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May 25th, 2012
Fan-Fiction with Melissa Lopez

My special guest today is Melissa Lopez who is talking about a topic I find fascinating, that of fan fiction. Welcome, Melissa!

Hi, Shelley, everyone. Thanks for having me.

My road to publication actually started off as a hobby. Although during my college days I wrote children’s stories, it wasn’t until 2002, when I bought Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover, that the writing bug got me. I was captivated by the Dark-Hunter world Sherri had created. So one night I visited Sherri’s website. Immediately I was curious about her chat-room and, once inside, two very special people (Mo and Mama Lo) drew me into Dark-Hunter role-play and writing fan-fiction.

Fan-fiction is stories about characters, people, settings, and worlds that are written by super-fans of the original work/shows, etc, rather than by the original creator. These fans can’t get enough of their fixes and write about them.

The practice of writing fan fiction has been popular since the mid-sixties, when sci-fi fans couldn’t get enough of their favorites. The only difference today is, with modern technology and the Internet, there are now fan-fic hubs where you can share your stories. My youngest daughter has written both Justin Beiber and Twilight fan-fiction.

Some authors/creators support—or at least tolerate—the hobby, others vehemently oppose it. I totally understand the reasoning behind their dislike of fan-fic, monetary issues and feelings of personal violation are probably involved, along with a sentiment that can be translated to, “Come on, seriously? Not smart enough to write your own stuff?”

I wrote official Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark-Hunter fan-fic until Sherri’s critique partners (Tasha and Mama Lo) encouraged me to pursue my own original stories and worlds. I wrote two years of fan-fiction. It was a wonderful learning experience. I learned a great deal about characterization. Writing fan-fic was practice for me. It was that novel shoved under my bed that every author is said to have.

Personally, I’d be honored if people read and loved my characters and stories enough to write about them. I’d be truly flattered if I were ever popular enough for people to play in my worlds with any frequency. Conversation and word-of-mouth sells books. As long as the original authors are the ones making money and earning a living from their worlds…it’s cool.

To find out more about my very own worlds please visit my website.

Melissa Lopez

Journeys of Love Every Woman Needs To Take

QUESTION FROM SHELLEY: Do you read or write fan-fiction?

13 comments to “Fan-Fiction with Melissa Lopez”

  1. I attended a lecture with Charlaine Harris where she made it clear that she did NOT want fans/authors writing fan fiction and using her characters. She was nice in her explanation and I could respect her viewpoint. So, I think any fan should respect the wishes of the author.

    Fantasy Lover was the first Kenyon book I read. :) It’s nice to meet you, Melissa!

  2. I think Fan Fiction is very interesting. I’d be flattered as an author. Sometimes characters are so good or interesting, you want to spend even more time with them.

  3. I’ve read a lot of fan faction, mostly in the Lord of the Rings. Some of it was amazing. Some of it was not. It’s how I ended up back in writing. The Tolkien estate doesn’t care for it but tolerates it, for which I’m grateful.

  4. I’ve never tried to write fan fiction but I do think it is neat that people feel so strong about a character to write something of their own.

  5. I was hopefully addicted to fan fiction for years before deciding to write. My variations of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” were adored by thousands of like-minded readers around the world before I decided to offer them for sale. It’s been a good experience.

  6. There are some fantastically successful fan-fics – isn’t 50 Shades one of them? I think any way you can practice writing in whatever way suits you is perfect training.

  7. I’ve never been hot to read fan fiction, but I guess I have read a few. Some are done really well.

  8. I haven’t read or written fan fiction as I haven’t checked into it at all. I suppose I would consider it flattering but have no negative feelings regarding it at all.

  9. P O: I was also hopelessly addicted to DH fan-fiction. Lol…I’m so grateful Tasha and Mama Lo said, “enough is enough, go create your own worlds.”
    Sue I only recently read that there’s fan-fiction devoted to 50 Shades.

  10. I’ve never written any fan fiction and don’t read a lot of it, but every once in a while there’s a story that’s worth reading.

  11. As a writer I would find the feedback of fan fiction interesting, whether it was well-written or not. It gives me the opportunity to “see” my characters through another set of eyes.
    Certainly, my most treasured reviews came from people who bought my books and felt the need to write to me about them.
    I find it difficult to imagine writing fan fiction myself. My head is too full of characters impatient to have their own period in the sun and they would probably turn on any intruders with the venom of disappointment.
    Good luck with your writing, whatever form it takes.

  12. Hi Melissa,

    It’s funny but I’d never heard of fan-fiction before I started writing. I’d be very flattered by fan fiction, and totally agree that the money should flow to the original author.

    Great post.

  13. I’ve written fan fiction for years. Just as with “regular” writing, some is good, some bad. When I started writing fan fiction, mine was bad; it had been years since I’d written anything and my skills were rusty. Fan fiction readers gave me feedback and raised my confidence level to the point where I am now creating my own worlds in my own original fiction. In fact, the focus of my (newly created, still in process) blog is my journey from fan fic author to published author of original work. :)