Interview with Nikki StaffordJuly 1998
Bitch of Rome: Hello Nikki! Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
Nikki Stafford: Thanks for asking! I'm always willing to talk shop with another Xenite. ;-)
BoR: Me too! I never met a Xenite I didn't like! Okay, you are the writer of the unofficial Xena book Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor: Warrior Stars of Xena. Having read the book, I have to say that it's GREAT work! I HIGHLY recommend it.
NS: Why thank you! It took a year out of my life (not that that's a BAD thing *G*) because I was involved in all aspects of it from writing to production, but it was so much fun! I met a lot of fans through the process, many of whom made it into the book in one way or another, and some of them became very good friends of mine. So I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if the opportunity arose.
BoR: It was a pleasure to work with you! Okay, before we get into the questions, could you tell me a bit about yourself for those who don't know you?
NS: Well, I work at the publishing house that is putting out the book, and they wanted someone to write a biography of Lucy Lawless. So naturally, I obliged. However, as you know, the book ended up being something very different. I have my Masters degree in English from the University of Toronto, and there were two things I always wanted to do: be a writer and work in publishing. And I'm doing both! I've already been signed up for another book, so I guess the publishing house liked this one. ;-)
BoR: No reason NOT to like it! How did you get started in writing?
NS: I started out as a journalist, writing entertainment pieces for a newspaper. I interviewed other writers such as Canadian author Timothy Findley, and bands such as The Sundays and my personal favorite singer, Gavin Friday. Mostly I wrote reviews of film, theatre, books, and music. I eventually became the book section editor, where I was able to focus on book reviews and author interviews, and I changed the section to put a different spin on small publishing houses. I edited the other writers who were my staff, so that gave me my first real editing experience, and I was nominated for editor of the year. ;-D I didn't win that award *G*, but I did get the award for best review of the year for a review of a Salman Rushdie book. Then when I went to do my Masters at U of T, I had to write about 15 essays that were normal length (about 15 pages) and 5 that were longer (about 30-40 pages) so that built up my stamina to be able to write something much bigger, like this book. I was fortunate enough to have Linda Hutcheon as one of my profs (a major literary critic and scholar) who encouraged me to be more creative in my essays, so that helped. So basically all this rambling is to say that the reviews I did for the newspaper definitely helped out when I was doing the episode guides, and the longer essays were essential for being able to focus and undertake the enormous amount of research that this book required.
BoR: What made you want to write Warrior Stars of Xena?
NS: Well, to be absolutely honest I was a relative newbie to the show, but I loved it. As I said earlier, they came up with the idea at the publishing house, and they needed someone to write it. I agreed to do it because I thought it would definitely be a way to get into the show quickly and learn about it all at once, and get paid for doing it! ;-) Originally the concept was to do a bio of Lucy, but when I was talking to other Xenites (and in belonging to Gabchat and GabsClan at the time) I realized that if ROC is also the star of the show, the book should be about both of them. I think Reneé is just as amazing an actress, and yet she doesn't have the exposure that Lucy does. I'm assuming that's because the show's called Xena: Warrior Princess and talk shows and such naturally want the title character. The original title of the book was Lucy Lawless: Warrior Star of Xena, but after about 2 weeks working on the book I'd decided it would be about both of them, and the book quickly underwent a title change. ;-) So I guess I wanted to write the book because I thought it would be so much fun to work on, and I knew I would have lots of support from fans along the way, which I undoubtedly have. I'm so glad I agreed to do it: it's been one of the best experiences of my life.
BoR: You mentioned earlier that you were signed up for another book. What is it about? Do you have any plans for anymore Xena books?
