The Eyrie crew as a whole are an outspoken bunch. Kris "Redneck Gaijin" is no exception. Kris has made his opinions known on a wide variety of subjects on the FFML and other forums. He's also got the knowledge and writing experience to back up what he has to say, having worked off and on for various small and large publishing companies over the years. Whatever you do, don't underestimate this man. You may find yourself looking down the barrel of a tirade.

Q: First of all, how did you get into anime?
Redneck: I have said many times that my first three exposures to anime being Battle of the Planets, Robotech and Speed Racer, it's a miracle I ever gave it another chance. I really have a low tolerance for bad dub acting and chop-show rewrites.
How it started...
However, while in college in Austin I came across a comic called "Ninja High School". I liked it enough to get back into comics, and I began picking up other books by Ben Dunn and Antarctic Press. Eventually, I got into anime so I could understand the in-jokes thrown out by the various comics.
Q: Second, how did you get into fanfic?
Redneck: Leaving aside the occasional awful Star Trek or Tolkien fanfic, my first in-depth exposure to fan fiction was Undocumented Features (UF). I was prejudiced against self-inserts [SIs] (thanks to the aforementioned fics), and when I saw a printout of a Usenet post referring to the UF story 'Cybertron Dreams,' and its appearance of Jeremy Feeple [one of the Antarctic Press characters], on the bulletin board at the AP offices, I decided to look into it for myself.
By the time I'd finished reading the story and the four core stories, ideas were exploding inside my head. I'd been writing for pay in various forms since my senior year in high school, so I knew I could write well enough to get in... and as it happened, I managed to schmooze my way in -just as- the curtain dropped for good on new UF authors. I was the last one accepted, although the sheer volume in pages I've written since have helped me catch up on lost time.
Q: What kinds of things have you done for pay?
Redneck: Sports reporting, photography, brief telemarketing, briefer food service, poetry, opinion/editorial columns, anime review columns, comic scripts, 'secret shopper' service, auction worker, flea marketeer, poet... should I continue?
I haven't written op/ed for pay for many years now. When I was doing it, it was for small-town newspapers near where I grew up-the "Tyler County Booster", the (now defunct) "Kountze News", the "Big Thicket Magazine", and others along that general line. Later, I did some anime review columns for Antarctic Press' "Mangazine", and the plot synopses for the "Gold Digger Perfect Memory".
Leaving aside the material I write for my own publications, I'm currently working on material for Steve Jackson Games, to be used in supplements for their roleplaying game "In Nomine".
Q: What made you decide to "join" the Eyrie crew?
Redneck: I told them, point blank, that they might as well let me in because I was going to write something no matter what they did, and by letting me in at least they'd have a measure of control over me. It's just as well, since the first outline for 'Quagmire Project' bore little or no resemblance to the final novella.
Q: What was the original concept?
Redneck: Terrible. Next question?
Q: A statement like that begs to be clarified. <grin>
Redneck: Well, it isn't going to be. Next?
Q: What, in your opinion, is a "gweep"?
Redneck: A gweep is someone who finds joy in tinkering with computers, hardware or software. It does not require any specific level of skill in any discipline. I prefer to code all my web pages in Notepad, by hand, and before a college Pascal course killed it I had a serious interest in programming in school.
Q: If you still had the time/energy to change some of the stuff you've written, what would you change and why?
Redneck: I would totally rewrite Quagmire Project. I could double the length of the story filling out loose ends and unfulfilled potential with the various characters, especially the imports from "Tigers of Terra" and "801 TTS Airbats". Hell, just editing to weed out 'was'es and adjectives and adverbs would be nice, if I had a month or so to do it in...
Q: What do you read on a regular basis, both fanfiction and non-fan fiction?
Is that a Disc I see behind thee? Redneck: My favorite prose fiction authors are Paul Anderson, Lois McMaster Bujold, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. In nonfiction, I tend to study American history, especially Texas and Civil War history.
