From the Entertainment/Literature section of - November, 2000


Writing the Warrior Princess

By Susan Chenelle

Though many of us consider ourselves diehard Xena fans, few have pursued this passion as far as Melissa Good has. After publishing numerous Xena fan fiction novels on the Web, she is now writing episodes for the sixth, and sadly last, season of the TV series. And if that wasn't prolific enough, Good also has three sequels to her romance novel, Tropical Storm (Justice House Press), in the works.

"I have a website, and I post my stories there in parts, as I write them," Good explains. Since she only thought of her writing as a relaxing   hobby, she didn't even realize she had such an enthusiastic online fanbase until   "I was at a Xena convention one day and introduced myself to someone in an   elevator. They screamed and asked for my autograph. I'm quite surprised my brain didn't explode all over the interior of the car. I never considered myself (and don't now) a particularly talented writer, just a prolific one that happens to tap into some universal human emotions."

Through her involvement with the online Xena community, Good met Steven   Sears, formerly a co-executive producer and writer for the series. When executive   producer Rob Tapert came up with the idea of having a fan become involved in   writing a script, Sears proposed Good for the project; she is now starting work on   her third episode of the season. While she regrets the cancellation of the show, "because I think there's so many more Xena stories out there waiting to be told," she looks forward to telling them in future fan fiction novels.

One of the biggest perks in writing for Xena is, of course, meeting Lucy Lawless   and Renee O'Connor in person. Though she laughs and says that everyone asks   her about it, Good is happy to share the details. "I got to meet not only Lucy and   Renee, but the entire production team down in New Zealand. It was a lot of fun,   and a great honor, and I had a very good time while I was there," she relates. "I was invited to come watch my second script, Coming Home, be filmed. Both Lucy and Renee were extremely gracious and very friendly. I was very impressed by how hard they have to work making the show, in all kinds of weather."

Between Xena novels, Good composed Tropical Storm, the engrossing story of Dar Roberts, a beautiful, strong-willed executive at an information systems company   and the smart, creative, energetic Kerry Stuart, the manager of a company that   has fallen victim to Dar's ruthless corporate raider tactics. Despite their   differences, the two women are instantly drawn to each other, and more than just professionally.

Readers left wanting more following Tropical Storm will be pleased to know that the   sequel, Hurricane Watch, is at the publishers right now. According to Good, "It's a   continuation of Dar and Kerry's coming to terms with their relationship, and   adjusting their personal and professional lives around that. Eye of the Storm [the   third installment of the series] centers around Kerry and Dar's families, and how   they come to terms (or not) with each other and their daughters' relationship. The fourth novel, Tropical High, allows both Dar and Kerry to revisit their pasts."Tropical Storm is also being developed as a television series.

In the meantime, Good is a busy woman. " I'm currently editing Eye of the Storm for publication, writing Tropical High, planning my next Xena fanfic, writing a short story for the new Xena anthology that's in preproduction right now, and getting   ready to start work on my third Xena script. And doing my day job, of course."

  LesbiaNation 2000; All Rights Reserved.

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