NS: The next book is on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and before everyone starts groaning *G* I had only seen a few shows when I first proposed it to the company, but I think it's GREAT now! It's similar to Xena in that we tend to get involved in the relationships of the characters, and it's those relationships that have us tuning in week after week, as with Xena. I know that during the Rift Saga I was sitting in front of the TV week after week like a fiend, and was SO annoyed when they'd put some comic episode in the middle or something to break up the sequence. ARGH! However, I ended up enjoying those episodes for their own sake. So where in Warrior Stars I gave backgrounds to the Greek and Judeo-Christian myths that form the backbone of each episode, for Buffy I'll be doing a similar thing where I look at vampire fiction and folklore, and talk about where BtVS goes off on a tangent from the original ideas. Of course, I also have to discuss mummies, werewolves, poltergeists, witches (wicca), pagan theologies, gypsies, and so on. Last week I read this book that explained how the human body decomposes and used pathology to describe how decomposed bodies were mistaken for vampires. Light reading for a Sunday afternoon. ;-D As for further Xena books, it has certainly been discussed, but I don't know for sure. The Buffy book is one I've been working on for a while now (the Xena manuscript was actually finished in December, and production took the extra time) and I proposed a book on Herc and Xena that discussed how the two shows are inextricably linked in many ways, but I'm not sure if in another year it would be too late for a book like that. In Warrior Stars I tried to do a lot of things that the other 3 Xena books haven't covered—fan clubs, Meow Mix, Grease!, web sites and mailing lists--and another Xena book might end up saturating the market. But we'll see!
BoR: Let's move onto some Xena questions. What was the first Xena episode you saw, and what made you want to tune in again?
NS: Well, I'd seen episodes in the first season because my future sister-in-law is a HUGE fan of the show, and I would watch it at her place in bits and pieces, but I was away at university and my roommate and I didn't have cable, so I couldn't actually watch the show. *G* But then I saw "Destiny" (I know, I know, late bloomer) and it was stunning. I was riveted through the whole show, and I immediately started watching it. That is still one of my favourite episodes. I mean, the music, the costumes, the story line: amazing! After that, I couldn't watch the show (not having cable can drive you insane) and the next episode I saw was "The Price." And it left an even bigger impression on me! The show has always been prominent in the media so I'd been following Lucy's accident and I'd seen interviews with the people on the show, even though I wasn't able to watch it. So then I tried to find someone online who might have taped all the episodes, and lo and behold you came along (thanks again!) and I just watched them all the time. It was great! When the episodes arrived I became completely immersed in the show and the fandom, and when the book suggestion came along, I jumped at it! So initially, it was the overall look of the show and the storyline that kept me watching (although imagine seeing "Destiny" for the first time and then not being able to see "The Quest" right after! Argh!! However, beyond that it was the friendship between Xena and Gabrielle. I'd never seen anything like that on TV before or since, and I think it was the closeness and special nature of their relationship that made it so hard for some fans to accept the rift that occurred this season. I know I was pretty upset about the whole thing, but because I'd actually begun really caring for these characters, I stuck by the thing until the end, and I was so glad I did. Most television shows are plot-driven, whereas I think X:WP is character-driven.
BoR: Why do YOU think Xena is so popular?
NS: Well, during the course of the book I conducted a questionnaire with 98 people online, and one of the questions was exactly that. Most people responded that it was a show about two intelligent, strong women who didn't have to make excuses for being strong OR intelligent, and I agree. I don't think there's ever been an instance on the show where someone has questioned the fact that Xena is a woman (except for in "Been There, Done That," which otherwise was a great episode) and the fact that Gabrielle can out-bard Homer and is definitely the superior sidekick to Joxer is something that is very new on television. However, as I said in the last response, I think it's the friendship of these two women. I've seen one too many journalists hearken back to the days of Wonder Woman when talking about this show, but there was no friendship like the one between Xena and Gabrielle in Wonder Woman (and personally, I think Miss Piggy was the original Xena: "HIIIYAAA!"). These are two women who are very close (whether you believe in the subtext or not) and would do just about anything for one another. Can you name another friendship like theirs on TV? I mean, you've got Laverne and Shirley, or Mary and Rhoda, etc. but they were more into "crazy antics" than really being a show about the friendship itself, and the same goes for just about any show like that between two women: they're all sitcoms. We've seen how Gabrielle would react if Xena died, and how Xena would react if Gabrielle died. As with most friendships, it's been tested (although a little more harshly than most) and they've both come out of it as friends. However, the only regret I have with the whole rift thing is that there was no development of the characters afterwards. In "The Bitter Suite" these two were put through everything, and they came out of it with a deeper understanding of one another. The following week, in "One Against an Army," Xena is standing there rolling her eyes at "silly ol' Gabrielle" trying to attempt a flip. Shouldn't there have been some development there? I was disappointed that the writers didn't use the experiences of what they'd been through to actually develop the friendship into something deeper and different. The development of their friendship during the first season was very gradual and beautifully done, but I don't see any development happening right now. Ah well, I'm rambling now. ;-)
BoR: LOVE Piggy! :) Do you believe Xena is a role model for everyone, or just women?
