Hello and welcome. First of all, thank you to Melodee (and Nikki and the rest of the staff) for letting me blog here today.
My name is L.M. Brown and I am a writer of male/male romances.
This year, as I am sure you all know there has been one book released that everyone is talking about. It is the fastest selling paperback of all time (at least it was at the time of writing this blog post and we all know how fast things can change in that regard). It is the book that has brought erotic BDSM fiction into the spotlight. Love it or hate it, there’s no way to ignore the phenomenon that is 50 Shades of Grey. I have not read the book personally and probably won’t. I’m certainly not going to be criticising it or anything like that. What I would like to do is talk a little about the fan fiction aspect of 50 Shades, and how it changes things for writers like myself.
For those who don’t know (I suspect maybe there is still the odd individual out there who doesn’t) 50 Shades started out as a Twilight fan fiction story, for which it has been criticised. Accusations of copyright infringement have surrounded 50 Shades, although they appear to be unfounded. I would imagine if there was a copyright issue Stephanie Meyer would have taken action long before now.
However, in the wake of 50 Shades, some publishers have now changed their policies with regard to fan fiction stories and will no longer accept any stories that have previously been written as fan fiction or published online. Although I don’t know the reasoning behind individual publisher’s decisions, in the light of the controversy around 50 Shades, it may be the best choice – better safe than sorry.
The issue does raise an interesting question though: where is the line between fan fiction and original fiction?
I make no secret of the fact that I have written fan fiction in the past. It is still online at various archives for those who know where to look. I have never considered re-writing any of them so that they are about original characters and have no intention of trying to get any of them published. They are fan fiction and will remain so.
Many of my male/male fan fiction stories have at their centre a certain famous werewolf. I have to wonder what would happen if I were to write an original fiction story about a werewolf or a wolf shifter. As it happens I do have a little plot bunny on the back burner about a shape-shifter who is a white wolf. I blame several people on Facebook for sending that plot bunny in my direction with some gorgeous pictures of white wolves.
The story I have in mind has nothing to do with the fan fiction world and the characters are completely different. But how much of my story would be influenced by my fan fiction origins? Maybe a lot, maybe none at all; only when the story is done will I be able to judge for myself. In light of the controversy surrounding the origins of 50 Shades I’ll certainly be very careful about what goes into my stories when I touch on subjects that I have already written fan fiction about.
This is certainly the case for my newest story, Let Down Your Hair. Robert, the cross-dressing hero of this male/male fairy tale romance, is not the first man I have written into female clothing. I have done the same twice in fan fiction and one of them was in a “sort of” fairy tale setting. The stories however are completely different, the fan fiction one being about a rather reluctant Red Riding Hood who had been hypnotised, and Let Down Your Hair being a whole different kettle of fish.
Was I influenced by the fan fiction I wrote? Probably yes, in a very small way. Just as I might also have been influenced by Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, and every other cross-dressing story I have ever read.
I think every writer draws inspiration from a hundred or more different sources, and sometimes this will include both other writer’s works and fan fiction.
Do I consider Let Down Your Hair to be anything other than original? Absolutely not. If you get the opportunity to read it, I hope that you agree.
In a world where fairy stories are historical fact, Prince Aiden is on a quest to find a princess to rescue and bring home as his bride. Deep in the Enchanted Forest he finds Robert, a cross-dressing painter who lives alone in his tower. Mistaking him for a woman, Prince Aiden is determined to have Robert as his bride.
When the prince of his dreams shows up at Robert’s tower he is far from happy, especially when the handsome prince refuses to believe he is a man. Can he convince Prince Aiden to love him as the man he is, or is their happily ever after doomed from the start?
Robert sat up so they were on eye level once more. “I never said my true love was a woman,” he whispered before leaning forward and brushing his lips across Aiden’s. Aiden sat there as still as a statue, while Robert contemplated when exactly he had lost his bloody mind.
When it was clear Aiden was not responding to his kiss at all, Robert pulled away and threw himself backward onto the mattress.
“What was that?” Aiden asked.
“I believe it’s called a kiss.”
“There’s no need for sarcasm. Why did you kiss me?”
“A wife has the right to kiss her husband if she wants,” Robert snapped. “Since you insist I play the part, I figured I can kiss you if I want to.”
“But why would you want to?”
Robert snorted humourlessly. “Damned if I know.”
Aiden settled back down beside him. “Have you ever done that before? Kissed another man, I mean.”
“Do you like me?”
“Would I have kissed you if I didn’t?”
“So you do like me?”
“I suppose so.”
“It’s only natural, I guess. Everyone is waiting for the handsome prince to come rescue them from their dreary lives.”
“My life wasn’t dreary.”
Aiden turned his head to wink at Robert. “I notice you didn’t question my handsomeness.”
Robert threw a pillow at Aiden and turned his back on him. It was going to be a very long night. His cock, wide awake and raring to go, reminded him it was going to be another uncomfortable night as well.
Available from Silver Publishing
Where to find L.M. Brown
Website – http://lmbrownauthor.wordpress.com/