A dear friend reminded me that this was indeed an option for my continued pursuit of an exit strategy from my current employment situation. I have just this very weekend read several ‘how to’ books on writing and publishing (subject for another post) and this seems like a sensible addition to my arsenal (haha, she said arse – nal) of quick fix ideas for making money out of writing. If you have any further suggestions for this form (source unknown – but by all means, contact me and let me know so that I can give you the proper credit) then please post them in the comments section below. (BTW – I’m considering being more open to stories containing animals as I seem to have set a precedent – please see The Lonely Goatherd goes to Goatback Mountain).
UStarNovels really does write you into your own romance novels for $38. Click on the image if you’re interested.
If you are interested in taking up this service please send me a private inquiry at email@example.com.
Authors – Custom Erotic Story Writing Service
Number of Partners: (Please select One from the list)
Name, Age, Hair Colour, Eye Colour and other preferences for Male Partner 1
Click on Stephenie‘s image to go to her Goodreads blog.
My encounters with Twilight
Back in 2008, I was sitting around with a group of friends, all mothers of daughters, and we were discussing stocking fillers for Xmas. I wanted books for my daughter and their suggestion was to try out Twilight. The movie had just been released but it really was pre-hype days. However, all four of the books were on the market and reasonable prices so they seemed like a sensible idea.
I am not sure why I trusted the recommendation of the mother’s in question. We’d been drinking. We drank a lot. And ate. And crafted. Sometimes all at the same time. I think it is important to note that sequins, hot glue guns and alcohol don’t always mix. However, we did sometimes give each other good advice and they were right about the books.
My, then 12 year old, daughter devoured them. The first two in two days, the third a week later and I made her wait for the fourth for a month. When I read them she returned the favor by lending the fourth book to a friend. I thought I was going to die until that book arrived back in our house. I devoured them a further 4 or 5 times and spent at least six months pretending my car was an Audi while I drove around with the Twilight soundtrack blaring. Side note: Slug Boy’s ring tone is SuperMassive Black Hole. Think about it.
According to popular mythology Stephenie had the story come to her in a dream. I wanted to drink what she was drinking. For the next couple of years I toyed with some paranormal ideas and read some other paranormal romances – that was how I discovered Felicity Heaton and Cynthia Eden. Those angels, demons and other-worldly beings made me want to walk on the wild side. I’ve never really been a bad boy biker girl but they took me there.
Edward, the hero, was criticized because he was the boyfriend that no parent wanted for their daughter. However, for all his failings, Edward, stayed true to his core values. Values that would have been significant to the era in which he had been born. So, even though he was a stalker, he would protect Bella‘s life and innocence for as long as he could. The old-fashioned other-worldliness of Edward enabled me to forgive Stephenie for making him sparkly. Oh, hell who am I kidding? I would have happily given him a liberal sprinkling of glitter myself (see previous note about crafting, sequins and hot glue guns).
And Bella was seen as … well …
For some reason Bella was seen as being incredibly weak and one dimensional. She apparently let Eward make all the decisions and control the relationship. But I would argue that there are a lot of teenage girls who are exactly like Bella, even when they don’t want to admit it. Socially awkward, slightly isolated for no reason other than their lack of self-confidence, perhaps making not great choices in boyfriends. And there are a lot of teen boys who are slightly obsessed with their first loves to the point of some slightly unreasonable behaviors. I’m not sure that the people who criticized the relationship really read or understood it.
If they had read all of the books thoroughly – and let’s face it even if they had looked at the things Bella did to protect and save Edward in the first story – then they would have seen her as a young girl on the cusp of adulthood, working out how to be both true to herself and her relationship. And Bella pretty much kicked ass all the way through the stories. She just developed and evolved as time went on and her confidence grew. Something that a Mary Sue character doesn’t get to do very much.
I’m pretty sure that those who have attacked the stories the most have been women who grew up in the age of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the ultimate Mary Sue. The relationship was termed as being abusive and controlling.
I think they missed the point that she was a human dealing with a vampire, not a vampire slayer with superhuman powers. She was right to be scared, he was right to set the boundaries until they could work out how they could be together. She did, however, step into the vampire world, took on a few that seriously wanted to kill her, dealt with a gang of werewolves, rode motorbikes, cliff dived, fought to keep a fetus that was killing her and saved her family from being killed. I’m fairly sure that is pretty damn proactive on the kickass heroine front.
There were also people who just hated Twilight because it was chick-lit or gay. There were going to be haters no matter what.
Influence on the cultural landscape
Twilight spawned an entire fan fiction stream that seemed to have a life beyond anything anyone could possibly conceive. While there have always been fan fictions that have made it to publication, the sheer number and breadth of what came out of and continues to emerge from the fanfiction.net and twcs Twilight communities was/is like none other. Pulled to Publish seems to be a term that has been attributed to this fanfic community. Some paranormal authors (Anne Rice, JR Ward) have resisted fan fiction. Stephenie has celebrated it.
Twilight has brought us such books as Fifty Shades of Grey, Wallbanger, Poughkeepsie, Beautiful Bastard and Gabriel’s Inferno among many others. And of course, the movie brought us…
If you are here on my blog because of a love all things FSOG and you have never read Twilight then you really should check the books out. I recognised Twilight in FSOG before I knew it was fan fiction or even what fan fiction was.
