|"Thrawn Legacy" by Grant Gould|
(you can buy a copy of this print here sale of prints)
I'll be upfront and say I hate the term "fanfic".
That word brings to mind badly written fantasies and stuff better left to the darkest regions of some people's minds.
Now before the avalanche of hate mail begins let me also say I KNOW this is not always the case and there are some amazing people out there writing fanfics. And I don't hate the fiction itself I'm just pretty indifferent about it.
I don't write fanfics in the general sense of the term because until I started Daughter of the Empire I actually wrote my own stories with my own characters and I still do. It's not that I can't see the value in being a fanfic writer but mostly it never ever appealed to me. I never wanted to mess with other people's characters so much I felt driven to write stories with them and about them. The honest truth was it never really occurred to me and the few times it did I recognized it for what it was ( a teenaged crush on a fictional character) and stepped away from it. That being said I almost never read it either. I don't tend to go actively looking for "fan-fictions" although I have on a couple of rare occasions and even more rarely been pleasantly surprised because there is a lot of very badly written stuff out there and it's scary.
I started writing Daughter of the Empire, I was writing "merlyn's story" and that came about from a clash of many things.
1. It was in my brain. The what if you were Darth Vader's personal assistant stuck like old porridge.
2. the general amount of really great star wars fiction out there is very limited. Seriously I stopped reading after the new jedi order.
3.Once I started I wanted to finish but I had no idea it would take me 3 books worth of words to do that.
I am certain that in the fanfic world there are some absolutely amazing writers. Writers who care about their craft, rewrite and edit until their fingers bleed so that their stories are perfect. I know that there are fanfic sites with lots of rules, grammar and spelling regulations, profanity and sex filters as well as awards and everything else you can think of. The world of Fan fiction is huge vast and difficult to navigate without a guide.
One of my friends who does read a lot keeps throwing out terminology to me expecting me to know what it means. When I ask for explanations the other day she said "you know for writing fan fiction you sure don't know the lingo." my immediate response both in thought and in reply was "that's because I don't write fanfics."
And I don't.
Which leads me to ask if I don't write fan fiction then what the hell is Daughter of the Empire? Because it certainly classifies as such. I don't really know. I call them novels based in the Star Wars universe which they are but I add a hell of a lot of stuff that's not Star wars. There are a ton of original characters, situations, plots etc.. that are totally mine and it's all based around existing stories without interfering in the existing stories. I use some of the most beloved Star wars characters to tell my character's story not the other way around. It was my way of keeping that Star Wars love alive ( hey wait a sec isn't that what fan fiction does????)
The biggest complaint ( if you can call it that) that I've read in other people's comments on their own blogs and forums is that it's long ( very long) hell yes it's long because they are novels not short stories. And while now during the massive edit rewrite I'll drop a lot of the fill and redundant stuff, they are still going to be long ( around 500-800 pages 1.5 spaced)
And yes there are some pretty hot sex scenes in there. It's not suitable for children under the age of 16 / 18 depending on what country you live in but I wouldn't call it pornographic either. There is a big difference between porn and erotic writing and I'm not all that interested in the former since it seems to be more about a step by step how to manual than using words in a delicious manner to arouse. People who had had sex already know what to do ( most of the time) and people who have not yet entered that delicious arena of indoor sports don't really need a complete step by step of every single boring detail. Because really the how to's are dull it's the how it makes you feel that's interesting and for that one doesn't need to get too technical. In fact most of the best erotic fiction I have ever read never mentions the words vagina or penis or any of the funky pet names for those anatomical parts at all. ( this includes the ever popular "flaming rod of manhood" or "moist flower of womanhood" ..erm yeah)
I've been asked once or twice why I never posted the dote on a fanfic site. and there are a couple of reasons for this.
1. I didn't know most of these places existed when I began writing these books
2. Once I did find them I discovered TOO many rules and I hated the format.
3. I liked having complete control over the site and the contents. ( as much control as anyone can ever have with their stuff on the internet)
So I will reiterate what I have said elsewhere before. This was never ever set up to be a Thrawn or Vader fanfic, not ever. I know people read it that way but it was never the intent. In fact in the very first drafts of the books waaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, Thrawn didn't really exist in her world and she had a boyfriend on Tatooine ( not Jyrki) and Vader was just a boss. It grew over the space of about 15 or so years and blossomed when I began to play Star Wars galaxies and write because it was either write or go mad.
So here we are X number of years later and I've finished what I set out to do which was tell the story of a girl who got the worst job in the Star wars galaxy. Now I'm doing what all good writer's should do. I'm going back over it with a fine tooth comb and clearing out the clutter, editing for spelling, typos and grammar and then handing it off to a proof reader/s so that the final versions can be hosted and left alone.
There will be short stories because they are just fun to write and those few in the circle of silliness also get to read the ones that don't get hosted on the webpage or the facebook page because they really are too hot and not something I want up on a public access site at all. But they are fun to read and write.
I have more stories to write and they have nothing to do with Star Wars. ( or any other established world out there)
I assume people will read these books because like me they are looking for more and I assume they finish them because they enjoy them. At least I hope so. It was a great project and as a writer I learned so so much from doing it. I also got great satisfaction of being able to run through some fairly wild plots and manage to tie it all up. I was surprised by that because there were days when I was like oh my god how am I going to deal with this... that's part of the beauty of writing. Stuff comes back to haunt you and it's usable.
So yes, the books are long. Yes they take place in the Star Wars universe. Yes they contain Thrawn and Vader and a few other wonderful established Star Wars characters but is it fanfic? I don't know and in the end I guess that doesn't matter.
but I still dislike the term.