Gather round kids, we’re going to tell you a story from the X-Files Fandom days of old. For the “old timers” like me, join in and smile at the remembrances of EMXC, Gossamer, and the old alt.tv newsgroups. This week’s author was there for all of it. Vickie Moseley and her stories were a staple in the fandom for years. Her fantastic body of work will keep you occupied for ages, with 252 credits to her name on Gossamer alone. Vickie also contributed to the “Virtual Seasons” project that spun off to continue the stories of Mulder and Scully in a different direction when Season 8 took to the TV airwaves. If you’ve never explored their seasons, bookmark that page for when you’ve finished reading this interview and then dive in.
If you like family fic, “Flight Into Egypt” is a long series I revisit frequently when I need to forget that Mulder and Scully didn’t get to raise their son. It soothes that pain quite nicely. Another favorite series is “By Her Side” which is told through Billy Scully Jr.’s eyes. Vickie does a wonderful job looking at Big Brother Bill as someone other than a jerk and fandom’s favorite punching bag. In “Joy and Sorrow,” Maggie Scully guides us through the moments of Mulder’s rebirth in “Dead Alive.” It’s touching and sweet and will have you wishing they would have given us more screen time with Mom Scully in Season 8.
I could go on and on with recs but I’ll cut to the chase and get to the interview. We talked with Vickie about writing, inspiration, fandom, and of course The X-Files.
How long have you been a Phile?
I stumbled onto the fandom in March 1995. I’d been a fan of the show since it first aired (actually, I was a fan once I read the TV Guide Fall Preview issue for Fall 1993 and saw the small blurb about the ‘new science fiction show about aliens’). When my husband 'gave’ me the internet for my birthday I immediately typed 'X-Files’ into the yahoo search engine and after some sites dedicated to the actors and character bios, the old Rutgers Fan Fiction site came up. From there, I was hooked.
What was your first episode?
The Pilot. I saw every episode as it aired up to Season 8. I watched “Within” and couldn’t stand the changes so I resorted to reading about the episodes on Haven until David Duchovny reappeared. I am very much a Mulderist. I have only watched “Trust No 1” and “The Truth” from Season 9.
How long have you been writing fic?
September 1995 was my first posting – “Aftermath.” You can read it, warts and all. I was attempting to write a fill in the blank for the summer after the season 2 finale “Anasazi.” Within a week of posting the story became 'alt.universe’ because Chris Carter went in a totally different direction than I had taken.
What inspired you to start writing?
Guilt. Back then we were a small community. People were always begging for more stories (myself included) and since there weren’t that many writers, everyone was encouraged to 'give back’ by writing stories of their own. I got a lot of encouragement from the early writers and the brave souls who had fan fic sites. Later, with the Ohio State archives (this archive was the birth of what became Gossamer, check here for more information ) and the .alt.x-files.fanfiction newsgroup and EMXC (E-Mail X Creative) it was almost a requirement that if you wanted more stories, you better write some of them.
Who is your favorite XF character to write?
My favorite character to write is Scully. I can get in her head. I can hear her voice as clear as a bell as I’m writing her. She’s not my favorite character, however. I think I see too much of myself. All the flaws and dark places that I would like to change in myself, I transpose onto Scully. Sometimes I just want to shake her!
Are there any XF characters you dislike or find too difficult to write?
Krycek was always a problem to write, even in the Virtual Seasons. And I can’t write Doggett. I’ve tried but my annoyance with the character always shines through. Same is true of Diana Fowley. I once vowed to kill her off in a story and damned if she didn’t slip the noose and come out alive. I was very happy Carter did the deed for me.
Is there a story you’re most proud of or that’s a favorite?
“Out of the Cold” is probably my favorite of the stories that I wrote solo. But the most fun was writing with a partner. I’ve had such wonderful partners and group writing exercises. I am also very proud of the work we did on the Virtual Season.
With so many archives to choose from these days, where is the best place to find your work?
You’ve been well known in the fandom for a long time, do you still write for XF or have your skills been focused elsewhere?
Lately, I’ve been involved in politics to the exclusion of other activities. I worked on a local race last fall and I’ve been advocating for healthcare since January. I’m also doing work on a grant project and I keep an eye on our legislature so all of that keeps me away from fan fiction.
If you do still write XF fic, where does your inspiration come from after many years? If you’re not, is there anything in particular that caused you to stop writing XF fic?
