Tag Archives: publishing

Have I Been Wrong About Fan Fiction?

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Art from my First Fan Fiction: Slayers Encore (2002)

Fan fiction: it’s something all writers do (whether they’re aware of it or not). When it’s good, it’s an innocent joyride in someone else’s vehicle. Worst-case scenario, it’s a naive early attempt to be the next ____ (Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin etc.) with new names on the characters and a worn old plot device. In both cases fan fiction is written for the sheer love of a series, created out of a desire to see our deepest fan-desires put into words. There are thousands upon thousands of forums and websites dedicated to fan fiction, probably in numbers to rival the #1 commodity: porn.

While I myself have dabbled in the art of fan fiction, I decided early on, that if I was going to be serious about my writing, I should steer clear of other people’s works and instead concentrate on my ability to write original stories with my own characters and canon. I spent years building the worlds of CRIT! and Skeleton Crew among my other works and I think I did a good job. Fan fiction helped me build those skills, but I was ready to fly on my own now.

So I said goodbye to fan fiction and never looked back. I haven’t written any since 2004. I tell everyone in my panels that fan fiction is a skill builder—an exercise to build story-writing skills without the hassle of creating a new world and characters. It can help form new authors, but no self-respecting author wastes the bulk of their effort on it. Messing with copyrighted works makes publishers uncomfortable and it’s a sign of unprofessionalism.

At least, it used to be that way.

Now more and more big-name franchises are plumbing fan fiction for writers. This decade, entertainment companies have discovered that fan fiction is an untold wealth of hidden talent, and what is more, their fiction is a testing ground for how well they work with a given canon! Doctor Who, Star Trek, and other properties are taking note and are asking to see fan fiction from future writers!

…And I don’t have any.

I’d disciplined myself for so long, with the aim of building my credibility, that I’ve shot myself in the foot. I’ve lost 3 writing opportunities so far because they’d asked for a sample of fan-fiction and I’d had no time to write any.

I’m already struggling to make my mark on the internet. This just seems like an anvil dropped on my head. I also have to admit that I was wrong about fan fiction and lament for the stories I never wrote—ideas that have long since disappeared into the ether.

The game has changed again, and I’m left holding 3 aces in a game of Jenga.

 

 

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Another Twist in the Road

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Well, okay here we go. I’ve been putting off writing this, because I’m still figuring it all out, but I’ll do my best.

Hunt Press and I have mutually parted ways and I am currently without a publisher. They wished me all the best and I wish them the best of luck. I’ll never forget that Angela was the first publisher to believe in my and my work. They were my first break and my first fans. But things came up and they optioned me the rights to my works back and we both agreed that would be the best course. Thanks for everything, Angela, Barrie, Laureen, and Tamala, and I’m glad we’re all still buddies.

I’m excited and scared and a little overwhelmed.

What does this mean? Well it means that currently my Hunt Press works are unavailable for purchase at this time. If you REALLY need one, I have a grand total of 3 books left (2 of Runs in Good Condition and 1 of Madame Bluestocking’s Pennyhorrid. Email or message me if you want to buy them.) I’m working to rectify that which means, for the time being, I will be publishing my past books through my LLC, Tangent Artists. We’re the guys who came up with “The Handbook for Saucy Bards,” and “A Cleric’s Guide to Smiting,” so I think they’re in good hands.

So what now? Well, my top priority right now is getting Book 3 in the Linus Saga, “No Shoes, No Service,” out there for those who have been waiting so patiently (and for those who have been waiting impatiently). I don’t want a five-year-gap in releases to become a six-year-gap. Then maybe I’ll go down the line with re-releases of Book 1 “Must Love Dragons,” Book 2, “Runs in Good Condition.” And maybe then I’ll even be able to release the prequel I’ve been working on, “Must Love Humans.”

The reason I say “maybe,” for all of this is because after all these years I’ve realized that doing it on my own isn’t helping my career any and I will begin soliciting for an agent. I am currently looking for someone to represent me, so if you like my writings, musings, and other things and want to see more of them, any help you can give me in this matter would be spectacular.

This is where you can help: as most of you know, I’ve dedicated several years of my life to working on these projects. I’m also writing 3 webcomic series that I publish every week for free. GRATIS. By publishing books, and doing freelance work, the money I make goes to, not only help my family, but it also pays for the equipment and time spent on providing free entertainment to the internet for all to see. Please consider visiting the Tangent Artists storefront and purchasing something. Every little bit helps. It will also raise funds to help produce Book 3, so I don’t have to go too deep into my pocket to do it.

Tangent Artists also has a FULLY BACKED kickstarter that’s ending in only a few hours. If you like to play FATE rpgs, or know someone who does, the Fate Accompli erasable game aides are a great product, and a SURE THING crowd-funding-wise.

Okay. I know you all got my back on this. I’m so honored and blessed to have so many people gunning for me, buying my books, asking for more, giving me assurances and encouragement, and spreading the word. I’m so grateful that my fellow Tangent Artists have got my back too and are willing to set aside comic-making time to help me get this done.

And you. You, the person reading this, you are my reason for doing this. Thank you. Thank you for everything and let’s continue in this vein and grow old together as I work hard to make more stories and art to entertain you. It’s going to be a wild and crazy ride, and this is just another hairpin turn in the “flying dutchman” coaster that is life, so let’s just throw our hands up in the air and scream for the fun of it… and hope we don’t get clobbered by a random seagull like Fabio did.

Love to all,

Monica Joanne Marier