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Ivy Bohnlein's Author Interview by Ivy_Bohnlein

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LEXICON NOTE:
This interview with Ivy Bohnlein was written in June 2000.

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What is your name or nick?

Ivy Bohnlein, known to other MUSHers at Transformers 2005 as Whiz

What is your E-mail address/addresses?

Whiz2005@aol.com , but don't be surprised if I don't answer email there right away.

How old are you?

26, subject to change

Are you female or male?

Female, not subject to change :)

What is the name of your home page name and what is its URL?

It's called Whizdom Central, and can be found at

http://members.aol.com/Whiz2005/

List the Transformers fanfics have you written. Where can they be found?

Apparently there are some little one-off things on the net that I just created as parts of old usenet posts. I don't even know what all of those are, and I doubt I would be proud of them years later. So here's the stuff I'll actually confess to (all at Whizdom Central):

The Underground Trilogy (of 4) - Whiz, the Femmes, and a dash of Hot Rod

Up from Underground

Higher Ground

Ground Zero

Overground

Possession - Transformers: The Movie from Galvatron's perspective

Redemption - Cybertronians of the future return to save the past - this one is still unfinished

Autobotography is still floating around out there on the 'net as well.

Which, of the Transformers fanfics you've written, is your favorite and why?

I'd say "Up from Underground", since I really enjoyed writing it and it led to some other fun stories afterward. Other people seem to like it too, which feed my ego. I know, I know, I should respect the purity of the art and such, but I don't mind having my ego fed occasionally. Keeps it from starving to death. :) "Redemption" is probably a better story, but it's not done, so I don't feel like I could call it my favorite.

I'd also love to see "Up from Underground" turned into a comic book. If any artists out there are interested, let me know! We'll sell it at Botcon and make billions! :)

Which is your favorite Transformers fanfic written by someone else and why?

What kind of question is that? There are so many that I love. I guess it's a tossup between Brandie Tarvin's "Chosen" and Bobbi Carother's "Spring Cycle"-I don't know if she has another name for it now.

LEXICON COMMENT: She still calls it "Spring Cycle".

They both inject so much depth into their characters that you actually feel their pain as you read the story. And while there is a lot of action, it's never there for its own sake, but for the advancement of the story. I want to feel an attachment to a character when I read, or I will lose interest.

What influences you to write Transformers fanfic the way you do?

I read. I read a LOT. Then I try to write stories that I would enjoy reading, and I constantly re-read and edit them as I go. Sometimes my object is just to write something entertaining, like Autobotography and Overground, so I start with a silly premise and some well-loved characters and grow from there. Sometimes my aim is to get into a character's head, and then I'll be a bit more introspective. I think that it's always easier to identify with a character when you know their innermost thoughts, which is probably why most of my writing is in first-person. I also visualize the action in my mind as I write it, which often results in lots of dialogue but not much description of the scene - because I see it there in my mind's eye. Sorry you can't get into my head and see it too! That attention to detail is something that I'm working on.

What other Transformers fanfics writers write in a similar way to you?

I honestly don't read that much of it... I'd say Bobbi's is similar, but I haven't read anything very recent.

How much time do you usually spend writing Transformers fanfic?

Not as much as I'd like, anymore. I'm still trying to plow through Redemption. Sometimes I'll get an urge and I'll have a scene in my head, and I will write furiously until I get it out on paper. Other times, I'll have a long dry spell. Things are looking pretty dry at the moment. :)

What inspired you to write Transformers fanfic?

Transformers: The Movie. I think that's what gave me an early look at the possible epic scale of the Transformers. Yes, they could exist on a level that went beyond a 30-minute kids' show. Wow!

What drew you to Transformers in particular?

What's not to like? You've got these innocent looking toys that *turn into robots*! And when you got a new one, you were the coolest kid in school. Awwwwwww yeah....

Who is your favorite Generation 1 or Generation 2 Transformers character (fan-created or official) and why?