NS: That's a good question! I think that Xena and Gabrielle together are good role models for women. This season both of them have done some pretty questionable things, but they don't just slash and run, they discuss the issues and how difficult their lives are. To digress for a moment (like most of this interview hasn't been made up of my digressions! *G*) a lot of fans came down hard on the show this season, and I'll admit I did at first, too. However, when Gabrielle committed her first kill it wasn't just, "Oh well," and off she went, there were emotional problems that she's STILL trying to hash out that were attached to having lost her blood innocence. On other TV shows that are like this, you rarely get a glimpse of how killing affects people, and that's how we become desensitized to it. Someone told me once that they were watching CNN during the Gulf War and there was a pilot who had been shooting at enemy tanks, and he said in the interview, "And it all seemed so real!" like he'd been playing a computer game or something! That's the kind of desensitization that happens when television and movies show violence and treat it like an everyday occurrence. Not so on X:WP. Gabrielle is tormented by what she's done, and Xena must try to help her through it. I think Xena is a good role model in that she's done a lot of terrible things in her past, but she refuses to walk away from them. In "Forgiven" she won't go to an altar and have someone tell her she's forgiven, because she knows she can't be forgiven unless she forgives herself first. Gabrielle is a great role model because of her aversion to violence, her intelligence, and the way she's learned in a fairly short period of time how to defend herself. I really think she's an amazing character, which is why I was so devastated to see what Gabrielle was put through this season. In the sense that both of them are strong individuals who stick together and learn to survive in a difficult world, I think they're good role models for both men and women. If we're talking children, though, I think if I did have kids I would let them watch season one and two, but I'd be very choosy with the season three episodes. There are some really touchy issues, some adult issues, that occur this season, and even Lucy admitted that the show isn't exactly for children anymore.
BoR: You brought up Gabrielle a lot in the role model question. Do you believe that she is as good a role model as Xena when it comes to women being able to hold their own? Do you believe she is a better over-all role model?
NS: It's so difficult to choose between the two because they're role models in very different ways. Gabrielle is a strong person, as I said before, and she's funny and intelligent, and while she defends herself she doesn't keep her back up like Xena does: she allows herself to fall in love (although Perdicus is not one of my favourite characters...). Xena is a role model in that she's got a dark past to overcome, and she doesn't rely on a man to get her out of situations: she does it herself. She's willing to face the demons of her past, as I said. And now Gabrielle has demons of her own to face and she's working things out for herself. So I think they're good role models for very different reasons, although this season I'll admit I do find myself sympathizing with Gabrielle's character more.
BoR: Which character is your favourite, and why?
NS: Ah! No fair! Ok, that's a toughie. Well, it's hard to choose a character over Xena and Gabrielle and it's hard to choose between the two of them. I think many fans would say their favourite character is the DUO of Xena and Gabrielle, and I'm afraid I'd have to use that cop-out, too. I think together they're amazing. It's also a matter of who your favourite character is at what time. For example, in the first season I would have said Xena hands down. In the third I think it's Gabrielle. There have been developments with both characters that have changed them to make them more or less likable, but no one has undergone a development like Gabrielle has. It's funny, because at first I was one of the ones protesting against what the writers were doing to Gabrielle's character this season, but what has happened is ROC has impressed me so much with her incredible acting talents, and Gabrielle is the more sympathetic character. Now when it comes to secondary characters it's Callisto, hands down. I screech every time she shows up. I just love her. Another favorite is Salmoneous, who sadly appears to have gone off the show or something. He is SO funny without being annoying, and it's upsetting that they don't use him more. I also love Ephiny, and wish they'd use her more, too. She's amazing ("Amazons attack!"). The scene in "Maternal Instincts" where she's talking to Gabrielle is so touching, and I was thinking that Gabrielle should have told Ephiny the truth. Ephiny is definitely her closest friend besides Xena. I love Bruce Campbell, too. (Am I completely avoiding answering your question or what? *G*)
BoR: Yeah, that answered nothing. [laughing] Okay, let's try another character one. I hope it's easier! Which character do you feel you are most like, and why?
