem with the second part of the New Krypton arc, during Kal El's trial, where he was reproached for having given his heart to someone who wasn't Kryptonian. It's important to see TV shows that take a position against racism and prove that such things as the country of origin, or the colour of the skin, don't matter. Oh, and I also have a soft spot for Lois's line in Tempus Fugitive 'Most of my friends are pro gun-control'. :)

How do you interpret them in your work?
I try to stick close to the show, or rather my own interpretation of what the characters were in the show. We all have different perceptions of them, after all. Also, when I write about an elseworld premise that includes a major change in the show's continuity, like I did for Near Wild Heaven, I try to imagine what are the consequences of the events I brought up on the characters, how it affected them, how it transformed them. As a result, my Clark in Near Wild Heaven was more cynical than the one in the show, he'd lost a lot of his hope and reasons for living, and before he met Lois again, he was only existing, not *living*. And both of them were highly insecure, because none of their past experiences had been positive.

How did you begin writing in general?
I think I already answered that <g>.

How do you feel about being nominated for a Kerth Award?
Gobsmacked! Flabbergasted! Ecstatic! Thrilled! Deliriously happy! :) Seeing my name in the middle of such *wonderful* authors was really overwhelming. The quality of the new writers this year was absolutely stunning, so I was really surprised to have made it to the short list in this category!

What story of yours was nominated for a Kerth Award and could you tell about it?
Naked Truth was nominated in the Waffy category - and I still can't believe it, because it's really a fluffy piece. :) The plot (not sure I can talk about a plot, here, really <g>) is that during a boring stakeout, Lois and Clark start a game of strip poker, which quickly escalates into...more than a game .

Have you ever been nominated for the Kerth Award before? If so, please name the fanfic and tell something about it.
Nope, my first stories were published in 2000. :)

What are you working on now and where do you see it going?
Well, right now, there are two fanfics taking up most of my writing time. I'm trying to stick to a minimum quota of two or three pages a day on A Hundred Tears Away, and so far it's mostly working (miraculously). As for where it's going, only the Muse could tell, and she has a sneaky habit of doing whatever pleases her without asking me first <bg>. The other one I'm seriously working on is Man Trap, although I've been stuck on a scene (because of a darn lobster! <g>) for a few weeks. It's going smoothly, though, and LabRat and I keep finding new ideas to include to the plot - we have a lot of fun brainstorming it. :)

What is your opinion about the following types of L&C fanfic's?
I like it, but on the condition it's sparse enough. I admit I'm not a fan of heavily A-plotted stories. However, it's good to have an A plot that really blends with the B plot, without overpowering the relationship part of the fanfic.

Love it, love it, love it! No hesitation there, it's really my favourite type of story. Give me a good tearjerker any time - on the condition, of course, that the angst isn't thrown into the story for the sake of it. Drama has to have a purpose, and that's why I'm particularly fond of stories that feature emotional angst supported by introspection parts explaining what the characters are going through, and why.

Oh yes, definitely. It's a tricky genre when the story's main goal is humour, though, but some writers are terrific at that. Yvonne Connell's Who's In Control is hilarious, for example. :) And I definitely enjoy the occasional funny line that relieves some of the tension of a dramatic scene. The now famous 'minimelon' line from LabRat's Are You Lonesome Tonight...? comes to mind.

Round Robin?
RRs are really fun, and I really admire writers who are able to do IRC RRs. I've been in the peanut gallery many times, and it's amazing to see the authors come up with inspiration despite the limited amount of time, and end up creating a story that actually holds itself together. I know I'd be completely unable to do that, it'd be way too scary for me.

I feel much more comfortable with the other kind of RR, the co-authoring process, that is. The trick is to choose a writer with whom you know you'll get along. If both writers share the same views on the show, have mostly the same taste in fanfic - namely are compatible - then it's a terrific experience, and very enriching. And it's a huge incentive to keep writing, when you know that your co-author is waiting for you to return the story to them.

During a rather long period of time, I was averse to nfic. I'd run into a few nfic vignettes solely based on sex, and...no, that really wasn't my taste. So I stayed clear of the genre for a long time...

...then came Burnout. After I read the PG-13 version of this story, I wanted, *needed* to see the nfic version. And there were other fanfics whose nfic version I wanted to read, like Wendy's It's a Super Life. So after long talks with LabRat and Wendy, they convinced me to try it out again. I started with the Gorn's A Consumate Revelation (I didn't want to start with a fic whose conversion I'd already read, in case nfic really wasn't my thing, because then it could have ruined even the PG version for me), and I adored it. So I happily threw myself into Burnout, Sugar & Spice, Without Consent, Super Life, FoDIII, and many others. And never went back. :)

The main thing about nfic, aside from the fact I prefer it to have a real plot and not be centered around the sex scenes, is that I have some pet peeve-words that can jar me out of the scene. I admit to being extremely demanding with lovemaking scenes, because I prefer the emotional dimension of lovemaking to prevail over the physical one.

Has *everything* been done in your opinion, and if not, what is left?
A whole-hearted *no* to that! :) Many *many* premises are still to be explored, imho. And each writer proves it when they always come up with highly innovative ideas for their stories. Besides, even if there are already hundreds of revelation stories, for example, authors always come up with new angles for them, or new interpretations. It's an endless resource. :)

What do you think makes the best story?
Well, it's a very subjective question, so here's a very subjective answer <g>

Regarding the premise, I like a blend of emotional angst (do I sound like a broken record? <g>), well-written introspection that gives the reader an insight into the character's thoughts and motives, waffy and sensual scenes, and humour to relieve the tension from time to time.

Regarding the writing in itself, I pay particular attention to how the story has been polished. Repetitions are an obsession with me - I spotted a couple of those in the last story I'd posted on the boards and there was a shriek <g>. I try to avoid them as much as possible (it tears me apart to have to bite the bullet and use 'hand' or 'arm' twice in the same paragraph because there's really no other word for it <g>) - unless they're there for a literary purpose - I like using them for effect myself.

Would you like to add a link or URL to your favorite fanfic for the readers to sample your writing?
http//www.annesplace.net/juliefic/knearheaven.html is the place where to find my Near Wild Heaven - Half a World Away. A text version is available at the L&C Archives, at http//www.lcfanfic.com/stories/2001/nearwil1.txt

Where is the best place for a reader to locate your work?
I always post my fanfics in sections on Zoomway's Message Boards (http//www.zoomway.com/boards/). Then they're uploaded here at Annesplace (http//www.annesplace.net) and at the L&C Archive (http//www.lcfanfic.com).

Open Forum For Author Comments
It's been two years and a half since I've been part of this internet community, and I first started to be active about two years ago, when I joined the IRC. Now, I hang out on #lanekent almost every night, and I developed some very strong friendships with other FoLCs, that go way deeper than our common passion for L&C. I've even met some (although not all, yet) of my closest online friends, and it was amazing to finally see them and talk to them. I'll always remember how much I was thrilled, excited, and terrified at the same time when I first *saw* them, and how relaxed I was after just a few minutes of being with them. And I'm looking forward to meeting them again, as well as those of my friends I haven't had the chance to see in 'real life' yet. :)

Helene aka Kaethel :)