Author has written 4 stories for Batman Begins/Dark Knight, and Batman.
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~ How long does it take to write a single chapter of "Dear Joker"?
Longer than it appears. On average, about 4 to 4 1/2 hours of work goes into every chapter. (Some require a lot more time than that.) Half of the time it takes to write the chapters is spent on the formatting. MS Word automatically corrects purposeful misspellings and random capitalization (the hallmark of the Joker's scattered thought pattern), so I draft the skeleton of the story in Word, then upload it into the FF word editor. This is where all the editing takes place. It's very time-consuming to capitalize random letters, and select certain (hidden) phrases with bold font, but every bit of formatting is done with precision and with a purpose. Often I increase the length of the letter between 50-75% with additional thoughts after it's been uploaded into the FF editor.
~ Why does it seem to take so long for updates to "Dear Joker"?
Unfortunately, my career is fairly demanding. In the nearly 10 years I've been with my current employer, I've worked a 40-hour work week only about 3 times. Overtime is expected, and it's not compensated. (See what some of you have to look forward to when you're out of school?) I'm in front of a computer for at least 8 hours at work every day, usually working with multiple spreadsheets in a reduced-size font, so there are many days when I literally cannot see font on a computer screen when I return home from work. I've written a few chapters of "Dear Joker" with tears running down my face, because my eyes are so strained that they sting horribly. On the weekends, I run errands to finish the things I couldn't do during the week, so finding spare time to write is very challenging sometimes.
~ How do you select which letters to answer in each new chapter of "Dear Joker"?
Up until Chapter 37, I was trying to be fair by answering every question in the exact order in which they were received. However, this is creating a tremendous bottleneck. Also, many of the letters have the same theme: namely, written from the point of view of either a reader or a fictitious character who is infatuated with the Joker and either proclaims it to the Joker, or says something to provoke him. Now, don't get me wrong -- I *completely* understand the appeal of wanting to engage the Joker directly in some frisky banter. However, there is a finite number of creative responses that I can summon to the same type of question. I also want to provide a bit of variety for the readers. Please know that if I pass over your letter, it's nothing personal! Going forward, I'm trying to pick the letters that will offer different replies.
~ Does it get on your nerves when readers write only a brief comment as a review?
Never. I don't know if I can possibly understate this: I THRIVE ON REVIEWS. Truly, they mean a lot to me. It's great to know that people are reading my stories, but it means so much more to get feedback, as validation that someone connected with something in the Joker's reply. I'd rather get a review of "Hellz yeah!" or "Ha ha, a bat-schlong!" than nothing at all. However, if someone waxes philosophic about something I wrote, or if they expound with a lot of detail, it's the literary equivalent of a Girl Scout Samoa cookie. :)
~ Do you reply to all reviews?
I do everything I can to reply to everyone. If a reply is just a straight-up question to the Joker, I won't reply until the question comes up and becomes a chapter. However, if a reader has chosen to spend their time reading one of my stories, and furthermore takes time to comment on it, I feel that I owe them a thank you for the courtesy of feedback. (The Joker wouldn't recommend replying to every review, but Ms. Grace would. I think that she's got the better hold of polite etiquette of the two, so I prefer to reply to everyone. Don't tell the Joker I just dissed him.) However, sometimes (for the time-constraint issues I mentioned above) it may take a while for me to reply. If I have not yet replied to one of your reviews -- no matter for which story they were submitted -- please know that I appreciate your feedback and will send you a note as quickly as I can. However, if a reviewer is not signed in when they leave their review, I won't have a link to click on to send a direct reply. Also, if you've disabled Private Messaging (PM) in your profile, I will not be able to reply to you.
~ How much do you write in your replies to readers' reviews?
I write as much as my time allows. Please know that a short reply from me does *not* mean that I don't appreciate your input. I appreciate all comments. Particularly the positive ones. However, for the sake of time-management, I'm afraid I just can't reply to all reviews to the degree for which I wish I had the time.
~ What's the deal with "Not Playing with a Full Deck"? Is it ever going to get another update?
ABSOLUTELY. Believe it or not, "NPwaFD" is my true writing passion, much more so than "Dear Joker" -- as much fun as "Dear Joker" is to write. "NPwaFD" is a fairly complex story, with multiple story lines and characters to manage, so there is a tremendous amount of planning that goes into each chapter. The last few chapters I wrote took between eighteen to twenty-two HOURS to write. That's for EACH chapter. The plot is very heavily driven by details, and it's important that all the details be accounted for. The next chapter is going to be a pivotal one, where Batman, the Joker and Lois get down and dirty. I am looking forward to writing it tremendously.
