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Six Famous Authors Who Have Written Fanfiction

16 March 2015

From Vulture:

We tend to think of the fanfiction writer as an obsessed amateur, pounding away at the keyboard for sheer love of the subject. But professional authors are fans, too, and the following successful novelists have dipped their pens in the fic inkwell. Here’s what they had to say about the experience.

S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
I’ve written three or four stories for Supernatural, which is my favorite TV show. And a few years ago I wrote three Outsiders stories to see what kind of a response I would get. I use a different name, naturally. People would say, “Wow, you really got the characters down right!” And I’d be like, Glad to hear it. The feedback from fanfic readers tends to be really simple. Along the lines of, “Oh my God, I love this! Keep going!” Nothing specific, like what you’d get from an editor. But it is immediate, and there’s something to be said for that.

I seldom spent more than a day writing a fanfic story, sometimes less. It’s something I did for fun, and none of the stories are really meant for more than a few minutes of enjoyment. For The Outsiders fanfiction, I will say that I set the characters in a different time period. And I mean reallydifferent. This story would have been historical even when The Outsiderscame out. The boys face their first Christmas after the end of the novel, and the death of Ponyboy and Darry’s parents. I was amazed at how incredibly easy it was to get back on the page.

. . . .

Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries)
I started writing fanfiction before there was the internet. I loved Star Wars, so that was the fanfiction that I wrote. Until my mom was like, “Just to let you know, you’ll never make any money doing that.” And then she explained the whole thing about copyright. I was 11. Even then I was interested in making money off of writing, and I was like, Oh, crap. I’m not going to do this anymore! But I do encourage it for young writers, because I think it’s a good way to learn. You’re using somebody else’s world to play around in. However, I always strongly encourage people who are serious about writing to leave that world as soon as they feel confident. Clearly that’s somebody else’s stuff, and you want to go out and earn your living. I loved doing it, but then I grew up.

I was actually really surprised and pleased when I found out that there was a ton of fanfiction based on my own books. But I definitely don’t read it, for practical reasons. You don’t want to subconsciously end up copying somebody else’s ideas about your own work. My lawyers told me that.

Link to the rest at Vulture and thanks to Dave for the tip.


14 Comments to “Six Famous Authors Who Have Written Fanfiction”

  1. OMG, I want to know what Hinton’s fanfic name was. I totally want to read those Outsider stories.

    [fans self furiously]

    I think I just fangirled, big-time.

    • We’ll ignore it as to not embarrass you, but if you start doing that ‘squeeeeee’ thing I’m getting the spray bottle I use on the cats! 😛


      NOTICE: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot will be shot.

    • *Squee* all you want, Meryl. The guys do it too; they just don’t want to admit it.

    • Found it. But out of respect for Ms. Hinton’s privacy, if you want the link, send me an email. my first name at my last name dotcom.

  2. They forgot Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

    • The Founding Fathers of Fanfic.

    • Priceless!!!

      • Actually, most historians admit that the Gospel writers were excellent historians and memoir writers. They just wish they had more writers from the time period who did that well.

        If you want Bible fanfic, go to the various OT and NT pseudoepigrapha. You have not lived until you’ve read fics about the Child Jesus smiting and resurrecting the mean ol’ neighbor kids.

  3. Very interesting about Lev Grossman. I love his work and would be really intrigued to see his fanfic.

  4. Aw, this made my fangirl heart pitter-patter. Love it! 🙂

  5. I love that Hinton wrote fanfic for her own world. Imagine if the fans had said her efforts were short of the mark, though.

    Which reminds me: Shirley Manson took Buzzfeed’s “Which ’90s Alt-Rock Grrrl Are You?” quiz and didn’t get herself.

  6. I love this sort of story. I was badly influenced by Hemingway when I was young, and now, when I’m leaving a silly comment over at Comic Curmudgeon, I could hear him say, “Really?”

    (Well, not exactly, but I am glad I’m not running for office — and wonder what a twitter exchange between Hem and Fitzgerald would be like.)

  7. I thought there were those who have and those who will admit they have. And I’m not sayin’ which one I am.

  8. Yep, sixth grade – I wrote the sequel to “The Trouble with Tribbles.” It wasn’t in crayon – it was printed on paper in pencil. LOL

    No, there was no internet then. Seriously. There weren’t any computers.

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