Q1: Hello. How are you today?
A1: I am doing pretty well today; just watched Korra, so life is good.
Q2: Today I will be interviewing you on your story, Avatar: The Legend of the Phoenix. To begin, how did you come up with the idea?
A2: Well it’s kind of a long story. But to begin with, the story started out years ago, even before the “Sozin's Comet” episodes had aired. However, the original idea was much different from what it is now; the original idea was the one of a second Avatar being alive during Aang’s time. She was planned to have bern Avatar Roku's daughter (which is how she became an Avatar) and have been trapped in a rock avalanche where she stayed for a long time. The plot was that she was freed helped Aang stopped Ozai and then married Zuko. This idea was dumped after we learned that Zuko was related to Roku.
So I started thinking of new ideas, then I realized that have a second Avatar was probably done a billion times before but I really wanted the character to master more than one element. So I decided on two and after much more thinking and planning Avatar: The Legend of the Phoenix
Q3: The Phoenix seems to have this glorious touch. How did you shape the general idea of its existence?*
A3: Well, like I said before, I wanted a character with two elements, but then I decided for there to be a constant element and thought, "Hey, why not make it fire?" So I did; then, I wanted a title for that person’s position; now since I had originally planned for Erica to be a firebender and an airbender, I called it the Phoenix. I would say more on why I made the Phoenix the way she is, like why they always look the same, but that would spoil something that is going to happen later on.
Q4: Erica, the new Phoenix, may seem pointless, since there is no Avatar. This, however, makes this story quite good. How did you come up with Erica’s personality? Did you use real-life experiences?
A4: Hmm… well in Erica, I wanted a character that could grow and evolve through the series. I didn't want her to be completely perfect, because people aren't perfect. Well for real life experiences I guess I just know that when you try to do something that is completely opposite to your nature (a firebender mastering waterbending) that it won’t happen in a day, so that’s why I have Erica really struggle with learning waterbending.
Q5: Another interesting concept rotating around Erica is her ability to master two of the four elements, something making her unique. How did you come up with that idea? Did it use real-life experiences?
A5: Well, like I said above, I wanted my character to be able to bend more than one element and not be the Avatar. So I went through the numbers, and since to me three is such an overused number, I choose two; also, two just seems like a “rounder” number to me.
Q6: Erika, much like the Avatar, has past lives and follows the concept of reincarnation. What shaped that idea?
A6: Well the thing that really shaped that idea was the fact that I wanted to keep writing. I wanted to have a character during Aang’s time and during Roku's and then maybe do one about what happened after Avatar (this was before I learned about Korra). Also I liked how Roku acted as a guide for Aang, and I wanted that for my character.
Q7: Two characters just pop out when you look at your main series page – Yue and Zuko. How did you come up with the idea for them to be a part of the story?
A7: Well I originally had planned for my character to get together with Zuko and for Mai to jump into a volcano or something. But then I watched the original again and liked Mai, so I decided to let her keep Zuko. But I still liked my plan of having her grow up with Zuko and know how cruel Ozai could be. As for Yue, I came up with that idea later; I decided that I wanted to use a character that the readers would already know, one that they could already connect to, and so I choose her. Also I thought it would help Erica grow as we all know what happens to Yue. :(
Q8: Erika, too, has a companion/an animal guide, the eelhound, Natsu. Why did you decide on exactly this type of creature?
A8: Well originally I had intended for her companion to be a War Hawk named Victory. But then I realized that it would take her forever to make it to the Northern Water Tribe and also it would be really easy for her enemies (e.g. Hazma) to capture her. So I looked up Avatar animals (after failing miserably at trying to invent my own) and eventually found the eelhound page; I remembered it from the series and thought, "Yes! This is it." And then I had to change name the creature and my thoughts went to the Fire Nation, which led to the seasons, which led to summer, which led to the Japanese word for summer, Natsu. (This was before I met the user Natsu11.)
Q9: Erica’s story looks quite a lot like Hama’s – she is chased by a Fire Nation general. The reasons, although similar in some ways, are quite different in others. How did you come up with the character General Hazma? Did it involve any real-life experiences?
A9: Well I’m not sure who Hama is, I’m guessing she is a fanon character, but anyway, Hazma, oh what a guy. So I had most of the story down; all I needed now was a villain. So I thought, and thought, and thought some more and that thinking spawned Hazma. I wanted a stuck person who thinks he is going on this easy and important mission to get Erica, only to find it’s not that simple. And if you have read the series the chapter “An Enemy” is not the last time you will be seeing Hazma. :) As for real life experiences, I guess just that I’ve noticed that those in power often miscalculate something and that ends up severely costing them.
Q10: This story also seems to include romance – Tokuda’s and Erica’s mutual attraction towards each other. How did you find the perfect combination between characteristics?
A10: Oh, Tokuda, so sweet, so cute, and so in love! I think that their attraction between them as of right now comes from their friendship and just a regular attraction. But the thing of it is that if they get into a relationship (and I’m not saying they will), they will have some issues to work out, because he doesn’t know who she is.
E: Thank you for being with us today, Saphira1001! Have a wonderful day!
EA: Thanks for interviewing me I hope my answers weren’t too long. :)