Who is Skybluerae? Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well let's see - I'm a grown woman that sometimes acts like a 15 year old girl with all my silliness and the giggling and fan girl squeeing - and I wouldn't have it any other way. My fan girl affection is spread over a good bit of the Marvel universe, but Rogue and Wolverine were my first 'ship. I also write a lot of Sabretooth fic and a wee bit of Magneto.

I have a wonderful husband who sometimes reads my fan fiction, as well as other people's; to which he gives 'the look', then grins and calls us all a bunch of dirty tarts for thinking of comic book men in this way. I ramble a lot and tend to get wordy, as you will see in this interview. I tried to keep it short, but …


You've said that you only discovered fan fiction in 2006. What got you started reading and writing it?

I stumbled across the WRFA via a Harry Potter fan site called 'Leaky Cauldron' in June of '06. There was a message board topic on Leaky re: X-Men 3 and several of the posters were carrying on about the unjust treatment of the Wolverine/Rogue arc in the movie and Rogue's role being painfully small so as to not interfere with the supposed Wolverine/Jean love saga. I thought to myself, "'oh my gosh - lots of other people notice all that mad Wolverine/Rogue chemistry that I love so much, too?!" (yes, plenty of you are thinking DUH! right about now) So I did a google search to see if it was true. Lo and behold, there was WRFA; an entire site dedicated to shipping a pair that I'd shipped since 2000, before I even knew what shipping was! I was so excited that there were others like me (lots of others!) and mad at myself for not waking up and finding this sooner!

I read and read and read; all the classics, the prolific writers, the angst, the foof, the smut - I couldn't get enough. However, since it was just after the release of X3, there weren't many post X-3 fics and a lot of the writers had grown silent over the years. I realized that I had something to say about our pair and how things should've gone in the movie. That is how my first fic was inspired; basically a need to salvage my 'ship.

How has the writing experience been? What is it you enjoy the most, the least and why?

The experience of writing continues to surprise me. It makes me so ridiculously happy to write. It is at times therapeutic and emotional and other times it is just fun. I'm a late bloomer to writing. Sure, I had to write in high school, but I was a biology major in college so I left creative writing behind after my freshman year. The only writing I did after college was in a personal journal, but I wrote in it every day. I'm not one of these that wrote stories from the age of 9 up until now. I have always imagined stories though; I realize that as I look back. Being an only child I used to create stories in my head to tell my friends (real and imaginary), my stuffed animals, my parents … since I'm a talker, I would weave elaborate tales that I insisted they listen to. I always had fiction in my mind, but I guess I was what you'd call an oral story teller.

I enjoy the creativity of writing the most, being able to take the players wherever you want to go. There is no limit. It's not like in dancing where I'm stuck with what my body will do; my mind can go pretty much anywhere. The only thing I don't like is when the muse leaves me. It happens and I know it's normal, but I don't like it when there isn't some story churning in my mind.

Why write in this fandom? What do you find compelling about Logan and Rogue as characters?

I've seen tons of movies and television shows over the years that I didn't think delved into the personal life or romance of the characters enough. So, I'd sort of make up a story for them in my head, never realizing I was creating fan fiction. Logan and Rogue were the first ones I ever got serious about and wrote down; simply because I felt there was this whole complex side to each of them that was left totally unexplored. Bryan Singer did a fabulous job of giving us glimpses, hints. Shipper teasing us! He is excellent at that and it makes your imagination run wild with the 'what ifs' and what might happen between scenes and afterwards.

I'd say their chemistry was what compelled me the most. All that underlying emotion, their similarities and differences; he's dark and she's light - in certain areas, in others she is the darker one. She can relate to him, but she is young and he is super humanly old. And of course there is the 'forbidden' love thing. Forbidden because of how others may see it and maybe forbidden on his end because he'd have issues about having someone like Rogue love him. Oh the reasons go on and on and I could ramble on and on too.

What and/or whose POV do you most often use when writing your stories and why?

I mostly do 3rd person because I like to get into each of their heads. I want to know what their both thinking. I have written Logan's POV before and I enjoy that. He's got a wry sense of humor that appeals to me.

Can you tell us about how you write, what goes through your head when you do, how a story starts and how it builds, etc.?

