On Fan Fiction and Leaky Con

leaky3I’m getting super excited for LeakyCon in just over two weeks. Will I see any of you there? Besides all the fan girling I’ll be doing — Amber Benson! Tom Lenk! Not Literally! not to mention some of my favorite authors! — I’m on a few panels, as well as moderating one on fan fiction. Here’s the official description:

Is All Fiction Fan Fiction? Until a little while ago, publishing didn’t even acknowledge fan fiction. It was hidden away, like Rochester’s wife in the attic. But with the publication of books such as 50 Shades of Grey, which is based on Twilight fan fiction, the topic is now at the fore. But . . . is all fiction fan fiction of a kind? What are tropes, retellings, and archetypes? What makes a story original? What’s the difference between good plotting and formula? This panel ships you.

I think this is sort of a brave new world for publishing, though E.L. James is not the first successful author to make it big after a background in fanfic. As for its history, I remember reading Scully/Mulder romance fan fiction way back in college, before the internet really even existed. (Yes, I’m old.) And I’ve always loved crossovers.

What about you? Do you read fan fic? Do you write it? What about derivative work like 50 Shades of Grey or Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren, which started as fan fic of one story, and morphed into something else? What about alternative world retellings, like Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, which has Dracula marrying Queen Victoria, and Jack the Ripper killing vampires? Or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and any questions you might have, so I can compile them to ask my panelists in due course!

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