Hope you had a great summer, Philes! We’re back with our Fan Author series. This week’s author is no stranger to fandom, and recently co-authored a project that stretches the boundaries of the usual fanfic experience. Meet bohoartist! If you haven’t read “Two Agents Missing, Presumed Dead” head over there, scroll to the bottom, and read. I’ll wait. Bohoartist and co-author piecesofscully used Tumblr to lay out their story piece by piece, with images, e-mails, and news articles. It’s a great read and fun to put the pieces together as you go.
If you like short, sweet, and a kick in the feels, try “The Healing Power of Touch.” Scully is trying to comfort Mulder after losing his mom in Sein Und Zeit and the glimpse of her thoughts after doing Teena Mulder’s autopsy sticks with you. If you’re looking for something a little more “adult,” then this hits the, er, spot. I’ll let you infer from the title what “Three Times Mulder and Scully Got Caught and One Time They Didn’t Care” is about!
We talked with bohoartist about, writing, inspiration, and of course, The X-Files.
How long have you been a Phile?
Since June 19th, 1998, the day “Fight the Future” came out. I had not seen a single episode. In fact, I had avoided it as I was getting sick of all the alien sci-fi stuff that had been coming out seemingly one on top of the other. I had a friend who was a Phile though, and she was always pushing me to watch it. Well, that Friday evening, my parents came home from work and announced that we were going to go see a movie and I got to choose! So I picked up the newspaper (remember perusing newspapers for movie options?!) and I see “The X-Files: Fight the Future” and then I see that it’s rated PG-13 for, and I quote, “violence, horror, and gore.” Excellent. So we went and I was hooked.
What was your first episode?
My first episode was “Squeeze,” and I actually watched it the same night I saw the movie. When we came home from the theater, FX was playing a marathon and I dove in from Squeeze on. I was able to rent a VHS of the Pilot and “Deep Throat” from Blockbuster and by the time Season 6 premiered, I was fully caught up.
How long have you been writing fic?
I’ve been writing and posting fic since November of 2015.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been reading fanfic since I first became a fan, so the years and years of stories I’ve consumed had definitely been a source of inspiration, but what finally pushed me over that line was I looking for a specific scenario. I wanted to read some smut where Scully gives Mulder a haircut and that leads to things getting…interesting…but I couldn’t find anything. So I decided, what the hell, I’m just going to write it myself. And thus was born my first fic: “Shear Bliss.”
Who is your favorite XF character to write?
Oh, that’s hard. I bounce back and forth between Mulder and Scully. I love Mulder’s sense of humor so it’s fun to inject that into my writing, but I also really love writing Scully. It’s such a challenge to get her voice correct. She’s insanely intelligent and strong, but there is also this underlying quality of quiet vulnerability. I love taking that challenge head on.
Are there any XF characters you dislike or find too difficult to write?
I haven’t come across one I haven’t enjoyed writing yet. I haven’t ever written Diana, so that might be one that I could see myself struggling with. Any of the side characters are always going to be more difficult to write as you don’t want to fall into a trap of making them too one-dimensional.
Is there a story you’re most proud of or that’s a favorite?
I’m really proud of my series “Three Times Mulder and Scully Got Caught and One Time They Didn’t Care.” It was the first time I had ever completed anything that had separate parts. I’m also very proud of “Heat.” That was a smutty drabble that was written in response to a prompt and I decided to get a little creative with how I handled it.
Where can people find your work, and what’s the best way to send feedback?
Do you take fic prompts from fans?
I do! I don’t necessarily write all of them, but I adore getting prompts. They get my brain working! I would love to get more!
Have you written your own original characters outside of fandom?
I have not yet been brave enough to venture into the world of non-fandom. I’d like to though. I just need the right story.
Anything you’d like to share about your writing process?
I have a theater background, so I tend to look at every character in detail, even tiny ones. What is their background? What led them here? What are they trying to accomplish and why? If I can get a good feel on the voice of each character and their lives, then I can create the world they live in and draft the story around them.
You recently co-authored a fic project that was different than most, the excellent “Two Agents Missing, Presumed Dead.” What was your inspiration to tell a story in that kind of format?
God, that project was so much fun. Piecesofscully and I are good friends and we both love horror and scary stories/movies. She sent me a link to a story on the subreddit No Sleep that was created in a slightly similar fashion to what we ended up with. After I read it, I sent her a message saying “I have to write a story like this. Like right now,” and she said the same thing so we decided to create it together! We decided to take the format from the subreddit and take it way further.
Do you have a favorite author? (fanfic or published!)
Oh man, I have way too many favorite fanfic authors to even attempt to list. My favorite published authors are Stephen King, JK Rowling, Dorothy Parker, and Edgar Allan Poe. I should stop there because otherwise, I’ll just keep listing authors into infinity.
Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring writers?
There are three things that I think are vital when writing.
Write. Then rewrite. I very seldomly stick with what first makes it to paper (or screen in this instance.) Give your brain room to play by editing and rewriting. If you can get your hands on a kickass beta, even better. Then take the info they gave you and rewrite it until you’re proud of it.
Read. You can’t ever evolve or grow as a writer if you’re not reading. Whether it be fanfic or actual published books, read every chance you get.
As William Faulkner said, don’t be afraid to “kill your darlings.” More often than not, that one little passage that you’re obsessed with and completely married to is the one thing keeping your good story from becoming great. Don’t be afraid to sacrifice that sentence or paragraph for the good of the story.
Thank you to bohoartist for talking with us!