Hurrah, you got me as your assignment! Thank you so much for doing this! This is my very first Yuletide as a participant and I am ridiculously excited about it.

Please don't feel intimidated or worried on any level about writing for me. I know how dismal it can be to write under pressure and with a bucketload of anxiety about whether it will measure up to expectations, and I would hate to make you feel that way. Fic should be fun, even if it stretches us in new and unexpected directions. And you are giving me a gift just by writing a story about a fandom and characters I love.

I am on AO3 as RJ_Anderson and on FF.net as R.J. Anderson. (The FF.net archive is far more comprehensive, mostly because I am too lazy to edit and re-upload a bunch of old, mostly jossed fics to AO3.)

As a reader I love stories with witty dialogue and wordplay, characters who are practical and level-headed, romances based in mutual respect and understanding rather than mere physical attraction, and interesting, well-reasoned plots. I also like to feel that the fics I read could actually fit somewhere into canon, either past or in some plausible future - basically, I want to believe, and that's hard to do when it's a cracked-out AU or wildly unlikely crossover (though I'm not against crossovers or AUs either, when they're done well).
 
Things I prefer to avoid in stories: explicit sex, incest, non-con, gobs of profanity / blasphemy, lengthy descriptions of gore, character assassination for the sake of plot convenience (i.e. killing Ron Weasley or making him evil so Harry and Hermione can get together), depressing stories without so much as a glimmer of hope.

The following fandom-specific info is on my AO3 signup form, but just in case it gets lost or scrambled or you'd like to see it all in one convenient place, I'll copy it here:

Read more... )

And that's it! Thank you so very much again, and I hope these few comments have been of some help to you and are not too harrowing. I can't wait to see whatever story you come up with!

No, actually you can't. *clings to fandom, barnacle-like*

Somebody at some point a few months ago (I can't remember who or under what circumstances, as I've been working doggedly on Quicksilver for the past six months while trying to get my mother through cancer treatment and a series of debilitating vertigo attacks, and everything that's happened to me since January is pretty much a blur) told me I should write something about the way I relate to fandom, which they thought was interesting and fairly unusual for a pro author. So here I am, writing about it.

First, my fannish credentials )

I'm far from being the only professional author who got her start in fandom, of course. Several people I met in X-Files fandom or HP fandom or Alias fandom, or any of the other fandoms I was part of in the early 90's, have since been professionally published and gained a fan following in their own right. Yet I know at least some of them still dabble in fanfic from time to time when a plot bunny hops across their path. And sometimes they write meta and get involved in other aspects of fandom, too--cosplay, fanart, going to cons as an attendee rather than a guest. Because they're still fans at heart, they still love the kinds of shows and movies and books and music they've always loved, and getting paid for their original work hasn't changed that. Why should it?

That being said, nearly all the pros I know who are still involved with fandom use a pseudonym. And often with good reason, because... )

I don't hide my identity, however. Like Diane Duane, Peter David and a few other stout or possibly reckless souls, I do my fannish activity under the same name as I publish my books.

One day, perhaps, I may come to regret this. But so far, using the same name for all my writing and meta and fannish interaction hasn't caused any problems for me. For one thing, my fanfic has pretty much the same content and rating as my original novels, and in some cases is even a bit tamer than the canon I'm writing for -- so it's unlikely that a parent is going to go ballistic if they find their tween or teen reading my stories.

Another reason I don't bother with an alias is that I am no longer a BNF [5] in any fandom, if I ever was; which makes any accusation of me profiting unduly from another author's work to be a pretty long stretch. [6] So I still have the profile on Fanfiction.net that I set up when the site first opened. I'm on AO3 and Fiction Alley and a few fandom-specific archives as well. I'm a happy member of [community profile] sounis, and though now and again some other member recognizes me and says something nice about my writing, I keep my replies brief because I'm not there to talk about me, I'm there to share in the Queen's Thief love.

Here's my philosophy of fandom in a nutshell: it's not about me )

Anyway, that's how I do fandom, for good or ill. Because I am still a squeeing fangirl at heart, even if my pro commitments keep me too busy to write a lot of fanfic or meta these days. And unlike some pro authors I know who have had nasty experiences with fans harassing them for not writing more fanfic instead of those STOOPID ORIGINAL NOVELS HOW DARE YOU, I've had a pretty easy ride in fandom on the whole. The tiny group of readers I have who've stuck with me since my pre-published days have been lovely, kind, supportive people; and the modest amount of fanart, vids and fic I've seen for my books has been created by enthusiastic young readers who have no idea I've got any fandom history at all. And as long as that keeps up, I've got no reason to go underground.

