Author has written 12 stories for Phantom of the Opera.
I have no life, therefore I have no personal biography.
My introduction to Phantom began as a teenager. At some point I'd read the original book The Phantom of the Opera and found it unbearable. It hurt; I hated it because it was painful, I had to force myself to complete the story. The book itself is not a masterpiece of literature, but the parallels between a person shunned for their appearance, who preferred the darkness to light, music to companionship were too much for my socially unhappy fifteen year old self, and it would be many years before I picked it up again.
After I married, my husband had two of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Greatest Hits CDs in his collection. Among the songs included on those CDs were The Music of the Night, All I Ask of You, and The Phantom of the Opera. I loved the songs for their music and lyrics, but didn't really make the connection back to the story I'd read eight years prior. In the autumn of 2003, I was going through a writing stage, working on committing to paper the fantasy novel that had been in my head since graduate school. Somewhere, I heard that Phantom was actually coming to my home town on tour. As I loved the music, I persuaded my better half to purchase tickets. With the evening of the musical ahead, I purchased a copy of the Hildebrandt illustrated edition and forced myself to read the book again, and this time cried, as I could now see it from a different perspective. With some small experience in the world of the theatre, and by this time in my adult life, I could identify with the feelings on everyone's part--Christine's fear for her physical safety conflicting with her desire to believe in a dream, Raoul's desperation to have the woman he loved and his desire to protect her, the subtle and malicious attempts of Carlotta to undermine her younger rival, the Managers' outrage and disbelief, and of course Erik's hopeless yearning for a normal life.
We went to see the show, and I fell in love at once with the stage adaptation. Webber's Phantom is less frightening than Leroux's elderly, sociopathic Opera Ghost. He appeals to everyone's need to be loved, to have a friend, to have one's worth recognized. One wants to somehow make the ending come out differently for him, to solve the problems, to provide a "happily ever after" for this Beast. Later on, I purchased the Lon Chaney movie and the Charles Dance television version, and then eventually discovered Susan's Kay's retelling of the story. I started delving through the internet for pictures and information and somehow stumbled across Le Phorum, my first internet "home." There, I learned an incredible wealth of background information about the many interpretations of the novel.
What is it about this story that appeals to so many readers? Is the novel more than a romantic fantasy, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, or simply a semi-gothic pot-boiler of the early 1900s, meant only for an evening's thrill? Fans argue and debate to this day. Many read more into the story--parallels with famous cases of the day, for example, or seek real people the characters might have been based upon. Others go to great lengths to research possible medical conditions to explain the Phantom's deformities. Some see it as an urban myth, while others become devoted to seeking evidence that the Opera Ghost "really existed." As for myself, I believe it only to be a fictional tale.
The Red Rose series of phictions were written during my infatuation phase with Phantom, and show it. I have often debated if I should go back and rewrite them someday, but they seem to appeal to many fans, so perhaps I should let them be what they are--a starry-eyed reworking of the story to have a happy ending, with my Erik of that time a lonely and gentle but essentially sane man, shunned and misunderstood. Since then, I've written one humorous story for a friend--a tongue-in-cheek commentary on phandom, and forced myself to do a vignette as close to Leroux's style and concept as I could. It was, I'll admit, a challenge to let Erik die at the end of that piece. My current project, Second Chance, is unfinished due to real-world issues and time constraints but also a sense that I don't really know how I want to complete this story. Perhaps it will end well...but my current version of it does not.
As for my fantasy novel, I am to this day hesitant to show anyone my real writing. However, as I wanted some feedback I tried the same writing style out using the Phantom as the subject material. Writing phics led to posting them on Fan Fiction Net, which led to the development of my website. Eventually I grew bold enough to post on the assorted phan-phorums as well...and the rest is history.
If you read any of my offerings below, do please leave me a review. I am always interested in what readers think, and am constantly trying to better myself as a writer. Your opinions are important to me!
I am sorry, everyone, that it is taking so long to update everything...between work, the real world, and my online life, my writing is suffering badly. Bear with me, please! I've not forgotten Second Chance or the Night Encounters...
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