Known for decades as “the black rose” online
I wanted to write before I could read. And I was the kid whose first “grounding” was from staying up too late reading books. (Either Nancy Drew or abridged classics).
I won some awards during my school career for creative writing – and so being a writer is what “I wanted to be when I grew up” (after the pro soccer thing turned out to mostly be a bust).
After graduating college, I bought a bunch of “how to write a mystery” books, created some characters… And got stuck after a few pages. The typical writer’s life, I think.
Work, marriage, home ownership, in-laws…. A bad job market. Too many reruns of Law & Order; a few crazy, passing “omg! Argh!” moments during the XMen movie (I wanted Wolverine & Jean to get together)…. It all eventually led me to find “fanfiction” online. (People actually write down their “continuations” – like the ones I’d always imagine in my head?!)
And then one night in late 1999, flipping channels, I found my addiction: Toonami was running some anime; it looked reminiscent of stuff I watched as a kid.
A random episode, probably two-thirds of the way in, and I fell in love… A pretty princess obviously smitten, with the tough, ragtag soldier boy she gave refuge to in her kingdom.
He was supposed to kiss her.
(It would take 15+ years for an official continuation to happen where they ended up married, but the damage to my psyche had already been done. Let’s not go there).
I write fanfiction because I enjoy it. I do it for me; because I have stories in my head. Because I love the characters and a particular ‘ship. That’s really all there is to it.
I try my best to do it well. I’ve worked to improve my craft over the years. Taken classes, hired coaches, put in countless hours. Written +2 million words.
I did all of that because I didn’t want my lack of training to detract from the story the characters want to tell….
Early on, I found some small semblance of notoriety in a huge fandom; I met a lot of people who read my stories – in various parts of the world. I even spoke / delivered a couple of panels on fanfiction at local(ish) anime conventions! All in all, I had a lot of fun.
My life changed dramatically in mid-2007. I started down the path of divorce, which my ex-husband blamed on my dedication to writing (I was chasing publication; by 2008, I had finaled in a couple of national fiction contests).
We got divorced; I moved, went back to school, changed careers. I met and married 2nd-and-last husband, had a baby…
Lockdowns hit in 2020, around the same time a bunch of friends from “the old days” were having an online reunion of sorts. Pregnant with baby #2, I ended up on discord, created a new blog, actually paid some attention to my Twitter account.
I still write for my first fandom, but I’ve found some new characters to love as well.
I also found fanartists take commissions, now, and this is a terrible addiction – as well as a new sort of fuel for what is likely a heightened level of insanity….
Which I hope to be sharing here, soon.
…to be continued.