If there was a crown for the Queen of that Fandom Life we would prolly place it on the head of Lucy Saxon. Hot on the heels of the release of ‘The City Bleeds Gold’ she talks about all things fandom and writing and it’s a beautiful thing.
If you’re even a little bit crazy about whatever fandom, then this is for you. She is your people. Inspiring and compelling. And you can win her book too! Wanna know how? READ ON, FANDOM HEROES:
Fandom has always been a part of my life.
I was part of it; excitedly discussing my favourite books and movies with my friends; queuing up outside bookshops at midnight for the latest Harry Potter release; eagerly scrolling the internet for hints of news about new TV shows coming out. Then I discovered fanfiction, and fandom got a whole lot bigger.
I started reading Harry Potter fanfiction when I was 12, after a ME diagnosis left me with a lot of free time on my hands, and thus began my rabid descent into the wormhole of internet fandom. Fanfiction was where I met my first fandom friends (most of whom I’m still friends with to this day), and how I eventually got the courage to go and meet them at a Torchwood convention in Birmingham. This was where I discovered cosplay, which is a whole other wormhole that any of you familiar with me will be well aware consumes the non-writing hours of my life.
— Lucy Saxon (@Lucy_Saxon) February 7, 2016
Fanfiction is the unsung hero of writing and fandom, as I’m sure many other authors will agree. I know I certainly wouldn’t be an author without it. It allowed me to cut my teeth on characters and worlds created by other people, until I was finally brave enough to start writing my own, powered on by NaNoWriMo and a few fanfic friends who encouraged me to face the challenge with them that year. I can’t say my first attempt at original fiction was good. Or even average. It was painfully, hilariously terrible. But I enjoyed it enough to keep going, to get better and put more time in, until eventually the draw of writing fanfiction couldn’t compare to the call of my own stories.
At one point in time, I had over a million words of fanfiction published on Archive Of Our Own (now either orphaned or deleted, sorry). I still have 400,000 words of unfinished fanfiction in a folder on my laptop. Fandom put me in touch with people who would compliment my writing and gently point out my mistakes, helping me improve as a writer and gain the courage to eventually send my writing to a literary agent — a little thing I’d been working on called ‘Take Back the Skies’. The rest, as they say, is history.
Me: *brings proof pages to work through on the train*
My brain: yknow now would be a great time to write the creation story of Tellus pic.twitter.com/0AvVFZiUyr
— Lucy Saxon (@Lucy_Saxon) October 9, 2016
Fast forward ten years from the day I first stumbled across Fanfiction.Net, and I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of my third book. Every friend I have now was made through fandom to some degree; through cosplay and conventions, or through fanfiction, or Tumblr, or other authors fangirling over each others’ work. Because one thing I’ve learnt since becoming an author is that everyone is a fan of something. The kind of passion that’s needed to create a book is never limited to your own work. Ask any author you meet, they’ll be able to rattle off a list of things they adore, of fandoms they’re part of and people they’ve totally lost their cool when meeting. (I met Patrick Stewart at a party at my agent’s house once. I was not as smooth as I’d have liked to be).
Writing has introduced me to some of the most amazing people I’ll ever meet, some of the best friends and the most inspiring human beings. It’s given me the confidence to put myself out there and insist that I have a voice worth listening to, and allowed me to listen to the voices of others I might not have encountered otherwise. People are so quick to spout off about the negatives of fandom — the trolling, the ship wars, the celebrity-stalking and general lack of boundaries — they don’t stop to think about all the good fandom can bring to peoples’ lives.
I have my dream career, all because my pre-teen self loved Harry Potter so much she decided she wasn’t done reading about the characters yet. And I know that wherever this career takes me, fandom and fanfiction will always be a huge part of my life — and my bookmarks bar. And maybe one day, people will have as much love for the worlds and characters I create as I do for some of my beloved fandoms.
NOW TO THE WINNING! All you have to do is this:
- Follow us @maximumpopbooks
- RT the tweet below
- Wish upon a star (optional)
— Maximum Pop! Books (@maximumpopbooks) March 9, 2017
This competition is now closed. The winners are…