~ Is the next chapter of "NPwaFD" going to be the end of the story?
Not. Even. Close.
~ Do you like artwork based on your stories?
To me, having a reader create an original work of art based on something I've written -- whether dramatic or comedic -- is about the highest form of praise I can think of. If you are so inspired, PLEASE feel free to let me know if you've drawn, painted or created anything based on my writings! I will link to your pictures in my profile below, so that all other readers can enjoy them as well!
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I want to take the space here to pass along a genuine Thank You to everyone who is reading my stories! Knowing that people are reading these stories is very fulfilling. Seeing that people take the time not only to read, but also review, is incredibly flattering, and I really appreciate it. You've all been so understanding and patient in waiting for story updates. I appreciate it so much, and your loyalty does more for my spirits than I can put into words.
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One of the greatest compliments I could receive is to see that a story of mine has inspired a reader to submit a graphic depiction of a particular scene. I am thrilled that there are some very talented readers who were generous enough to share their drawings with me! I invite you to view them -- they're wonderful.
(If there's anyone else who feels compelled to draw something inspired by a story of mine, I would be flattered if you'd submit it to me. I will definitely put the link up for others to view!)
Not Playing with a Full Deck
Take a look at the following works of art, based on this story of the Joker exacting revenge on Lois Lane for an insulting broadcast about him.
The first were submitted by Kichi, a fellow FanFiction author (check out her stories!), who was generous enough to take the time to make the following drawings and share them on her Deviant Art account. Thanks, Kichi, for creating this fantastic visuals for the story!
1. Who knew that an abused, battered and scarred body could look so enticing?
2. Here's a great picture of the Joker taunting Lois Lane... his favorite pastime in this story:
3. Here he is looking quite badass, yet with a hint of a come-hither look:
4. As Lois is pushed further to the brink of guilt-induced madness, the Joker enjoys shoving her closer and closer to the edge with his verbal digs:
5. Make sure you enlarge this one to see all the detail! This one is from Chapter 47, where the Joker confronts his new hostage -- the Batman!
And now there's a new submission to add to the group, from Absoluteroro. Thank you so much for sharing this great picture, based on Chapter 42, where the Joker disrobes in front of Lois!
Here is a truly jaw-dropping graphic manipulation, based on the pivotal moment in Chapter 5 ("A New Insult"), when the Joker sees the broadcast of Metropolis Live, which gets the whole story rolling. Thank you, lisbuff!
This interactive story now has a few graphics as well, thanks to a drawings made by Kichi. Be sure to check out the rest of her artwork!
1. This drawing depicts a scene described by the Joker in his reply to Dr. Crane's letter in Chapter 17:
2. This drawing illustrates a suggestion from the Joker's reply to Dr. Crane's other half, the Scarecrow, in Chapter 21:
The wonderful Lauralot also submitted her own work, based on the Joker answering an advice question she submitted:
mY fAVoritE tHinGS
Kichi was generous enough to make another drawing for one of my stories -- look at what she came up with for this little ditty the Joker likes to sing:
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Heroes or Villains? Villains, definitely. Always.
Favorite Film Villains: Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins is a genius), The Joker (Heath Ledger's rendering was jaw-dropping), Dracula (and most renditions of vampires) and from childhood, I've got to add Darth Vader (as a kid, I thought he was the ultimate guy not to cross)
Favorite type of stories: Anything dark and twisted; those stories that push the minds of the author, as much as those of the readers; always liked vampire stories.
Favorite books: Phantom, The Mummy: Ramses The Damned, The Silence of the Lambs, Kiss the Girls, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal... and my all-time favorite book, by my favorite author Stephen King, is Gerald's Game. Unfortunately, I average reading about 1 book per year, maybe 2 if I'm lucky. Work takes up almost all my time. I'm about the only person in the US who hasn't read a single Harry Potter book. It would take me 7 years to do so.
Admired authors: Stephen King, James Patterson, Franz Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice, Christopher Moore
Favorite tunes: Anything haunting or trance; some favorite groups include a-ha, Sarah McLachlan, Depeche Mode, The Tea Party, U2 and Chris Isaak... which actually seems pretty upbeat considering how dark I usually like my art and music.
Favorite artists: Miro, Dufy, Kandinsky, Gockel, Behrens. I tend to be drawn to bold works of asymmetry and color. I don't know how people go through a life painted in beige, from their homes to their personalities.
Age: Walt Disney World and I have the same birth year. You do the math.
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