The Fan Fiction Fanzine

Tony Thornley Interview

By • Aug 8th, 2009 • Category: Interviews, Lead Story

HEROES: Who Is Tony Thornley?

TONY THORNLEY: You know, I never get deep enough to think about that question. I guess, I’m your fairly run of the mill Utah kid. Raised in a small town, devoted Mormon (one wife, don’t make the polygamy joke, I’ve heard them all), recent college grad, all that jazz. I’m looking for a job right now and once I find a good one, my wife and I will be starting a family. :-)

H: Why Fan Fiction?

TT: I’m operating under one assumption when I write fic- it needs to be fun. That’s the only reason I even bother writing it. If it’s not fun, what’s the point? It also helps me become a better writer, growth that I hope most people have seen in the last… ten years? Damn. Has it been that long? But anyways it needs to be fun. When it stops being fun, you’ll see my name disappear in the community and I’ll just fade into everyone’s collective memories.

H: What Was The First Title You Wrote?

TT: Oh man… The first actual title… I think there’s two good answers to that question. The first story that I wrote that showed up in any sort of title was a three issue X-Men Team-Up story for Marvel X. I stole the plot from a DS9 novel called either Heroes or Legends, about Quark and Odo getting zapped by an alien do-hickey and waking up in a DS9 full of dead bodies several days later. It was okay, not that great really, but the editor re-wrote a lot of the first two issues without my knowledge (I think partly because the Columbine shootings happened after I finished the second issue but before it was posted and that issue was incredibly violent), and so the actual finished product was total crap. I was very angry when they actually got posted. :-)

My first ongoing title was MX’s Spider-Man 2099. It was a lot of fun, even though I knew so little about the 2099-verse when I started the book. I think I’d read two Spider-Man and one X-Men issues from the line.

H: What Projects Are You Currently Working On?

TT: A little bit of everything, ha ha! Somehow, I’ve managed to shoe-horn myself into MA, and have my fingers in a lot there. For some reason, Fromme actually enjoys my work and my ideas. lol! I’m writing Avengers, Uncanny X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man there. I’m also plotting Captain America and giving the issues a polish after Mick scripts them. Elsewhere… let’s see… I’ve got Green Lantern at DC Anthology (a very under-appreciated site), Warriors at Av2K (with three very fun issues in the can), Force Works at Altered Visions, Legion at JLU (although that’s on a bit of an unofficial hiatus thanks to writer’s block) and Superman at DC Infinity. I’m also looking for a scripter for my last Scarlet Spider issue at M2K, so if there’s any takers out there…?

Outside fanfic, I’ve involved myself pretty heavily in two Star Trek RPG’s, the Ark Royal and the Odyssey. Both are a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to keep my writing muscles flexed if I happen to get some writer’s block.

My other big project is a novel I started last winter called Catalyst. I don’t want to get into it much, but it’s an immortal superhero love story. How’s that for a tagline?

H: What Inspires Your Writing?

TT: Oh, it really just depends on the day. I don’t have any one particular inspiration that I draw all my work from. Sometimes an idea from a comic, book or TV show grabs me, and I want to play with it. Sometimes I get a good hook pop into my head. Sometimes a song strikes a chord. It all just depends. Catalyst was born from Twilight in part, and my desire to do a similar story in a way that wasn’t sappy (and wasn’t a rip-off like some of these books and stories popping up everywhere).

H: Marvel Comics Calls You Up Tomorrow And Offers You A Job Writing Any Title You Want. Would You Take it. If So, Why? And If Not, Why?

TT: Absolutely I would. The simple fact of the matter is that writing a Spider-Man, Iron Man or X-Men story for publication has long been a dream of mine. If DC was calling, I’d have to think about it a bit more, because that’s never really been a “dream gig” for me. Unless they were offering me Superboy, Robin (Tim Drake), or Kid Flash. I’d be all over a story with any of those three.

H: You’ve Got A Reputation In The Fan Fiction Community For Abandoning Titles For No Reason. Would You Like To Comment On That?

TT: Of course. I’ve heard this a lot. Tom Moses and I joke that I have fanfic ADD. I think that I would reword the question a bit. I always have a reason if I leave a book. That reason just may not be very clear or apparent. There’s two general reasons that I can give for it.

First, I had a really bad habit a few years ago. I would see a character or concept that I’d think “Oooh, fun!” and latch onto it, then mull ideas. If I couldn’t come up with something, I ended up with something kinda generic. A good example of that was the Warbird series I propped at Marvel Omega way back in early ’07. I forced it, and when I realized that I wasn’t getting anything done, it was because I forced it. I’ve committed myself to not doing that ever again.

The second is that something made it not fun any more. Like I said before, fanfic needs to be fun. If you’re doing it for any other reason, you’re doing it for the wrong reason, in my opinion. If something happens to make a particular series or working at a particular site “not fun” anymore, I’ll leave. I’m sorry, but it’s a hobby. It’s not a job. I’m not being paid to be abused or criticized personally, so why bother? (That said, criticize my work all you want, as long as you’re objective and constructive. lol!)

I always have my reasons too. I may never say what they are, but I have them. That sounds a little egotistical, but it’s the truth, 100%.

H: Do You Write While Listening To Music? If So, What Do You Listen To?

TT: I do, but usually it’s just to have noise in the background. I’m just as likely to turn on an episode of Stargate while I write as I am to boot up my iTunes. My music library is heavily alternative and rock. I’m a big Coldplay fan, and I’m really into Dave Matthews, Green Day and the Fray too. I also love the singer-songwriter types like Jason Mraz, Colbie Callait, Matt Nathanson and Sara Barellies. And Katy Perry, because she’s just freaking hot! :-)

H: Favorite Writers?

TT: Jim Butcher, Matt Fraction and Geoff Johns. If you keep those three in mind when you read my work, you’ll see their influence on me. I think I’ve leeched a lot off Butcher in the last three years. Oh, and I just read one of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novels, which I absolutely loved, partly because it was so similar to Butcher’s Dresden work. She might turn into a favorite too.

H: Any Hobbies?

TT: I’m a very casual gamer. I own a Wii, and love it. I will buy any game with the Mario or Lego brand on it. My wife and I are also kind of movie snobs. If it seems remotely entertaining, we’ll watch it.

H: Here’s Your Chance For A Shoutout. Go ‘head.

TT: Well, I don’t really have much else to say! lol! I just hope that everyone reading this tunes in for what I have planned in my different books. There’s some fun stuff in the pipeline (there’s that F-word again), and I think most out there will enjoy it!

is a 32 year old happily married man who loves comics and the characters associated with them so much he writers Fan Fiction based on them. Currently He is the Editor in Chief of Altered Visions, Marvel Reborn, and Ultimate DC.
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2 Responses »

  1. Very interesting.

    I never realized there was such a thing as the Fan Zine site. Or that there were all these fan fiction sites such as Marvel 2000.

    I’ve actually written quite a lot of fan fiction (Thor, the Silver Surfer, the Hulk), but on sites such as Fan Fiction Net under my own name. The link is: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1276881/David_Scholes

    I shall definitely have to investigate these sites further.


  2. Glad you enjoyed it. Keep your eye on the site as more and more articles and interviews and such soon.

    Thanks for reading.

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