Music & More challenge
27.) the first fanfic you read
The first fanfiction story I read in this fandom was Trudy Brasure’s A Heart for Milton…and I paid for it first, before reading. That is odd for me, to pay for a fanfic story, I still can’t get over the fact that I did that! It was early on, during my “research” phase. My husband was gone on a business trip, the kids were at sleepovers and I had spent all evening surfing YouTube, watching the different films of Richard Armitage that were available to view (for free)
Here’s the thing though: I had not watched North & South yet. Nope, I read A Heart for Milton first. I always seem to do things backwards, I don’t know why. With my favorite book series, Outlander, I read book number three first. then books four and two, before finally reading book number one. I find it exciting to do things out of order sometimes.
Something that may also be worth noting is that up until that point, I would have rather had my nose broken on purpose, than to sink so low as to buy a published fanfiction story. That statement needs some background: as some of you know, the fandom I was involved in before this one was Twilight. I became quite an avid reader of Twilight fanfiction, for two years I had been living and breathing those stories. well, maybe not so much the living part (I have never, nor will I ever, own nipple clamps) just the breathing.
I enjoyed the alternate universe stories best, the ones where everyone was human and they worked in a hospital, or were attending college together, maybe they were mobsters or professional sports athletes; the possibilities were endless! So, I was one of the readers who subscribed to a little fic known as Master of the Universe. Bondage is not usually my cup of tea(thus the aversion to nipple clamps) but this fic was very popular and I was enjoying Edward’s part in the story. But as the story was nearing it’s close, suddenly the author started removing chapters, only giving us a short window of opportunity to read them. Well, damn! Here we go with the “pull to publish” bullshit again!
This was something that was happening more and more in our community and it was getting quite annoying! I was able to sympathize with both sides when the issue first arose: some of those authors pored their life’s energy into those stories, why shouldn’t they be able to make some money off of them? but the thing was, it wasn’t just one story they were editing and selling to the publishers, they were taking several of their previous stories and reworking them for profit. that became an integrity issue for me. publish one story to have something under your belt, prove to yourself that you were a good writer and that you could do it, but then take that new found confidence and channel it into original stories. This was (and is) a controversial subject that was slowly dividing the fandom, and then that particular author went and got herself famous. You might know her as E.L.James…
Needless to say, after all the drama that followed, I had negative opinions regarding published fanfic. When I took a peek into this fandom’s fanfic though, one story seemed to get mentioned with much love and respect, and that story was A Heart for Milton. I followed a link to Amazon, and just decided to be daring and make a purchase. This circumstance was a little different since the author of the original book was deceased, making it more acceptable to tweak the story, as long as it stayed canon and didn’t veer off into unknown galaxies. Thornton in a more modern setting could be enjoyable though. maybe as a baker?
anyways, I was hooked on the story as soon as I started reading it. I could not put it down! John Thornton passing a note to Margaret through a book was priceless “Margaret, do you like me? check yes or no”. okay, that’s not really what it said, it was a bit more eloquent
If you have had a change of heart, give me but a sign.
My heart remains forever yours.
Reading that fanfic caused me to not only hunt down other North & South fanfics within the fandom, and leading me to Guy and Marian as well (again, long before I actually watched the series) but it also caused me to give in to viewing the mini-series itself. You’ve met Richard as John Thornton, so you can imagine all the lovely things I was feeling after knowing him with my eyes, and not just my mind.
…and now I’ve forgotten what my actual point was. Armitage eyes make me stupid. so yeah, A Heart for Milton was my gateway to RA Fandom fanfic; best $4 I ever spent.
music question: first song that you ever heard, that you still listen to regularly
Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles
I always pictured Rocky as an actual Racoon, Nancy as a pink Cat, and Dan as a gunslinging Fox. And the doctor was a drunk Owl.
7 thoughts on “FF Gateway”
A Heart for Milton remains the only fanfic I have paid for. I have bought North and South, Urban and the Shed Crew but only one fanfic. I really enjoyed reading it. I have it on my Kindle to reread some time. Thanks for reminding me of this lovely story.
I wasn’t in a fandom before RA so I can’t relate to the whole fanfic history. Interesting, though 🙂
I usually have to really like something before I will buy it for myself. I did buy the original North &South book but haven’t read it yet. as for fanfic, you are much better off having this as your first community. I really enjoy reading the Twilight fanfic stories (I read strictly fluff these days, though still M rated) but the drama became too much to handle. the comments or “reviews” alone were often terrifying. bullying, plain and simple
Thanks for sharing that; I’m honored that my story was a first. I’d never been in a fandom before finding N&S, so Richard’s realm is my one and only fandom experience.
I’d never heard of fanfic before either, but now see it everywhere – Austenland, Death Comes to Pemberley. One of the things that spurred my decision to self-publish was seeing the hundreds of Pride & Prejudice sequels and variations for sale. Heck, I thought, Gaskell’s story is certainly worthy of a slew of follow-up stories as well – why not mine?
I never, ever imagined publishing when I wrote AHFM, it was a slow process of events that finally propelled me into trying it. It wasn’t so much for the money (although it really is nice to earn a little side income as a stay at home mom), as it was to share my story with as wide an audience as I could – it was (is) my passion! I knew I was desperate for more of John and Margaret when the original ends, so I feel I must be filling a ‘need’ for many out there. 😉
And, unlike some, I’ve left my stories up on whatever forums I posted them on – I think they’re out on at least 4 different sites. What can I say? I want everyone to know and love John Thornton like I do!
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thank you for sharing a bit about your background Trudy 🙂 Since finding this fandom, I’ve changed my harsh opinions about published fanfic. that particular author who wrote FSOG said some really disheartening things to a fellow fanfic author once upon a time in, what she thought, was a private conversation. that conversation was shared when her star started to rise and it really soured the author/reader relationship for a lot of us in that fandom. so that is the place I was coming from with those negative opinions. none of that is a reflection of the writers that I have found since, who are either writing about classic stories, or who take their popular fanfic stories and edit them, rework them, change things around and try to make them original.
I am an advocate for fanfiction, I think it’s a wonderful learning experience for budding writers. it cultivates confidence, technical experience, and even teaching how to deal with criticism -both constructive and otherwise- all in a safe atmosphere, using characters that they already love and feel a connection with. but I have a special affection for those published authors who leave their stories up for others to read. I know sometimes that is not possible, for legal reasons, but being appreciative of your readers and trying not to put yourself above them is a gift 😎
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Yes, this fandom is generally very kind and supportive. C19 has cultivated many authors in its time. (Which is why we’ve also started the Armitage Authors blog.)
And no one in this fandom is raking in millions from their fanfic!;)
I bought A Heart For Milton months ago, not long after watching and reading N&S, and before I became involved in the fandom. I forgot I had done that until the recent posts on the Armitage Authors blog and now this. I seem to have a blockage for reading anything since London and The Crucible, except for The Crucible itself which I’ve read several times in the past month. This is the first period in my entire life when I have not devoured at least a book per week- thank you very much, John Proctor! I did finally start a new audiobook last week, and am able to focus on it, which is promising. Now you’ve inspired me to crank up the Kindle again.
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