friends and fandom. (or a post where I shamelessly name drop people more talented, popular, and famous than I am)
Because without either of those things I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now.
I never intended to read fan fiction. I was only looking for artwork and fan vids. Honestly. But my tag line on my fan blog says it all,'Never reading fanfic...maybe just one...one more won't hurt...Damn!'. So, I was reading fan fiction but I had no plans to actually write any. Nope. None. WHATSOEVER. Forget the fact that I’d started several novels twenty years previously that I’d never finished, I had no intention of writing fan fiction. Hah!
So, online friends, fandom, and the birth of Lillian Francis are forever linked for me.
It was a fandom friend and erotic romance author, Christine D’Abo, who finally convinced me to write something original and send it off to a publisher. I’d been focusing on AUs for most of my fan fiction writing, so it wasn’t a huge jump. Yes, I’ll admit there are seeds of my fandom in that story if you care to look for them, it's not so easy to stray from what you've been writing that first time and trust yourself.
My online bestie, Katherine Halle, came with me on that journey from fandom to published author and has been my beta reader and No 1 cheerleader for the entire time. She also came with me to my first UK Meet. Brighton, where I met Jo Myles for the first time despite having been emailing for a while, because, yep, you guessed it, we were in the same fandom. And I connected with Sue Brown on the Fan fiction buffet table.
Having been to one I knew I could do the next Meet (Bristol 2014) on my own (because someone had selfishly naffed off back across the pond *side eyes KH*). I’d made online contact with enough authors that I felt comfortable(ish—for a socially awkward introvert) introducing myself to people I only knew as a name on the screen. And this year, at Bristol again, I added even more names to that list of people.
I know there has been controversy surrounding our genre several times this year but I can honestly say that I have encountered nothing but friendliness and a willingness to help and I always try to play that forward.
Here’s a few people that have made my time as an author an enjoyable experience, with help, beta reader, idea flinging, even cover art, all freely given. For all those things, and just being around to share the joy and pain of writing, or for making me smile every time I open my feed.
And two of my staunchest readers/supporters: jules0623 and idamus.
Thank you all.
Thank you all.