The Scoop, Season 1, Episode 4: crystal.elements, Kill Bryce, Closet Gleek, Adorable Psycho

Here we go.  Frea here.  So when mxpw and I launched the Scoop, we agreed to split the Cabal two ways--I would interview mxpw, I Am Not Amused (aka Chris), and Wepdiggy.  mxpw in turn got to interview Crystal, Justin, and me.  Crystal, however, was so fascinated by the idea of the interview that we agreed to let her sit in while mxpw interviewed me.  And then I returned the favor when it was time for her to be interviewed because I was just so excited to see what Crystal has to say about her stories.

This is a problem.  As you'll see, Crystal is awesome, adorable, and well-behaved.  I am...simply  awesome, if we're going to be honest here.  Letting me anywhere near this interview was just a bad, bad, bad idea on mxpw's part.

But too late!  It's done! So enjoy watching mxpw as he tries to herd cats, er, I mean, interview Crystal and keep me in line!

mxpw: So I'm basically going to completely wing this.

crystal: Oh, me too.

crystal: Of course.

mxpw: But I think the first question, the most important question that all of our readers out there want to know, is: Just how adorable are you really?

crystal: Oh, crud, are we starting already?

crystal: No warnings, huh?

mxpw: Yes, this is part of the interview.

mxpw: And so was that.

mxpw: And that.

crystal: How did I know you were gonna start with that?

crystal: *eyeroll*

mxpw: Well, what part of winging it did you not understand?

crystal: Right, right.

mxpw: Randomness is the name of the game.

crystal: I suppose I'm as adorable as everyone (particularly you and Frea) makes me out to be.

mxpw: I figure if I'm going to interview the second most random person I know, I might as well raise my own game.

crystal: Frea being first?

mxpw: Frea being first.

Frea: ((wait a second...I am NOT the most random person you know!!))

crystal: ((HEE))

mxpw: ((Are too.))

Frea: ((Guh. Excuse me while I write Sarah deliberately flirting with Carina))

crystal: It's alright. Frea's in her own league.

mxpw: ((This should all go in the interview.))

crystal: ((Oh my god, do itttt.))

Frea: ((NO! Dude, it was one--gahhhhhhh.))

mxpw: ((I'm making the call, it goes in.))

mxpw: So what you're saying, really, is that we're not exaggerating the fact that you are ridiculously adorable?

crystal: Readers, you're going to find that I roll my eyes a lot in this interview.

mxpw: Don't you know that if you roll your eyes too much, they'll roll right out of their sockets?

mxpw: True story.

mxpw: But you didn't answer the question.

crystal: *sigh*

crystal: Sure, why not.

crystal: mx has met me in person, people. Whatever he says goes.

mxpw: Hey, at least I haven't brought up WonderCon.

Frea: ((And Frea agrees))

crystal: Mooooooving onnnnn......

mxpw: Oh look, there I did.

crystal: *facepalm*

mxpw: Okay, okay, I'll take mercy on you.

mxpw: So I guess the first thing we should discuss is Closet Gleek.

mxpw: What inspired you to write this story?

crystal: Hmm.

crystal: Well, it was my first quarter of college, and I was sort of trying to find some stress relief from the craziness of the most horrible Philosophy class you can imagine. I'd had writer's block for months, until I stumbled across the Story Request thread on FFNet and saw brickroad's suggestion for a Chuck/Glee crossover. And I was like, "Oh, hey, I watch Glee!"

crystal: (Needed something to watch during the friggen' 8 month hiatus, after all.)

Frea: ((Imagine Rachel Berry with an Intersect, for just one moment. Your head will explode.))

crystal: ((OH GOD.))

mxpw: ((She relates flashes through song.))

crystal: Fun fact: Closet Gleek was originally supposed to be an extremely fluffy oneshot.

mxpw: But it didn't turn out that way.

crystal: Nope.

mxpw: In fact, I think CG was the first indication of your burgeoning gift for non-adorable storytelling.

crystal: Was it?

mxpw: Which we will get into later.

mxpw: So I'm sorry for digressing.

crystal: And here I was thinking that Closet Gleek was full of cliched adorableness.

mxpw: I don't know, you tell me.

mxpw: Well, there was some there, sure. Okay, lots.

crystal: Heh.

mxpw: But it also had drugs.

