Michelle Kiefer

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Michelle Kiefer is our feature author this month! Michelle is a 2000 and 2001 Spooky Award Winner. You can find all her XF fanfic on her web page: Michelle Kiefer’s X-Files Fanfic.

When did you start writing XF fanfic? How did you start?

I posted my first story on Oct 20, 1999. I had been a lurker for years, reading tons of fanfic. I knew nothing–not who was who or that there was a tremendous variation in quality and approach to the characters or even that a reader could or should write feedback. Gradually, I got the “lay of the land” and developed a taste for a certain kind of writing style. And I found out that readers could communicate with the authors of these wonderful stories. I wasn’t clued in yet to the online world, so these emails were my only link to like-minded people. Some authors were kind enough to chat back and forth and two of them, Katvictory and Kestabrook, recognized that I wrote a good letter and encouraged me to try my hand at either essays or fanfic. So, with their encouragement and
a lot of Kestabrook’s technical help, I started writing. I’ve tried to be a good guide and encourager myself to newer writers.

Have you written fanfic for other fandoms?

I haven’t formally written for any other fandoms. When I was a kid, I used to think up stories about the shows I watched, sometimes running long epic story ideas in my head, but I never wrote them down. I read fanfic for a few fandoms, but haven’t felt the urge to write for them.

What else do you write?

I do a lot of technical writing for work, but beyond that, nothing. In the years between college and fanfic, the most I’d written were notes to my kid’s teachers. I think that one day, I’ll bridge off to writing short non-fanfic related stories, but I have no idea if I’d ever try to submit them for anything. I’d just like to see if I could do it.

What kind of process do you undertake when you write? Do you write a whole story in one sitting? Do you make story outlines or let it flow?

When I get an idea in my head, I outline the story briefly. I usually plan the whole thing out–characters, possible scenes, dates, plot points, evidence–before I even write the first line. I’m
a bit of a control freak, so starting something and not knowing how it will end is not something I’d ever do. I rarely write a story in one sitting–since I know where I’m going with it and exactly
what I want to accomplish, I can take my time and build and polish. I’ve written a couple of stories within a day and a half period, and was pleased with both of them, but they were exceptions. Usually, I’ll take weeks on a short story and months on a long one. Casefiles can take a long time, because I do a lot of research. Getting the plot to fall together and make sense, making sure that I’m not making huge mistakes in police procedure or medical information–they can take time. Time is always an issue, with family obligations and work pressure, but since I break it into smaller pieces, I usually can find time even if it is just an hour here and there. When I’m working on something, I try to write every single day–even if it is just a paragraph or a single line.

You have written a lot of post-ep stories lately. What has inspired you to revisit these episodes?

I hadn’t written many post eps from season 8, until Mulder returned. I had joined a post ep challenge group, After The Fact, mostly planning on reading the other writer’s stories and found myself caught up for a while in the “glory” days and wrote four post eps in as many weeks. I’ve slowed back down, but you never know. I so enjoyed looking at M and S before they became so damaged and then through periods like the cancer arc. The early episodes have a charm–M and S are practically babies in them.

And of course, with all the news regarding the XF lately…How will it end? or how do *you* think it will end?

I feel much more comfortable knowing that David Duchovny is going to have a hand in the finale. I have confidence in his view of Mulder and Scully. He sees the romance and attraction between these two and knows the deep bond. I’m hoping that M and S will be left in relative peace at the end. I’m hoping that my favorite characters will survive the last few minutes. Other than that–I have no idea what will transpire. I’d love to have one last look at Mulder and Scully, perhaps doing nothing more than sitting and talking, heads together, a laugh here and there. That would please me..

Is there’s anything else you’d like to tell readers out there? Upcoming stories to look out for?

I’ve been in a slump lately. I just haven’t felt the urge to write, though I’ve been reading a ton of fanfic and probably beta two to three stories a week for other writers. So my hand is in. But–I do have something on the horizon! I’m going to be collaborating for the first time in my fanfic career. TCS1121, a great friend and amazing writer, and I will be working on something together. I won’t reveal too much, but it will be heavily relationship based and, of course, pretty emotional.