And when, as happened this afternoon, I get a bunch of thoughtful, enthusiastic reviews for a fic I wrote back in 2003 from a reader who has no idea I've written anything professional at all, it makes me just as pleased as a good review for my published books does. Because I put all the same heart and skill into my fic as I do into my published work, even if the skill set involved is a little different. And because, as a fan, I know how enjoyable and worthwhile a well-written fanfic can be.


--
[1] This was before I had any idea that Anne McCaffrey was militantly opposed to fanfic based on her work. Sorry, Anne.

[2] We will draw a merciful veil over the Spies & Detectives' Convention crossover with Manimal and Simon & Simon, in which my self-insert Mary Sue accidentally stabbed A.J. Simon with a letter opener and had to nurse him back to health. And an even more merciful veil over the everybody-gets-mutant-abilities crossover that had twenty-six characters but only sixteen pages.

[3] All 120K of it. I still feel like I owe that poor editor at Del Rey an apology just for subjecting him to the first three chapters.

[4] Naomi Novik, for instance, is heavily involved in fandom and it's no secret that she writes plenty of fanfic herself; but most people don't know her fannish alias, and she prefers to keep it that way. I know of two or three other well-known authors who take a similar stance.

[5] Big Name Fan -- i.e. an author or artist whose name everybody in a given fandom will probably recognize, even if they haven't seen their work.

[6] Since I got published I have only written one piece of fic based on another author's books, and I think said author and I are on pretty similar levels at the moment as far as book sales go. So if somebody reads that particular fic, they're just as likely to be a reader of mine discovering her work as they are to be a fan of her books discovering mine. And since the story is so heavily based in her world and characters, it isn't really an advertisement for my own imagination so much as proof of my mad fangirl love for hers.

[7] I did mention it on my Teaspoon profile, in the first flush of my "Squee, I'm going to be published!" enthusiasm, but even then I didn't mention the title of the book. And it's changed now.
Tags:
Well, what do you know. One minute I'm spouting theories about the S4 finale in [livejournal.com profile] calapine's journal and the next minute I'm writing fic for the first time in... what, two years?

Massive spoilers for 'Journey's End' here -- but if you've already seen it and were feeling unhappy about Certain Developments, this story might help )

The really sad thing about all of this is that I don't even have a Donna icon to use on this post.
Taking a page from [livejournal.com profile] james_bow, I wrote fanfic for my own story tonight. 1,114 words of utter nonsense, really -- pure self-indulgence that will never make it into the book. But I had fun writing it, and that's more than I've been able to say for quite some time. For the last few months I've been so anxious to make the most of my precious writing hours that I'd forgotten what it was like to play, to write for the sheer love of the process and the exercise of my creative muscles. But tonight I had a crazy idea and I ran with it, and it made me very happy.

Also, I think I've finally solved the problem with Chapter Four. Phew! Farther up and farther in...
Dear F-List:

I hold you all responsible for not telling me that Emma Bull had written an X-Files script. I mean, seriously, people, what do I keep you for?

And it's wonderful, of course, and made me massively nostalgic for the glory days of the series. Sigh. Anyway, [livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas and other interested parties can find it here: Cuckoo.

And now I must dig up my old text files and see if I can find LoneGunGuy's "Diaspora", which is the other Best Non-Filmed Script Ever. I crack it out and re-read it every few years out of sheer admiration, and I still wonder -- who was that masked ficcer?

Hm, no X-Files icons. Alas.
Think post-DH fic, circa the Epilogue, or maybe a few years earlier.

Think high-stakes adventure genfic with plenty of excitement and danger, lashings of humor and a sprinkle of romance (with a certain dreamy-eyed naturalist, perhaps). And let's not forget the cameo appearance by the Giant Squid.

And it's called...

DENNIS CREEVEY AND THE RESURRECTION STONE.

Seriously, wouldn't that be awesome? I order all of you to go out and write it right now. Round-robin style if necessary.
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] lizbee:
If you could make a request in a ficathon that you knew I would be assigned, what would it be? I probably won't write any of these, so don't think of it as binding, and feel free to be wacky and/or full of yearning. So if you're game, provide fandom, pairing (or gen) and prompt (by which I mean, slice of a song, bit of poetry, three things you want and two things you don't -- no specific plot points -- that sort of thing). If I could write you a story, what would it be?
Well, I couldn't get the LJ fairy to respond to my request to remove the defunct [livejournal.com profile] rjanderson feed, so I did the next best thing. Now I'm signed up as some variation of "R.J. Anderson" almost everywhere I have an online presence, and folks here will no longer have to struggle to remember how to spell "synaesthete7".

