Welcome to the next installment of the Meet the Authors series. This week, join me as we chat with fanfiction writer Entilzha, author of Doctor Who, Babylon 5, and West Wing fandoms. Discover her continual struggle with writer's block, why dialogue is so important in any story, and who she would want to meet if she had the chance.

Penname: Entilzha

  • How long have you been writing?

    Ever since I was a child, so at least 30 years.

  • What first got you interested in writing fanfiction?

    When I started I wasn't even aware it was a genre! Later I found examples on the internet that were good and some that were terrible. I realised I could write as well as some and better than most, so I thought I'd give it a go.

  • Are there any fanfic authors that have influenced your own writing? If so, who are they and what do they write?

    Quite a few in the Babylon 5 fandom, most of which can be found at Jump Now. My stuff is there, too, under my other pseudonym, Castor. A few in the West Wing fandom, but I tend to make my own way most of the time.

  • What are your favorite shows to write fiction for? What about these shows lend themselves to the creative exercise of fanfiction?

    Babylon 5 and Doctor Who mainly. I've dabbled in The West Wing, but I prefer the first two. Science Fiction has always appealed to me as it gives the writer the opportunity to explore issues in unfamiliar ways and put characters under stress to see what comes out.

  • Which of your stories is your personal favorite? Why?

    Probably at the moment Paper Mache Mephistopheles as that's me working out a bout of depression and it's as accurate as I could get it. I'm pretty fond of several of my Babylon 5 stories as well, though.

  • Who is your all time favorite character to write for? Why?

    Again, it changes. Right now, the tenth Doctor. Before it was Sheridan and Delenn from Babylon 5. I'm sure I'll come across another addictive fandom someday and go off in another direction. I'm a romantic at heart, but also practical and I can't stand weak characters. I like men and women who can stand on their own two feet, but simply do better together.

  • What do you view as your strengths as a writer? Your weaknesses?

    My dialogue is realistic with the characters identifiable by their speech patterns, and I write in such a way that people tell me they remember my stories as something they have watched rather than read, which to me is the ultimate accolade. As for weaknesses, I always try to deliver the very best and weed any poor sections out, so if they're still there I didn't think they were weak!

  • It is an old adage that the best writers are also readers. What types of books do you read, and who are some of your favorite authors?

    Dickens, Shakespeare, WW1 poets, Terry Pratchett (wish I could be that funny!), C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, E. Nesbit, James Herriot, Oscar Wilde. I read a lot of factual stuff and my academic studies have resulted in a very large library of classical authors such as Homer, Plato, and David Hume.

  • Have you tried your hand at original fiction? Do you have any aspirations with regards to original fiction?

    Yes, I have tried, but was a bit too close to Farenheit 451, so dumped it. No real aspirations as I suffer too much from writer's block to be able to make a living at it.

  • How do you conquer the problem of writer's block?

    I don't. It's why I don't write much for long periods. Once it hits I'm stumped until the characters start talking to me again.

  • Have you discovered any tips or tricks that help with your writing that you would like to share with our readers?

    LISTEN to the characters on-screen. Pay attention to speech pattersn, movements, ticks - those little things that tell you what they're thinking. Understand motivation outside the dialogue. Research anything you're not sure about. Write as soon as the characters demand to be heard, don't put it off. Get an editor who has excellent English and will tell you honestly their opinion without sugar coating it. Be prepared for some constructive criticism, but if you really believe something is right, stick to your guns. Spelling and grammar are not optional extras. A brilliant storyline can be destroyed by poor attention to those details. Listen to your audience, but be aware you can't please all of the people all of the time. Write stuff YOU want to read.

  • If you could meet any one person from history or fiction, who would it be and why?

    Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The only man to come out of that terrible conflict respected by both sides, and who dedicated the last 5 years of his life to improving education for the South so it could rebuild and bore malice towards no one. Honourable, dutiful, respectful of others, always courteous and an original gentleman who always felt he had not done enough.

Have you read Entilzha's stories? What did you think of them? Do you have a comment on any of her answers? Let us know!

Category: Author Interviews