My introduction to fanfiction was at the impressionable age of nine, when my sister brought some zines home from a Blake’s 7 convention. “New stories?” I thought, “About characters from my favourite programme? Oh brave new world…!” My first efforts were a series of Blake’s 7 stickman cartoons which still lurk in a box somewhere deep in the house. Eventually I gave up on pictures and tried prose.
I make no distinction between my offline and my online writing other than that one results in an improvement in my bank balance, and the other in absolutely no way does. Fanfic-savvy readers will know that fanfic falls broadly into two kinds: ‘more of’, in which the writer aims to emulate the style and ethos of the source text, and ‘more from’, in which the writer does whatever she bloody well likes. I tend to write the latter.
My Blake’s 7 fanfic, archived here, was mostly written during the mid-90s, when I was first trying to write. Most of it is quite thin, but some of them hold up. My favourites are my stories about Anna Grant – spy, soldier, lover and murderer: Lady Lazarus and Run, Anna, Run.
In the late 90s, I started writing stories based on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They’re archived here. Almost all of them are about Garak – spy, soldier, tailor and torturer – whose life story and motivations thoroughly absorbed me for almost a year. How does a rational man of great intelligence become persuaded to commit monstrous acts? My favourite story in this set is Closure, and I still have a soft spot for the AU novella Scorched Earth, the longest piece I had written to date.
When Peter Jackson’s film The Fellowship of the Ring came out, the beautiful visuals stimulated my imagination enormously, and, as “Altariel”, I have written a large amount of fiction based on the works of JRR Tolkien. Most of these stories are about Faramir, Steward of Gondor – prince, soldier, lover and poet – and are archived here. I’ve had the excellent fortune to write Tolkien fiction collaboratively with the hugely talented Isabeau of Greenlea, and our shared universe of stories (the ‘Unabeauverse’) is archived here. We’ve also had the good luck to tempt two other excellent writers, Dwimordene and Soledad, to contribute to that universe, and you can find links to their fics on that page. We also have a wiki-in-progress.
I don’t write nearly as much fanfiction as I used to, for the simple reason that fanfic doesn’t pay. (I don’t read as much either – mostly because of copyright complications.) But I still write occasional pieces, and my heart is never very far away from Middle-earth.