Usually an idea pops into my head as I'm driving. I day dream A LOT (probably not the safest thing to do on the road). Songs will trigger an idea and I let my mind run with it. I picture it in my head like a movie. I'd say 9 times out of 10 the next thing that comes to me is dialogue. The character interaction or what they think about a particular situation. I can hear Rogue reacting or saying something in response to whatever Logan has or hasn't done. Only a few times have I written a story without knowing how it's going to end. If I don't have it roughly sketched out in my head, I don't write it. I may jot down key dialogue or scenes maybe make a timeline or something, but I don't start seriously writing until it's fairly cohesive in my head. Because of that, I'll stew on an idea for awhile. With "Given", the idea of a cured Rogue several years in the future living this "normal" life, that image and characterization hung out with me for months and months before I wrote anything down. I was intimidated by it, so I just put it off.

What has been your most unusual source of inspiration for a story?

A pair of shoes … or maybe a pair of socks. "Those Shoes" and the frisky story of BobbySocks!Rogue in "Sexy & 17" were both inspired by articles of clothing and then grew from there. I love the idea of Logan's carefully constructed control struggling against a Rogue who is perfectly aware of what she is doing to the poor man.

You have several author friends who serve as beta readers. Can you give us an idea how they help you with your writing?

I've used about 4 or 5 different betas and each brings something different. Jaq was my first beta and she is awesome. Since I was a fledgling writer, she was terrifically patient and helped me with grammar and keeping my story on track. Her writing is always very sharp, focused, and polished. Mine was not and I tend to meander so she helped me become more effective with my writing. Gamma and Dakashy have beta'd a few for me too. Both of these women are spelling and grammar whizzes and I know I had to drive them nuts with editing. I can get carried away with writing and my first drafts probably made their inner English teacher cringe. I catch myself on rereads though! Wolveriness beta'd 'Torn', which was a huge undertaking. Again, I needed grammar help and she's gifted with that. Since it was such a lengthy fic, she'd also tell us if a chapter would appear to be headed off course so we could correct it. Laenwyn, my co-author for Torn, is a meanderer like me, so we needed that second set of eyes to keep us focused.

Laenwyn has also beta'd for me, especially when I've struck out into the realm of angst and darker tones. That genre is a strength of hers and I went begging for her opinion when I started my first angst fic because I was afraid it was junk. She warned me that the technical was not her strength, but I said her talent for imagery and prose more than makes up for that. She'd toss out an idea or say "go further with this description", etc. and it really brought more color to my writing. Now I'm more comfortable with my angsty side.

You co-authored the story, "Torn", with laenwyn, one of your regular betas. How did that work? (i.e. plot out the story together, split up the sections or POVs, etc.)

It started with an online chat of 'what if?' while I was beta reading a fic of hers. Then one of us said we ought to quit talking about it and just co-write the story already. From there it evolved into ideas, we plotted a rough time line together, and then we detailed various scenes and dialogues we could each see occurring. There were many, many brainstorming sessions and lots of giddy, ALL CAPS emails due to excitement. We realized along the way that we were on the exact same brain wave as far as what we wanted the story to be. Plenty of times she'd finish a thought for me and vice versa. It was scary at first, but then we just accepted that when you both see the characters so clearly, the brain wave thing just happens. We both share a love for all things Logan and Rogue related, but also have a deep affection (if you can use that word in relation) for Victor Creed.

We wrote "Torn" using google docs so I could write a bit, she'd add on or 'tweak' certain parts, and then she'd write some and I'd edit her parts. Certain scenes and interactions were much more clear to one or the other of us so we'd let that person have the scene. When a chapter was finished, we'd send it to Wolveriness for beta and then whoever was posting the chapter would rework her edits/suggestions. Thinking back on it, all three of us worked together very smoothly. There was no big sticking point and Laenwyn and I never had a point that we disagreed upon. I'd say this was due to all the earlier brainstorming and planning.

Did you write differently with a co-writer than you do alone? Was it easier or harder?

