A Personal Journey:
From Snobbery to Fan Fiction!
When I started writing, and taking it seriously, I was all about being totally original and eschewing anything I viewed as ‘derivative’. I have to laugh at my own hubris now, of course, because my very first foray into writing seriously was my Wyatt Earp character in Tombstone. I told myself I was inspired by history – thus I was writing ‘historical’ fiction, not fan fiction, but the fact was I watched the movie Tombstone and loved it. I was already a big fan of Kurt Russell… my Wyatt Earp has always worn Kurt Russell’s face, and my work in Westerns more influenced by Tombstone than by dry, dusty, histories – though I have a hundred books on the history of the West now.
Thus it was that every time I dipped my toe into anything akin to fan fiction I had to have some reason why it ‘wasn’t’ actually fan fiction. I nodded indulgently at those that enjoyed it openly and without apology, many of them very good Pan friends, while pretending I was quite above it. Ironically I didn’t even recognize many of the characters around as belonging to established canons. I was one of the last to read the Harry Potter series, so I had no idea that my friend (since gone) Bellatrix Lestrange was a fan fic character! Of course I was never ‘above’ fan fiction. I was just being a snob.
I have always been inspired and interested in the visions created by other writers – whether we see it in movies and TV or read it on the page. Many of my core ideas for my ‘original’ stories were inspired by pieces taken from other works. Technically this is true of all art. We don’t exist in a vacuum. Each artist has drawn inspiration from the generations preceding, as well as from their contemporaries. Truly there is no difference between my historical fiction, whether it is Ancient Egypt or Tombstone, Arizona. To be inspired is a wonderful thing, and eventually, Pan novel by Pan novel, I dropped my prejudices. To write and play freely is the thing – and how equally wonderful it is to be able to live and breathe in one of your favorite fictional worlds as it is to create one completely new to you (though even there you’ll find other influences – it cannot be avoided!).
So now you’ll easily recognize my fan fiction novels at Pan like Planet of the Apes and When the Dead Coming Knocking (Walking Dead fan fic) - and while I still like to put an original spin on things, I’m proud to say: I write fan fiction at Pan Historia.
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