It seems ages since my last post (though there have been some entries on my 'Freesized' page) so here's a little writer update, if you care. I'm hungover and bitter today so this will be the general tone of the post. Fucking enjoy.
So, I have a tendency to get quite obsessed with new things I've discovered. If I find a new band I like I'll listen to them over and over for about two months and then won't listen to them again. I fall in the love with the singer/guitarist/bassist (rarely drummer) and act like a 12 year old. My obsessive teenage style drooling has now moved to podcasts. A friend told me about a podcast called My Dad Wrote a Porno. It's hilarious - it's just a guy who reads out his dad's bad erotic fiction. The authors name is Rocky Flintstone (real of course) and the book is called Belinda Blinked. They've really hit it big now, with millions of listeners, and it's become almost cult-like. Trying to get tickets for their live show in London in September was like trying to get bloody Glastonbury tickets.
I became so into it that I jokingly tweeted Rocky Flintstone saying that I should start writing fan fiction. He seemed very up for the idea so I thought, hey - this could be fun. And so I began writing really really unsexy erotica, and it was really really fun. I wrote an 11,000 word novella faster than I've ever written anything in my life. When I had to write large chunks of my novel it felt like a grueling uphill trek but this felt like skipping through a field full of pomegranates (that's a Belinda Blinked joke for anyone who doesn't get it.)
I sent my novella to Rocky Flintstone, who emailed back the next day saying he'd read it all! I wondered if maybe he was just saying that, but he'd attached the document and had pointed out some typo's (which is ironic for anyone who is familiar with his work). He was very supportive and helpful and suggested I should self-publish it. I only used one of his character names (the character I've written is in fact different so it is literally just the name - Des Martin) and he was fine about me using it.
But I just had to go one step further - I recorded it. Not like in the same way they do My Dad Wrote a Porno, but more like a radio play. With the help of a few great friends from my Writing group (Stokes Croft Writers), and a shit ton of wine, we recorded my novella 'Des Martin Groaned' and it was so much fun!
A few days later I contacted the Porno team and Rocky Flintstone to tell them it had been recorded. I had actually emailed both a few weeks before to check it was going to be OK, and hadn't had a response. I presumed because Rocky said it was fine, that it probably was fine - I know that's probably rather naive on my part. They have become super famous, of course they're not going to let me use it. So when I received the email, it explained very nicely that I couldn't use anything to do with Rocky Flintstone or Belinda Blinked at all. I can't publish the novella or the radio play anywhere at all. They're publisher owns the brand now. It's completely understandable, so I'm not bitter. Really I'm not. What? I'm not. NOT....
OK, I'll admit that I did have a little cry and then I felt a little bit stupid. I'm glad that they're successful and have a publisher/agent who is so protective of their work. When I'm a famous writer I'll have the same I guess. It was a bit annoying but it's the way things work. After a bit more reflection on it, I wondered why I did and what I was really hoping to achieve. I've never written fan fiction before and don't generally read it, it;s not something I really have any interest in doing. But when writing Des Martin Groaned I realized how much I had taken it off in my own direction. The only thinking I knew about Des Martin was his name, he was only in Chapter 3 of Belinda Blinked 1 for a very short time. I'd made my own version, and a whole bunch of other characters. Aside from some Belinda Blinked parody/homage, it wasn't really fan fiction I guess, it was more my own work.
So I did wonder about just changing the name and taking the references out but I don't want to risk it or step on their toes. I'm going to move completely away from My Dad Wrote a Porno now (I mean in terms of writing, I'll still probably listen to it), but I'm excited at the prospect of being able to write my own stuff using all these great characters I unintentionally created. And being my own work, I can throw in as much feminist agenda as I want. In my work, women are never passive and pathetic. There's no casual lesbian sex just to please men, everyone has sex with everyone. And they always clean up really well after themselves with anti-septic wipes.
So watch this space. There will be erotic fiction coming and it will be even less sexy than you can ever imagine.
I have a new favourite podcast now - it's called The Guilty Feminist and it's awesome. Check it out. I'm totally in love with Sofie Hagan and probably will be for about the next two months.
Thanks for reading. I'm off to do some porno. Then.... I might even make my own podcast.