Kissing Books

Get Your Fanfic On

Hello once more KBers! I hope that this week finds you well. This newsletter is going out the day after Inauguration Day. I’m writing it beforehand, so I am not going to forecast anything since, out of all the powers I do possess, precognition is not one of them. I just hope that, no matter what, it is a step in the direction of the healing that our country needs. 

This may be a bit of late news, but there was a big hullabaloo last weekend over fanfiction over in the Twitter-verse and a lot of people had a lot of things to say. I debated whether or not to link to the original tweet that started this, but ultimately decided to not give that individual more press than they deserved with their close-minded opinion.

However, I will link a few of the awesome take-downs of that not-so-much-hot as hateful tweet. Courtney Milan chimed in as did YA author Andrew Shvarts.

The fact that it was even an issue just…(sighing, pinching bridge of nose) felt bad, friends. Not only was it dismissive of something that has brought countless people joy for as long as anyone can remember, it is also due to how condescending it was. Not to mention how presumptuous it is to speak on the behavior of all writers everywhere. Also, just because you’re part of one marginalized community doesn’t mean you get to speak on behalf of all of them. On that topic, I’m very much of the mindset to maintain your own lane. 

It really comes down to if it’s not for you, walk on by. And the reason I bring this up here is a good portion of fanfiction is in the romance genre. A lot of writers started writing it because they wanted to pair up the two (or more) characters that they felt went together. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. This tweet from Eric Smith pretty much sums it up.

I bring this up here because of how much fanfiction and romance have in common. First, they both tend to have a lot of kissing and HEAs or HFNs. There is also the unfair reality that lit-snobs consider both genres beneath them and subpar. Nowadays, romance authors proudly proclaim that they write kissing books, but it wasn’t always that way. Romance writers, much like fan fiction writers, were shamed because they weren’t working on the “great American novel” (whatever the hell that is supposed to be).

Well, no more! If you’re looking to return to fanfic, whether it’s the writing, reading, or, hell, both, go forth. If you want to enter it for the first time, go searching. There’s tons of fandoms out there to choose from. I recommend taking baby steps because you could find something you’re not prepared for. Just do it.

Do. You. Boo.

We here at Book Riot love fanfiction, so much so that it’s even part of our Read Harder Challenge this year. If you would like some recs, check out this list. And, with that in mind, I’m going to highlight a few books that embrace the love of writing what makes you happy. Because it’s pointless to write, or read, something that doesn’t bring you joy.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

First up is Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. This is likely not a surprise since this is a relatively new release, and love of fanfiction plays a huge part in this romance. A large part of the plot is deception by omission, so if that’s a deal breaker for you, approach with caution or pass it up completely. But, if you want to read about two people unapologetically loving fanfiction then this is for you. 

cover of The Write Escape by Charish Reid

The Write Escape by Charish Reid

Having just finished this one, I also want to mention The Write Escape by Charish Reid. Okay, so technically, Antonia isn’t writing fanfiction so much as her own romantic suspense novel. She does have to reconcile with her own insecurities about writing a romance novel though, especially after working at a publisher that only published ‘serious literature’. And that is a mentality that all fanfiction writers understand.

Written in the Stars by Alexendria Bellefleur

I’m going to give an honorable mention to Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur. Strait-laced Darcy has a hidden past and love of fanfiction and, while it’s not a huge part of the plot, it’s enough of one to warrant a mention. She has a hidden past writing soap opera fanfiction, something she falls back into because Elle and her roommate Margot let her know that it’s okay that she liked it and continues to enjoy it.

Remember friends, no matter what, reading is reading and writing is writing. Ignore the negative voices in your life for reading and writing what you love and embrace it. If you want more snippets of me during the in-betweens, you can follow me on Twitter at @Pscribe801. Until next time.