I think I write exactly the same if it's alone or with a co-writer. I'm sure if you look carefully at parts of "Torn" you can tell what is very Laenwyn-ish and what is obviously me. But there are parts where neither one of us can tell the difference. At one time we were writing later chapters, and I emailed her to gush over this one passage she'd written just a few chapters before. She emailed me back and said, "Uhhh - I'm pretty sure YOU wrote that part … didn't you?" To this day it is anyone's guess who wrote it. I find it easy to write with a co-author, but I've also lucked out on co-authors. I've written shorter fics with both Dakashy and Valeria and had great experiences. The collaboration and sharing, creativity, and the silliness that sometimes ensues - it is all enjoyable. It's why I write; because it makes me happy.

Did any part of writing the story provoke a disagreement between the two of you?

No, I don't think Laenwyn and I ever disagreed on any part of that story. If we did it wasn't notable enough to remember. The biggest thing we've ever disagreed on is in a current fic we're writing on Live Journal, an AU Creed/Rogue fic. We don't agree on the kind of drapes a man like Creed would have in his house. No, I'm not kidding. I told her that the bizarre discussion would forever be remembered as the Great Drape Debate of 2007. I tried bribing her and suggested every other fabric I could think of! I finally admitted defeat though. Velvet it is.

It appears you've written more AU stories than strictly canon stories. Is there a specific attraction to writing AUs?

There's no limitation with AU. I enjoy reading and writing canon, but with AU you have more freedom to alter things that might otherwise be too far out for any other 'verse. I find if I'm writing a post X-2 or X-3 fic, I try to strictly follow canon. I don't even like to tweak it a bit. So if I want a Rogue that can touch, it's got to be AU. A Rogue that can fly, AU or Comicverse. A Wolverine that would hook up with a circa X-1 young Rogue and have no regrets, AU. We could only be so lucky if it were canon!!!

I know "Torn" is set in a universe in between Comicverse and Movieverse. How about your other AU stories, how did you decide what would be different?

Mostly it depends on how I see the characters. Honestly, my Logan doesn't change that much. I usually see Hugh Jackman's Wolverine; only a few times have I envisioned a comic version. With Rogue, I see her so many different ways. Sometimes I want a tougher Rogue that is a bit older or that has some experience, so I make it more comic Rogue. Or if I want a very self aware but coquettish Rogue, then the 'verse is kind of designed around that. You know, I'd never really thought about it until now, but my 'verse depends a lot on what kind of Rogue I want to use.

What genre do you tend to write the most (humor, romance, angst, smut, etc.)? Why?

I write a lot of UST and romance; lots of playful banter and flirting. I love to write body language and dialogue, especially if it's charged with sexual tension. Sometimes it will lead to a hot love scene, other times it ends with a tortured Logan who is panting after Rogue. I'd say my favorite genre would be a mix of romance, humor, UST, and then smut to round it out. I love the few foof pieces I've done and especially the angst I've written, but it takes more out of me.

Which of your stories is your favorite and why?

I was very happy with how "Given" turned out, but for an involved fic I have to say "Torn" and the two follow-up stories in that series. I have this problem where each new fic I'm writing is my favorite at the time. But for a complex story, "Torn". For the one shot UST or smut pieces, probably "Wicked" or "Those Shoes". Both of those make me giggle like a dirty tart.

The "Out to Get Me" series is darker than your usual fic. Please talk about how you got the idea for the series, how it evolved, and what kind of response the series has gotten.

This was one of the few fics that came to me with absolutely no dialogue already churning. The characters weren't talking to me at all, just feeling and reacting. Very basic and action driven. It came to me first as this image of a darker Rogue who had a mad-on to kick someone's butt. Almost a role reversal for her and Wolverine. The picture of her was so strong in my head; this Rogue with long, tangled dark hair, fair skin, and a faraway crazed look in her eyes. She's had all these personalities, thoughts, and skills forced upon her and it's driving her crazy. Ironic that the comic Rogue is now going along that line, but they've been there before in the comics. Someone that can absorb personalities makes you think, "Well - then what happens when it's too much? Too many people?" Then it's a personality disorder and you've got a mega skilled walking weapon that isn't quite sane. Nice.

From there my story evolved into her going from pure instinct and action to still having that link to Logan, then having some communication with these other personalities and I just let my mind run from there. How would the rest of the team react? The kids at the school aren't going to be as understanding as Logan, and how would this new Rogue react to life at the mansion, etc? Oh and while writing this, to stay in that edged frame of mind, I listened to a lot of NIN and Korn - hence the titles of each story coming from the lyrics of their songs.

