It’s Been A Year! Why didn’t you remind me?

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” (  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…

Now, I could go on about everything I learned about doing things wrong, or what I learned about my own sexuality, or what it means to write in this genre, or the nature of fan fiction creativity.  I could tell you about how I became a celebrity reporter, or getting a my first bloggasm award. But I won’t bore you with all of that.

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.

Brilliant Women of FanFiction

Alright, I know that for many of you the notion of brilliant women and fan fiction is an oxymoron.  Believe me, when I first entered this realm of fan fiction, I assumed that I was perhaps going into deep dark unknown to mix with a bunch of crazies.  In fact, I was warned not to do it.  I can’t begin to tell you how wrong that assumption was.

Okay, I know you think I write porn.  That what I am pushing here is porn.  And I will admit there is a lot of porn writing in fan fiction but we don’t all write porn.  In fact, most of us would argue that erotic fiction is not porn. The joy of writing fanfic is that we get to push boundaries but it still isn’t porn. Even if you’re a man reading women’s fan fic to get ideas on seduction it isn’t porn – then it’s just research.

So I am going to introduce a few of my friends from FSOG FanFiction facebook land.  We may not all be high-flyers or brilliant writers or even aspiring authors.   Although, there are some ladies on this list who are published in their own right and the rest probably should be. The facebook group (now 200+ members strong) is almost a year old and we’ve become good friends over that time (if you love FSOG, have a id and would like to join us then let me know, I’m in the dubious position of being an admin).  Our members come from all walks of life and many of us are highly educated, qualified professionals in our real life careers.  Some are writers, some are readers.  Some had never heard of fanfic before they joined in the fun.  Some didn’t even know that Fifty Shades of Grey had been fan fiction itself.  However, every day we share our stories, our joys, our frustrations and our love all things fifty shades.  We have become a family of sorts – alright, sometimes a bitchy family with a hefty dose of PMS (even the guys) – but a family nonetheless.  And quite frankly, we kick ass!

So I would like to introduce you to some of those FSOG Fan Fiction Authors who are now bloggers in WordPress world.  Some have been here a while, others have recently arrived.  All are making an honest attempt at sharing their oeuvre (albeit borrowed) with the world.

Please check them out:

Jane Harvey-Berrick

Jane masquerades as sunandsurf on and is the author of such classics as Fifty Shades of Taylor.  As you all know, she is truly brilliant as an author in her own right so if you like her ff work, you will love her original stories.

Ani Surnois

Ani is anisurnois on and is the author of the beautiful 30 nights of Snow (The Masters Muse).  I can’t tell you how she blew us all away when she first arrived on  She also lets me tweak her wordpress site every now and then, so I feel like I might contribute in some small way to her creative genius.

Lulu Price

Lulu goes by her own name on and is the author of Leaving You Behind. She also does some awesome work around pinterest to titillate your tastebuds and you all know how much I love everything about transmedia storytelling.

AC Netzel

Netzel is a firm favorite on  as the author of Late Night Thoughts – one of the earliest FSOG fanfics.  Netzel is known in our circles as the Queen of the Happily Ever After (HEA).  Her work is the type that will keep you warm at night.

Monique Lain

Most of you know my absolute love and adoration for this lady.  Mobabe mentored me into this blog and I am eternally in her debt.  Of course, she is also the author of the stunning Fifty Shades Meander,  amongst others, and she writes a mean cliffhanger ending.

Rose Grey

Rose is one of those genuinely lovely people who has a permanent place in my heart.  But don’t let that sweetness fool you, she likes to travel on the steamy side with Fifty Shades of Fate.   She gives you the kind of visuals that make you want to suck in your breath and cross your legs.

Angie Bowness

One thing I can say about Angie, is she is prolific, and one of the kinkiest writers I know.  She’s brilliant!  In she goes by the moniker Missreadingfool,  If I had to make one recommendation from her list it would be The Reluctant Parent, just because it is my fave but quite honestly just read them all.  You won’t regret it.


What to say about this lady.  Bronzey is a force of nature and her story is phenomenal.  I could talk about her research, her pithy dialogue, her kick-ass characters, her unreasonably intense plot twists.  Just read it.  That’s all there is to it.  At you’ll find her listed as Bronze Goddess because she just is.  Her brilliance shines in Paging Dr Steele.

Ann DeSilva

Ann is one of those unique writers who has taken the original work and placed it within a completely different cultural context.  Which only goes to prove that the love story is the key to the appeal of the original stories, not necessarily the kink.  She goes by Anastasia DeSilva on and you should really check out Connected Souls.


