Hello again gentle readers! It’s Christine here yet again with yet another podcast interview! You all know how much we LOVE fanfic (you don’t know that? Why not check out all 12 of our fanfic round-ups to find out!) so we are very happy that we got the chance to interview Jen from Earp Fiction Addiction about all things fanfic related! Sit back, relax, and maybe stick their podcast on!
Christine: Let’s start out with maybe one of the hardest question. What are your Top Five Fics to Read?
Jen: Well, we certainly are starting out with the hardest of hardballs, aren’t we? [Laughs] The list is always in flux. But there are some definite ‘cornerstone’ fics that I will turn to as (what I term) “infection vectors” to get people into reading fic and hopefully enjoying it.
1. ‘it’s like I wrote every note with my own fingers‘ (Part One of the 80’s Mixtape AU) by gilligankane and thegaysmurf.
2. ‘Dawn at the Homestead‘ by Seda
3. ‘Wishin and Hopin‘ by bootsncatz
4. ‘Scars of Sweet Paradise‘ by WrackWonder
5. ‘this old house‘ by coldmackerel
[Ed. We covered 80’s Mixtape AU and Scars of Sweet Paradise in our Feb ’19 Wynonna Earp Fanfiction Round-Up]
Christine: What do you look for in fanfic?
Jen: First and most importantly is craft. Does the author have a good grasp of language, grammar and point of view? Do they have a strong authorial voice? Are they confident in their story-telling? Specific to the art of fic, do they have a solid understanding of the characters’ canon traits, morals, personality and voice? If their basic premise is similar to other stories, what makes theirs different? Stronger? Unique?
These are all elements I am looking for when I sit down to read. I’m the one on the team who actually does all of the reading. I have read at least the first chapter of every fic posted in the Wynonna Earp (TV) category on AO3. This means I have looked at over 4300 works. And any work I end up recommending on our Twitter feed or featuring on the podcast, I have read through completely. I will never, ever, recommend a story I haven’t read all the way through to the latest update.
I semi-frequently get requests from authors to recommend their stories, and once-in-a-while the requested work will not ‘pass muster’ according to the standards we’ve set. Those are always difficult conversations to have. I always do my best to be as positive, helpful and encouraging as I can, but once in a blue moon an ego will be bruised. As an author myself, I know that stories are like children to their creators and it can really suck to be told that their kid didn’t make the grade. But (and I cannot emphasize this enough) I am only one person with their own opinions and experiences and flaws to bring to the table. I am not the end-all-be-all of authority on quality fic.
Christine: Why did you start the podcast?
Jen: I and my co-hosts Delayne and Laragh have been kicking around the fanfic scene for almost 2 decades. We’ve seen A LOT of storytelling from all levels of authors. But what struck all of us was the consistently high quality of fic coming out of the Wynonna Earp fandom specifically. Additionally, fanfic as a hobby or art form has often been maligned as something lesser than ‘legitimate’ or published fiction, just because authors are taking inspiration from an existing piece of media. This is a view that I am sick of. Fanfiction is just as legitimate a form of writing as any Tom Clancy novel and are often of higher quality.
I decided enough was enough and that fic authors deserved a platform to have their works celebrated instead of made fun of. I wanted to give authors a chance to discuss their work seriously (even if we do goof off a lot while doing it). I thought a podcast was the best way to do this. So I reached out to my now co-hosts, told them I was doing a fanfic podcast and to buckle-up because they were coming along for the ride whether they wanted to or not. [Laughs]
Christine: What do you want non-readers to know about fanfic?
Jen: That fanfiction is a legitimate art form. I could sit here and wax on about examples of fanfiction throughout literature that we now consider to be some of the greatest works of history; but it all comes back to the same point: fanfic writing is writing. It will come in all sorts and all levels of ability and execution. But it is writing. And these authors are writing often novel-length (and longer!) works and posting them for FREE. It is a genuine labor of love. No one is paying them to do this. They haven’t scored a sweet deal with a publisher. They’re just doing it because they can’t NOT. So why not give them the respect they are due for the effort? Why not give their work a chance to stand on its own merit?
Also, there is the common misconception that fanfiction exists solely to get two characters to have sex with each other. This is so far from the truth as to be utterly laughable. Yes, some fanfiction does have this element… but so do many, MANY published works of original fiction as well, so what’s the problem?
Christine: Who are your Favourite fanfic authors?
Jen: Going for the jugular again, are we? I’d rather not answer this one if that’s okay. I’ll put it this way, if we’ve featured them on the podcast, they’re likely a favorite; and our favorites are always changing.
Christine: What is your advice for people wanting to start writing fanfic?
Jen: Just do it. Just write. Don’t wait for permission from anyone (including yourself). Just put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and start bashing something out. To quote Wynonna Earp showrunner, Emily Andras, “Just write something. You can fix it later. But you can’t fix nothing.”
Christine: Favourite fandom to read other than Wynonna Earp?
Jen: For a long time, I haunted the Willow/Tara fanfic world. But I feel like I’ve grown out of it. So lately, if/when I’m not reading Wynonna Earp fic, I tend to find myself reading RWBY fic, specifically the ‘Bumbleby’ ship.
Thanks so much for having me!
Thank you so much to Jen for not only participating in this interview but for spreading the word about so much fanfic not only in the podcast but also on Twitter. You can check out the Podcast here on Spotify and follow them on Twitter. You can follow Jen here as well if you aren’t already. I guess I’ll leave you with the tag line for Earp Fiction Addiction ‘Read More Fic’.
-Written by Christine