But I've been curious about something. If you're a published or soon-to-be published author with a background in online fandom, would you mind telling me what you decided to do with that background once your deal went through, and why?

If you chose to separate your fannish and professional identities, for instance, what factors influenced that decision? Was it your agent's recommendation to hide your secret Bat-identity, or did your publisher require it, or was it just something you felt would be prudent? If the decision was mostly yours, did you make it because you were embarrassed by the thought of people digging up your old fanfics, or because you worried about possible legal repercussions, or because you feared that your fellow pro authors would despise you if they knew? Or was there some other reason?

If on the other hand you've chosen not to hide your former (or present) fannish involvement, what gave you the confidence to make that decision? Have you had any unpleasant experiences that make you wish you'd chosen differently? Or have you found reasons to be glad you made that decision, and if so, what were they?

For my part, I've decided to write under the same pen name I've used for years, and keep my fanfic links page as part of my author site. I've been open about my fanfic writing past with both my agent and my new editor, and neither of them seems to think it's a problem, so I'm going ahead and hoping for the best. But sometimes I wonder if I'm going to regret that choice.

I'd love to get as much input on this as possible, so if you know of someone who fits the bill, please give them the heads-up. Anonymous commenting is welcome for authors who prefer to be discreet.
Ever since I read DH I've been feeling a bit sad that everything in this post, pretty much, is a SPOILER )

So here is the idea I don't have time to write, but it makes me feel a little better just thinking about it: The Idea, which is mine... until I check the book again and realize there's no way it could work )

*wilts*

*shakes fist in the direction of the UK* CURSE YOU, JO!

*sigh*

No, not really. But it was harsh of her to do that spoilery thing ), I think.

*snickers*

May. 6th, 2007 06:08 pm
rj_anderson: (Harry - Slow to bleed)
Clearly, [livejournal.com profile] lizbee has written the last word in HP fic and no further stories need to be written.

*chortles once more over the second-last line*
Tags:
[livejournal.com profile] infiniteviking tagged me, so here I go:

Post a list of your top five favorite fics you've written, regardless of fandom or the reason you love them. This isn't about the BEST things you've written, but what you LOVE most. Then tag five other people to do the same.

It grieves me to leave out "Communion", but since it's no longer available online, it's not really fair to include it. So here are my picks:

  1. What You Never Knew You Wanted (Alias) -- It's a non-canonical pairing, set in a cracked-out AU, and it's written in the second person, present tense... all very good reasons the whole project should have been a disaster. But Weiss pulled it all together, and I find now that I can read this story with as much pleasure as if I hadn't written it. In fact, in my own personal Alias universe, this is how S3 turned out.


  2. If We Survive (Harry Potter) -- Now rendered AU six ways from Sunday after HBP, and about to be more so when DH comes out. Nevertheless, I'm proud of the plot twists, the original characters, and any number of other neat little details that seemed to spring full-fledged from my brow as I wrote. Also, Snape's post-Dumbledeath angst in Chapter Six is FTW, even if my guess about how said death might happen was completely wrong.


  3. Galatea (House) -- I didn't think I could write House at all, until I actually tried. Then he refused to shut up, bless his cynical smartmouthed little soul. Plus, medical research! I didn't think I could do that either, but it proved to be surprisingly addictive. And at present, I like my vision of Cameron's future character development a good deal more than the canonical version.


  4. War Wounds (Harry Potter) -- The world needs more Mad-Eye Moody romances. And writing Imogen Crump is always fun, even when she's not quite her usual ebullient self.


  5. Secrets and Lies (Harry Potter) -- Otherwise known as the canonical alternative to If We Survive that nobody wanted to read. It's over-descriptive in places, and Snape's collapse is a bit histrionic, especially since I did it before and better in IWS. But I wrestled like Jacob with the camera-type third person narrative, and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Also, Aberforth is love.


There! All done. Now I'm off to watch Heroes.

Bleaaargh.

Feb. 1st, 2007 09:44 am
rj_anderson: (House - Full Cast - No Aphrodisiac)
I am sick. Quite, quite sick. Aches, pains, feverishness, headache, shallow cough. I am about to go back to bed.