NS: Hmm. I've never even thought about that before. I don't think I'm like any one character, but I can identify with certain things people do. Unfortunately, I don't think I have anything in common with Callisto, which is probably why I love that character. I'm like Gabrielle in the first season in that I babble on and on and on without ever ceasing. *G* I'm like Joxer in that I'm a clutz. Haha! Seriously, I really don't know. I guess when I watch something I see them as being characters in themselves, and I don't really project myself onto them. If I had to pick one I'd probably say Gabrielle, although I say that hesitantly because I really think she is the symbol of purity on that show (mother of Hope or not) and I don't know anyone who's as good as she is. I sympathize with her naivete in violent situations, because I find myself scratching my head in disbelief when I watch the news every night, trying to understand why such horrible things happen to people every day, and people are often pointing out that "you've got to be pretty naive to think that violence will just go away." However, I could never wield a staff as expertly as she does. ;-D
BoR: What is your favourite Xena episode and why?
NS: Ooh, that's a hard one. I tend to think of my favourite episodes per season, so if you don't mind I'll do that. In the first season, I'm caught between "Callisto," which had that amazing battle scene and music that was just top-notch, and "Mortal Beloved," which I thought was the first time we saw some really subtle acting from both ROC and LL, and both of them produced convincing results. In the second season I'm partial to "Destiny." The music, costumes, acting, story, directing: it all added up to one hell of an episode. I've heard that they tend to produce one or two very expensive episodes a season, and this definitely had to have been one of them. I loved it and watch it often. In the third season, despite the rift, the production was just so fabulous it's difficult to pick just one, but I am partial to "The Bitter Suite." I watched that episode five times in the first week, and like many Xenites, knew the words to each song LONG before the CD came out. It was just amazing. However... after having seen "Sacrifice II," I'll admit I've never had a single episode blow me away like that. It's going to be a long, long summer. *G*
BoR: Oh gods! October 1st! I CAN'T wait that long! Anyway, which Xena episode/s moved you enough to make you cry, if any?
NS: Well, there are certain scenes that always make that lump in my throat rear its ugly head, like Xena saying goodbye to Marcus in "Mortal Beloved," Xena in Autolycus's body telling Gabrielle she's not gone in "The Quest" (and that little choking sob that Gabrielle makes), Xena asking Gabrielle to scratch her nose in "Debt II" (and that little choking sob that Gabrielle makes *G*) but the one episode that has made me cry is "Maternal Instincts." I lose it every time I watch the scene where Xena is rocking Solan and telling him that "Mommy's here" because it's just so devastating. She was never able to say that to him in life, and now she has this overwhelming desire to let him know that she's his mother and will always protect him, and he's dead. And then just as I'm recovering from that scene, Gabrielle attempts suicide and I lose it all over again (give me a break; I'm very unstable by that point in the show *G*) and the ending was very moving. Both of these women are feeling pain they've never dreamed of, and it's made worse by the fact that once and for all they're on opposite sides. That was an amazing episode.
BoR: I agree, however, for me, it's that dang "The Love of Your Love," song. I don't know how ANYONE can watch that and keep their composure! Who is your favourite Xena actor/actress?
NS: That would be Reneé O'Connor. In the first season I *will* admit I thought she mugged for the camera and played Gabrielle a little too over the top, but unlike the other cast members she has grown and developed as an actress before our very eyes, and this season she has gone to the wall and back. Ironically, there were many Gab fans who have been cheering her on all along, yet in this season they seem to be turning against her slightly because she has changed as a character. However, I've never loved Gabrielle as I have this season. She has been through hell and back, yet she still loves Xena, she still has her values, and she's still that bard from Poteidaia. I think that says more for her than just about anything. Reneé can play comedy and make me laugh out loud, she can play drama and have me in tears, and she's just so amazing to watch. She seems like a very sweet person in interviews, too. Not that I don't like the other actors--I think so many of them are amazing--but Reneé is a stand-out for me this season.
BoR: When you surf around on the net, what sites do you visit, whether Xena or not?