There are others, and I will make an effort to introduce more from time to time but these are a wonderful starting point (mid point, ending point) if you loved FSOG and wanted… more…

Enjoy your weekend! Stalk me!

Sasha xxx

Finding Prince Charming

Dear Lashell Collins posted today about being a romance junkie and our need to indulge in fictional boyfriends.  A new blogging and fan fic friend Rachel J Lewis was also lamenting the need for the fictional boyfriend recently.  I sympathised with her plight when she highlighted all the ways that her Significant Other wasn’t quite matching up to those between the page Princes that we know and love.  But I have to admit, that after the week month from hell, my experience was somewhat different and when life smacks me in the face, my fictional boyfriends don’t quite cut it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a romantic fictional alpha as much as the next girl but not as a replacement for the real thing.  More as an enhancement of the real thing because when it comes down to it, the prince in your arms is worth two on the pages.

So here is my Tribute to SuperGeek.

First, I have to tell you about my life at the moment.

My work is more stressful than it has any right to be but mostly it is that way because of a system that quite frankly likes to fuck with people’s minds and lives.  Consequently, I have been working 14 hour days for most of the past four weeks (because these things come in waves) and pretty much 7 days a week.   In fact, I deliberately snuck off for a mini-break in the first week of June because I knew it would be like this with very little let up before November.  Every year for the past four has been like this and I don’t know why this year should be any different.  Oh, hang on, yes I do, more students enrolled, more timetabling headaches, more resource dilemmas, more staff to manage and somehow, less time to do everything.

So last week I got to the end of another, particularly stressful week and I broke.  Quite literally.  When you find yourself sitting on the floor of the shower at 10pm in your good work clothes crying because you can’t get the shower screen clean, then you know there is something seriously wrong.

And this is how I know that I married a prince.  First, he wrestled the cloth out of my hand and took me to the couch to wipe my tears and hold me while I cried.  Then he made me tea, sent the kids away, turned everything off and talked with me.  Listened to all the shit things that were overwhelming me and best of all, helped me make a plan. He helped me to see that I could put one more foot in front of the other but we would do it together and even better, we would do it in the morning.  Then he tucked me into bed and he held me all night.

The next morning he brought me breakfast in bed and then my computer so I could start working on those steps. All through the day he checked in, reminding me gently what they were, which order they had to happen and cheering me on until they were done and I could breath again.  Oh, and he also made me take regular breaks and got me out of the house to feed me.

That is the way of the Prince.  But it isn’t always about those big moments cos that is when you hope that your partner will step up.

No, it is the little every dayness that makes him a true prince.  The way that he has taken on the cooking in our household and therefore the shopping.  The way that he apologises for being late home if he gets held up past 6pm.  The way he knows what deoderant I use, my brand of feminine products, my favourite meals to order out and my brand of tea (even though he never drinks the stuff).  He doesn’t complain when I spend money and he takes me out to lunch or brunch on weekends just to be alone with me.  He taxi drives the kids on the late night pick ups because he knows I don’t like driving at night.  And, I never have to ask him to help out around the house.

Then there are those special things between the two of us.  The way he spoons me every night before he goes to sleep.  The fact that he still thinks I’m sexy even though I am twice the girl he married.  The pride he takes in the fact that I have a doctorate (apparently I am the smartest person he knows and I married beneath me) and I gained it after he wrenched me and the kids away from family and friends to relocate to Australia (I hope he has forgiven himself for that one). The way he touches my face and kisses me goodbye every morning before he leaves for work and the way he greets me with a kiss and makes me a drink in the evening when he gets home to remind me to stop work for a while.

If I had to say what makes him better than my fictional boyfriends?  He grounds me, reminds me that nothing is ever really as bad as I think it is and he makes me laugh, every day.  That, ladies and gents,  is the sexiest damn thing on earth.


The Stars Have Aligned

Two amazing things happened today that indicate that the fates are working with the universe in interesting and dynamic ways to create a perfect world.  The first is that Amazon have launched (finally) a New Adult category.

New Adult on Amazon


Jane Harvey-Berrick’s latest New Adult novel went on sale.

