I came to Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom in 2002. I’d known about the show for a while, but had avoided it as I was loyal to the movie (or, more accurately, to Luke Perry’s Pike), but finally caved at the start of the summer when a friend insisted on watching her new Buffy DVDs (Seasons 1 and 2 had just come out). I was entertained by Season 1, but with Season 2 (specifically Spike’s entrance) I became enthralled. Even more so when my friend told me that bad boy slayer-killer Spike later had a romance with Buffy. Enemies to lovers is my favorite trope in all the trope land, so this idea took root in my head and has yet to leave.
Though was only seventeen, I was already a rather prolific writer. I had also been active in a few fandoms, so it didn’t take me long to do a deep dive in all things Buffy. I read episode summaries for the episodes I hadn’t seen, started recording the reruns off FX, and absorbed as much Spuffy fanfic as I could find…and being that Season 6 had just concluded, I could find quite a bit. It took me no time at all to start sketching out my own Spuffy fic, which I wanted to set after Grave (an episode I hadn’t even seen, just had read about thanks to insanely detailed episode summaries) and have firmly established prior to the debut of the yet-to-be-aired Season 7. That fic, Sang et Ivoire, was my first foray into fandom, and the longest piece of fiction I’d written at that point. It became insanely popular thanks to an invitation to be archived on The Crypt section on the invitation-only archive Fonts of Wisdom, and helped launch me firmly into the Spuffy corner of the internet, where I have been (in one way or another) ever since.
In 2006, five fandom friends and I decided to start an archive called Elysian Fields, a name I chose since it was designated to be “a resting place” of our heroes. It wasn’t too long after this that I met my husband, graduated college, and truly began the arduous process of growing up. By 2010, I had more or less exited fandom (in presence only, never in spirit) and started writing original fiction (mostly paranormal romance) under the penname Rosalie Stanton. I also became a professional editor for a boutique digital-first publisher, which consumed most of my time. Even while I was away, though, I would periodically check in with Elysian Fields, sometimes dreading that I would find it had gone the way of other Spuffy archives and always relieved to be proven wrong.
By the time the show’s 20th anniversary rolled around in 2017, I had done a lot of that growing-up thing. I’d gotten married, bought a house, experienced extreme professional highs and lows, and lost a parent. The sudden renaissance of all things Buffy that occurred that year struck something in me, and I dipped my toe back into Spuffy. I was instantly reminded of exactly how much fandom meant to me, how much writing these characters and sharing these stories meant to me, and vowed to not only finish my long-standing WIP Strawberry Fields (which I had abandoned in 2008), but write new stories. Lots of new stories. I also started an intense personal editing project to make my older fics more readable. This mostly involves clearing up some of the awkwardness that was a reflection of a young girl trying to sound like she had more experience than she did.
About My Spuffy Work
The real world sucks. A lot. It’s painful and stressful and sometimes downright ugly.
I read and write to escape the real world. That doesn’t mean that my work will be all sunshine and rainbows—sometimes I write things that are downright depressing. But no matter how deep into Mordor I take you, my work will always feature an HEA/HFN ending (which isn’t to say everything will be resolved, but that Spike and Buffy will be in a good place together). I know suffering in the real world doesn’t always lead to something good, but that’s what the real world is for. And as Stephen King says, the ending’s not really why you’re reading, anyway. You’re reading to take a journey.
Most of my fics with an original publish date prior to 2017 will involve claims, and this was always to secure the HEA ending (so Spike and Buffy never had to say goodbye because of old age). As a result, some of those works, admittedly, became a little redundant. Works published after 2017 do not feature claims and won’t unless the claim is an integral plot point and not just a lazy way to say, “Buffy never dies.” There are other ways to make Buffy immortal, and I have my favorites.