Author has written 9 stories for Animorphs, and Teletubbies.
Primary: the rise of Esplin 9466 - formerly Enter the Insane - is being updated every other week, usually on Saturdays. This is the one you want to read. :)
(Note: Chapters 1, 7, 11, 16, and 17 have been edited to correct minor errors and improve wording.)
The Controller is on indefinite hiatus. Mainly because I don't know if I can come up with enough material for it to be its own story. A lot of the events that would be in this story are going to be covered in Primary anyway.
The Seer Chronicles is my eventual multi-part masterwork! I am putting a lot more thought and care into it than I have put into my previous fics, even more than Primary. I will begin posting it when Primary is complete.
Keep checking back here for further news. If anyone is interested in being a beta reader, please message me. :)
Confessions of a fanfiction writer: Animorphs - A Love Story
I came for the kids turning into animals. But I stayed for the Andalites and the Yeerks and the Hork-Bajir. I stayed for Esplin and Elfangor and Loren and Aldrea and Dak and Toby. I stayed for a universe that seemed every bit as real as my own. Sometimes even more so.
Sometimes I wish I could reach out and grab my third-grade self by the shirt and shake myself for not getting into Animorphs sooner. Back then, all I knew about Animorphs was that it was about kids morphing into animals (logical enough), and that the kids in my class were obsessed with it. They wanted me to play Animorphs with them and be Rachel. I had no idea what was going on, but they said yes when I asked if Rachel had a dolphin morph, and that was good enough for me.
The first Animorph book I actually got my hands on was a Rachel book itself: #12 The Reaction. A friend of mine brought it to church and I barely got through the first few pages before my parents made me stop reading. I marveled at the way I felt sucked into the story, a more intense feeling than I’d gotten from any other book, and besides I liked the sans serif font. Sadly, my friend took the book home with him after church and I didn’t get to finish it.
It wasn’t until years later, less than a month before my twelfth birthday, that I picked up another Animorphs book. I don’t know why. All I know is that Megamorphs #2 caught my eye in the library (“ooooh, dinosaurs!”). The writing pulled at me just as strongly as I’d remembered. I was hooked. The next book I read was #9 The Secret, which was hilarious, and then finally I got to the one that started it all—The Invasion.
I read enough books to learn about Yeerks and Andalites and Hork-Bajir and Taxxons and the mechanics of morphing and Zero-space. I read book #8 The Alien and learned about Alloran. I read the Andalite Chronicles. I read #6 The Capture and learned a little more about Yeerks. I read some of the pointless filler books.
Then, on the afternoon of Thursday, May 10th, 2001 … I came across the Hork-Bajir Chronicles.
I remember seeing the book in all its fancy gold hardcover on the library shelf. I remember, oddly enough, that I had a sinus infection that day. I remember the exact bench in the corner where I read the first half of the book before checking it out to finish at home in my room. I remember the excitement I felt upon realizing I would get to read about a female Andalite, and learn about the Hork-Bajir people from one of their own members.
And then, the rush of excitement, the “no way!” as I realized I was going to get a Yeerk’s perspective.
Ever since being stubbornly obsessed with Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective at five years old, I knew myself to be unexplicably drawn to the “bad guys.” I had been fascinated with Temrash and Eslin, the Yeerks I had met so far in the series, and I was already trying to stave off the seeds of a liking for Visser Three. Because I knew myself, I knew how easily I could get attached to the villain, and I didn’t want that. After all, liking a character the author means for you to actively dislike never ends well. Bad things always happen to villains.
But as I turned the pages of the Hork-Bajir Chronicles, I knew that if this Yeerk, this Esplin 9466, turned out to be Visser Three in the end, those aforementioned seeds would explode into full-blown obsession and there would be nothing I could do about it.
And to be honest, until I finished the book, I wasn’t sure whether he was or not—despite all the obvious hints! I thought it was my own brain making random details out to be more significant than they actually were. And especially at the end, where he said “I knew my life would end” … he couldn’t be Visser Three if he didn’t even survive the book! I felt partially relieved, and yet, somehow vaguely let down.
But two pages later Jara Hamee said the words that sealed my fate: “Tobias knows Esplin-Nine-Four-Double-Six.”
That was it—I was gone.
Sixth grade was mostly a pretty miserable year for me, and yet that next day at school was exhilarating. While standing in line with my classmates, I would whisper “Es-p-lin” to myself simply because I liked the sound of the name. I would imagine myself to be a Yeerk seeing the world for the first time, and was it ever eye-opening! The colors, the contours of objects, everything seemed so new and beautiful and interesting … at recess, my eyes lingered over the blades of grass with the clover blossoms scattered amongst them. The whole day was so trippy—and I can promise you, no chemical substances went into the making of this high!
That summer I began to write fanfiction. I was hesitant to do so at first—wasn’t that copyright infringement or something?—but my dad encouraged me to go for it. My first original character was a Yeerk called Hekliss 8275, and she’s stuck around in my imagination all the way through to the present day, figuring prominently in both of my current projects.
I then discovered the online Animorphs fan community. The first fanfic I ever read was Veravine’s trilogy, and it had a deep impact on me, nearly as much as the official Animorph books themselves. Then I found this website, I discovered writers with obsessions similar to my own … and I felt not quite so alone in my craziness.
Then came the night I was drifting off to sleep when suddenly the idea for my one true pairing exploded into my head in all its glorious perfection, giving me an added impetus for writing my stories.
It took me until October of that year to finish the entire Animorph series. I saved the last book until the end, of course, and I admittedly felt rather lost after it was all over. But I was exceedingly glad that for whatever reason, K.A. had not killed off my favorite character, and I felt that made the tragic outcomes and cliffhanger ending of book #54 all worthwhile. (Now that I am older, I more fully appreciate why book #54 was written the way it was—besides, its open-endedness is very fanfiction friendly!)
I spent my entire seventh-grade year consumed by thoughts of Animorphs. After that, my involvement became more sporadic, for my Real Life started to become just as exciting as any of the fictional realms I inhabited. Some of the time, anyway. I tried to not let my stories fall by the wayside, but when one believes such things are not as important as Real Life, that sort of thing tends to happen.
But by now, I have experienced quite a bit of Real Life. I have tried my hand at being responsible, successful, grown-up. And yet it is my own child who has begun to show me that everything I have been told about life is either flat-out wrong or woefully inadequate, and that everything I instinctively felt as a child, much to my surprise, is quite true.
So here I am, writing Animorphs fanfiction long after my old friends have left the site. I hang around here like a ghost, for the reason that all ghosts have for lingering—I have unfinished business. For I have realized that not only has Animorphs made me who I am today … it is also Animorphs, and specifically these stories I am writing, that will shape me into the person I must become. As much as I like to giggle about my obsession with Visser Three (oh, who am I kidding, he will always be Esplin-Nine-Four-Double-Six to me), it is not simply a random fluke of preference. It is a reflection of the infinitely deep compassion I am capable of having, even upon the worst offenders. In this way I express of something deep within my soul with the potential to greatly impact the world. And so, though these stories may never bring me fame or fortune, to write them is a journey I must take if I am ever going to achieve my ultimate destiny.
You may accuse me of having delusions of grandeur. It is possible. Visser Three is my favorite character after all. ;) But it is better to have dreams of glory than to be convinced of one’s own impotence.
Peace and love,
Salad Shooter ô>