Dangerous to Know & LoveDangerous to Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane has done it again. This is a really simple love story between two characters who are feisty and fun. There are great complications and challenges for damaged and lonely Daniel and sassy but sensitive Lisanne that come from their friends and families and the judgements that people unintentionally make. There are communication problems and misunderstandings but underlying all if this is a really solid and growing love based on friendship and trust. Jane takes us on a wonderful emotional journey, creating pithy dialogue that will make you laugh and gut-wrenching moments that will make you cry. There are a lot of books that I love but Jane creates stories that wrap around me and make me want to climb inside reading until the bitter end. I was really looking forward to this one and she didn’t disappoint. And just in case you are wavering, Daniel is a Harley-riding musician with tats, piercings, leather and a heart of gold. What are you waiting for?

She included one of my favorite songs too, by Australian band Crowded House which all Kiwis know is really a NZ band that we let them claim.  But Neil Finn is all ours!

View all my reviews

And since it all happened on Eurovision weekend, my life is truly complete. 🙂

Buy Dangerous to Know & Love on


Keep Calm: Read Twilight Fan Fiction

Today I read this post on Dear while searching for information on Twilight FanFic that has been published:

Nov 9 2012

Friday News: More Twilight fan fiction goes mainstream; Stanford introduces open source educational platform; Royal Society archives reveal more influential females in science

By Jane • Publishing News • • Tags: , , ,

‘Twilight’ Fanfiction Hit ‘The Office’ Gets Book Deal – Gallery has bought the Twilight fan fiction of Christina Hobbs (aka TBY789) and Lauren Billings (aka Lolashoes) called The Office. The story is Edward as the boss and Bella as his assistant. This will be published by Gallery in 2013 as “Beautiful Bastard” and “Beautiful Stranger”. Hollywood Reporter

It is also rumored that Tara Sue Me has a book deal for her trilogy, the BDSM version of Twilight that was written before 50 Shades was written by EL James.

Gallery and Atria have gone crazy buying self published and fan fiction work. Is this a gamble that will pay off?

Cyndy Aleo, an original critic of the P2P emailed me this:

I still think the ethics are the same. I haven’t changed my mind about my own fanfic, and have no intentions of shopping it. For us old-schoolers, the cardinal rule is “First, make no money.”

That being said, I think it’s pretty apparent that, at least for the Twilight fandom, there won’t be any legal action. Arguing about each successive big-name fic that gets published is like asking someone to shut the barn door after the barn’s been burned down. Fifty Shades of Grey pretty much burned down the barn.

The Twilight fandom was always referred to as a feral fandom — which I know was resented by the community — but its inability to follow fandom conventions has been made obvious here by the number of authors who have made quite a bit of money doing what those of us who came from other fandoms were taught was the ultimate fandom heresy: profiting off the work.

At this point, I think the culture has changed so significantly that fighting is the equivalent of sitting and yelling “Get off my lawn.” It’s happening. It will continue to happen unless the books stop selling. It’s easier for publishers to take a chance on authors who have an established fan base, like we are seeing with successful self-published novels. I think any new fandoms that sprout up will probably see the same thing happen; I mean we have already seen an RPF sell in the One Direction fandom, and that’s something based on real people. It’s not going to stop because hardliners disagree.

What I really think would be interesting to see at this point would be for a fic to sell from a fandom that’s been suppressed by the canon author — say, J.R. Ward or Diana Gabaldon. Stephenie Meyer was a fanfic author herself and was very supportive of her fandom. If a fic sold out of an unsupported fandom, would we see the legal issues finally brought to the table?

The discussion comments that followed were very interesting and yet somewhat inane. To the point where I wanted to ask:

Cos some of it is really good. But the argument continues that because it was done in the fanfic community, because it copies elements from the original, because the author should know better, suffer for their art, come up with something truly original, then it can’t be any good and you certainly shouldn’t buy it.

I think we have been living in a world of derivative creativity for a long, long time.  The internet has merely done what it always does and accelerates the process exponentially while simultaneously making it transparent but throughout history, there have always been master/apprentice relationships in every art form.

We learn from, mimic and then ultimately, if we have practiced and honed our skills enough, create something original. For the most part we replicate based on tried and true formulas hoping for an original edge. There will always be those who do it for love, those who aspire to fame, those who are motivated by money and might even make some. There will always be those who are paid by a benevolent patron or have their creativity sucked out of them by being locked into a corporate deal. It happens in all the arts. And every now and then there will be a moment of brilliance, often unrecognized – overshadowed by something that is poorly executed or worse mundane, that has found popular appeal and is being celebrated by the masses.  It is the old ‘high art v low art’ argument which brings with questions of ‘is it wrong to be popular’? Who defines ‘good’?  Is it ethical to make money off a derivative art work? Is there anything truly original?  Closely followed by who does this little upstart think he/she is – they didn’t follow the traditional pathway, stick to the rules, go to the right schools etc.

