Monday Musings: Am I Writing My Own Fan Fiction?


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.


Toby Neal’s World


Toby Neal’s Kindle World launched this week with eight new novellas in the Lei Crime series—including one by new BestSelling Reads member and one by a former member.

Kindle Worlds are a wonderful new place on the Amazon site where any writer can develop stories within an established World. Included are TV shows, graphic novels/comics, and of course, popular book series.

The Lei Crime Kindle World fan fiction site is LIVE today, April 7!

Warrior DogWarrior Dog (Flavor: Action/Animal Star), by Emily Kimelman (parallel to Fire Beach)

Even a warrior dog fears some enemies.

From the unique perspective of Keiki, Lei and Stevens’s faithful guardian Rottweiler, Keiki’s role remains the same at it has been for centuries. She must protect Lei and her family. They are her pack and in need of her protection. But what can she do when the enemy is fire? How will Keiki save her family from this raging, uncontrollable beast, and those who start it?


Shell Keper

The Shell Keeper (Flavor: Sweet, Inspirational) byChristine Nolfi (Prequel to Blood Orchids)

In South Carolina, magic is as plentiful as sweet tea.

Thanks to her aunt’s unwanted generosity, policewoman Lei Texeira has embarked on a vacation—of the supernatural sort. What Lei discovers about the sorcery of belief, and the love promised to her future will begin to heal wounds she’s carried for far too long.



A Snake in ParadiseA Snake in Paradise, by (Flavor: Suspense) Eden Baylee(a parallel to Blood Orchids)

Lainey Lee has always dreamed of going to Hawaii. It should have been her honeymoon trip, only it never happened. Now, in a poetic twist of fate, she is making the journey twenty-seven years later—following a messy divorce. Once on the Big Island, Lainey discovers paradise, but white sand beaches and blue skies are not all Hawaii has to offer. She soon meets Julian, a mysterious stranger ten years her junior. They share an instant connection. Lainey is eager to shed the fears that trapped her in a loveless marriage, but is Julian a tempting distraction, a new beginning, or a snake in paradise?


Hidden PoppiesHidden Poppies (Flavor: Mystery & GLBT Themes), byM.L. Doyle (a parallel to Stolen in Paradise)

Nothing about this kidnapping makes sense. An army colonel’s daughter isn’t a typical target, and a full week goes by before the demand for ransom is delivered. FBI Special Agent Marcella Scott knows that if the circumstances are unusual, they’re also unpredictable. Unpredictable means dangerous. Agent Scott’s partner, Special Agent Ken Yamada, has difficulty focusing on the puzzling case. His long career has forced him to make sacrifices–especially in his personal life. When the young girl’s abduction brings him face to face with one of those sacrifices, Major Chuck Mathews, Yamada begins to question his choices.


Never AgainNever Again (Flavor: Suspense)by Julie C. Gilbert (Prequel to Blood Orchids)

Jealousy can kill. When college junior Alana Adams catches her boyfriend passionately kissing another woman, she promptly dumps Nathan and turns to her best friend, Michael, for advice and emotional support. At first, Nathan apologizes and showers Alana with gifts in an effort to win her back. He tries to get her to see they belong together, but when his efforts fail, he concludes the real problem in their relationship must be her best friend. As Alana’s rejection further sinks in, Nathan realizes there’s only one solution to their problem: kill Michael Stevens.


Fireweed TrailFireweed Trail (Flavor: Suspense/YA), by Craig Hansen(Prequel to Blood Orchids)

Hiking has never been so deadly. Troubled teen Leilani Texeira is on the edge of self-destruction. As a last-ditch effort to reach her, Auntie sends her to the Fireweed Trail program, a wilderness therapy hike down the Oregon Coast Trail. Things go well until a fellow hiker turns up dead. Damaged and fragile, Lei is pushed into one of the most harrowing adventures in her young life. Miles from civilization and help, she only has her own strength and determination to save herself from of a killer’s wrath.. Instead of hiking, she’s running for her life.


Saddle RoadSaddle Road  (Flavor: Mystery/Suspense) by J.L. Oakley(parallel to Fire Beach)

Just another bad day for some poor soul. A body shows up in Maui’s Kahului Harbor. It looks like just another bad day for some poor soul in paradise, until Detective Lei Texeira and Lieutenant Michael Stevens identify the victim as a well-respected veteran from Washington State. Soon, they find themselves in the middle of a charity scam where someone’s skimming money meant for returning veterans with PTSD. The clues lead Lei, and Stevens to an exotic animal hunting club on the Big Island where they encounter the killer on the high lava deserts of Saddle Road.


Half Moon GirlsHalf Moon Girls (Flavor: Mystery/Suspense)by Corinne O’Flynn (parallel to Torch Ginger)

Even paradise has a dark side…

When Detective Leilani Texeira begins investigating a murder on Kaua`i, she’s struck by one thing: the victim looks like her. As Lei battles dark memories stirred up by the likeness, a friend calls, worried that her daughter didn’t come home last night. Lei soon discovers that the dead girl and the missing girl were friends and last seen together the previous day. There’s nothing good to come for girls tattooed with a mysterious half moon.

Toby promises that more novellas will add to the Lei Crime Kindle World in the coming months.

Visit her site and leave a comment to enter a draw to win the Lei Crime Kindle World novella of your choice. Winners will be picked by Tuesday, April 14.

Toby encourages writers who want a new and interesting challenge, to let her know on her blog.