In fan fiction, I lurk the FFML and browse most Ranma fanfics... well, as far as the first paragraph, anyhow. If it takes more than three paragraphs to get to that paragraph, or if you need a glossary before you even begin, I've already deleted that file and gone to something else. I also follow Slayers fanfic now and again. My current favorite fic authors outside the group are Twoflower, Stefan Gagne, Sean Gaffney, Richard Beaubein, Miko, Caroline Seawright, and Zen.
Q:What works by them do you like?
Redneck: The ones that I read. Duh. }:-{D
Again, I don't have a list, especially since I've lost my fanfic archive twice in a six-month period.
Click to see the whole picture Q: Again, in your opinion, what work of your own do you consider to be the best?
Redneck: My best, at the moment, would be "Wilderness", a work which took three years of off-and-on work to bring out. When I began it (before Quagmire Project was finished, in 1996), one of the first things I mentioned in the draft was my (and my avatar) father's dying of cancer... when the .5 MB first draft was complete, he was diagnosed with the disease, and before I finished edits a combination of cancer and [Veterans Administration] incompetence had killed him. (The work was posted in March of 1999.) I had the help of most of the other writers in the group in assembling it; I think Zoner and Chris Meadows were the only ones in the group who didn't contribute some writing to the piece. The bulk of the writing, and all of the editing, is mine.
Q: Was it hard for you to write during this period in your life?
Redneck: What do you think?
Q: Okay.... moving right along, then. What was the idea behind "Wilderness"?
Redneck: The idea behind Wilderness was that I wanted to write a story which would, in one fell swoop, take the Redneck and the various incarnations of the CFMF and bring them from 2006 to 2388 (the end of UF IV) and thus catch up with the rest of the group.
The result is a mega-epic story which reads similarly to the original Highlander movie; many, many flashbacks only tangentally related to the main plot, which itself is confined to the month of August, 2388.
If you want more than that, I recommend you go to www.eyrie-productions.net and read for yourself. It's only 500K. Do it for Uncle Sam. <grin>
Q: What work of others in Eyrie do you consider to be the best? If there are any other fanfics out there by other authors you like, which of those works do you consider to be the best?
Redneck: If you'd asked a year ago, back before the first of my two hard drive crashes, I could have told you without a doubt what my favorite non-lemon fan fiction was. As it is, I'll start with three outside the group: the "Slayers Trilogy" by Twoflower (I think, it's late) for non-SI, and "Twisted Path" [by Twister] and "BubbleGum Zone" [by SkyKnight] for SI stories.
Within the group, it's somewhat easier to pick. The very, very best Eyrie work IMHO is not a UF story; it's "Gods Willing V: We'll Always Have Boston". The best UF story is a bit tougher, especially since I can't name works-in-progress to it, to say nothing of works I had a direct hand in... hm... in that light, I would have to pick "Secrets", the Exile story in which Gryphon finally manages to prove his own innocence and begin the reconstruction of the [Wedge Defense Force].
Q: You mentioned that you read lemons. What's your favorite lemon story? And aren't you the one who wrote "Bubblegum Pink"?
Redneck: It depends on how you say it.
My favorite LEMON stories are the Lemonade Punch series by Paladin, for sheer silliness and mass sex content. My favorite lemon STORIES are Caroline Seawright's University stories.
And I co-wrote Bubblegum Pink with Larry Mann. You can ask him more about it if you like, or better yet ask the denizens of alt.fan.bgcrisis.
Q: Oh, I will ask him about it, but I'll also ask you this question: Why did you decide to write an erotica piece? Was it difficult or easy to do?
Redneck: I wrote an erotic piece because I thought it would be funny.
Technically speaking, I don't write erotica, I write fsck-stories. I can't write serious erotica at all, mostly because I feel the concept of a story where sex is the plot is ludicrous from the start. Any sex story I write will be a comedy, and probably just as over-the-top as BGP was.
Q: Why do you like SI stories if you say you were "prejudiced against self-inserts" at first? What changed your mind?