Last night's House was lame and contrived. Alas.

Despite all the lovely prompts I've been given, I still haven't been able to get my brain to cooperate when it comes to writing new stuff, sorry. However, I found some unpublished House and Wilson banter on my HD and posted it here in response to [livejournal.com profile] mistraltoes's prompt. It's something, I guess.

Now back to bed. With nothing to read. Woe!
After spending the last six months tearing my old novel to pieces and rebuilding it, and the last few weeks outlining a new novel, and reading endless discussions about the craft and business of fiction, I seem to have forgotten how to write. No matter how many times I remind myself of Elizabeth Bear's dictum that "Writing is not a performance art," I can barely get a sentence onto the page without telling myself it's no good and erasing it. I think I am just trying too hard to get this book right the first time, and somehow I have to shake that mindset. So now I'm looking to you to help me out with some stretching exercises:

Tell me what you want me to write.

The caveats are that it has to be a scenario or a fandom I'm familiar with -- so no use asking me for Stargate fic, okay? But if there's a scene or an incident you'd like to see, a particular pairing or tag-team of characters, romance or action or suspense or what-have-you, tell me and I'll write... something. It might be a sentence, a drabble, or a vignette, depending on how much your idea inspires me and how well the writing's going. In a pinch I'll just set the timer for 15 minutes and you'll get whatever I can hammer out in that space of time.

Ready? Go.
Tags:
To the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] cesario, best doll maker in the universe (and writer of brilliant fic) -- may you enjoy the very best of birthdays, however you may choose to spend it.

Ham and Wry*

Oct. 4th, 2006 07:39 pm
rj_anderson: (House - House/Cameron - Galatea II)
Well, this was a nice surprise:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I didn't even realize [livejournal.com profile] hc_fanficawards existed until just now, but I'm very pleased and grateful to [livejournal.com profile] chmaresh for nominating Galatea in the "Long" category.

[livejournal.com profile] cesario, you've been nommed as well, in case you didn't know.

And the rest of you (or at least, those who don't run screaming in horror at the thought of House/Cameron in any form) can see the list of nominees and cast your ballot here if you're so inclined.

--
* Not to be confused with the inevitable episode of House where Hugh Laurie's old friend Stephen puts in a guest appearance, which would be Ham and Fry, or the little Welsh town with all the bookshops, which is Hay-on-Wye.
[livejournal.com profile] dichroic has written a delightful short HP/Sherlock Holmes crossover fic which I think will entertain quite a few people on my f-list...
It's not finding a suitable disease that's the problem when researching for House fanfic -- there are tons of them out there. It's the differential diagnosis stuff that'll drive you nuts, because then you have to research a whole bunch of other diseases as well. And if, like me, you really don't like research to begin with and find yourself easily frustrated not knowing where to start (or stop, for that matter)... well, all there is to say is "urgh".

However, I think I managed to get through the worst of it today. I have several pages of scribbled notes (my handwriting is really unspeakable these days, it's pathetic how seldom I pick up a pen any more) and a whole bunch of ideas floating around in my brain.

And if this sounds suspiciously like I'm working on a sequel to "Galatea", then, um... you might be right about that.
Some of you were wondering what I was on about re posting fic on a weekend, and looking for the last chapter of "Galatea" in vain, since I had it f-locked while I gathered last-minute beta comments. However, I did some more editing last night, and Part Four is now public. Hope you enjoy it!
Yes, this is the end / the beginning, and the end... Thanks once again to [livejournal.com profile] cesario, [livejournal.com profile] lizbee, and especially [livejournal.com profile] logastellus, who took time out of an insanely busy schedule to beta this fic (and do a smashing job of it too).

Previous chapter links: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

"Let me guess," said Cuddy, not even bothering to look up as House walked in... )

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read and comment on this story. I really appreciate your feedback and continuing interest!
This is a mega-cool idea for a meme, although like [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63 (from whom I gacked it just now) I think I'm going to have a hard time answering it for anybody else. Still:

Pretend for a minute that the only contact you have ever had with me is through my fic. We've never exchanged LJ comments or emails, never hung out in chat or on IM, never talked on the phone or met each other at a convention, none of that stuff. The only thing you know about me is the kind of fic I write. Based on the way I write my characters, and the way they speak, think, and behave, what does that say to you about what kind of person I am, my attitudes and opinions about real-life issues?

And speaking of fic, I just finished the last chapter of "Galatea" today and it's off to the beta-readers, so I hope to have it up here in another couple of days. Yay!

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