NS: Actually, I love MaryD's site (and not just because she designed the cover of the book *G*) because lately, in a fit of GWS I've been reading a lot of fan fiction, and there are some AMAZING authors over there! So I've been reading that a lot. I visit Whoosh whenever there's a new issue, and I often check out the XOR for any updates. My favourite Xena site is this completely sacrilegious one called The Xena Coalition Homepage, which I mention in the book, and it's absolutely hysterical! I'm also a real movie buff so I would say the site I visit more than anything is the Internet Movie Database and a few other movie sites so I can get the dirt on the latest films being made. One of my favourite sites is at www.moviecritic.com, where you rate your favourite movies, and it tells you what movies are in theatres right now that fit your tastes. It's actually really accurate. I have a bunch of non-Xena-related websites that I like, and my bookmarks are getting incredibly long. A lot of them are websites for fans of The Simpsons, South Park, Buffy, and other shows that I love. I visit Amazon.com and Powerstar on a regular basis, too. Whew! I should really spend less time on the Internet! *G*
BoR: What do you feel is the best Xena mailing list?
NS: Ah. To be honest, I really can't answer that one because they're all so different and I like them for different reasons. That's why I belong to 5 of them. Chakram is good because you don't get a ton of posts and all the "me too" and "I agree" posts are completely filtered out. But I'm also on Xenaverse because sometimes someone will have something interesting to say, but their post doesn't make it onto Chakram. I used to be on Herc/Xena, GabsClan, and Clan MacGab, and those are all good ones, but I'm not a really big Herc fan and I prefer Gabchat when it comes to Gabrielle lists, so I'm not on those ones anymore. I've recently subscribed to Flawless (which, sadly, came into being AFTER I'd handed in the manuscript, so it didn't make it into the book) and it's a great list to keep up-to-date on all things Lucy. And finally, I'm on a small list called Moxena, and I like that one because it's small, I know a lot of the people on it personally, and you have a little more freedom to say things. Because everyone is friends, it's harder to start a flame war there than on other lists, because people don't always assume the worst. So I suppose I dodged your question again *G* but I really believe the lists are all different. Those are the 5 that I think are the best.
BoR: Moxena is the BEST list! LadySpice knows how to run a nice, friendly list. Do you know many Xenites? What's your opinion of them?
NS: Why, I think they are the most annoying li-- ahem, I mean, uh, I love 'em! *G* Seriously, I know many MANY Xenites online but over the past few months I've been able to meet some of them in person. At the PNW Xenafest I met someone who had helped me out on one of the chapters, and it was so weird! She was just as sweet in person as she'd been online. I've met a few people (including yourself) whom I've become very good friends with, just chatting it up, and one person in particular has become one of my closest friends: we share a love of Xena and cats. ;-) I think Xenites are special people, and while I've been a fan of many different television shows, I've never experienced the camaraderie and family atmosphere that exists among Xena fans on those other mailing lists. There is definitely a difference, and I feel very close to many of the people I've met. In fact, the best thing about working on this book is all the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of working with, and while the book is done and out of my hands, these friendships continue. Thanks so much for asking.
BoR: What is your opinion on Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor as people?
NS: Well, I haven't met either one of them, so I can't really honestly answer that question. In interviews they come across as being very accessible people, and as far as ROC goes, she has an amazing group of people working with her at Rocweb, who are always there to answer any questions you might have. I think ROC has got to be one of the most accessible people on television because of Rocweb. For example, there was an article that came out recently and some of the people on the Gabrielle lists had some questions about it, so as a group they asked Rocweb, who passed on the question to Reneé's mother, Sandra, who asked Reneé, who then answered it and the answer came back down the line. It was so fast! However, because I haven't met them (and even if I had that doesn't mean I *know* them personally) I can't really answer that.
BoR: Well I know you love Xena, but what else do you watch?
NS: Well, I'm a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as I said before; I think it's one of the most clever shows on television. I tend to love animated shows, too: The Simpsons, King of the Hill, South Park. I never miss an episode of those. There's a station here in Canada called Bravo that started re-running Monty Python's Flying Circus about a year ago, and to this day I think it's one of the best comedy shows ever made. I've got every episode on tape. So many other great comedy teams took their cue from them, Kids in the Hall being one of them. As you can probably tell, I tend to love comedies. ;-) However, HBO started showing the most amazing series last fall called Oz, and I watched it from the first episode, and it's absolutely brilliant. I certainly don't recommend it to younger viewers, but it's amazing. Other shows I try not to miss are The X-Files, NewsRadio, and 60 Minutes. Oh, and the kid in me loves The Muppets and The Animaniacs. And before you say it, yes I *am* a TV junkie. Haha!
