Monday Musings: Am I Writing My Own Fan Fiction?

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by Kathleen Valentine

Now that The Legend is out in the world I decided to get to work on the third story in my Halcyon Beach Chronicles which will be called Ghost of a Dancer by Moonlight. I’ve been batting this one around for awhile. However the other day I was presented an opportunity that piqued my curiosity. I was invited to submit a short story to an anthology. The guidelines were that it should be an original story featuring a strong female lead character and that she should be a character from one of my series.

Vivienne2I have three series at the moment—Beacon Hill Chronicles (Crazy Old Lady stories), Halcyon Beach Chronicles, and the Marienstadt stories. I am contemplating a fourth one, probably called Pitts Crossing Stories, which would be sequels to The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild but that’s a ways off. Of all these stories probably my strongest female character is Viv Lang in the Beacon Hill ones. Despite a vulnerable core, Viv is a force to be reckoned with. She is an accomplished martial artist who is also pretty darn good at old-fashioned American street fighting. In past stories Viv has knocked a gigantic, 300 lb. monk on his back, punched a serial abuser of women right in the nose, and won the heart of a Boston Southie cop by wrestling with him until she let him pin her. She’s a piece of work, my Viv. I love her.

The more I contemplated writing a short story about Viv, the more I realized I was sort of writing my own fan fiction. This would be a much shorter work than the four books in the series and it will also be less intense. In the past Viv has battled killers, ghosts, and mysterious strangers but for this one I wanted something lighter. I wanted to make this fun.

Fan fiction has been around for a very long time. I remember back in the 80s I was working for a real estate agency in Houston, Texas, and met a very unusual young woman who ran the print shop. In between producing fliers and brochures for agents, she wrote, illustrated, and printed Star Trek fan fiction graphic novels. She was very mysterious about them at first and I assured her that I would not tell our supervisor on her (he already knew and was amused by it.) But eventually she let me see one and they were not what I expected—it was fan fiction erotica and, boy, was it erotic!

The popularity of fan fiction has also spawned Kindle Worlds which Julie Gilbert wrote about in a previous blog post. Toby Neal’s Lei Crime Series has inspired a number of fans to write fiction based on it. There are a lot of Kindle Worlds series. I keep meaning to look into them but can never find time with all my other projects.

So now I am working on this new challenge—writing a short story featuring my feisty Viv. I’m enjoying it so far and it is making me want to do more of this. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading.

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2 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Am I Writing My Own Fan Fiction?”
  1. I think this is a brilliant idea. It’s a look into your character’s wider traits or backstory. I can even see this sort of approach being used when coming up with a character’s bio – perhaps something that never sees the light of day in the finished book.

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