For those who love to delve into the world of fanfic as either a writer or a reader, you should check out Kindle Worlds. It is an exciting platform from which fanfic authors can submit original works for publication. Amazon Publishing secured licenses for several popular shows including Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries, just to name a few. Writers can submit novels, novellas and short stories inspired by the Worlds that are licensed. Don’t see a world you are interested in? Not to worry because Amazon Publishing is in the process of securing more licenses to expand their worlds. I mention all of this because we sat down to talk with Alicia Dean, a launch author for Kindle Worlds. An established author with quite a repertoire in the genre of paranormal and suspense, Dean shares with us what it is like to create stories for characters and a world that someone else built. You wrote books for both Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl. Were you familiar with these shows before you started the project? If not, how much “research” did you do to familiarize yourself with them? Alicia: I was very familiar, or perhaps obsessed is
I’ve been a fangirl for as long as I can remember. I started off with a literary fandom – I just couldn’t get enough of Sally, Dick and Jane. Everyday, I went off to kindergarten eagerly awaiting the moment when Mrs. Butterfoss would crack open that giant book and read another adventure. “Oh Spot! Do you see, what I see?” From there, it was Gene London. He was a children’s TV show host in Philadelphia. He would draw, live on TV as he told wonderful stories. I had the biggest crush on him. Once I was old enough to stay up and watch primetime TV, I was done for. I had a wild imagination as a child (still do) and television was fuel for the fire. I started creating my own stories in my head and eventually, I started writing them down. At that point, fandom was my own, private little world. All of that changed when I got to Junior High because that’s when I discovered the power of fan fiction. I’m going to let you in on a little secret — as a teen I was chubby, geeky and scholarly – meaning I didn’t have very many friends.
I told someone today that my desk is not cluttered. Well, it’s not cluttered in the usual sense. It’s not loaded with files and papers and books and mail. It is, however littered with things that make me happy. The items change depending on my mood so this is a snapshot of me – April 2014. The biggest item is a large, die-cast Starsky & Hutch Torino that I pulled out of the garage now that I’m back into the show. Behind that is also one of the Starsky & Hutch tie-in novels that my husband added to the collection. Both mugs are from the TV series Supernatural. One is filled with color markers left over from my scrapbooking days. I use them to write my To Do lists. In front is my newest collectible, a bobblehead Dr. Teeth from The Muppets. I got him free with Disney Movie Rewards points. I do love a freebie and he’s just so wild you can’t help but smile when you look at him. Now it’s your turn. What happy items are on your desk?
I don’t step in front of the camera very often anymore but when Jesse Selwyn calls, I come running. Jesse is my favorite director. I’ve worked with him and his brother Zach Selwyn on a half dozen comedy music videos and skits. What I like best about working for Jesse is that he’s the most organized director I’ve ever met. He has a plan and a vision and he makes it happen within a reasonable amount of time. He’s so dead on that when I was at his place shooting a web commercial for Verizon Fios Quantum, I predicted exactly what time we’d wrap shooting. And guess, what, I called it. That’s a testament to Jesse’s skill and his amazing crew. So here’s an extra shout out to AD Michael Anderson. I usually work as an AD, so I know it’s a tough job. You have to allow the crew enough time to set up and get the shot but at the same time you have to keep the actors happy and the day moving forward. Michael had a handle on it and so it was a pleasant day. What I like best about filming is meeting all of these
This past weekend, I spent a couple of days hanging with the wild and crazy folks of Monsterpalooza. The convention is dedicated to classic monsters and the people who make them. This is no ordinary horror con – Monsterpalooza celebrates the special effects teams and make-up artists who bring fantasy creatures to life. The vendors room is packed with artists who do amazing work such as Todd Robey. I picked up one of his brand new Walking Dead caricature prints for my son.
FanFiction writers are often maligned for creating derivative works but in reality, fanfic writers are creative, talented people who are simply using the written word to pay tribute to the shows they love. In Texas, the troupe at the Austin Improv have taken that concept to the next level with a show called Fandom: Improvised Fan Fiction in Your Favorite Worlds. Every Saturday night for the past six weeks, the company has donned costumes pieces and invited an audience in to help tell tales from the world’s most popular fandoms. They started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, went on to Lord of the Rings, Batman and the Hunger Games. And on February 23, they’ll be closing out with a fandom chosen by popular vote. (Click here to make your choice.) I was so tickled by this idea I chased down one of the show’s creators, Kaci Beeler and demanded she tell me everything. She was were kind enough to do so just before embarking on a new journey, to a galaxy far, far away.