I'll put this one behind a cut as it's my second post of the night, and also because I've rambled on a bit and it would be far too long otherwise.
1. What's the favorite story you've ever written and why?
A really, really, hard choice. Merry Sport was the most fun to write. Mirror in the Bathroom is the one that really made me think I've got what it takes, so it has a special place in my heart. Fight for the Right to Party is the one I most enjoy re-reading. I was made for loving you baby seems to be the most popular.
But I suppose in the end it has to be Pandora's Boxer, my magnum opus, the one I've put most work into.
2. What questions are you most frequently asked?
"Where did you come up with your pen-name?"
The Kzin hero of Larry Niven's 'Ringworld' books is 'Speaker-to-Animals'. I work in a Call Centre. 'Speaker-to-Customers' was an obvious choice.
"When are you going to do another BuffyBot story?"
Once I've got 'It's Got to be Perfect' finished (3 chapters to go) I'm going to alternate between the BuffyBot stories and 'Pandora's Boxer', with occasional digressions for things like the 'Merry Sport' sequel 'The Immigrant Song'.
3. What're your thoughts on betas?
Mine suddenly stopped replying to e-mails and I don't know why. My wife betas for me now; she seems to do a good enough job.
4. How important is canon?
I usually stick rigidly to canon up to the point where my story diverges. Even the Roxyverse is canon in so far as Sunnydale goes right up to the point where the Whitby crew first come into contact with the Scoobies in Walk Through The Fire. Faith's brief flatlining in her coma that starts another line of Slayers has no effect on Sunnydale canon prior to that point at all.
One canon item that I will not accept is the absolute importance of a soul. I don't see why soulless characters cannot act morally if motivated by enlightened self interest, love, friendship, or their admiration for good characters. I don't care what ME say; Pol Pot had a soul, Colonel the Reverend John M. Chivington of the 3rd Colorado Volunteer Cavalry (the man who ordered the Sands Creek massacre) had a soul, the men who tied Matthew Shepard to a fence and left him to die had souls; I really don't see Joss's point.
5. What're your fanfic pet peeves?
Gratuitous character-bashing being used as a selling point (OMG! Riley bashing soon LOL!). Regertz's obsessive use of ellipses, making some very good stories almost impossible to read.
6. What's your favorite (ie: 1) story you've ever read and why?
Another really, really, tough one.
Everything theohara writes is fantastic, but she hasn't finished anything yet so I can't put her top. enigmaticblues has written some wonderful stories, especially 'The Great Advantage of Being Alive' and 'Cast Me Not Away'. mommanerd's 'Andrew' stories are mindblowingly funny. Terri Botta's Here is Gone has had a big influence on me, and has the single most chilling line in any fic I've ever read: "She flinched when she heard the closing of the training room door". Doesn't mean much out of context, but when you read the story and come to that line I guarantee you'll feel a chill down your spine and your stomach will knot up.
rahirah's 'Necessary Evils' is stupendous, the sequel 'A Parliament of Monsters' looks like being even better. spikewriter has some WIPs of quite awesome quality. treacle_a's WIP 'Mortal Wounds' shows enormous promise. kantayra has a huge store of brilliant stories. I love indri's 'Shagging Harmony Kendall'; I adore nihilistbear's 'A day in the life of someone just like me'.
Reading missmurchison's 'Quick and Bitter, Slow and Sweet' is better than having a threesome with two Miss World finalists while eating Belgian Chocolate, listening to Big Country, and hearing the news that Newcastle United have won the FA cup would be.
And there are lots of other great fics, many by people on my Flist.
But somehow I have to narrow it down to one, and in the end it has to be Miranda's Quiet as a Mouse
7. What quote applies most to you and why?
"Someone who wanted to get his cock between his girl's boobs, I'll bet".
(Jocasta to Jack in my wife's story The Greatest Flame
I think the 'why' is best left unsaid.
8. Do you outline/brainstorm?
I plan the whole story in my head before I start writing, jot down notes of key sequences and snatches of dialogue for several chapters ahead, and often write a rough draft of the end before I start the beginning.
9. Computer or pen and paper?
Computer, of course. I couldn't do this by hand. I once wrote a novel with an electric typewriter, while working only one day a week, concentrating on the novel; it took a year and it was only marginally longer than the part of 'It's Got to be Perfect' that I've completed so far in only 3 months. I'm a fast typist, but it's so much easier with a word processor for editing, correcting errors, etc.
10. What's your muse's name and favorite temptation to be creative?
Speaker-to-Customers is my muse, not the real me. I'm most creative when out walking, or on the bus on the way to work. Although odd things I see on TV etc. strike sparks of inspiration at unpredictable times.