Good Morning Readers! It’s a beautiful day on the porch today. It’s a little warm but we’ve got our sweet tea and I’m excited about this morning’s visitor. I’ve heard a lot about Fan Fiction and even read some, but today we get a perspective from Author Susan Kite who cut her writing teeth on Fan Fiction. Let’s listen in as Susan shares her journey:
For years I wrote fan-fiction. Occasionally, I still do. Oh, good grief, the little voices declare, that trash? You don’t have anything better to do, other little voices ask?
So how did I get into writing fan-fiction? The television shows I watched in the late fifties, sixties, and into the seventies caught my imagination. I watched and loved the characters. The settings intrigued me. What the plots lacked, my mind supplied. When the episode ended for the week, I imagined all sorts of adventure that these heroes might have beyond the TV screen. Unfortunately, I wrote only a fraction of what my mind created.
Even when I married, had children and was working, I still plotted stories with Mr. Spock, Buck Rogers, the Barkleys and other characters. Again these remained in my brain. It was only when my children were almost grown and I found others of similar passions, that I began writing down the ideas that came into my mind. Zorro was the catalyst. A series I had watched as a young child, I now watched in the 90’s on the Disney Channel. Viewing it as an adult gave me ideas that came from my years of experience. I took Diego de la Vega/Zorro on journeys well beyond what Walt Disney’s writers conceived in the late 50’s. But something else was happening. I was developing skills in writing. There were other fan-fiction writers who “beta read” (edited) my work, as I did with theirs. We had our own little online writing groups. Some of us even got together in person to discuss our plots, settings and characters.
I wrote, and wrote and wrote, often well into the night. I continued writing Zorro, then Lost in Space, Buck Rogers, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and a few other television shows. I wrote short vignettes, short stories, novellas and series of novels. I improved my researching skills for the historical pieces, how to let imagination fly in the sci fi and fantasy. I even wrote some poetry and essays. In short, if I had not spent so much time writing fan-fiction, I would not have been able to write decent original fiction. I also wouldn’t have fallen so much in love with the written word.
Not too long ago, just before my first book was published, there was a very talented author on one of my fan-fiction groups. We were excited for her when she got a contract with a major romance publishing company. Immediately, she informed us that if we wanted any of her fan-fiction stories, we had better download them, because she was going to take them off the internet. She wasn’t the first. I never could figure out if these were contractual issues or if suddenly the fact that they had been writing stories about TV characters was something to be ashamed of. I will be honest with you—I am not ashamed. I owe a lot to those years of writing fan-fiction.
Thank you, Susan for joining me today. I enjoyed your journey and I agree with you. As long as you’re writing you’re improving your craft. If you’re writing something you enjoy and learning at the same time, I say Write On!
You can find out more about Susan on my Porch Guests Page.