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⎇001JW Interviewing Leather Revisited: Forward

The story as it exists clearly has its fans (and its detractors, but that’s as may be). However… it’s very rough. Ragged. There are plenty of typos and bad choices. It needs editing at the very least before it could be published as either an eBook or as part of an anthology.

It’s no secret that Interviewing Leather’s the evergreen story on this site. It wasn’t the first Justice Wing story, and it’s far from the last, but it’s the one that gets a certain number of readers… well, essentially daily.

Well, as a couple of people have remarked upon, with the Banter Latte reworking, Interviewing Leather became Original Interviewing Leather, and it was tagged with a different alternate universe tag — all the way on the other side of the JW milliverse. It’s a pretty good bet that means there’s going to be a revised version that’s going to start being posted. This is true. And that starts… well, today.

The question that at least some folks will ask… is ‘why?’ I mean, what’s wrong with the original?

There are some answers to that question (not the least of which being it’s rough around the edges), but when one remembers that the original story was posted in 2007, thirteen full years ago… that’s a good reason to revise all on its own.

But, it’s not one of the major reasons. For the record, there are three of those:

Reason One: The original story no longer fits the fictional universe

The original Interviewing Leather was written for a fictional universe that ended up looking very different, with different intentions, different characters, and even different history. Place names, events, and plenty of other things have changed over the course of the past thirteen years — not to mention Leather’s backstory has changed along with it. As we move towards both eBook publication and the continued release of content here on Banter Latte, having the original story not fit the things that follow ends up being confusing. So at the very least, there needs to be some revisions.

Reason Two: The ‘First Draft’ paradox means the characters don’t quite mesh

The original story had several posts that had been written years before their posting, and then the rest of the story was posted essentially ‘live.’ As a result… in a lot of ways the story’s a first draft and it feels like it. Todd Chapman says things that don’t really fit who he appears to be in other stories. Leather’s not quite who she is in all the other fiction. There reaches a point where that just becomes distracting.

Reason Three: The story isn’t publishable.

The story as it exists clearly has its fans (and its detractors, but that’s as may be). However… it’s very rough. Ragged. There are plenty of typos and bad choices. It needs editing at the very least before it could be published as either an eBook or as part of an anthology.

A few years back I did a comprehensive rewrite, which I posted for the Patreon. It didn’t go over that well — I’d overwritten it. Added too much, made unnecessary changes… it wasn’t an improvement and it wasn’t any more publishable than the original — it was just differently rough. It was a good experience and it taught me a lot, but that’s all there is to say for it. And I’ve turned over and over in my head the best way to re-revise it.

And finally, I came to a decision. The best way to re-revise the story is to start over, one post at a time, revising and remaking and rebuilding and reposting.

And that’s where we are now. Interviewing Leather, but revised and set in the actual ⎇001JW universe. It’s a version that flows more naturally into Interviewing Trey, and other Chapman stories, and it’s a version that connects to the Becoming Leather prequel stories and the soon-to-appear post-interview stories that fall. Leather’s story has grown and shifted.

In Ninespace, it’s known that history changes over time — time flows over historical events and erodes them, changing things. This doesn’t mean the old history doesn’t exist — like a river eroding its banks, any changes upstream may change the course of the river, but the water that already flowed by isn’t affected. And I took the time to set the original story in a different alternate universe to make sure no one felt it was ‘invalidated.’ That version of the story still ‘happened.’

And, for that matter, that version of the story’s still going to be on Banter Latte. I don’t mind revising stories, but I dislike revisionism, where you change existing posts and pretend like the old version was never there. The old story will still be there, and people will still be able to read it. And some people will prefer it. Potentially loudly.

That’s fine with me. I like it, too.

But it’s time we have a canonical Interviewing Leather that actually fits the rest of the Justice Wing stories.

New posts will be locked to Patreon for 24 hours, then will be released for everyone else automatically. Links will be added to the original pointing people to the new version. And hopefully people will cotton to the revisions.

And if you don’t care for the changes… well, the original’s still there, and it’s not going anywhere.

I won’t pretend I’m not a little nervous about this. But… I’m also excited. I hope you are, too.

Once upon a time, there was a third rate music journalist writing for a second rate Rolling Stone knockoff, who got a chance to interview a C-list supervillain for a day and ended up kidnapped for a week. In the process, he learned about the business of crime, the way a parahuman becomes a villain, and a few things about himself.

Time to save the world.

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