Professional Fan Fiction?

The moment Fifty Shades of Gray was published, everyone peed all over themselves because the story began life as fan fiction. WTF? Seriously? I’ve been writing that shit for years.

It’s no secret that many of my published stories started out as fan fiction (mostly ‘N Sync slash, though there were a few other celebrities of the day tossed in for good measure). When I moved into publishing, I realized many readers wouldn’t bother finding my fan fiction because they didn’t want to read stories about Justin and Lance. I understand that. So the fan fic stories I liked the best were edited anew with original characters. To my surprise, these stories work just as well as “regular” fiction as they did fan fic.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret … sometimes I still write fan fiction. I change the characters before I even start the story, and readers won’t usually recognize the fandoms, but in my mind, it’s fan fic. It’s someone else’s characters or, more likely, celebrities, since I’m a fan of RPS (real person slash). There’s nothing fannish about it, but it’s there nonetheless.

Take my latest story. It has no title yet (that’s usually the last thing I come up with, since I suck at good titles), but it was heavily inspired by Q and Bond in the new movie, Skyfall. Mostly Q’s hair, I’ll admit. I’m like, how can anyone resist wanting to run their fingers through that dark thatch? There’s little way a sensual man like Bond could fight the urge, I’m sure.

And before you send me hate mail or write homophobic comments, ask yourself what you’re doing reading a blog maintained by an author of gay erotic romance in the first place.

Two early stories of mine were written with my most familiar characters, the fellows from ‘N Sync, foremost in my mind during the writing. You’d probably be surprised if I told you which stories they are. They were written as original fiction, but in my head, I was just writing another form of AU (alternate universe) fan fic.

But it doesn’t stop there. I have two stories inspired by events that happened during the Winter Olympics, one inspired by an early season of American Idol, even one written with two ex-boyfriends of mine as the main characters. The muse for each story was a TV show, a movie character, or a real person, which is a very loose definition of fan fiction, is it not? In my mind, as I wrote the stories, those were the people populating it. But by the time I finished each story, the characters weren’t easily recognizable as those who inspired them.

Thinking about it, though, isn’t that really what all fiction is? Each story inspired by something the author sees or hears, each  built upon all that came before it?