Stephenie has often courted controversy as an author, but love her or hate her, she has made an extraordinary contribution to the cultural landscape. Find out more about her at her website.
This is very important information to ascertain about people who are pissing you off so that you don’t believe that their being an ingnoranus has anything to do with you.
Be careful about using this label to stereotype politicians. While most politicians are in fact ignorant or assholes, not all of them are a combination of both. In fact, many political assholes are completely aware of what they are doing but chose to do it anyway.
All good celebrations have a kick-ass cake and every piece of fan fiction has an original work to base itself on. As you all know, my drug of choice is Fifty Shades of Grey. There is every likelihood that it will be the only fan fiction I ever write. But not everyone who lowers themselves to read this blog has ever, or will ever, read FSOG.
So, to get this party started, tell me, have you actually read the book? Really? If you only skimmed the first few pages and gave up, you can admit it. I don’t mind admitting to the world that I’ve read the books but I know that I have colleagues who will strip me of my post-structuralist feminist badge and membership if they knew just how much I loved them. Maybe you didn’t read them but you have indulged in one of the many blogs that have parodied or ‘reviewed’ the books. They’re great, aren’t they? They are so thorough that you might believe that you have read the books. There are some really great ones out there but if you’ve never read one I recommend Fifty Shades of Dave (see blog roll).
Have you read ALL of the books? Yes, there are three! Stop laughing! It’s true! They’re a continuous story – you know, one follows the other. No, really! I’m serious! And they’re quite thick books with lots of words. After a few false starts, I read them all in three days. I didn’t eat, I didn’t shower, I barely slept. There is still a bum dent in the couch. SuperGeek was overseas and my kids were not allowed to speak to me until I finished. I think they may have chewed their own arms off in desperation. There may have been pizza’s delivered. I don’t know. Now that I write fan fiction, things are not much better, I haven’t seen them in months.
Have you read the books multiple times? Go on, you can tell me. Okay, I’ll go first. I’ve read them four times. Yep, count ’em Jim. And you know what? There are people out there who have read them more than that. Yes! I may, in fact, not hold the record. I kid you not! Since we’re confessing, I also read all the Twilight books four times and Little Women 10 times. I don’t know why. Okay, I do. I’m obsessive when it comes to falling in love with stories and characters. Now, I’m thinking of reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood multiple times just to take the taste out of my mouth. There are 12 books and counting in that series so I might be a while.
Did you try to read FSOG and fail? Or have you never had any desire to pick it up? It’s okay. As I said, I myself had three or four false starts. The ebooks sat for months on my iPad, taunting me. I’d spent all that money and I couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters. That whole interview scene did nothing for me. Let’s face it, it is dreadful writing but (IMHO) good storytelling. Finally, it was a radio show that encouraged me to push on and read the whole book. The words ‘spontaneous orgasms’ might have been used. It was enough to tempt me. I have no regrets. I might have had spontaneous orgasms – I’ll never tell.
So please. Tell me your story. Even your stories of resistance and repulsion interest me. You don’t have to agree with those of us who love it (yes, there are more just like me out there). And you lot who love it, you don’t have to defend your love to the world. No judgements, just love and acceptance and sharing the juicy bits. Now, this is a party for goodness sake!
Well, technically it has been a year and one month but let’s not quibble. In November October 2012 I launched my first fan fiction effort. This was on the back of having fallen under the spell of Fifty Shades of Grey, subsequently discovering that it started life as Twilight Fan Fiction and having that moment of temporary insanity that said, “Well, if she can do it, why can’t I?” “I’ll give that a go.”
That first effort was Investing Elliot the title of which was a play on the 2003 novel by Graham Gardner. (It’s okay, you weren’t the only one who didn’t get it). While the book had very little to do with my story it has huge resonances with my journey as a writer.
The original book description says that Elliot is “young teenager who decides to become a different person and ends up being invited to join a secret society which is orchestrating a reign of terror at his new school” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventing_Elliot). In many ways, that is exactly what my journey has been. Well, okay, not the reign of terror bit (not really) but certainly the secret society. And I have loved it.
Writing fan fiction has been tiring, demoralizing, a waste of time, great. It created discipline when I didn’t have any (I can now spend hours on facebook avoiding work without breaking a sweat), it helped me to push past writers block (with a cricket bat) and to fit things in when life gets to busy (like ending up in hospital with a stress related illness). Blogging the journey has also helped to hone my thinking (I have more ideas for my exit strategy now than just being a world famous author with a movie deal). Of course, I had plans to stick to a proper blogging schedule but…
Instead, what I want to share with you are a set of challenges that I created for my friends and fellow fanfickers. I would love to know your responses to any or all of these challenges. So they will come out for you in a series of posts over the next few days. Please participate. I would love to hear from as many of you as can be bothered.
In the meantime, I will be over here celebrating with that card that you couldn’t be bothered sending me.
BTW – a big shout out to my dear friend Colleen for creating my stunning new banners and background. Love you, girl!
A research home for Historical Fiction Writers of the Antebellum Period, by A.M. Cal, author of the historical novel "Eighth Wonder" The Thomas Bethune Story. You know of Mozart and of course Bach and Beethoven. But do you know Thomas?