Rodimus Prime, dammit. With a little more time and a little less whining to statues of Optimus, he could have grown into something amazing. Maybe all of my fanfic comes from a deep-seated desire to give him what he deserved. Hmmm... better talk to my therapist. :)

What do you like most about the official Generation 1 and Generation 2 canon?

I like the episodes that took chances. Personally, I saw that happen much more in the third season, with things like "Burden Hardest to Bear" (drool), "Webworld", "Chaos", "Only Human", and "Dark Awakening". I mean, for a kids' show, Dark Awakening is just creepy. It's interesting to see these alien robots forced to face their inner demons and to confront prejudices. Who would have expected that?

Who is your favorite Beast Wars character (fan-created or official) and why?

The original, evil, and still (I must believe it!) true Blackarachnia. This is a lady who definitely took no prisoners. Instead of being a generic character who happened to have a female shape and voice, Blackarachnia took full advantage of her sex appeal at every opportunity. Nobody knew what to expect from her, which meant that she was always one step ahead. I love that in a character. This is the role model that little girls should follow!

What do you like about the Beast Wars canon the most?

I liked the way it tied into traditional continuity... it used symbols of the past to enhance the story, but it didn't drown in history and explanations of the past. It was also great of the authors to throw in teasers for the old-school fans, like "My great-aunt Arcee" and the transforming noise that Ravage made. I know grown people who wept at that. Er... not me, of course....

What do you like most about the Beast Machines canon?

Bleah. Rhinox is right, there should be no organics on Cybertron.

Who is your favorite Beast Machines character (fan-created or official) and why?

Jetstorm! Jetstorm is the ultimate wiseass and I LOVE him! His toy is awesome too, and definitely the best one I have seen since the old G1 guys.

What parts of your Transformers fanfics are based on events in real life?

I have to confess that the emotional health of my main characters seems to parallel my own. When I'm having relationship troubles, pity Whiz and Rodimus. But every good story needs emotional drama, right? Aside from that, I can't really say that anything is based on real life. I have not personally gone crawling through tunnels chased by angry soldiers. Except for that one mission with special ops... but I've said too much.

What would you like to change about the Transformers fanfics you've written?

I want to change Springette's name to Rebound. A trifling change, perhaps, but I have pretty much gone back and re-written other stories to reflect changes I want to make. I'd also like to make Possession a bit less repetitive. He ponders some of the same issues repeatedly, because I wrote the story in spurts. Um, I'd also like to change the ending to "Redemption"... specifically, I'd like it to have one!

What do you consider to be a trite or overused theme in fanfics and why?

Female clones of male Transformers. Yes, I know that's a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I was only in middle school when I was writing Autobotography, so I have an excuse. I wish that I'd done things differently then and made all-new characters. In my future Fanfic, I'll make sure that's the case. Just making a character and saying, "She's a female version of ________" is a little limiting, and in many cases the personalities are unique enough to support a better definition of their character.

Have you had any interesting feedback as a result of your Transformers fanfics?

I've had a lot of people tell me that they like them, and I'm always interested in that!

How much time do you spend online? What percentage of that time is devoted to Transformers?

Not nearly as much time as I used to. I have pretty much disappeared from usenet, though I still frequent Transformers 2005 MUSH. I'd say that I'm down to 3-4 hours a week on average. I may be on more often if something interesting is going on.

Which Transformers newsgroups do you use? Select any that apply.

Sorry, I really don't check them anymore. I have used Dejanews to check the fanfic group on occasion, but I have too little time to sit and read things online.

Have you any other comments to make about Transformers fanfic?

Writing fanfic was kind of my journal when I was younger, and I think that it gave me an outlet that made my awkward junior high years a little easier to bear. I really only wrote it for my own amusement, but then I found alt.toys.transformers and found out that there were other people out there who still loved Transformers, who wrote fanfic of their own and who appreciated mine. That was phenomenal! I'm glad that I spent all of that time writing bad but amusing stories, so that now I can write some stories that I feel proud to share. That's the cool thing about Transformers fanfic - the community that appreciates your work, even though you may never see it in print anywhere else.

The End