BoR: TV rules! :) What do you like to read?
NS: I like to read a lot of things. One of my favourite authors is Angela Carter, who was a British author who wrote in the style of magic realism (like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose works I love as well). My favorite book of hers is actually the first one I read, called Nights at the Circus. It is absolutely wonderful. Another is Timothy Findley. I think I've read everything he's published, including his plays, and he's just a fantastic writer. My favorite novel is "Fall On Your Knees" by Ann-Marie MacDonald. I had read her 1990 play, Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, about a year after it was published, and I loved it. It's this hilarious play about a woman whose PhD thesis is based on the question of what would have happened if a fool had entered Shakespeare's tragedies and averted the tragedy? And then she falls into "Romeo and Juliet" and "Othello" and does just that. It's a great play. So when I heard she was bringing out a novel I couldn't wait, and I had it the week it came out. All I can say is READ IT. I don't care how old you are, what gender you are, you will love this book. I have persuaded many of my friends to read it and the ones who did loved it. I have never read a book that moved me like this one did. At the end of the book I was literally sobbing, and I just couldn't bring myself to close the book because I knew that it would mean those characters wouldn't go on. I know that sounds creepy, but it's true. I've read hundreds of books, but I've never been as affected by anything as this one. My favorite new writer is from Toronto, and I've actually gotten to know him since reading his book. His name is Tony Burgess and two of his books are The Hellmouths of Bewdley and Pontypool Changes Everything. They're gothic horror novels that deal with psychological horror more than just Stephen King-type horror. He gets compared to Edgar Allan Poe more than anyone else. He has a third book coming out next spring, I believe. Other favorites are John Irving, Alice Munro, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor (her book Mama Day is incredible), and last but certainly not least, Lewis Carroll. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass will always be my favorite books, I think. I still find myself laughing out loud whenever I read them. He was just too brilliant for his own good. ;-) For that matter, Dr. Seuss and Edward Lear are favourites of mine, too. I love nonsense verse. (Am I the queen of dragging out an answer or what?!)
BoR: Yes, I've noticed that! This is going to be REALLY long on the site! [laughing] Either than anything Xena related (including dancing to "The Bitter Suite" CD!) what do you like to do?
NS: LOL! You should see me tango to "Come Melt Into Me." Haha! Seriously, I love going to movies (it must seem like I spend my life staring at screens! Computer, television, movies...*G*). I love repertory cinema, and there are lots of those types of theatres here in Toronto. Unfortunately, lately I haven't had time to do much of anything, but I just got out to see the X-Files movie last week and it was great! I've got a list of movies that I've got to see that is getting out of hand, so once Buffy is done (and it will be in a few days!) I'll get out to a few more. I live in an area of Toronto where there are lots of little shops, so I love to go out to look through those when I can. I guess when I get my life back I'll be able to answer that question and actually sound like an interesting person. *G*
BoR: Is there anyone you would like to thank for getting you to this place in your life?
NS: No, I did it all by myself. *G* I've always been closer to my brother than just about anyone else in my life, and he has encouraged me every step of the way, so he deserves the first big thank-you, and my mother has always been there for me whenever I needed anything or anyone to talk to, so I'd like to thank her. (Love you, Mom! *G*) My fiance, Robert, was the one who encouraged me to major in English literature, rather than denying myself the enjoyment by taking math or something, which was my original intention. Most of all, it was the publishers at ECW Press who gave me this wonderful opportunity, and I can't thank them enough. Oh, and an extra thanks to my Xenite pal and fellow cat lover, Kim, who was more excited about the book coming out than anyone I know, and she went the extra mile to make me feel special about the whole thing, rather than saying, "Oh, XENA," and rolling her eyes, which is what the majority of my friends did. *G* Thanks, Kim! ;-)
BoR: All right, here's a question you should be able to answer in one word. :D Do you think there is anyone who can beat Xena in a fight?
NS: Haha! No, but I love watching people try! ;-)
BoR: Nikki, thank you so much for this delightful interview! It was a pleasure all the way through!
NS: The pleasure was all mine. Thanks so much for giving me this opportunity! You had some great questions! Take care.
BoR: You too!