crystal: There's a reason for that!

mxpw: And drugs are like bad and stuff. Or so I'm told.

crystal: So if anyone remembers, there was a two-month period where the first chapter of Closet Gleek was sort of drifting around the interwebz. I still apologize for that, by the way.

crystal: Anyways, I'd been studying for my Psychology final - which, in actuality, was me reading the entire Psychology book for the first time - when I came across phencyclidine. And I thought to myself, "Oh, this would make a good twist in the story."

mxpw: Phencyli-what? Sounds like something you'd use for an STD.

crystal: Welcome to the mind of Crystal, people. She just sort of wings it 75% of the time.

crystal: If I remember correctly, the chapter was on...okay, I can't remember what it was on, but it had PCP.

crystal: Read the chapter, mx! I describe it all in Closet Gleek!

crystal: Anyway, once PCP came into the mix, the entire story just kind of exploded into crazy.

mxpw: Yes.

crystal: But it was SO much fun to write. :D

mxpw: Which led to one of my favorite moments in all of fic.

Frea: Chuckoodle?

crystal: Hee.

crystal: I got that idea from the S3 interview where Zac was acting like Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

crystal: But no...the phrase that mx still laughs at is TAMPON CANNON BLASTER.

mxpw: I laugh like crazy.

mxpw: Because I'm 12.

crystal: Every time.

mxpw: I still do.

crystal: Yep.

crystal: It makes me proud.

mxpw: I'm laughing right now.

crystal: :D

mxpw: As funny as that was, and oh it was funny, I don't think I've ever been more horrified/embarrassed/amused for Chuck in any fic than when Chuck started dancing in the second to last chapter. How the frak did you come up with that stuff?

crystal: The nerdgasm scene?  Honestly, I'm gonna have to give some credit to Liam for that one.

mxpw: Oh why would you go and do a thing like that?

crystal: Please. I'm a girl. I don't know embarrassing teenage guy secrets!

mxpw: What do you mean?

crystal: Other than what you see in movies/tv.

crystal: Anyways, he gave me several suggestions, and from there I sort of crafted my own final idea.

mxpw: Which was?

crystal: My mind goes to freaky places.

crystal: Well, maybe not.

mxpw: That's a requirement of the Cabal.

crystal: I'm horribly naive at times.

crystal: But I have my shining moments.

Frea: Okay, so I have to switch gears on you -- you've written what has to be the most adorable version of the Adorable Psycho ever. How hard was it to switch from CG to that?

mxpw: Hey, what's this?

crystal: Oh, it was great. And surprisingly easy, too.

mxpw: Don't answer that question!

crystal: Too late!

crystal: Sorry, mx.

Frea: You've just been Frea'd, bitch.

crystal: Buuuurn!

crystal: *hissssssss*

mxpw: You promised to behave!

mxpw: Lies!

mxpw: All lies!

Frea: Dude, it's me.

Frea: Do I ever behave?

Frea: Anyway, Crystal, you were saying?

crystal: Haha.

Frea: The Adorable Psycho is easy?

mxpw: That's what she said.

crystal: No, it was easy to switch gears.

mxpw: Zing!

crystal: Dammit, mx!

Frea: How much research did you do to get into the head of a sex-crazed psychopath?

mxpw: Surprisingly a lot.

mxpw: She gave me detailed accounts.

crystal: Well, I mean, I'd been following the AP series for a while at that point.

crystal: Hey, shut up!

crystal: I did not.

mxpw: She talked my ear off about this and that. Even asked me if the last bit with Space Mountain was feasible.

crystal: ...Okay, he's right about that last part.

crystal: But hey, it's up to the readers. I leave it to your imaginations.

mxpw: Okay, so CG was about drug-induced craziness.

mxpw: And your AP story was about sex-induced craziness.

crystal: The thing is, I absolutely loved Wep's AP Sarah, but at the same time, I realized that the character was being written by male authors.

mxpw: What exactly do you have in store for us next?

crystal: I wanted to see if I could put a spin on the AP craziness.

mxpw: Actually, hold on.

crystal: Ooh, subject change!

crystal: Orrrr not.

mxpw: Let's backtrack a bit.

mxpw: This is a good opportunity, actually, to get a woman's perspective on the whole AP phenomenon.

