Fans and Fan Mail…Posted: October 11, 2011
It’s probably pretentious to say that I get fanmail, per se. I do get some comments on Facebook for my writing, mostly about my book, Open Water, but most of the “fan mail” I get right now relates to my fan fiction.
Yes, I still write it.
Yes, it’s hetero fanfic, I’ve never really written lesbian fanfic. Why not? I believe, and I did research this for my MA, that you have to really need to get something out of it in order to write fanfic. I wrote fanfic for The X-Files back in the day because I desperately needed closure for the characters. Or for an episode that just didn’t allow for all of the emotional elements to come together after an episode.
I write Stargate SG-1 fanfic for the same reason, though the show has been off the air for years now. I have a long-running series in that genre that’s over 200K words now. Scary numbers, that.
One thing I’ve always been diligent about is answering every single “review” (ie, fan comment) I receive, good or bad. I know that right now, that’s a fairly easy goal for me as I have far fewer fan letters arriving for me than, say, a Karin Kallmaker, or a Georgia Beers might receive–not that either of them write fanfic, I am referring to their actual for-profit writing endeavors. My only “fan mail” with regard to my book has been, as I said above, through Facebook (and I have responded each time).
So…what’s the point of this meandering stream-of-consciousness nonsense? I recently received a wonderful note from a man who’s been reading my SG-1 fanfic. He said (and I can share without telling tales out of school) that reading that long-running series I have going on and revisiting the episodes has allowed him to recapture the enjoyment he had while watching with his (now passed on) wife.
The most poignant thing he said was that my writing had in some way helped him through some of his grief.
I wrote/write SG1 fanfic because I get something from it. I get the immense satisfaction of playing with someone else’s toys (characters/setting/space) and–I think–enhancing a depiction of a relationship on screen. But, to learn that something I did purely for the sake of my own pleasure brought some light into someone else’s life…that’s an amazing feeling.
It’s a gift.
I save all of my fanfic reviews, good and bad, but his is one of the few fan emails I have gotten that I have printed out to hang on my wall. On days when I feel as if I have nothing to offer as a writer, on days when I struggle to put a single coherent sentence together on the next book, I look at his note and believe again.