Author has written 16 stories for Star Wars.
I write Star Wars fanfiction. That's it. Here's my story.
I was ten the year Star Wars was released. My brother was six.
My brother got the action figures. I got the books and the posters and the Princess Leia Halloween mask.
A successful film, in today's Hollywood, breeds sequel upon sequel, and marketing tie ins galore. But we didn't know if there would EVER be a sequel to Star Wars, even though the Flannelled One said he'd planned for more. And it didn't come out on video six months after it was in the theaters, either. Our family budget didn't run to multiple viewings the way some of our friends' did and we were ever so jealous when they got to go more than once. I finally managed to get a second viewing by spending precious Christmas money to go with a friend and her family. I don't remember how many times she'd seen it already but I was deeply embarrassed to admit it was only my second time.
We did have that hideous Star Wars Christmas special, and I begged my mother to buy every magazine that featured the characters on the cover in any way, shape, or form. And we found new and improved ways to "play Star Wars". At first, of couse, we used those wonderous action figures to re-enact scenes from the movie: Obi Wan and Vader fight, Han and Luke bust Leia out of jail, Luke and Leia swing across the pit. Ah, the swing across the pit. That was one of our favorites, requiring elaborate preparations to execute correctly.
Sometime the figures were left behind, and my brother and I, in our bathrobes, would be Obi Wan and Vader, battling with our yardstick or curtain rod lightsabers. Luke Skywalker would save Princess Leia from the giant stuffed bear. Han Solo got eaten by the T-Rex.
This sort of thing kept us going for FOUR YEARS until at last Empire was released and the story continued.
But things had changed. I was now a teenage girl, and I was looking at Harrison Ford in a whole new way. While the rest of the girls in my class were on "Team Luke", my girlfriend and I were firmly planted on the other side of the triangle. My grandmother subscribed to all of the supermarket tabloids and I remember snatching up each issue when she was done with it, hoping for a scrap of news about the upcoming films or a photo of Harrison for my locker.
My brother, meanwhile, had a brand new B.B. gun and was looking at his old action figures in a whole new way. He made up stories that involved lining up the bad guys against the garden wall and using them for target practice. (Little did he know what a vintage action figure without B.B. holes would bring in twenty years.)
We did have a lot of fun collecting trading cards (Do they even still make these? You had to buy them in packs and you got really nasty gum with it?) and trading with our friends. I will never forget how excited I was the day my pack included the card with the kiss!
However our play-acting goals were a bit different at this stage. There was plenty of potential in the Han-gets-encased-in-carbonite scene (several Solo action figures were sacrificed to the smelting pot of my brother's highly dangerous lead soldier mold kit) but he had no interest in reenacting the Han and Leia interaction, particularly the kiss!
So, since my scenes were no longer acceptable for either us or his toy figures to act out, they became long winded, mushy tales, hand written, in green ink, in loose leaf notebooks. My versions of what happened next, what happened in between the scenes in the movies, and even, what if the movie went differently?
I didn't know I was writing fan fiction. Never heard the term. Not even when I started reading the EU books and writing my own versions of the stories when I was dissatisfied with how they turned out. (You know who you are, Dave Wolverton) And I had no clue there were others out there doing the same thing.
But one day, thanks to the direct intervention of my computer-savvy and fan-fic-addicted niece, I discovered that there were thousands and thousands of folks out there, using computers and the Internet to do the same thing I did twenty long years ago in my loose leaf notebook. My niece pointed me to her favorites, in the Harry Potter genre, but I soon wandered into the Star Wars topics.
Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers, I tried to narrow down the choices a bit, and I asked for stories featuring my favorite characters, Han and Leia. And it was my great good fortune that the search results led me to suezahn's incomparable fic, "Into the Fire", which is a tale focusing on the same time period that has always fascinated me most - the trip to Bespin.
Unfortunately, Sue's fic is so good that I was totally in awe, and my own fics seemed horribly juveniile and inadequate. It took some time for me to get up the chutzpah to think that my own fics might be worthy of posting, too. But at last the compulsion to share has overtaken me and I am slowly converting my long ago scribbles, and the more recent stuff lying about my hard drive, floppy disks, etc. into coherent fics.
I'm trying not to tinker too much with the older stuff and leave it as it was written, but at forty-plus, it's impossible not to be embarrassed by the things you wrote when you were thirteen.
I've got literally hundreds of versions of things that might have happened on the way to Bespin. Really. Conversations. quick scenes. long extended storylines. At thirteen I was pretty sure there was some kissing going on while we were off watching Luke running in the swamp. But later I started speculating on just what else might have been going on... and what wasn't... and why... and what they said and how they got to where they were in Bespin.
Because it's the most fascinating time period for me, it's the stuff I wanted to share the most, to hear what others thought about it. So I've been picking through the slush pile and trying to organize it into a single coherent narrative which is called Three Long Weeks.
The first couple of chapters are posted - thanks so much to all of you who reviewed it, and to those who continue to nag me to finish it. Really. You've given me the confidence to keep at the task. The next bits may take longer to get up, since I'm having a hard time figuring out what order they should be in. I'm also discovering that many of my Trip-to-Bespin scenes contradict each other and are from alternate realities.
The good news is that in the process of weeding out the non-connected scenes, I'm fleshing them out a bit and now some of them are standing on their own as one shots. Crossed Wires is the first of several in this category, the second is called Family Ties. Feast or Famine really wanted to be part of Three Long Weeks but no matter what I did, I couldn't make it fit. So now it's a stand-alone, and it needs an ending because I really don't know what Han's going to do next. The scruffy nerfherder isn't talking.
I hereby promise that I will update Three Long Weeks with some new material in 2015. [A/N - got distracted by TFA, but I'm off work now for the holiday and am holding myself to this promise]
I also want give a shout out and an extra dose of thanks to Zyra and Push for their fabulous blog hanleiafanficwriters which has inspired me, among other things, to publish some of the missing moments from the OT and from some EU books that I've tinkered with over the years, and to AmaraZ who has been the world's most patient Beta Reader on my Bespin saga.
As far as non-Bespin fics, I spent a lot of time wondering about what went on after ROTJ, and reading in between the lines at Bakura, and the results are After the Battle, Pillow Talk, and Finding Time.
I do still have another very large string of scenes that I inserted or rewrote in my attempt to purge my brain of the Courtship of Princess Leia and one day I will get around to making something coherent out of it all. I've also got a lot of random stray conversations and scenes that I may just start publishing one day.
I've also got a large piece that revists the original trilogy from what I think is a previously unexplored perspective - which,considering that I have hit it from just about every POV you can name, is saying something - that I tinker with when I hit a block on the canon-missing-moment sort of stuff. One day perhaps it, too, will see the light of day.
In case you haven't noticed, I've had a burst of activity after seeing The Force Awakens including a second collaborative story The Snark Awakens where the family and I have been having fun with all the questions raised by the movie. I've also been scribbling in a notebook at odd moments during the day with ways to make Han and Leia's story less tragic and give them some happy moments. I'm transcribing the scribbles into the computer as fast as I can type. So far I am tacking them on to Without a Word because that story is all about what they're NOT saying. At some point I will probably start a new story that goes totally AU.
I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.