I actually got a wonderful response from the series. I was a little afraid that readers wouldn't accept such an imperfect and dark Rogue, or if they accepted her they wouldn't like her all that much. But I think a lot of people did like her; they sympathized with her while pulling for her to kick some butt at the same time. It was a different style story for me and change is good sometimes. I definitely felt that this Rogue and Logan would be happier on their own, but it took me quite awhile to get the end of the trilogy to come to me.

You said you've done some foof and a little smut?? I'd say you've done more than a little! Considering you've only been writing for a while. How did you jump straight into writing PWPs and NC-17 smut fics?

Funny this came up because Laenwyn was just telling me I needed to update my profile on the WRFA archive. Actually I wouldn't say I jumped 'straight in'. All of my earlier fics were full of shippery UST, but they had no smut, usually not even a kiss until the end. I wanted to try writing the physical and did that the first time with "Detours" but it was mild. Then I beta'd Laenwyn's 'Rendezvous' and I blame the rest on her. Well, her and the massive amounts of historical romance that I consume. Okay her, the romance novels, and all the other smutty fanfic writers out there. I think it started with "Playing with the Inevitable" and from then on, the smut became much easier to write. I don't blush as much as I used to.

What do you find easy and what do you find difficult about writing smut?

At first I had a hard time writing sex scenes. I don't know why. Maybe my southern Baptist upbringing? I'd write it, but it was hard (no pun intended) and I know I was blushing the entire time. I still write things that make me think (in an embellished southern accent) "Oh mah gawd, I wrote that!?" There is a collaboration with Dakashy that still shocks me that I came up with some of it, but it's easier for me now. My favorite type to write is the playful smut, mixing in some laughs and having fun with it; stories like 'Wicked' and a none-Rogan but still X-Men fic called 'Bad Reputation'. I like making the characters playful and sexy … and a wee bit naughty.

In "Given" Rogue has taken the cure and is now living in the world of humans, rather than mutants. This gives her a interesting/unique perspective on events. What's your take on the consequences of her taking the cure and it being permanent?

For the most part, I like Rogue with her mutation, be it controllable or not, because it's so much a part of who she is. However, with "Given", I had this image of Marie leading a normal life away from all she knew before - but her past never leaving her. I think whether the cure is permanent or not, it's not going to change much for her. She may be able to touch, but she's still always going to have that girl inside her that couldn't. The untouchable girl who is in love with a complex and withdrawn wanderer will be part of who she is no matter where she goes or how old she is.

I wanted her to be in a human world and almost be like them, but not quite succeed. She'll never truly be a part of that world, whether she has her mutation or not. With a child that is a mutant and the love of her life being a mutant … I guess I wanted to show this very different Marie on the outside, but inside it's very much the same. Maybe she's an outsider to the other mutants, but she's definitely an outsider to humans. I also enjoyed a protective, 'mama bear' Marie. I think it's very feasible that she'd be the kind of wife and/or mother that would kill and die for those she loves.

You've written a several different incarnations of Rogue in various stories; tease, vixen, brat, dark, etc. Why do you like playing/experimenting with her character so much?

Well I've been a Rogue fan since the X-Men cartoon in the 90's. I thought it was cool that she was from the south and I identified with a southern belle that wasn't prim and perfect like Jean or exotic and worship-worthy like Storm. I loved Rogue's attitude and sass. She was kind of a guy's girl and she was strong and could fly. Then I started reading the comics and that solidified her as my favorite of the X-Men. I remember when the X-Men movie started; I was about to get very upset over Rogue being this little girl who couldn't fly or kick ass! Then it unfolded into this character with a lot of depth and potential and she was still Rogue AND she was at the focal point of the movie. The added chemistry between the Rogue/Wolverine characters (and actors) was just a bonus, but the more I watched it - the more I became a huge movie-Rogue fan. That portrayal of Rogue showed me how versatile the character is, especially the Anna Paquin version. She is able to portray a lot of different emotions convincingly. Picturing her, I see that Rogue can still be vulnerable, sassy, stubborn, sexy and kick ass while being totally believable.