I haven’t written much in the past few years. I could chalk it up to writer’s block but it feels like more than that. I still love the fandom and I reread a lot of my favorites. I guess I was hoping for a real revival. I was excited by the prospect of a Season 10 with the original cast, but once it aired I found I really only liked two of the episodes and the way the relationship was presented between Mulder and Scully just left so very little room to play. It didn’t mimic real life, it was sadder than real life. There seemed no way to 'rescue’ them and that’s the type of story I prefer to write. I’m not big on 'angst for angst sake’ and it almost seemed on overdrive in S10, especially the season opener and finale. So I haven’t been able to come up with anything by myself. I did help a little with the last Virtual Season story “Aveum” that was posted recently. Not to spoil too much, the story contains an infant and at the time it was being written I was helping my daughter and her new baby so it was almost too easy to write.
Have you written your own original characters outside of fandom?
Only as far as drawing up a few characters. One day I’ll do something with them … maybe.
Anything you’d like to share about your writing process?
I tend to write the stories that play out in my mind. Most of the time I just start typing and 'the characters’ take over and write the story. There have been times I read what I’ve written and think “wow, where did that come from?” But I write as therapy. I used to joke that fan fiction is much cheaper than Zoloft or a therapist. It was a way to escape after a particularly painful episode in my life and after it got me over the hump, I just kept going.
What do you find most difficult about writing?
Making it happen when it’s not there. When it’s there ('it’ being the spark, the life force, whatever you want to call it – the Muse), when the story is inside me sometimes I can’t get to the computer fast enough, I can’t type it fast enough (as my beta readers will attest). But when I sit and stare at a blank screen, even when I have an idea floating around in my head and it just won’t happen – then it just hurts.
Do you have a favorite author? (fanfic or published!)
My favorite authors published are Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke (hardcore sci-fi – no dragons, no elves).
My favorite fan fic writers are too numerous to mention (go to the Authors Index at Gossamer and start with A). I love reading Dawn’s “Blood Ties” series – I read it every year at least once. I read Susan Proto’s “Life Cycles” over and over again. I’ve read all of MalibuSunet’s stories a dozen times. Same is true of Suzanne Bickerstaff’s “The Magician” (the ONLY fantasy I’ll admit to reading). Dee_Ayy’s stories are my Mulder fix, especially “Short of Breath.” I’m right now rereading Kronos’ “The Abyss Looks Back.” All of her stories just draw me in and won’t let go. I’m still mourning that she never finished “Ascent into Hell.”
Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring writers?
They say “write every day” and I would imagine that’s good advice, but I would say simply “write.” Write even if you don’t know where the story is going, or if you just have an idea for a character or just the setting or even just an outline of a plot. My youngest son is going to college for game design but all his life he’s had ideas for games and stories. He tells me his stories in the car and I try to get him to write them down. My second to the youngest son actually has written a few stories – now I just want him to finish them and get them published.
Anything else you’d like to share that I missed?
I have met so many dear friends in this fandom, particularly through fan fiction, writers and those who read. I love them all. I would like to thank everyone I partnered with: Susan Proto, Donna Honeycutt, Sally Bahnsen, Summer, Michelle, Starfleetofficer1, Martin, Theresa Jahn, Suzanne Bickerstaff, dtg, all the VS producers – if I forget anyone chalk it up to my advanced years. Writing with someone is by far the most fun anyone could have. I used to joke that it was like playing 'Barbie and Ken’ in the backyard with my cousins.
Also, I would like to thank all the people over the years who have read my stories and sent me feedback. You have no idea how much those emails brightened my day! It is such a rush to know that someone somewhere (some pretty far away, even) read something I wrote and liked it enough to send me a note. The nearly instant gratification that comes with feedback is one of the reasons I wrote so much. I just loved hearing from people.
I’ve had other shows I loved, Star Trek (original and Next Gen), Battlestar Galactica, Probe (if anyone remembers that one) but X-Files was the first time I got so engaged I wanted to be part of it. From that perspective, fanfiction kept the series alive for me and brought me into a wonderful community. Oh, there have been some all out wars (shipper v. noromos, Mulder v. Doggett, original pairings v. next gen, etc) but overall in fan fiction there really is room for everyone. If you like slash stories, or stories that center around Skinner or even stories around Kim, his assistant, fan fiction is the place. When Melissa Scully was killed off in the series, she lived on in fan fiction. When baby William was given up for adoption, he was reunited with his biological parents many times over in fan fiction. Some of the stories are so well done that you will swear you saw the episode (what season did Mulder’s brother Grey show up? < wink >) If you have never picked up a fanfic and read it, I encourage you to do so now. If you haven’t read anything for a while, go to Gossamer and find something. It will be like the series never ended.
Thank you so much to Vickie for talking with us!