People will make up their own minds about the ethics and value of the thing. Make of it what you will.  There are those who say that artists in all forms and at all levels, these days are only after their 15 mins of fame. Everyone thinks they can be the next great [insert singer, dancer, author, artist, film maker here] from the comfort of their home computer and that this has detracted from great art. Well, yes there will be a lot of crap product but there will also be a few gems that will find both critical acclaim and wide popularity.

You could argue that a work of art, just like a house, will ultimately only be ‘worth’ what someone is willing to pay for it. How you feel about that will depend on a number of things, like whether you see art as a noun or a verb.  Is it a product or is it a process? If it is a product, then who gets to judge it? Should only the highly educated judge a thing’s value or does popular appeal account for something?  You could argue that a work should be judged on its own merits as the finest example of best practice.  But don’t the best innovations in arts come from those who understand the rules then break them? Or can you be innovative without knowing the rules?

Given that artistic merit might be accordingly defined as high subjective, should an artist always have their right to be called so, judged on the value or critique of their product?  Isn’t it that sort of judgement and critique that stops people in their tracks and sends potential artists running to their rooms to hide under their beds feeling like they aren’t good enough?  Ken Robinson talks about our education systems as ones which educate the creativity out of us.  That all children are born artists but the trick is believing that as you grow up.  I see art as a process that everyone should feel capable of taking part in. I refuse to believe that any person is not an artist, a musician, a dancer, a writer if that is what they want to call themselves. This is because I see these subjective constructs as verbs, ways of being, rather than objective nouns, an idea that I gleaned from Christopher Small’s theories of ‘musicking’.

I write therefore I am

I am not a ‘published’ fiction author but I have deliberately removed words like ‘aspiring’ or ’emergent’ from my bio because I don’t think that my right to call myself a writer or an author should rest on some corporatized ideal of the product I create.  Ask any musician, composer, author who has worked through the traditional channels of music or book publishing companies where the money goes and they will tell you that the publishers make their money first.  So I don’t judge myself as any sort of artist based on the idea that someone is buying my work – if we all did that then there would be almost no artists in the world. Fan Fic worlds might have been constructed for fans but they have become places where authors go to play and through their playing pay tribute.  The simmering debate on fanfic writers who are moving into publishing continues to position their published products in ways that seem a little pointless to me and which undermine the rights of the authors to call themselves such.

The ‘pull to publish’ culture may have been multiplied and magnified within the Twilight fandom but from what I have seen in my short time of living in the fan fic world is that fandoms are bizarre, slightly hormonal and wildly unpredictable spaces.  They can be the affinity spaces that James Gee wrote about but they are also demanding and all-consuming.  I have seen authors brought to their knees by the demands of the fans who want instant and constant updates on all stories.  Fans who will become quite feral when the fan fic author steps beyond some arbitrary boundary by daring to kill off a character or ‘ship characters in unorthodox ways.  Fans can be loyal and true (the saner ones) others will jump off a story and spin and kick you in the guts while they do it.  And that doesn’t even account for the trolls in fandom world who are just plain mean and stupid destructive forces of nature.

I am lucky as a writer of fan fic.  I don’t have a huge following on like some writers but I do get loyalty from my readers for which I am very grateful.  Even my worst reviews have been critiques that I felt I could learn from and respond to.  But that is not the case for a lot of writers in fanfic.  Now, I have little sympathy for the prolific writers who get 3000 reviews on every story and then focus on the one or two guest reviewers who slam them.  In most cases, there are other dynamics at work there that can be the topic of another blog topic. Let’s just say I’m not in a rush to turn my fanfic into something publishable.  Mostly because I have bills to pay so the rest of my life has to come first although it is amazing how quickly my writing has become an obsession through participation in the fanfic world.

However, to me it seems that the fan fic world exists more for the fans than for the writers.  If fan fic writers are doing all of this for love, to improve their skills and to celebrate a work that has touched their spirit in some way then the incessant rules around fan fic sites shouldn’t have to exist (and be consistently broken).   If this is the culture of the fandom then it is understandable that writers, who genuinely write to create something they themselves would like to read, but do so under the pressures of day jobs and real life responsibilities that mean their fan fic writing is snuck in at late hours, between paid gigs and under the radar of everyone they know lest they be criticized for even daring to write or be fans themselves, then can you blame them when they see the lure of publication and decide to take a bite. After all somebody should be paying them to take that shit!