I know a lot of people who get a little ... nonlinear over the subject of fan fiction. (Yes, Lee, I'm talking about you!) My attitude is more laissez-faire. Where's the harm? Writing fan fiction can be a great way to prime the pump of a writing career, a way to gain a following or even just a way to play with some of your favorite characters.
My friend Susan Garrett parlayed her love for the cult vampire show Forever Knight into an opportunity to write one of the three novel tie-ins. The book is still available at Amazon.com and if you're a fan of all things vampire, you should order here. you can buy it used for $6.66 (ooh, spooky).
Susan hadn't done a lot of writing in the past few years but she was planning to get back to it this year. She was one of the first people I contacted when Joy Sillesen and Joanne Renaud and I came up with the idea for Dark Valentine Magazine. I told her I wanted a story from her. She told me as soon as she felt better she'd put something together. That was in January. She never felt better. And she died today.
And I am so sad. She had so many more stories to write. And I will never get to read them. (Because of course, this is all about me and how I feel because Susan is beyond such mundane feelings now.) I want a cosmic do-over. I want Susan to live out a life surrounded by family and friends and her silly, overweight pug Belle. Surely there's someone on the planet we could do without (the BTK killer? Joseph Kony?)
If there's one lesson to be taken from this it is--don't wait to write your stories. Don't put off your dreams...