Author has written 16 stories for Buffy X-overs, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Bridge to Terabithia, Bridge to Terabithia, Criminal Minds, Flashpoint, and Dirty Harry.
I don't think I fit the profile of the typical Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic writer; I'm 58, I'm a psychologist, and I'm also a retired major from the US Army reserve components. The biggest reason I'm so drawn to Buffy is that I'm originally from the Philippines and come from a long line of army scouts and guerrillas; my mother's grandfathers fought on opposite sides of the Philippine Insurrection of 1899-1901, and I had a couple of uncles who fought in the guerrilla forces during the Japanese invasion in World War II. I see Buffy and her Scooby Gang as a highly effective guerrilla unit and identify with them because of that.
For more personal info, please visit my homepage.
You should know that Tom isn't my real name. I took the pen name Mad Tom from a character in one of my fanfics, which I chose not to post on fanfic dot net but which can only be found my home page. (Follow the link to my home page here on this page if you want the full story.) The story was originally a crossover of The Wonder Years and Tour of Duty (the Vietnam War series); Mad Tom was originally Lieutenant Myron Goldman from Tour of Duty, who turns up as an ROTC instructor at the college where Kevin and Winnie from The Wonder Years end up going. But the backstories of the ToD characters didn't quite line up and I had to change the character names. Myron Goldman mutated into "Mad Tom" Ward, whose first and last names are actually the first and middle names of a Union Cavalry officer who was the highest-decorated soldier of the Civil War, and whose nickname had in turn been derived from an ROTC instructor at my own college whom we called "Mad Al".
Spoilers for Bridge to Terabithia!! (Update 7/10/07) I guess it's about time I made a comment here about my Bridge to Terabithia fanfics. As I've said in my Author's Notes within the stories, and in the "Across the Bridge" C2 Forum, as a school psychologist I'm supposed to be able to help kids through the grieving process, and on the surface, the 2007 movie version of BtT would be the type of movie I'd show to kids in group counseling as a discussion point. But I've pretty much decided against that. My problem with using it for that purpose is that Jess Aarons blew through the five stages of grief (denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance) in about one week whereas it normally takes a year, and two years is still considered within normal limits. (The book specifies a week while the movie is more ambiguous, but somehow the movie amplifies the problem.) Plus, there's the guilt that Jess feels over not taking Leslie to the museum with Miss Edmunds, and his father assuaging his guilt by saying "Thinking it doesn't make it so!" Ain't gonna happen like that! Jess is going to have to work through his guilt and gradually internalize what his father says, just like the five stages.
I realize that Katherine Paterson wrote the book as a catharsis to help her son David (and herself) cope with the sudden death of his childhood friend. She did a wonderful job in creating a story about two very lovable kids who develop a special friendship, but as a catharsis for grief she fell rather short. After posting my own Groundhogs at Terabithia and reading the other BtT fanfics, just about all of which fit one of three categories (Leslie Doesn't Die or LDD, Leslie is alive but only within the boundaries of Terabithia, and Jess has trouble accepting Leslie's death and has trouble forming other close relationships), they support my theory that the reader/moviegoer is rushed and forced through the grieving process (as is Jess), and that just can't be done! By Katherine Paterson (and her son David and the other screenwriters) having attempted to force the stages of grief, the reader/moviegoer is left hung up at denial, bargaining, anger or depression. The Bridge to Terabithia stories here on fanfic dot net indicate a need for fanfic writers and readers to find closure in their own ways, or in other words, a need for catharsis for Katherine Paterson's attempt at catharsis! Add to that my own belief that there is enough misery and tragedy in real life, and in some ways living through tragedy in fiction can be what we refer to in the military as "practice bleeding"!
One last comment, referring to my biographical info in the first paragraph above; let me restate what I said in the preface to Groundhogs at Terabithia: Yes, I know that "Banzai" means "May you live ten thousand years," but once upon a time where I was born, yelling it could get you shot, blown up, or decapitated by a bolo knife! (Saying it in front of someone of my ethnic background is roughly equivalent to walking into a synagogue and shouting "Heil Hitler!")
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