1. Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you aren't writing Knight Rider fanfic?
When I'm not writing fic I am attending classes at Northern Arizona University. I am near the end of my sophomore year. I also serve as the School of Communication Senator for our student government association- the Associated Students of NAU, (http://www.nau.edu/asnau) that proves to be a busy job, but very worth it!
2. What first got you interesting in writing fanfic?
My fan fic connections actually trace back to Star Trek instead of Knight Rider. After Star Trek Generations was released in 1994- my 6th grade year, I wrote these very short stories- maybe like 100 words or so- following up the movie with some new crewmembers on a new Enterprise. I only got 3 stories done- a pilot and a two-parter where I wrote off Riker to a ship of his own.
I moved on from that and in 7th grade, I started writing my own Star Trek series. I created a cast of
characters and imagined what friends of mine I would want in what roles- naturally I imagined myself as the captain.
By the middle of my 8th grade year, I had maybe a good 10 stories or so, a pilot, a finale, and stuff in
between. Three follow up "movies" a prequel series showcasing some characters in the Academy, and if I remember correctly, I think I started a second sequel series following the 3 "movies." The Academy series only ended up having 2 stories and one unfinished story- I don't remember much about what I got done with the sequel series.
Over the summer between 8th and 9th grade, I started rewriting the original series, I changed some names, some plot elements, removed my friends as cast of characters, the time frame- it was all brand new- but I never got around to completing the series.
It was some time near the end of my 9th grade year that I was digging through my videos and found Knight Rider 2000. I hadn't watched in in some time- and watched it again, and again, and again, and again- I was terribly hooked.
I had a trip coming up so I decided I would transcribe Knight Rider 2000 on to paper so I could have
something to read.
In December of 1998, I remembered a trip I made to the library not too long ago where I saw some Knight Rider websites and a Knight Rider fiction series.
I decided I just had to do my own- since there were no KR2K sites or fictions out there. I dug up my HTML papers and instructions, and on a December night, I sat in front of the computer.
The rest, we can say, is history...
Now, since I completley missed the original question I will answer it. I write fan fiction for the reasons
most people do- everyone has their on views on how something should go. I felt that after Star Trek
Generations, the crew of the Enterprise should do "this." I felt that a new starship in the fleet can
do "that." And I saw Knight Rider 2000 had the ability to go "there." All those things just needed
I needed chances and opportunities to spread my wings and tell people "hey everyone, this is how I think it should be!"
3. You write mostly in the Knight Rider 2000 universe. What about that movie really captured your attention? Do you like it better than the original series (yep, you're dealing with a KR centric interviewer here ;-) )?
If you noticed in the movie, there was a subtle underlying theme of "out with the old, in with the
new." Heck, Watts even said it in a scene.
Knight Rider 2000 never got a fighting chance to live-we got a cliffhanger at the end introducing a
brand new team but we never saw them in action on their own.
I firmly believe in "out with the old, in with the new" and thats why Knight Rider 2000 appealed to me so much- there is a brand new team to play with- to see what trouble they can find from day to day.
The people didn't like the movie because they couldn't grasp the concept of moving on- too many people don't like change- and thats why the movie didn't do well, because the fans just couldn't let go of the original series- almost 10 years old.
The movie had a great plot, and was a great pilot for something that could have been a great series- but no matter- it lives on in my mind, and the mind of my fans. It's a new Knight Rider for a new group of people.
4. What, to you, is the hardest part of writing a fanfic?
The hardest part is throwing out these stories at a constant rate. Sometimes college life gets in the way and I don't get a chance to sit down and write- other times, a story I thought would be a cinch to write, managed to grow to massive proportions.
5. What's the most rewarding part of writing fanfic?
Positive feedback is the most rewarding part- the fact that someone saw the fic, read it, enjoyed it so much that they would take the time to tell me so.
6. You are currently in college, studying journalism. How does that effect your writing?
It affects me in a good way because I can take some journalism essentials and apply them to my writing, like grammar and style and etc.
7. The characters of Shawn and Maddock only appeared in the movie, unlike Michael and Kitt who have four seasons of back history. Does that make it easier or harder to write Shawn and Maddock?
It's hard sometimes because I have to remember they have no history and so I need to establish it as I go along. It's easy too because I get to make it all up!
8. Men in this fandom are a bit in the minority. As a male KR writer who's been around for a while, do you think that influences your stories or makes them different in anyway?
Yes I agree I am one of the few male writers in the fandom and I don't think it influences my stories
terribly much. Some people might compare my stories to others and find they are a little aggressive at times- but all in all, I am an author- plain and simple.
9. You wrote a novelization of the KR2K script. What was that process like? Did you work from a published script, or work from the movie itself?
I wrote it from the movie itself- originally just to transcribe it so I could have something to read. It
was an easy process because I was able to recite most of the dialogue word for word.
10. You've been writing in the fandom for a long time. Do you feel your stories have changed much? Or has the way you approach them changed in any way?
My stories have changed in two ways- the first way, it is very evident how I have gotten better at
writing- from my freshman year in high school to my sophomore year in college.
The second way is that my stories have migrated into a fandom that is more adult... a little bit more
violence, a lot of language- but all done in taste, and where appropriate. I hated the fact that Knight
Rider was so cheesy, and seemed like such a kids show- it's time to grow up, KR.
11. Is there a certain set-up in your writing space that gets you in the mood to write? Pictures? Music? That kind of thing?