Frea: Crystal and Mikki are the only females to tackle the AP, right?

crystal: Yep.

mxpw: That is correct.

Frea: Well, not literally.

Frea: As that leads to a knife to the ribs.

Frea: But you know what I mean.

crystal: Haha.

mxpw: So why did you want to and how did you approach writing a story about AP?

crystal: Well, I noticed that the authors who had written AP Sarah were focusing more on the Psycho side of her. No offense, of course, it's not a bad thing. But I wanted to play around with the Adorable aspect, and hell, what better way to do it than send her to Disneyland?

crystal: And, okay, confession: I based a lot of it on my own trip to Disneyland last November.

mxpw: You didn't kill any princesses, did you?

crystal: Haha, no.

crystal: I took bits and pieces of what I'd done and AP'd it. This is the reason mx finds me so freakin' adorable, though, because he knows exactly which parts I'd taken from experience to make Sarah so adorable.

mxpw: That and it just comes naturally to you.

crystal: So I turned into an excited little kid when I went to Disneyland, sue me!

crystal: I hadn't been there in nearly 10 years.

crystal: It was awesome.

mxpw: Okay, so you got to crystal-fy AP, which is no small feat.

mxpw: You really did write the most cute and cuddly version of her so far.

crystal: *bows*

mxpw: But I hear you've got a story on tap that will complete change how people look at you and your writing.

crystal: Oh yeah.

crystal: It's gonna be epic.

mxpw: How so?

crystal: Well, for one, the story's called Kill Bryce.

crystal: So, y'know, no adorable fluff there.

crystal: It's a complete switch on my usual style.

mxpw: I've read parts of it, and I can confirm that if crystal's name wasn't attached to it, you'd never know it was her.

mxpw: She actually scared me a little bit.

crystal: True story.

mxpw: So can you give us any details?

crystal: He read the opening scene for the first chapter and asked me if there was a dark side I wasn't telling him about.

mxpw: I did.

crystal: Well, basically, it's an AU that branches off the S2 finale. Because, you know, the S3 we got kind of sucked.

mxpw: True story.

crystal: Bryce gets shot, but isn't mortally wounded. He ends up uploading the Intersect. But because he's injured, he can't kung fu any Ring ass, and since Chuck didn't upload the Intersect himself, he has to resort to other methods.

crystal: Chuck offers himself as a hostage to let Sarah and the others escape. He ends up getting tortured.

mxpw: And things kind of unfold from there?

crystal: Yup.

mxpw: But why this story?

crystal: As you can imagine, the entire feel of the story and its characters changes drastically.

mxpw: I mean, why travel to the opposite side of the spectrum?

mxpw: You go from adorableness to darkness. Why?

crystal: Simple. I wanted to try something different.

crystal: Looking back at my stories, I never tackled anything before that had a really deep and intriguing plot. And I won't lie: I wanted to get to the same level as the others in The Cabal. I'd been writing adorable, fluffy short stories, while everyone else in the group had these amazing AUs that just blew me away. I mean, look at the two interviewing me now. Double Agent and Fates.

mxpw: Frick and Frack?

crystal: I wanted to take on a project that really challenged me to broaden my horizons and take leaps into unchartered territories.

Frea: Also, Evolution of Sarah Walker and Wingman. I feel like those should be mentioned as just thoroughly astounding stories.

crystal: Haha.

Frea: I mean, Evolution of Sarah Walker had it all. Romance. Intrigue. Danger. And Wingman? Wingman had Jeff.

mxpw: But why Kill Bryce? I mean, what does the title even mean? Where did you come up with it?

mxpw: Readers, ignore Frea.

crystal: Hm...

crystal: Well, no, don't ignore her.

crystal: It's all her fault, really.

mxpw: It's always Frea's Freaking Fault.

crystal: Yep.

crystal: The thing is, before Kill Bryce, I'd already come up with another huge multichapter project that was loosely based off the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. But there were a lot of kinks in it that I had a hard time working through, so I put it on the backburner. It was frustrating, because I was just having a hard time overall coming up with a decent idea.

crystal: Well, one day, I was discussing this problem with Frea, who decided to pull out her bajillion plot bunnies. And she was like, "Well, hey, I have an idea I've been mulling over."

mxpw: And that was Kill Bryce?

crystal: A general premise of it, yes.

