Poll: Market Research Question #1: Do you plan to purchase a Leroux-Erik plushie? Vote Now!
Author has written 11 stories for Phantom of the Opera.
Please help, if you are able!
The Erik Plush Project is nearly complete AT LAST!
Why I'm here at FFN:
Actually, now that I think about it, it's not nearly as irrational as one might think considering that in the 7th grade other students used to steal the notebooks in which I kept my stories and read them aloud in mocking sing-song tones... For a while I endured that, but I never managed to finish the 7th grade novel, the plot of which involved a young girl who had been adopted by a tyrannous uncle and a timorous aunt and ran away from home in search of information about the past of her parents. I can't remember what I wrote during the 9th grade year (so maybe it wasn't very good) but I do recall that by 10th grade I was telling the story of two wealthy sisters, one in high school and one in elementary who encounter a homeless boy in the park a few blocks from their house and begin to learn about people different from themselves. I never finished that either, and during college I wrote only poetry. Following graduation, I accepted a job and then wrote nothing for nearly ten years until a strange series of events brought me here.
Following severing ties with a family member who was well-meaning but unintentionally discouraging, I happened across the song Music of the Night and remembered how much I had liked Phantom of the Opera in high school. Not long after that I got a new job that gave me far more free time than the one I'd held for ten years had. Then Phantom of the Opera came through our town and my husband bought us tickets. But I had to run out and buy the novel on the way home because something was missing that I knew I remembered, so I read through it that same night, and, realizing that I was not going to be able to sleep without doing something about the tragic ending, I started writing just for me. Then one day I noticed my stepdaughter surfing around at fanfictiondotnet and I thought "If no one knows it's me, no one can make fun... or if they do I can delete my account and retire back into obscurity without ever admitting it was me." The couple of paragraphs I wrote to console myself suddenly became an all-consuming project and a hundred other Phantom fanfics jumped into my head simultaneously. That was March of 2008. Miraculously, a few of you actually liked what I wrote and made encouraging comments, and then someone wonderful told other people to check out my story, and now... well... suffice to say that because of you I now write again--EVERY day, just like when I was in the 7th grade. I'm excited about it again; I have at least three new things I'm going to start on here when I finish this one--but more importantly, I have ideas for how to revise and finish those OLD novels and ideas for NEW novels, especially one that is going to be incredibly fun because it will include references to POTO without being fanfiction in the least.
My point, in telling you this, is to let you know that I am forever in your debt for all your helpful and encouraging reviews. I thought I'd start here because, though descriptions and plots could get flamed, working with someone else's characters provided a safety net of sorts. This is only partially true. Phantom of the Opera readers are some of the most wonderful readers and reviewers there are out there, and I only wish that the people who like to write cruel reviews would grow up (or crawl off and die) because while they think they are just having fun (or worse yet, they may actually think they are constructive) what they may in fact be doing is causing other writers to give up their dreams the way I almost did.
Some thoughts on writing:
I think that this is true of stories as well. I don't really believe that we make them up. After all, you can think and think and try to come up with a story but it'll drive you crazy and perhaps never get written at all. but sometimes, they just creep up on you and whisper themselves in your ear and you feel the urge to write them down. If you don't write them down quickly, you might lose your chance because the story isn't going to follow you around all day and beg (except in some cases when they really need to be told). When you come across an excellent writer, it's just that you've encountered a person who can listen to stories. This explains why my stories sometimes get away from me, why my characters don't always do what I had planned, and why my stories sometimes come out sounding far smarter than I think I am. This is why I can sometimes reread my own stories and wonder "Wow. How did I ever think THAT up?" It's a good thing, too, because when you write something really good, you can read it over again and again and again without being vain because you didn't really create it all on your own--it's just a story you encountered. Most importantly, it's the story that is in control, the story that chooses its writer, so you must practice and train yourself to be very skilled with words so that when the right story comes along, you are ready. Stories are like employers. The really good ones get to choose from all of the best writers, while the ones that are not as exciting, not as entertaining, not as riveting perhaps, have to choose from those who are left over. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take on a story that is not so interesting, though, because as the two of you work together, you both get better and sometimes it turns into something truly great. Other times, you simply share the story and move on, but it gives you experience which helps you to be ready for the next story that comes along, just like with jobs. Bottom line--be ready to begin a story on a moment's notice, and never quit until the story is entirely told. More stories will continue to come your way. Just always be ready and willing.
Final thoughts on writing:
I'm also working on several original works of my own: 1) The Second American Revolution, 2) How I became a Sea Vigilante and 3) War on our Private Island and two young-adult novels that don't have titles yet. Excerpts of these might go up on my FictionPress.com account at some point. (My name is the same there as it is here). I've recently posted something over there called "Escape from New Square" but that's not the official title, nor do I know where that piece is going, so it will be a LONG time before there is an update.
When I post a long work, I generally commit to no less frequently than once a week and in the summers if I'm feeling inspired, I'll post daily.
The Erik Plush Project official website:
It's not too late! If you order now, you will have your Erik plush before Christmas 2009! Even if you're not yet ready to order, please visit the site to read about the project, see what the Leroux Erik plush looks like, see Erik in production at his factory in Shenzhen China, see the artwork from which the plush was designed and all the bloopers that occurred along the way. You can also participate in market research, learn about the origins of the idea, and watch Erik's transformation from novel character to artistically rendered plush to ACTUAL plush product that you can order and have for your very own. To answer market research questions immediately, go here:
Latest details: Erik has been in production for a little over a month. The actual plush toys are complete now and are (as of Thanksgiving 2009) waiting to have their glossy hang tags attached. The glossy hang tag has a picture of the outside of the Opera house on the front and identifies Erik as limited edition for the 100th anniversary of the first installment of Leroux's work in the French newspaper Le Gaulois. The back of the tag has a picture of the interior of the Opera house and more intimate information about Erik including a description of him based on the words of Joseph Buquet and Christine Daae, and how to properly care for your plush Erik. Erik will be 19 inches tall instead of 12 inches to make him more cuddle-able. He'll be most comfortable in a sitting position. He'll come to you wearing a black mask (to hide his accursed ugliness) but if he learns that he is truly loved for himself at last, perhaps he will show you his face without fear. (Mask is removable by untying the laces. Can be attached to Erik's left hand with Velcro. SixPointDesign, Biskuits, BleedingHeartConservative and all others involved are not responsible for what happens if you choose to remove Erik's mask. Possibilities include your being his forever and never permitted to part with him.) Erik meets federal toy safety standards and is licensed to be sold in Pennsylvania (all other states either have no requirement or are willing to honor a Pennsylvania license.)
Please visit my DA account and the DA account of our wonderfully talented Leroux Erik Plush designer, Biskuits: