All of my characters share some characteristics with me (How could they not?) but none of my characters are specifically supposed to be me. I do have a number of Author Avatars, however, which I guess count as characters even if they only rarely appear in my stories directly (I use a bit of a different spin on the narration depending on the story, and if an author avatar makes an appearance, they share the narraration's qualities. I don't really know why.) One of my stranger settings has a character that is me (...it's the creator god. Of course.)
Actually, the character that people though represented my screen name (A dragon named Blue) had the least in common with me of them all. Luckily I realized my mistake and changed it after a while...
2. Do you prefer writing male or female characters? Why?
Male, honestly. There's nothing sexist about it, I just have better luck paying attention to what I write when there's a male character... I also like writing characters where you can't immediatly determine their gender. It's interesting to see how people react to it.
I do write (and even like to write) female characters though. I just haven't had as many in the past.
3. How attached do you get to your own characters? Do you think getting too attached is a problem?
I'm extremely attached to all my characters. Some of them I love, and some of them I loath. I also like writing emotional rollercoasters so I can show off their colors. Humor/discomfort are good too. It probably helps that I tend to recycle character designs a bit, so even if I kill one off, I can always use it again elsewhere... Some people seem to get attached at the hip to their characters, which is bad, but it's a different sort of attachment than what I seem to have with most of them.
4. How attached do you get to other people's characters?
Sometimes very, sometimes not at all. It depends on whether I find them believable as a person or not.
5. Do you formulate a story to fit your characters, or do you write characters to fit a story?
I make a character, and then I make some story, and then I realize I need another character and ...bam. Practically writes itself. I also like banging my characters together repeatedly and recording the sounds it makes. (Take that bit metaphorically.) Story tends to be a thing that just happens when I write. Also intricate backstories that appear out of nowhere and take root in my head. And then require their own story to be written out.
6. How do you go about making a character? Do you think it's an effective method?
I start with a personality (often a combination of bits of several other characters from one of my other universes) and then work my way out, figuring out a basic apperance right afterward and then addressing the rest as it comes up. Most of my characters never get a specific age unless they exist on a section of a universe's history I already plotted, and the vast majority of my characters never get names.
The universe and situation usually comes first, and the characters show up along the way... my latest was