crystal: I keep saying that it's all her idea, but she absolutely refuses to let me give her all the credit.

crystal: We agreed on 12%.

mxpw: What's my cut?

crystal: What I actually ended up doing was combining certain aspects of my benched fic into the rough plot of Kill Bryce, and then I started fleshing it out and Crystal-fying the crap out of it.

crystal: In my eyes, mx, you get all the credit.

crystal: Because you get the wonderful pleasure of listening to me yammer on and on and on about it every. Single. Day.

crystal: For the next year or so. Give or take a few months.

crystal: :)

mxpw: Heh. I can't wait. Seriously.

mxpw: So, okay, I think it's time we start to wrap things up.

mxpw: And I have two last questions for you.

crystal: Aw. But people barely know what Kill Bryce is really about!

crystal: Well, aside from the obvious title.

crystal: OR IS IT?

crystal: *dun dun dunnnn!*

mxpw: Give me a rundown in 50 words or less.

Frea: Bryce doesn't get Chuck kicked out of Stanford.

crystal: Ah, yes. Kill Bryce is actually several chapters of Fates in disguise.

mxpw: That's pretty much the go-to plot for the Cabal these days.

Frea: So it's in Sarah's POV, then?

crystal: Haha, no, but seriously, it's action-packed. Fast-paced. Bryce is basically a psychopathic genius toying with our favorite team. And the character dynamics are going to be much different. Well, aside from Casey. Casey might be his usual badass self.

mxpw: So there's action?

crystal: Er...yes.

crystal: I would hope so.

mxpw: And romance?

crystal: I'd fail as a fanfic author if it didn't have action.

crystal: Ah, yes, romance.

crystal: Uh...down the road.

crystal: But it'll get there.

crystal: Oh, and people die.

mxpw: Suspense? Geek references?

crystal: Suspense, yes.

crystal: Geek references? I'll try.

crystal: You know I fail at pop culture, mx.

mxpw: Yeah. What's Kill Bryce named after?

Frea: My pet rabbit.

crystal: Is that a test?

mxpw: Yes

crystal: I'd like to say Kill Bill, but Frea's the one who titled it, sooo...

mxpw: *facepalm*

crystal: *shrug*

mxpw: There's all the proof you need, readers.

crystal: *eyeroll*

crystal: Thanks, mx.

crystal: Anywaaaays...what were your last two questions?

mxpw: You're welcome!

mxpw: Okay, last two questions!

mxpw: What is your favorite color?

crystal: Purple!

mxpw: And just how awesome am I?

crystal: Oh, so awesome.

mxpw: Sweet!

mxpw: Okay, so I think that wraps things up.

crystal: Head feeling a little lighter, mx?

crystal: :)

mxpw: Thank you, crystal, for your time. Now you're probably off to go hug puppies and feed the homeless or something.

crystal: Or, y'know, sleep.


  1. "I mean, what does the title even mean?"
    You're one to talk, mxpw. We're still trying to find that freaking DA!!! ;)

    Great interview! Excited about Kill Bryce, when will we get to see it?

    Also, I wanted to say I loved the first chapter of CG and how you constructed it. We knew what Sarah was doing because of the title, but it was just hilarious!

  2. what people don't realize about this interview were that there were a lot more side-comments from yours truly, but of course mxpw (who edited this masterpiece) decided to leave in the one--ONE--comment where I mentioned Sarina. *grumble*

    Next interview we're going to bug Crystal about the videos she makes, I think. Because her editing skills are made of, as the internet calls it, win. *Goes to watch "Don't Hold Back"*

  3. OldDarth25.8.10

    Well Crystal that sounds like a heckuva story idea. Good luck!

    May all your writing tools stay sharp.

  4. @Crumby - Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed CG. :) As for Kill Bryce, if I can get through this little obstacle I'm currently having, we can hope to see the story's prologue posted within a week or two. Technically I could already post the prologue if I wanted to, but I need a buffer, soooo... :)

    @Frea - Haha. Good idea. People seem to be more interested in my videos than my stories anyway. :D

    @OD - Thanks! I need it. I'm already going crazy over this first chapter...

  5. As great as the interview was, I feel like it didn't completely capture just how awesome crystal really is. Or how adorable.

    But really, guys, ya'all need to read KB when it comes out. It's really, really, really good. I've read parts of it so far and I'm impressed.


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