I also think because of Rogue's mutation, the darker part of her is always there. I guess because she can pull off all these incarnations and be completely legitimate, whereas other characters? Not so much. Maybe it's just me, but as much as I enjoy the other X-Men, none of them are as believable in so many different versions. I like sweet, na´ve Marie as much as I like un-hinged and dangerous Marie.

If you could pick one scene from any of the movies and switch places with Rogue, which one would it be?

The scene where she gets to bed wrestle with Logan. Oh wait, that wasn't in the movies, huh? I'd say the last scene with them in X-1. The way he looks at her, the eye sex and the hand fondling, be still my heart! The tension is palpable and makes me grin like an idiot anytime I watch that part. But if I were Rogue, I'd blurt out "I don't want to stay if you aren't here! Take me with you!" just to see what he'd say. Even if it was a "Nah kid. You're place is here," in typical Logan fashion - at least then he'd know I'd go willingly if he were to, say, show up in the middle of the night with a serious case of Marie cravings.

Several of your stories have companion sequels. Why write a sequel? Not happy with ending, felt incomplete, new inspiration, reader feedback, etc.?

Usually it is because of new inspiration or as I'm finishing a story, I know there is going to be more to say. So maybe that means incomplete in a way because the characters have more to do or say and they won't shut up about it. In the case of the fun smutty pieces, there's always room for more fun smut. There is only one fic that sometimes I wish I'd left it as stand alone, but other days I know I couldn't have stopped at one, and that's "Bite the Hand" from the Out to Get Me series. I love it as a stand alone and part of me wishes I would've left it open for interpretation, but the other part of me knows that Rogue was belligerent at having her story told.

Has there ever been a story that readers pleaded for a sequel but you said "No"?

A lot of people wanted a follow up or sequel to 'Given', but I didn't feel that way. I don't think I ever will. I never slam the door completely, because I don't know what will come to me, but for most of my fics, if I haven't done a companion piece yet, I'm not going to. A lot of my earlier fics were left very open and people would comment saying they wanted to know what comes next, but I wanted it to be open. That way the reader can imagine what comes next.

"Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz" is your contribution to the Ice Cream round robin series. How did this series come about and how did you get involved?

I think it came about from a string of comments and replies on September's LJ. Then she posted an announcement for those interested and I thought since it included two of my favorite things: ice cream and Rogan, I should contribute. So I chose my favorite flavor and ran with it. It was a lot of fun to read and write for that Round Robin. I loved all the UST the other writers created between those two and the innuendo with ice cream. I'm such a sucker for flirting but not quite going all the way.

There are 21 chapters in the story "Torn". Did you ever think "It's never going to get finished!?" while you were writing it? Would you ever write such a long story again?

I had such an excellent time writing Torn that I never felt that way about finishing it. Instead I mourned the end of it. I think Laenwyn and I both did! We wrote it consecutively and only skipped around I think one time, so as we were writing those last two or three chapters, it was obvious we were stalling. We didn't want it to be over because we loved those three characters so much. Then, epiphany hit and we realized the story wasn't over! The characters would not go silently, so it turned into a trilogy. They aren't strictly Logan/Rogue based follow-ups so they're archived elsewhere, but Logan is there. Logan is always there.

Outside of that epic, there is another one that Laenwyn and I are in the midst of writing and it looks like it will be around 40+ chapters. So I guess it's safe to say that I'm comfortable with longer stories. Now, would I ever do such a lengthy fic alone? That's a different matter. For something that takes such staying power, it is good to have that other person to motivate you and keep you excited about what's going on in the story. If I were by myself I might be more tempted to wander off to other projects.

Are you finding writing has become easier with time or more challenging?

Definitely easier and more enjoyable. I'm able to explore ideas more freely now and I think I have more confidence too. I am still and forever a work in progress though. The one part of writing that is still as big a challenge as it was a year ago; titles! I am lousy at them. I can't come up with them to save my life. It's a running joke how bad I am with titles and on google docs I have numerous documents labeled 'Untitled 1', 'Untitled 2', etc. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part I'm lucky I haven't had to post 'Nameless fic #16' by now.

Hope I haven't rambled too much and thank you to all who read my fics!
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