Unlike most authors I really don't have any kind of set up. But I often like to think of sleep as a set-up because in my dreams I live the stories I want to write.
12. How do you tackle writing a long story? Do you outline? Let it come to you as you write? How much do you plan out a story?
Heh, most people get a kick out of this answer- but a lot of times I actually write the ending of a story
FIRST. Then I write the middle- then some points leading to the ending, then the beginning, and etc.
In the latest stories, hardly any of them have been written completely in sequence.
I plan out a little bit- I actually speak out some dialogue, close my eyes and imagine how Shawn will
move around this corner, or how KITT will turbo boost, how Kevin will approach KITT with a tool, and etc. even view facial expressions.
In the last story, I had a good idea how to get from point A to point B, but in the course of writing I
ended up with points A-prime, and A-subprime and etc etc etc... the same with No Beginnings... a story planned to be only 6000 or so words that skyrocketed into a whole story for Natalie Markins and closed at 19,000.
13. You've gone back and reworked some of your earlier stories. What made you decide to do that and how much did you change?
Only two stories ended up being reworked- Future Doesn't Matter and Goliath Forever.
The original FDM caused some stir with people who said that "racism isn't like THAT!" and "it doesn't happen here." Not to mention, some of my earlier stories show my old inept writing abilities, and with FDM being such a powerful story I was shooting for- it needed a change.
I changed the bad guys name (since the original Jimmy Walker happened to be the name of a real life ABC news correspondent). The old setting of Biloxi just wouldn't work- we needed some quiet town for this to work- and instead of looking for one, I moved one state over (to Alabama) and made one up.
The adversary needed to be fleshed out a little bit more. In the old version we knew Shawn had a
connection, but not as much as I wrote into the new version. I also set this version from Shawn's
perspective, and made sure to show how the team was just starting out and forming.
Most of you will notice a puppy accompanying the team for a good portion of the story. When the puppy is given away, all hell breaks loose. The puppy was a subtle stab at innocence and the loss of.
In the new version we get to meet a little bit of Kevin, we get to see KITT flesh out his humanity and
understanding... and- well plenty of new stuff.
Goliath Forever was originally a story called "Apocalypse" written by Patrick Gaido. I liked the
story so much I asked if he would like to work with me to adapting it to my fan fiction. All that was done was to change Michael to Shawn, Devon to Maddock, and Bonnie to Kevin, and etc. Add a few elements to tie in with KR2K and bingo, story was done.
It wasn't until maybe a few months after I finished the FDM rewrite that I started looking at GF. I had
already introduced the mysterious character in other stories, and gave his first appearance at the end of the original GF. I felt this character needed to have a bigger role, and I felt that the possibility of Garthe and Adrienne surviving that crash was slim. I completely rewrote the beginning, giving hints that he was a clone.
I rewrote some other elements and then for some reason- I just stopped and moved on with the stories.
It wasn't until I was working on the Knight Challenge Mini Series when I found this rewrite in progress. I finished the rewrite- with more of Mr. X in a bigger role and turning Garthe Knight into the good bad guy you feel sorry for- a man who was the original, now turned into the copy- used as a dispensible soldier.
I added some conflict between Bonnie and Michael, giving a nod that they haven't seen or spoken with each other in 10 years.
I added the finished rewrite into the mix of the mini series, and kept going from there.
14. Is there one character who is easiest for you to write?
Natalie Markins and Mr. X were the easiest for me to write- and sad to say, both characters were written out of the series. Both of these characters had some of my own personal elements included in them- Mr. X got most of my temper, Natalie got the rest. Both characters got my undying drive to accomplish a goal, X with revenge, Natalie with catching him. It was easy because I could say "oh I know what I'd do in this situation" and then I would multiply it by 10.
15. Any grammar rules that give you fits?
I have a terrible problem with tenses and how much I shift.
16. What about a good fanfic really draws you in and makes you keep reading? Is there any one thing you can point to?
I think that action carefully interlaced with meaningful plot elements bring good stories. Everyone
loves conflict and drama, but the typical good guy vs. bad guy wont do anymore- people need extra stuff in, sub plots and etc... gotta keep it interesting.
17. Have you ever had writers block or written yourself into a corner? If so, how do you work it out?
Writer's block really sucks, and it has struck me in some good stories during the series- and also caused me to abandon some stories too. When it comes to writer's block, I just sit back and take a break. Sometimes the break is 15 minutes, other times its 15 weeks, but I always get a brainstorm that gets me out of it. If the fans want a story so bad, they'll stick around to see it through.
18. Which of your own stories is your favorite, if you have one?
The most recent story (X Marks The Spot) is my favorite for many reasons, it marks an accomplishment since it took me a long time to finish it, and it closed out what I thought to be one of my most popular string of stories that really had people following.
The story in itself is excellent- and it truly shaped a lot of new abilities for me as a writer.
19. Is feedback important to you?
Feedback is very important- good and bad. Good feedback makes me feel like I got a job well done. Bad feedback shows me things that I might have done wrong, and gives me ideas on how to improve.
20. Do you have any suggestions for new writers in the fandom?
Yes. All new writers- don't be afraid to do what YOU want to the series, this is your fan fiction story,
and you are the only one who can dictate where you want it to go and what subjects you want to do. And FEEDBACK! Don't let bad feedback discourage you, think of it as a way for you to look at your work and see what you can improve upon!