Redneck: SI, for me, is a form of roleplaying--at least in its first stages. It's a much more personal form of normal writing, where everything has to be taken from personal experience and understanding of human nature if it's going to be any good at all. With an SI, you can manage a good story, even an entertaining one...
I guess the difference between UF and the Mary Sue-type stories from Trek is the perspective. In your usual [Star Trek] insert, you're only dropping the author into the setting, and then forcing the characters to bend to the will of the author-avatar. (That happened a bit with "Twisted Path" as well, but the results were better handled than most others- instead of rescuing Ranma, Twister had to be rescued by Ranma, something you would never see in a Mary-Sue story, but I digress...)
In UF, it was the other way around, at least to begin with--anime characters were dropped into our world. Naturally they took over the show, learning how things worked in their new environment, causing the opposite sex to gape and swoon (sorry Gryph & MZ!), etc.--all the things actual anime heroes are permitted to do, but which author avatars are NOT.
In order to survive, the protagonists basically became anime characters, but somehow managed to retain the relative 'normalcy' and immunity from cliche to keep the touchstone with the reader. Yes, we're a load of immortal glory-hounds with delusions of godhood sometimes, but we still appreciate the joys of a quiet evening in a cozy chair with Phil Collins on the noise box, a plate of leftover beef pepper steak in our laps, and a copy of Hornblower and the Atropos held open in one hand.
It really doesn't take too much for author-avatars to deviate wildly from the norm- in UF, the Redneck is the straight man for a fleet full of certifiable loonies, whereas [in real life] I'm a sarcastic wiseass incapable of letting an opening go by without either making a remark or pointing out I could have. Moreover, story characters are generally much more intense than real life is--they have to be, to hold the attention of the readers. Now, UF is to me just another fun thing to write, when I have time away from my business and other writing projects.
Q: Tell me more about these loonies. Are they based off of people you know?
Redneck: In general, no--a few are of my own creation, but most are based off of characters from outside sources. In Quagmire Project, for instance, I brought in the Airbats and one J. J. Condorcet from Tigers of Terra/Luftwaffe 1946/World War II 1946, among many others. In Wilderness, I set up quite a few new introductions--Gina Shannon, the Kizugi sisters from "Silbuster", a young Theodore Diggers and his girlfriend Julia, etc. Other characters--notably Captain Aya Nakajima (from Star Trekker: the Manga Parody) play a larger role.
Q: What sort of things do you currently have on your "writing" plate?
Redneck: Professionally, [role playing game] articles, the final version of the parody card game HENSHIN! (I'm a Magical Girl!), and various stories and scripts for White Lightning Productions publications.
In fanfic, I'm working on a number of UF projects, as well as a couple of non-UF bits in the Eyrie schedule. I could tell you about them, but then I'd have to shoot you.
Q: Fire at will. <grin> Can you say which "titles" they're for?
Redneck: No.
Q: What anime series have you seen that you would never want to see Eyrie get a hold of and tweak?
Redneck: Hm... that's really a short list. I guess I'd have to say the entire works of CLAMP, just because I really don't like anything they've done.
Q: I talked to a couple female fanfic writers who expounded on why they write fanfic. Why do you write fanfic?
Redneck: Because I can't stop myself from doing it. If I had a choice, I'd have written at least two saleable novels instead of the two fanfic novels and assorted other contributions I've made to UF.
Q: As you probably already know, DJ Croft, from your "Neon Exodus Evangelion" was voted Worst New Character in the 1999 Chicken Ball Awards. What is your personal reply to that?
Redneck: What it is, is unprintable, considering how the Awards originally handled it, and especially considering DJ was NOT EVEN ELIGIBLE BY THEIR OWN RULES.
Q: If you had to give some advice to people who are just starting out in fanfic, what would it be?
Redneck: Rewrite yourselves. You are not done with the material with the first draft, and spelling and grammar checks are not a substitute for actually editing and fleshing out a story. If you can't help yourself from writing, then put your best effort into it.


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