Author Interview: Gaelin
By Korillian

Gaelin is one of Law & Order fandom's more prolific writers. In addition to the short stories that have been published in apocrypha, she's written three novel-length installments to the Soulmates series, which focuses on the relationship between Mike Logan and Katheleen Shannon Gallaher.
Gaelin and I became friends several years during the infamous Tripod chats. We started off talking about Law & Order in general but eventually our conversations focused on what we both agreed was the most interesting thing about L&O: Mike Logan. She and I shared many a long sleepless night discussing Logan's childhood and his potential for violence and anything else that popped into our heads. If not for Gaelin and our late-night discussions, I might not have become the dedicated L&O fan I am today. Enjoy the interview!

Why did you start writing fan fiction?
The short answer would be because everyone else was doing it.The long answer would be because it's something I've been doing for as long as I can remember, except until I "discovered" the Internet I had never before written it all down. (Well there was that failed attempt to write a soap opera when I was about 8. Not exactly fan fiction though. The characters were all "original" albeit loosely based on those of One Life To Live). Until one December, not quite three years ago, "fan fiction" was something I had kept mostly in my head. Even at a very young age -- five or six stands out to me -- I would devise alternate storylines and characters for the television shows and movies I liked. (Yes, even some cartoons). The initial ideas came to me as I was watching the show. And when I got bored or as my own way of "counting sheep" as I fell asleep, I would play out and add to the "storyline" in my head. I suppose it was an extended form of fantasizing or daydreaming. After surfing the Internet a few times and discovering several bulletin boards that displayed fic, I thought "Omigod, so this is what I've been doing all these years. I'm not so weird after all." And when I saw that other people were writing it all down and posting it, and others were enjoying reading it, I figured "What the heck? Could be fun." And the rest as they say is history.
What do you personally get out of writing fan fiction?
Playing god? Just kidding. (Well, only partially.) What I get out of writing in general and fan fiction in particular has changed and developed over the time that I've been doing it. First , there is that godlike element associated with writing. Being almighty creator and controller over the lives of a group of people, albeit fictional ones. They do what I say do. They feel what I say feel. They say what I say say. Power is a great feeling. At the same time, I'm not in as much control of the character as I tend to think I am. The longer I use/develop a character, the more I learn about him or her, the greater his ability to surprise me. I think he's headed one way, but he rebels and head in the opposite direction. So that element of surprise and mystery of not quite knowing what is going to happen is exists too. Most of the time, I'm along for the ride, just as much as the reader is. Also, it's interesting to see which of my own personal quirks, habits and "issues" come out in the writing. Sometimes the interjection of these are intentional, sometimes not. And when it comes to "issues," I suppose working it out on paper is almost as good as working it out in "Real Life." Writing is simply a great emotional and psychological release. Writing fan fiction, in particular, provides me with the opportunity to examine more closely characters and/or ideas raised in the show. The reason I chooe to write within in particular fandom is usually because I feel something is lacking. I'm left with some sort of unanswered question(s). And I try to fill that void with my writing. In essence, fan fiction offers some kind of closure to things often left open in the series. And last but not least, there is the completely selfish, totally ego-boasting element of getting fanmail. Of knowing people enjoy what I do. It's validating to know that my "baby," something that I've put my heart and soul into, is being well-received by other people. But, more importantly, I have an amazing amount of fun writing. As I said, it's an awesome joyride. And I do love sharing that.
What is it about Law & Order that inspired you to write FF?
One thing: Mike Logan. At first he was just a character. But as the series progressed and his character developed, or I would say, didn't develop, he grew more and more intriguing. And since the show's writers only gave the viewers mere glimpses into his character, a.k.a. personal life, I was left with a lot of questions about him. And the way I seek answers to those questions is by writing fan fiction with him at the center.
Law & Order has been called a plot-driven show. How does the fact that L&O is mainly about plot and not the characters affect your fanfic writing?
Well, it's the reason I write L&O fan fiction. If there weren't so many "holes" left about "who" the character (s) are, I probably wouldn't feel a need to write. Other than that, I don't think it affects my writing at all.
What are your future writing plans?
Other than to continue to write as much as time and Real Life allows, I have no clue. I'm at the mercy of my muse, forced to go where she leads.



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